This post turned out long, but please stay with me. Just wanted to be thorough !
I have one desire which is driving me nuts lately.
I would like to play Bluray HD 1080p content (mostly from internet) with optimal audio and video quality.
Most of these files are .MKV files with about 8500Kbps video bitrate and 1509Kbps DTS audio bitrate.
Frame rate is mostly 23.976 fps. Not all of my files are like this but 80% of it is, so that should give you an idea.
I live in Belgium by the way and this a PAL area in case that should be important later in the story.
My setup is the following (I added prices not to brag or anything just to give you an idea of the quality of the equipment) :
LG LE8500 TV (40 inch) hooked up to a 5.1 audio surround setup containing the following :
- Marantz SR5004 receiver : 699 euros
- KEF KHT2005.2 surround speakers (2 front, 1 center, 2 back) : 799 euros
- REL Quake subwoofer with 100 watt RMS receiver : 599 euros
All is connected via good quality HDMI cables except REL to SR5004 via a mono interlink cable
And I also have :
Marantz UD7006 Universal disc player : 999 euros
This to play DVD and Bluray content.
For the audio part of the UD7006 I use Audioquest g-snake stereo interlink 1.0 cables. This to use the 7.1-channel analog audio output of the device.
Now I have 2 options to play these .MKV files.
1) connecting to LG TV via USB or DLNA - Surround sound is achieved by using an optical cable from the LG-TV to the Marantz receiver.
2) connecting to Marantz Bluray UD7006 via USB or DLNA - Surround sound via analog audio output or via HDMI.
Option 2 is a no-go because of terrible support by Marantz for playing HD files. For instance : the player converts every file you throw at it to 60hz/fps making the image judder when making panning movements.
Option 1 is a no-go because it does not support DTS audio.
I have found a great program called "Mezzmo" which converts every incompatible file via device profiles. This works by converting the DTS audio to AC3 640Kbps. That way I get good video quality and HD audio via the optical cable.
BUT... The sound of this converted AC3 has very heavy/loud bass sounds coming out of the REL at times. For instance when people enter a club in a movie or something. I tried different encoders but all gave the same result. This way I always need to lower the volume in some parts which is very distracting and irritating.
Is it because of the optical cable output from the LG-TV being sub-par quality wise? Or am I just too spoiled by the optimal audio quality of the Marantz when playing DVD/Bluray discs?
To make the story short (lol
) I would like to buy some media player device which can play almost every video file AND in GREAT audio and video quality like I am used to when watching Bluray Discs on my UD7006 !
Is this too much to ask? And what mediaplayers should I be looking at?
I would like to keep it to 250 euros if possible.
I already looked at the "Western Digital WD TV Live" which got pretty good praise for playing alot of formats but how is the audio output of this device in terms of quality?
I see I can hook it up to my receiver via HDMI or via optical cable.
Any people got experience with this player in a similar surround setup?
Are there better players out there to suit my needs?
I very much appreciate your feedback people!
Sorry for the long post but I liked to be as thorough as possible and provide as much info as possible.