best blu ray media player no frills - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for the best and cheapest option to play blu ray rips. Don't need any options but the below. I don't even need network support. Mkv or iso (prefered). So simple but seems impossible for under 100. From what I have seen anything that supports the below has all theses fancy extras.

HD audio passthrough
External hard drive support
1080P
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 08:53 AM
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Under $100, Pivos AIOS HD Media Center. Powered by Realtek's 1185 chip, it's a very capable streamer, does HD audio w/o issues and handles most formats out there with ease. The only downsides are clunky jukebox setup, and a lacking UI. You may soon find you want more out of your player by spending a little more wink.gif. Just wrote an article about choosing media players in my blog here.

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post #3 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 09:05 AM
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I've been looking for the same thing but also needed streaming from network shares. I finally decided to try the WD TV Live box. It only costs half of what the Boxee Box costs ($99CDN) and claims to play anything you throw at it. This I can confirm!!! File format support is awesome and features like FF/RW/Jump/Resume work great. You can also have the wdtv grab media info from the internet so you get movie covers, artwork, description, ratings and even the ability to view the movie trailer on YouTube! Pretty slick little device.

I'm very impressed except for one slap in the face.... it does NOT support DTS-HD Master Audio!!! It passes Dolby True-HD just fine but it will only pass the DTS core (not HD Master) which is something I am willing to live with right now. It handles 1080p media like butter so no problems there. Hopefully WD will get with the program and support DTS-HD Master in a firmware update.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 09:42 AM
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Hopefully WD will get with the program and support DTS-HD Master in a firmware update.
Would be great if they did, but likely won't. WD has previously stated...
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DTS-HD bitstreaming is not possible due to licensing restrictions. Instead, the WD TV Live extracts the DTS 5.1 core stream and either bitstreams it or downmixes it to stereo.
Funny thing is Popcorn Hour and Dune have used some of the same Sigma chips WD has to date and both those developers have supported DTS-HD MA in addition to Dolby TrueHD.

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by UnknownShadow View Post

I'm very impressed except for one slap in the face.... it does NOT support DTS-HD Master Audio!!! .
Unless you have a killer audio system and good ears, you probably won't hear any (much) difference between DTS and DTS-HD. I used to obsess about it all the time with my Live-SMP until I hooked up a BluRay player and found I couldn't tell the difference.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 11:54 AM
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I'd have to agree with you in general, but it really depends on the mix. For example, for some time, I had the UK Blu-ray of 'Pan's Labyrinth' and thought it had one of the best 7.1 DTS-HD tracks I'd ever heard, only to later learn it was the standard 1.5Mbps DTS track. On the other hand, I can tell the difference between the lossless PCM 7.1 track on '3:10 to Yuma' vs. the DD5.1.

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post #7 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I can tell the difference between the lossless PCM 7.1 track on '3:10 to Yuma' vs. the DD5.1.
No disagreement here when you are talking about DD 5.1. I can hear the difference on my system between DD 5.1 at 640Kbps max and True-HD. I have some older DVD's (i.e. Gladiator) which have a DTS sound track and I can hear the difference between DTS and DD 5.1. As you noted, DTS is already 1.5Mbps and really good. I just can't hear the difference on my system between DTS and DTS-HD. I'll bet a lot of people can't.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 04:07 PM
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...+1, or they say they can, but if you blind-test, they can't, unless you're using really high-end hardware.

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