Based on limited testing, the 6020 Home Media Gallery (HMG) performance is not good. What a shame. I really hope a miracle happens, and Pioneer releases another firmware release (that will improve HMG) before they turn out the lights in the Kuro Operations Dept. Anyone who wants HMG functionality should immediately consider a stand alone media player
instead of HMG.
I have been using a couple of stand alone media players for over 2 years (Tvix 4000 and Tvix 6500) and the Kuro HMG is a huge disappointment. In all fairness, I was not expecting HMG to outperform or even equal a stand alone media player. Let's just say that HMG is immature and is likely to provide you with limited fun or disappointment. Here in this thread, we recently had a few posts (here is one
) talking about the crippled Picture Slide Show of HMG. Separately, one poster strongly suggested
that blu-ray movie m2ts files would play via HMG if using the TV's USB port.
Based on limited tests of HMG via the USB port, most blu-ray m2ts files would not playback without video/audio stuttering.
Video/Audio stutter while using HMG, might mis-lead you to think the USB port is not fast enough to playback the high bit-rates of blu-ray movie m2ts files. I have lots of experience playing-back different types of blu-ray m2ts files via USB 2.0 and can confirm that USB 2.0 bandwidth is more than sufficient for it to work (this includes simultaneously playing HD audio tracks). m2ts file playback works great via USB on a Tvix 6500, yet stutters if attempting to do the same thing with Pioneer's HMG. The m2ts files I am using are those which I copied from BD
movies that I own.
Since m2ts is a container file I attempted to playback several types of m2ts files. Most blu-ray movies have 1 of 3 different types of video codec's embedded within the m2ts file.
The only type of m2ts I could get consistent smooth playback from was VC-1 (again, the VC-1 video is embedded within the m2ts file) -however, I suspect that this success may not be attributed to the VC-1 codec only. I believe that the two movies (with VC-1) that would play, were only working because (1) the bit-rate of these 2 movies is lower than most other movies (2) the two movies each have audio tracks which are technically identical. Each movie has a LPCM audio and a Dolby Digital audio track, both share the same bit-rate and sample rate. The two BD movies that worked are;
2001: A Space Odyssey
Full Metal Jacket
I tried a VC-1 movie that included DTS-HD audio (Bourne Ultimatum), but it would not provide smooth playback. The DTS-HD audio may have nothing to do with the stuttering playback problem. It is my guess that video codec and video bit-rate are the primary issues to determine if HMG will allow playback of your blu-ray content.
A list of many BD movies is shown here
. The list is quite impressive, and it shows which video codec each movie employs, video bit-rates -and it also includes info about HD-audio types that each movie has or does not have.
When using a BD player, or a Tvix 6500, or the Pioneer HMG, you can switch audio tracks during movie playback. One difference between these 3 devices is that switching audio on the first two players is easy. With HMG, switching audio is cumbersome and the HMG GUI prevents you from seeing which audio track is which?
Example: Your blu-ray disc movie has 4 audio tracks; (1) DTS-HD-MA (2) DTS (3) Dolby AC3 (4) Foreign Language XYZ. Now, if using HMG, change audio tracks by selecting TOOLS -> Audio, then you can select from the following list;
Audio 1 L
Audio 1 R
Audio 1 L+R
Audio 2 L
Audio 2 R
Audio 2 L+R
Audio 3 L
Audio 3 R
Audio 3 L+R
Audio 4 L
Audio 4 R
Audio 4 L+R
This is both a Kluge and a Bad GUI working together.
I do not plan to do any more testing of HMG because I prefer to use my Tvix 6500. I do not mean to endorse or promote the Tvix 6500 as there may be similar, newer media players out there which are even better.