Ok, I'll up this with the info i've got thus far and some questions when i've limited my options to two.
1. I have a H20L reader with a 5450, is it possible to open the .evo files from the disc with mpc+anydvd and bitstream or do I need to rip it with clownbd?
In MPC-HC use play DVD folder function as it also supports bluray structure. MPCHC will bit stream from ANY container if properly configured. In otherwords you dont necessarily need to remux the movie. The only issue is that playing the direct m2TS file may have an issue switching the audio track. If you play via the bluray structure (play dvd as mentioned) you can change the audio track. What I have noticed which is annoying it selects a random audio track which half the time you have to change.
2. TMT3 will play hddvds form disc with menus, but only send it as pcm, correct? If so , will it be possible to rip the movies in any way (i heard that clownbd could make it bitstreamable?) w/o anydvd or do I need it too.
If you want no issues in TMT rip to a bluray structure. ClowBD uses eac3to and TSMUXER. Thus its ripping out the audio video tracks and throwing out everything else - no HDDVD. TMT is known to be flaky with HDDVD - one version it works another they break it. Once you have ripped the movie, ANYDVD is no longer needed as the encryption is one of those things that gets thrown out (anydvd of course needed during the ripping).
3. What is my best way to do this? I'd really like not having too rip all my hddvds but could do it i guess.. Or should I just do not care, buy pdvd and get an external player for the hddvds? (which i'd hate, grr space eaters).
TMT is probably your best bet as they still claim to support HDDVD and generally when they dont break things plays very well. I recently went to a commercial player - I am happy overall with TMT (using MPC-HC for years). If your going to spend $$ TMT is the best palyer for you.
4. Would the 5450 work with pdvd 7/8 if you do not bitstream hd dvds?
Yes it will.
Thanks again, gotta make my mind up before the promos end..