Originally Posted by gigabit84
I have been doing some research and it seems both the Oppo and HTPC have pro's and con's. I wanted to know why you chose an HTPC vs. a stand alone blu ray player such as an Oppo 93. I am currently on the verge of making the decision and both avenues are available to me.
My main concern is quality. This system would be used primarily for movies. I have heard that the HTPC has problems playing 24p and some times drops frames. Is that a problem that is common using interfaces like XBMC? I LOVE the UI of XBMC, on the other hand, I know I would not have to worry about the playback quality of a blu-ray using the Oppo 93. Input is definitely welcome in helping me decide! Thanks.
Consumer Electronic (CE) standalone player:
Works out of the box
No need to mess around
No regular maintenance (except for firmware updates)
Cost (though with an Oppo this is moot)
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) - very high
Requires working knowledge of PCs & HTPC software
Needs set up, even for pre-built HTPCs
Depending on applications, will require maintenance
Costs - Initial investment is usually high (around $500 or so)
WAF - have to tweak a lot to get it high
HTPC offers many advantages that may seem insignificant.
Since it is basically a computer connected to your TV, you can watch and do anything that you would do on a regular Desktop/Laptop. For instance, sports viewing; ESPN broadcasts many games on their online network and the majority of the population bemoans the fact that they need to watch it on a tiny screen. With a HTPC, you don't have that problem.
HTPC can store data, music, movies. photos etc. When family or friends come over, it is very convenient to simply turn on the HTPC and use a remote to view photos on a large TV display.
A few other points: similar to audio playback, the quality depends on the device at the end of the chain.
Good aural reproduction requires high quality speakers, not an all-in-one Home-Theater-in-a-Box and good visual reproduction requires a very good display.
Secondly (this should actually be the first), you need to have a very good pair of ears and eyes to distinguish and recognize quality. Eg. I have a 720pTV and a 1080p PJ and most of the time I'm hard pressed to distinguish between the two.
You need to buy a $50 BD player and see how you like it, before spending $500 on an Oppo.
Personally, I would rather spend $500 on a HTPC but that's just because I have had one for a number of years.
I started specifically because I wanted to hook up a PC to the TV for online viewing.
Then HD-DVD and Blu-Ray came along. It was very cheap (compared to CE players) to have HD playback on a PC. Simply add a $100 drive and go, whereas CE players (at that time) were $400 & up.
Then came Terabyte storage, I purchased a 1TB external and never looked back.
Now, I use it primarily to store and play some of my favorites; movies and shows that I watch over and over. Watching TV shows is great because of the UI. I use Media Center with Media Browser to organize my collection.
Its a great hobby to get into. And it has a lot of 'flash'.Edited by hirent - 6/11/12 at 6:23am