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Media player roundup: What are today's recommendations? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Thread Starter 
You're welcome! Let us know what you think.
This morning I was watching Castle In The Sky with the kids. It's a DVD rip. Something different happened: For the movies titles and end-titles, a little "camera" icon showed up in the upper left hand of the screen and the title chapter's words (the credits, basically) were all in Japanese; like somehow the DVD was playing an alternate scene based on my DVD player location... which I could find no place to modify. I couldn't find any setting that described this behavior; maybe it's familiar to some of you?

I actually enjoyed watching the Japanese credits! But, it would be nice to know how to "unset" this setting.

-Pete
post #32 of 44
I have been using the PCH A200 and A210 for a while now and they are perfect for my needs. I use them to stream both recorded TV shows and movies I have backed up to my server.

I keep all my content on USB drives attached to a server. BD's I normally just rip the title (don't care about extras) and will retain the HD audio but sometimes recompress the video to save some space. I view things normally on a 1080P projector on 100" screen.

For menus, cover art I use yamj which scans all the content, extracts the media information and presents all the information in a nice cover art display with movie info (genre, actors, plot synopsis etc.) in a HTML format that the PCH displays fine. I usually keep all my content in m2ts format (there is no need to use mkv for content you have created yourself).

yamj can produce some quite nice cover art displays as you can see from here

http://mediaplayersite.com/skins

I don't have any hard drives in either PCH and I have not ever been required to have one. The content is all streamed over the network, either over 100Mbs hard wired or for the other PCH, over Powerline.
post #33 of 44
Thanks for updating. Your experience has convinced me to give it a try.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post

Update to my own post about the HD700 from KDLinks.
This morning I got up and decided I needed to clean up my own video library. WIth a bit of programming, I wrote some code to scrub my directories, rename files, remove all but subtitles, movie files and thumbnails and even update the thumbnails. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. The results are that the HD700 now shows nice thumbnails for all the movies, my file names are consistent and the user interface is nicer to use. IE, I should have done this a while ago.
...
-Pete

Can you share some detail on how you executed this clean up? I am in need on similar maintenance for my library, but have not found a good way to do it (especially updating thumbnails).

Thanks.
post #34 of 44
I am also curious if you have tested any 3d blu ray isos? I am about to pull the trigger on this one to play my 3d isos.
post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 
Here's a six month update:
Well, get this: This machine hasn't crashed once. The only time I've rebooted it is when I had to change settings on my router.
And, also: This machine still has never studdered once. I mean, jezz, the playback is still really perfect.

Now, here's the funny thing: I've ended up basically going back to the old 2004 approach to displaying my content as a directory listing of files. Sometimes if I have guests, I'll go to the pretty thumbnail view. But you know, when it comes right down to it, I'm glad I didn't pay extra for a machine with "juke box" types of functionality because in all honesty it's just not important to me.

So, not a moment's of buyer's remorse. It was a relatively cheap piece of hardware that has worked flawlessly for what I wanted it to do. Yes, the interface is still a joke.

-Pete
post #36 of 44
Hi Pete,

Thanks for the review.

Can you clarify 2 functionality for me.

1. Is 7.1 DTS master audio and Dolby TrueHD bitstream passthrough supported.

2. Can it handle full sbs 3d blu ray mkv playback.

Many thanks.
post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
I don't know the answer to either of your questions. I have my unit plugged into a vanilla TV that only has a left and right speaker.
I'm considering moving the unit to my home theater downstairs. If I do, I'll be able to check more features; but for now I don't have answers.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwz38 View Post

Hi Pete,

Thanks for the review.

Can you clarify 2 functionality for me.

1. Is 7.1 DTS master audio and Dolby TrueHD bitstream passthrough supported.

2. Can it handle full sbs 3d blu ray mkv playback.

Many thanks.

From their website and specification it states that it handles the following:

Key Features

HD700 can truly decodes, playback and outputs High Definition 3D/2D 1080p videos through HDMI 1.4 interface. It can play almost any media files.
- Video Files - BDMV, BD-ISO, MKV, MOV, WMV, TS, M2TS, MTS, FLV, AVI, DVD-ISO, VOB, M2P, MP4, MPG, DAT, ASF, TP TRP, SWF
- Video Codecs - H.264/AVC, MPEG1/2/4, DivX/Xvid, VC-1, and RMVB
- Audio Formats - DTS/DTS-HD MA, Dolby AC3/True-HD, LPCM, ADPCM, FLAC, APE, LC-AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, OGG, WAM, WAV
- Image Formats - JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and TIF
- 4 USB, 1 SATA & LCD Front Panel
- Video Output: RCA, YPbPr and HDMI
- Support 2D/3D* (*Require 3D TV and Glasses)
post #39 of 44
Thanks

Sent from my GT-I9305T using Tapatalk 2
Edited by jwz38 - 7/4/13 at 4:34pm
post #40 of 44
Thread Starter 
Following up on my on post:
This week I decided I'd "reopen" my home theater. I was shocked at the amount of s-video and component cables I had running everywhere. My pioneer receiver is so old that it doesn't handle audio through HDMI, but my DVDO Edge will pass audio through my SPDIF, so I was ok. My JVC RS1 still looks great as it has a new bulb and the room is 100% light controlled with a blacked out ceiling.

I decided to go all HDMI for video sources; dusting off my component shelves and populating them with a new gigabit switch, and my PS-3, Apple TV, Roku-3 and a new (second) KDLinks HD700.

Now I'm seeing the KDLinks performance on a big 1080p screen. I'm trying out the 24hz settings as well as testing the audio capabilities. My receiver is 7.1, but I only use 5.1, by the way.

The KDLinks continues to shine. I will say that I had it crash on me once now; it was when I decided to use the wireless streaming capabilities instead of wired.

I've only found one problem with my system at this moment and it's how my system is (incapable of) handling aac audio, which some of my content uses. When I pass this audio using "raw" from my HD700 through to my receiver, I get no sound. I'm a complete novice when it comes to understanding all the various audio formats and their transport mechanisms, but I seem to recall the aac audio is rarely supported by receivers. So, I have to tell the HD700 to output LPCM, which is "for 2.1 systems" (according to the KDLinks manual.) Sure enough, if I output RAW, I get great sound for formats my system supports, but nothing if it's ACC. If I select LPCM, my files with great audio get down-converted to just 2.1. Thus, unless I'm missing something I have to change audio settings in a menu depending upon the format of the audio in my video file. That's annoying...

Other than that, since I just bought another KDLinks HD700 for my theater room, I guess I give it two thumbs up... both as an initial unit and a long-term unit.

-Pete
post #41 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post

So, I just received my kdlinks HD700 from Amazon today. I plugged it into the TV and went through the menus.

My initial impression is mixed. Most importantly, it immediately saw my attached network devices and let me browse them. It showed the directories and files fine and the response time for browsing the directories was acceptable. I started to play video files and have been sitting here for over an hour trying out everything from DVD ISOs to very large 1080p files in MKV containers. Not a single hiccup. The video playback is this player's strong point.

Some of my videos have multiple audio tracks and subtitles. With files that have SRT files with them, it gives some nice options for subtitle resizing, colors and placement; a nice touch.

Another nice feature is that while browsing your directories, you have three options for displaying the content. A simple file list with sorting options, a thumbnail view that shows the first image file found in that subdirectory as its thumbnail and finally a "preview" view that shows a truncated file name list and as you select it, starts to play the video in a small file. (This is my favorite.)

The downside of the browsing is that my file names are large and only the standard file list display shows the whole name. That list is limited to 8 files, and you have to "page up or down" to see the next 8. It's definitely like going back in time to my, well, Popcorn Hour A-100, but a bit worse as I think the Popcorn Hour could display 10 to 12 files on the screen.

Also, there doesn't seem to be any capability for bookmarking a favorite network location... which means you have to hit the back button through your entire directory structure if you want to pick another location. There's a favorites screen, but it seems to be for RSS feeds. (Huh?)

The machine is solidly built and I rather like the old-school LED-looking panel on the front. Wait, it IS an LED panel. Ha ha. But, it's better than the traditional blue power button.

The saddest aspect of this machine is its "Premium Apps" menu choice. Selecting it brings up a couple of pages of Chinese web sites that don't work. Seriously, none of them do anything but give you a "The system time/date is not synchronized with NTP server yet. Possible connection error might happen." Now, I happen to know what a Network Time Protocol is, but pity the person who either doesn't or would like to do something about this error. Wait, I'm that second guy! Needless to say, if you buy this machine, you're best to pretend the "Premium Apps" menu choice isn't there. Be Zen about it.

Other menu choices make sense and work fine. There is a nice selection of configurations, including what I would consider a mandatory 24hz mode for 1080P.

Funny thing about the menu: When you're playing a video, you can hit the "home" button and you get a very nice inset menu down below your screen with everything found in the master menu screen... it works great and feels like they added it later (it uses color icons instead of the goofy metallic looking ones in the main menu) throughout the product development cycle.

I haven't tried to directly plug in any of my storage devices to it (I don't want to use it that way), but it looks to be very easy to do with many input ports available.

Oh, I should mention that I have it wired through my gigabit network.

For the playback, it has some nice aspect ratio, zoom and playback speed features. They all work fine. Did I mention fast forwarding works well? I get some studders at fast rates, but I'm pretty sure that's my harddrive, not my network or the device.

One thing that I like is the remote control. It's a nice medium size. Oh, the menu button requires you to shift your hand location to hit it... but you are mostly hitting just the center button and the back button. Like lots of other system, it has four mystery buttons of various colors. Hit one and you'll see system information with lots of chinese characters. Ha ha.

So, in a nutshell, this ain't no Apple device when it comes to the polish of the user interface. But, I've been playing with it for close to 3 hours now (I'm watching The Watchmen as I type) and it has not had a single problem with playback. Not a studder, pause or video glitch. No audio pops either, but I'm just playing it back through my cheap "upstairs" TV. So, to summarize: It does what I needed quite well Unfortunately, I have no way of saying how it would compare with any of the other devices mentioned here.

Cheers,
-Pete

Pete

A few questions:

Optical out?

Netflix?

skip forward or reverse, 30 sec jumps?

thx

bob
post #42 of 44
Thread Starter 
Bob,
It has optical out and I've used it without a problem. But, like with the HDMI, if you chose "RAW" as the output format, and your files is ACC encoded, you better be passing it to something that can decode it.
The onboard decoder seems to be capable of only turning it into stereo... That's a weak link I'd like to see them fix.

As for fast forward, I don't recall it having a 30 second skip, but the fast forward works very well. It's rewind that is the problem. It's slow. I've never seen any kind of streaming device handle rewind well. (I have no idea what I'm talking about, but my guess is that it's an artifact of video compression using forward video frame change analysis.)

I'm curious if anyone else has used the KDLinks machine and has had an experience similar to mine?

-Pete
post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post

Bob,
It has optical out and I've used it without a problem. But, like with the HDMI, if you chose "RAW" as the output format, and your files is ACC encoded, you better be passing it to something that can decode it.
The onboard decoder seems to be capable of only turning it into stereo... That's a weak link I'd like to see them fix.

As for fast forward, I don't recall it having a 30 second skip, but the fast forward works very well. It's rewind that is the problem. It's slow. I've never seen any kind of streaming device handle rewind well. (I have no idea what I'm talking about, but my guess is that it's an artifact of video compression using forward video frame change analysis.)

I'm curious if anyone else has used the KDLinks machine and has had an experience similar to mine?

-Pete

Thanks, Pete

On it's way from Amazon!

bob
post #44 of 44
Pete:

I don't have a KDlinks but I have an ASUS O!play and it acts similarly. My Yamaha receiver doesn't apparently decode AAC 5.1. I have a Western Digital SMP (gen3) and it does play AAC but yes only in stereo. Any AAC from either machine encoded in
stereo works fine, such as youtube mp4s. What I do with the WD SMP is just have the movie play stereo and then have the Yamaha fake 5.1 or 7.1 surround -- it works okay. Sometimes the O!play works and I can hear stereo, but sometimes almost all
of the sound is gone. I'm not sure if the newest receivers support AAC 5.1 -- hopefully they do. Otherwise I just look for stuff encoded in DTS or AC3 5.1.
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