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Best Sigma Based Media Player that Supports DTS-HD Master

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
At this point I have to give up on my WDTV SMP and start looking for something else. Although I recently had a glimmer of hope regarding the WDTV SMP's ability to pass through DTS-HD Master, it appears that is some sort of unique situation and only works with a few DTS demo files.

What I need is a media player that will work as well as (or better than) the WDTV SMP ---and--- be able to handle DTS-HD Master (and Dolby TrueHD) in .mkv and other formats.

The media player doesn't need any local storage because all files will be stored on a central server. The gigabit network is fully hardwired in CAT6 throughout the entire house and transfer speeds have never been a problem.

I almost bought one of the Micca players, but it looks like the Realtek chipset is somehow altering the audio stream acording to quite a few posts I've read--So Realtek chipsets are out.

I know it's old and now discontinued, but the NeoTV NTV550 seems to be an option (especially at it's current $80 price), but it appears to have some problems with the occasional TrueHD file. I guess I could live with that as long as it reliably plays DTS-HD Master movies and the other problems aren't too substantial.

Maybe one of the Dune players, which everyone seems to love, but it's hard to justify the $300-$400 price especially since I don't need or want any attached or internal storage since everything is streamed from a central server in my home. I'll have to look into them a little more as it appears they have some newer models without internal storage for under $200 (Dune HD TV 303D & HD TV-102).

Any other brands/models to consider?

So what do you think is the best (for the money) media player that works well over a hard wired network with all files coming from a central server and supports DTS-HD Master and Dolby TrueHD?

John
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14U2NV View Post

At this point I have to give up on my WDTV SMP and start looking for something else. Although I recently had a glimmer of hope regarding the WDTV SMP's ability to pass through DTS-HD Master, it appears that is some sort of unique situation and only works with a few DTS demo files.

What I need is a media player that will work as well as (or better than) the WDTV SMP ---and--- be able to handle DTS-HD Master (and Dolby TrueHD) in .mkv and other formats.

The media player doesn't need any local storage because all files will be stored on a central server. The gigabit network is fully hardwired in CAT6 throughout the entire house and transfer speeds have never been a problem.

I almost bought one of the Micca players, but it looks like the Realtek chipset is somehow altering the audio stream acording to quite a few posts I've read--So Realtek chipsets are out.

I know it's old and now discontinued, but the NeoTV NTV550 seems to be an option (especially at it's current $80 price), but it appears to have some problems with the occasional TrueHD file. I guess I could live with that as long as it reliably plays DTS-HD Master movies and the other problems aren't too substantial.

Maybe one of the Dune players, which everyone seems to love, but it's hard to justify the $300-$400 price especially since I don't need or want any attached or internal storage since everything is streamed from a central server in my home. I'll have to look into them a little more as it appears they have some newer models without internal storage for under $200 (Dune HD TV 303D & HD TV-102).

Any other brands/models to consider?

So what do you think is the best (for the money) media player that works well over a hard wired network with all files coming from a central server and supports DTS-HD Master and Dolby TrueHD?

John

Did you try Boxee Box?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I looked into the Boxes a bit, but it seems like it has a LOT of issues. It also looks like firmware updates have removed support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master. Is it possible to roll back the firmware to a version that supports HD audio?
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14U2NV View Post

I almost bought one of the Micca players, but it looks like the Realtek chipset is somehow altering the audio stream acording to quite a few posts I've read--So Realtek chipsets are out.

I haven't read anything about this, what exactly is the issue? I have the Mede8er MED1000X3D which uses the Realtek 1186 chipset, I don't notice any issues with the lossless tracks. Although I think most, including myself, would be able to extract any real differences.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post

I haven't read anything about this, what exactly is the issue?
There is a poster on one of these threads who claims he has a very high-end audio rig with multiple sub-woofers and that he can hear a distinct difference between HD audio tracks that are bit-streamed from a Sigma chipset player vs. a Realtek based player -- he claims the bass is muted on the Realtek player vs. the Sigma player.

I'm not looking to debate the claim, just providing an answer to your query.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I'm not looking to debate the claim, just providing an answer to your query.

Understood, thanks for the info. smile.gif
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

There is a poster on one of these threads who claims he has a very high-end audio rig with multiple sub-woofers and that he can hear a distinct difference between HD audio tracks that are bit-streamed from a Sigma chipset player vs. a Realtek based player -- he claims the bass is muted on the Realtek player vs. the Sigma player.

I'm not looking to debate the claim, just providing an answer to your query.

While I cannot personally confirm the differences in audio between Realtek and Sigma chipsets (I don't have a Realtek based media player), there are at least 2 posters that have heard or measured differences in this thread here... http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412255/what-is-the-best-player-boxee-box-pch-a-300-dune-wdtv2-aios-or-neotv550/90#post_23061453

and here... http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412255/what-is-the-best-player-boxee-box-pch-a-300-dune-wdtv2-aios-or-neotv550/60#post_23048267

Not to mention quite a few posts by others about the video quality of the Realtek being lower than the Sigma.

It makes no sense why or how one of these chipsets would alter the raw digital data instead of just passing it through unaltered. At that point it's no longer bitstreaming, but processing. I'm not trying to back up anyone's claims, but I will consider them when shopping for a new media player.

I have six Sigma based WDTV media players and am quite happy with them with the exception of DTS-HD Master support.

I'm willing to sacrifice in certain areas like: the user interface doesn't have to be that great, I don't need a fancy jukebox, I don't need space for an internal hard drive, the remote's not important and I don't need WiFi. I don't even care what the thing looks like since it all gets packed away in my media closet behind a closed door.

I do need excellent audio and video performance and support for the HD audio formats.

John
post #8 of 9
Thanks for the links. I remembered reading them, I just couldn't remember which thread they were in.
post #9 of 9
Dune, Mede8er and PCH support HD audio.
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