I have had fairly decent luck with media players and have tried a lot of them. They all have compromises and I'm sure it's no different with HTPC. However, there are files that sometimes play fine in VLC player or Media Player Classic after I rip them which don't play on my media players. I suspect this is a problem with Java, seamless branching of BluRay titles and other things. Most of my movie collection is full BD-ISO rips and MKV main movie only rips. I'm finding the MKV route to be much simpler to play on most devices so future rips will probably be of that type to keep it more simple. I tried streaming my movies from a Windows Home Server with mixed results. In the end the system became riddled with Windows errors and the operating system on WHS ruined the experience. I scrapped the WHS and went with unRaid in a large pre-built box that I purchased from a forum member here. I am streaming movies from that box to my Dune media player now and the experience is much more stable using unRaid. So, I have the storage portion handled with unRaid I think. Now I'm considering a very simple HTPC as a player and something like XBMC? I have no experience at all with XBMC but the look is what I want. I guess I'm wondering what I should purchase for hardware that would provide HDMI video with properly handled 1080p/24 as well as bitstreaming HD audio (TrueHD and DTS-MA) to my receiver. What type of software should I use to make this a seemless process and is there a relatively cheap option I can start off with?
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6/17/13 at 8:22am