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OFFICIAL "HELP ME CHOOSE A PLAYER" THREAD: Can't decide? Start HERE. - Page 513

post #15361 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalseAnimal View Post

That sounds good, thank you.

I don't already have anything unusual. I'm coming to all of this for the first time with no knowledge. I just don't want to miss out on compatibility with the most common disc formats. I have one music DVD that's DTS 5.1 (Queen's A Night at the Opera), but it seems like other albums I might be interested in are only in SACD.

What's the significance of DVD-A that BillP mentions?

There's a big jump in price from these budget players to the Oppo!

For me, there's several things to think about in HT and music.

In home theater (HT), you have disk compatibility. All current bluray players can play both bluray and DVD. This includes DVD music (up to 5.1) and bluray music or concerts, up to 7.1 now. Most modern players also support the more important sound formats, both lossy (some information is lost in the authoring process - DTS, etc.) and lossless (exactly as recorded) -TrueHD and DTS-HD-MA.

So if this is what you're interested in, most players can handle this. Especially if you're only interested in bluray, the players are very close in capability.

For music, things get more complicated. All players that I know of can play a regular audio CD (Redbook). They will play in stereo and be processed by the player that way, sent to your receiver.

There are other disk formats that were attempts to provide lossless or surround sound for strictly music performances (not concert DVD or blurays). These go from lossy (as above, some data is lost from the original) - they're identified as 5.1 or multi channel, to lossless.

The two main lossless dsk formats were the DVD-Audio (DVD-A) and SACD. Both provide great listening experiences, depending on the source and are excellent. I have about thirty or so SACDs and about ten DVD-A's.

The problem with both formats is that they addressed a fading demand. No new DVD-A's are being produced that I know of, and SACD's are also trickling in. They are also dominated by certain areas. There's only one hip hop disk that I've found (I'm a fan) but many classical. Classic rock is well represented, dance music is not.

Like all sound disk formats though, they are being overwhelmed by the online downloadable music demand and are in decline.

Streaming music to your player is something that has become possible lately. This is done by using one of several network technologies. If you have a home network, many players now come with media network client capabilities.

One of these, and the most common is DLNA. It allows you to have music files on a computer or on a DLNA server enabled network drive (NAS), and have the music sent from that to your player. You can use playlists, etc. and the type of file you can use (MP3, etc.) is determined by the server software that you use.

A DLNA setup not only can send music, but video, pictures, etc. I have one (a NAS drive) and it's both very convenient and fun to use.

The media music formats go from the compressed and lossy (MP3), which are ok for listening, but not high quality, to lossless formats like FLAC, which duplicate the recordings much like the other lossless formats mentioned earlier. These are available online and have a much wider selection of titles.

Then you have streaming services like Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, etc. All of these deliver media from the internet and most (if not all) require a subscription. Many players support some or all of these services and have clients for them integrated in the player you buy.

The differences in prices among players determine the amount and quality of the above that you get. If you buy a less expensive player, you are apt to get a player that does bluray well, the other components may or may not be at the same level of quality. As you go up in price, you get many more features and these will be of a higher quality and the service improves.

You do get what you pay for.

But if all you are interested in is basic features, then some of these are overkill. To me, the Oppo delivers the best of all worlds, but if you're not interested in everything it delivers, then it may be overkill for you.

Hope that helps.
Edited by hernanu - 8/9/13 at 9:17am
post #15362 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

DVD-Audio is a nearly dead format using Meridian Lossless Packing to compress high resolution PCM. DVD-A and SACD engaged in a VHS-Beta type format war, which they both lost. While SACD survives mostly in jazz and classical circles, new DVD-Audio releases are pretty rare these days and catalogue discs are often prohibitively expensive. In other words, don't worry about DVD-A.

Great! Then it sounds like the Sony BDP-S5100 is a good choice for me.

What 5.1 audio disc format has the widest selection of music? Or, are there even that many 5.1 music offerings?

I've been searching a little and haven't really found much. Is there a recommended resource for finding (reasonably priced) 5.1 music?
post #15363 of 16490
I think there is a good reason very little exists. It's because it makes no logical sense. It seems like it would be very artificial sounding and unpleasant to listen to, with a mono center channel for the lead voice (yuck) and I suppose and something even stranger going on in the rear channels. That's a great setup for movies with dialog and spatial effects, but terrible for music, IMO. Is the idea that you want to experience music as if you were the oboe player sitting in the middle of the orchestra rather than as an audience member in the middle of the concert hall? I can tell you that sitting in the middle of the orchestra is the worst place for a listener to be. Music performance just doesn't lend itself very well to 5.1. While there are some cool quardraphonic recordings out there, that never took off either.

I would be curious to know what drives your desire to listen to music in 5.1 surround.
post #15364 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampidemic View Post

Support for HD audio formats is intentionally omitted or limited due to piracy concerns. Consumer capture devices don't use these formats, so the only use would be to play copies of commercial content. I would not expect them to make it that easy, especially at that price point.

I'm not sure I'm following you. All the Sony players from 2012 onwards that support DLNA support DTS-HD via DLNA. Dolby true hd is supported but only if you use DVD fab. Make MKV doesn't seem to work right.
post #15365 of 16490
Most 5.1 music is on SACD. If you like classical or jazz, there's a fair amount available. But, for other genres, not so much. You'll find some concerts on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, 5.1 music has yet to find a market in any format. That's especially true with high resolution formats. You'll find a lot more information about what's available in the Surround Music forum.

mdavej has a pretty warped view of 5.1 music reproduction, imho. A well mixed surround track is not limited to a mono lead vocal track in the center channel, for example. Some people find that effective use of the surrounds create a more life-like experience than just two front speakers.
post #15366 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Most 5.1 music is on SACD. If you like classical or jazz, there's a fair amount available. But, for other genres, not so much.

I have quite a bit of classic rock in SACD format, from '60s-'80s (Elton John, Doors, James Taylor, Moody Blues, etc). Plus Classical (it seems like most new classical recordings are in SACD). So they are still coming out with a reasonable amount of SACDs.
post #15367 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampidemic View Post

Support for HD audio formats is intentionally omitted or limited due to piracy concerns. Consumer capture devices don't use these formats, so the only use would be to play copies of commercial content. I would not expect them to make it that easy, especially at that price point.

I'm not sure I'm following you. All the Sony players from 2012 onwards that support DLNA support DTS-HD via DLNA. Dolby true hd is supported but only if you use DVD fab. Make MKV doesn't seem to work right.

Maybe it's all in my mind. I thought they omitted DTS HD-MA from .MKV, but it looks like I was wrong about that.
post #15368 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I think there is a good reason very little exists. It's because it makes no logical sense. It seems like it would be very artificial sounding and unpleasant to listen to, with a mono center channel for the lead voice (yuck) and I suppose and something even stranger going on in the rear channels. That's a great setup for movies with dialog and spatial effects, but terrible for music, IMO. Is the idea that you want to experience music as if you were the oboe player sitting in the middle of the orchestra rather than as an audience member in the middle of the concert hall? I can tell you that sitting in the middle of the orchestra is the worst place for a listener to be. Music performance just doesn't lend itself very well to 5.1. While there are some cool quardraphonic recordings out there, that never took off either.

I would be curious to know what drives your desire to listen to music in 5.1 surround.

Yea. You're missing out big time ! Mike Oldfield is releasing all his back catalog in mostly 5.1 mixes. They go back to the original multi-channel studio master tapes and remix in 5.1. Most of the time the results are amazing. Sadly they are only released in lossy 5.1 DD on DVDs.
post #15369 of 16490
hernanu, thank you for such a comprehensive answer!

All along I've assumed I'd be getting at least an AppleTV and possibly Roku and Chromecast, each with their own pros and cons. So the extra streaming capabilities of the receivers and Blu-ray players haven't seemed important to me. I'm more concerned with their sound and image quality for discs - 3D, 2D, and CDs and audio DVDs, etc.

But I'm very unfamiliar with what's available and wanted to make sure I'm not limiting myself. Short of the Oppo, it sounds like the less expensive Sony will do me right for now. I probably won't be missing out on much.

So, thanks!

One question: in looking at discs out there, I found this:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/7163/queen-the-game-dvd-a/

and I'm confused because there are references to both DVD-A and DTS 5.1. Is this a DVD-A disc that my Sony will NOT be able to play? Or would I be able to play some of it, but not all?
post #15370 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

DVD-Audio is a nearly dead format using Meridian Lossless Packing to compress high resolution PCM. DVD-A and SACD engaged in a VHS-Beta type format war, which they both lost. While SACD survives mostly in jazz and classical circles, new DVD-Audio releases are pretty rare these days and catalogue discs are often prohibitively expensive. In other words, don't worry about DVD-A.

Thanks. I'm not going to.
post #15371 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I would be curious to know what drives your desire to listen to music in 5.1 surround.

First, I was just covering all my bases, since it's my first 5.1 system. I just wanted to make sure I could play everything I might want to play.

But it's also my understanding that there are some 5.1 music mixes that (some) people love. And some are of music that I like.
post #15372 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP View Post

I have quite a bit of classic rock in SACD format, from '60s-'80s (Elton John, Doors, James Taylor, Moody Blues, etc). Plus Classical (it seems like most new classical recordings are in SACD). So they are still coming out with a reasonable amount of SACDs.

Thanks, BIslander and BillP. Yes, I've got my eye (ear?) on quite a few SACD albums. I'm glad it was pointed out to me by moxie1617 that I should get the Sony rather than the Panasonic I was first considering.
post #15373 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalseAnimal View Post

and I'm confused because there are references to both DVD-A and DTS 5.1. Is this a DVD-A disc that my Sony will NOT be able to play? Or would I be able to play some of it, but not all?
DVD-A discs include DVD Video for backwards compatibility. That disc has a lossy DTS track that anyone can play along with the lossless DVD-A track.
post #15374 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalseAnimal View Post

hernanu, thank you for such a comprehensive answer!

All along I've assumed I'd be getting at least an AppleTV and possibly Roku and Chromecast, each with their own pros and cons. So the extra streaming capabilities of the receivers and Blu-ray players haven't seemed important to me. I'm more concerned with their sound and image quality for discs - 3D, 2D, and CDs and audio DVDs, etc.

But I'm very unfamiliar with what's available and wanted to make sure I'm not limiting myself. Short of the Oppo, it sounds like the less expensive Sony will do me right for now. I probably won't be missing out on much.

So, thanks!

One question: in looking at discs out there, I found this:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/7163/queen-the-game-dvd-a/

and I'm confused because there are references to both DVD-A and DTS 5.1. Is this a DVD-A disc that my Sony will NOT be able to play? Or would I be able to play some of it, but not all?

The DTS 5.1 audio cd's are precursors to the DVD-A format. They will play on any player so long as you can bitstream to the receiver and the receiver can decode DTS-5.1, so the Sony can handle this even though it can't play DVD-A's. There's actually a good selection of older music in this format, this Joe Cocker CD as an example.

DVD-A is the format that followed (along with its competitor SACD), both of those require specialized players. The Sony you're considering will play both DTS 5.1 and SACD, but not DVD-A.
post #15375 of 16490

PS3 vs Stand-alone: Confused ...

I'm in the market for a BD player, or at least I thought I was. I have a PS3 (original version) I've had for 7 years or so. Much has changed for BD discs, esp 3D, in the past 7 years.
Or, at least it seemed that way.
I assumed I should pick up a BD player. I see the Oppo at $500. But, for seemingly every BD player less expensive than this, I can read critiques of core functions. And, while I haven't tried it yet, I'm told my old PS3 can render 3D BDs.
My questions are, am I missing something? How can something 7 years old still appear to be among the best solutions when technology has improved so much, at least purportedly?
Mind you, if I move my PS3 it will afffect the convenience of my kids gaming, so I'm happy to augment the PS3 with a new purchase provided the price is right.
post #15376 of 16490
Post moved. There are several comparisons within this thread and a similar thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1480646/stick-with-the-ps3-as-blu-ray-player-or-get-a-dedicated-blu-ray-player

S~
post #15377 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

Post moved. There are several comparisons within this thread and a similar thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1480646/stick-with-the-ps3-as-blu-ray-player-or-get-a-dedicated-blu-ray-player

S~

Thanks, sorry to have missed that.
post #15378 of 16490

Hello, is there any bluray player can...

Wonder if there is a blu ray player which can send bitstreams to the receiver via the usb slut? I want to use usb output to play some hd audio movies (mkv, etc.) , such as dts master and the like.

Thank you.
post #15379 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuer View Post

Wonder if there is a blu ray player which can send bitstreams to the receiver via the usb slut? I want to use usb output to play some hd audio movies (mkv, etc.) , such as dts master and the like.

Thank you.

Just to clarify, you want to use a player's usb output to transmit to a receiver's USB input? Is USB the only input to the receiver?
post #15380 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjvnyc View Post

I'm in the market for a BD player, or at least I thought I was. I have a PS3 (original version) I've had for 7 years or so. Much has changed for BD discs, esp 3D, in the past 7 years.
Or, at least it seemed that way.
I assumed I should pick up a BD player. I see the Oppo at $500. But, for seemingly every BD player less expensive than this, I can read critiques of core functions. And, while I haven't tried it yet, I'm told my old PS3 can render 3D BDs.
My questions are, am I missing something? How can something 7 years old still appear to be among the best solutions when technology has improved so much, at least purportedly?
Mind you, if I move my PS3 it will afffect the convenience of my kids gaming, so I'm happy to augment the PS3 with a new purchase provided the price is right.
If you are happy with your PS3, then by all means, keep using it. But if you are in the market for a new BD player and aren't a gamer, however, I can't think of a single redeeming quality PS3 has. It's expensive, slow, loud, complicated, big, a power hog, has a very limited number streaming apps, doesn't work with an IR remote without expensive add ons, has very mediocre DVD upconversion, terrible Amazon streaming, and you can't put anything on top of it in a rack. My $50 BD player has far more streaming apps, uses less than 1/10th the power, works with a universal remote, fits anywhere in my rack, and has better DVD upconversion. I was glad to get rid of my PS3 when my kids lost interest in it.
post #15381 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

If you are happy with your PS3, then by all means, keep using it. But if you are in the market for a new BD player and aren't a gamer, however, I can't think of a single redeeming quality PS3 has. It's expensive, slow, loud, complicated, big, a power hog, has a very limited number streaming apps, doesn't work with an IR remote without expensive add ons, has very mediocre DVD upconversion, terrible Amazon streaming, and you can't put anything on top of it in a rack. My $50 BD player has far more streaming apps, uses less than 1/10th the power, works with a universal remote, fits anywhere in my rack, and has better DVD upconversion. I was glad to get rid of my PS3 when my kids lost interest in it.

Really dave, you can't be this wishy washy about your opinions. Tell him how you really feel... biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
post #15382 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu View Post

Really dave, you can't be this wishy washy about your opinions. Tell him how you really feel... biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
Did I mention that I don't like the PS3? tongue.gif

Here's what really torques me off. Sony wants me to use it's stupid, over priced gaming console in my home theater, yet doesn't even add a 25 cent IR sensor like every other device in my system. I have to pay $12 for a crappy substitute or $50 for a half decent one.

I also blame the existence of the PS3 for saddling us with this ridiculous BD format to begin with. But that's another story.
post #15383 of 16490

Which player to get Amazon Instant video in full HD and 5.1

My sony 790 and sony 5100 streams Netflix in super hd and 5.1 surround, But not amazon ;-(

Which other, cheap, player could I get to get the most out of Amazon, that is super hd and 5.1

Or might I look into something else, a box like Boxee TV ??
post #15384 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by dryasanne View Post

My sony 790 and sony 5100 streams Netflix in super hd and 5.1 surround, But not amazon ;-(

Which other, cheap, player could I get to get the most out of Amazon, that is super hd and 5.1

Or might I look into something else, a box like Boxee TV ??
I can't speak for the 5100, but I can speak for the S790. Both players support 1080p video when titles are available in HD. NF SuperHD only increases the bandwidth used for the video. I don't know of a restriction for Amazon. My player reports 30 Mbps. For the S790, DD 5.1 audio was supported up until recently. Something happened. Noone has said whether it is Sony or Amazon. One solution is to get a dedicated streamer such as the Roku.

S~
post #15385 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post

I'm not sure I'm following you. All the Sony players from 2012 onwards that support DLNA support DTS-HD via DLNA. Dolby true hd is supported but only if you use DVD fab. Make MKV doesn't seem to work right.

Thanks APW. I'll take a look at the Sony's then. Appreciate the tip.
post #15386 of 16490
Hi

I've had an HDI Dune BD Prime 3.0 for 4 years but its optical drive is dying and I'm considering to replace the player altogether.

Which similar player would you recommend? My wish list would be:
  • *Silent* BD reader. This would me my only real gripe with the Prime actually, the disc drive has always been very noisy. Now I'd like to get something completely silent, that's why it's the 1st item on the list. smile.gif
  • Support of wide range of media formats, MKV/x264 a must.
  • Network access, ethernet + SMB
  • USB for external HDD
  • Good quality DVD upscaling
  • Serious manufacturer committed to customer support, periodic fw upgrades, etc. Don't want a cheap product, I'm happy to expend the extra € to get a player that won't get obsolete in 2 years.
  • DVD and BD multi-zone (even if needs to be installed separately)
  • PAL/NTSC conversion
  • Decent audio decoding (to use with just TV via HDMI) + bitstream passthrough for AV receiver.

Nice to have but could live without it:
  • 2 HDMI out
  • MacOS HFS+ support on HDD
  • Internet services like Netflix, Spotify, etc.
  • Nice audio capabilities (ALAC, Flac, etc.)
  • DVB-T
  • Wireless network

Don't care about:
  • 3D
  • 4K

My current setup: Samsung 720p TV (don't remember exact model, anyway I may upgrade to a 1080p soon) + Onkyo HT-R390 AV Receiver + Optoma HD200X 1080p projector + AppleTV. I either use just the TV (so decent but not great audio decoding needed) or the projector+AV receiver (bitstream passthrough needed). I'm not so worried about streaming services because of the Apple TV. I also have an HDMI multiplexor to have the TV and projector connected at the same time, if I get a player with 2 HDMI out I'd be happy to get rid of it.

I've been looking at different players already and I'm tempted to get an Oppo BDP-103, specially because I've read the BD unit is dead silent, but it's a bit on the expensive side. OTOH there's an official dealer on my city, which is a plus.

Any other player I should consider?

Thanks in advance
post #15387 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Did I mention that I don't like the PS3? tongue.gif

Here's what really torques me off. Sony wants me to use it's stupid, over priced gaming console in my home theater, yet doesn't even add a 25 cent IR sensor like every other device in my system. I have to pay $12 for a crappy substitute or $50 for a half decent one.

I also blame the existence of the PS3 for saddling us with this ridiculous BD format to begin with. But that's another story.

I could add a frustration in "rebuttal" that none of the players I'm looking to buy have gigabit ethernet like the PS3 does. Costs a bit more than 25 cents, but not much more.
post #15388 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjvnyc View Post

I could add a frustration in "rebuttal" that none of the players I'm looking to buy have gigabit ethernet like the PS3 does. Costs a bit more than 25 cents, but not much more.
I understand the desire to have everything on your network at 1GB, but you'll never stream anything approaching more than a tiny fraction of that. Most people are going to use wifi anyway. So, I prefer they use the 25 cents sony saved on their BD players and buy the IR sensor for their PS3 and PS4. Microsoft isn't much better. While Xbox has an IR sensor it's essentially useless since it was so poorly designed. But I digress ...
post #15389 of 16490
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I understand the desire to have everything on your network at 1GB, but you'll never stream anything approaching more than a tiny fraction of that. Most people are going to use wifi anyway. So, I prefer they use the 25 cents sony saved on their BD players and buy the IR sensor for their PS3 and PS4. Microsoft isn't much better. While Xbox has an IR sensor it's essentially useless since it was so poorly designed. But I digress ...

Agree completely here. The bandwidth needed for streaming is not pushing 100 Mbit at all.

A typical x264 compressed file is about 8 GB (G bytes) / 100 minutes of film. To stream this at a continuous clip is about ( 8000 MB / (100 minutes * 60 sec/m) * 8 Mbits / MB ) = about 10 Mb/s

Let's say you assume that you're off by a hundred percent and the bandwidth requirement is twice that (and then you add some more for good measure), you're still at about 26 - 30 Mbit /s at the most. That's bluray speeds, so bandwidth is not your issue, but throughput. The ability to seamlessly maintain the stream at high quality.

So 1Gbit is overkill to the max. Better off getting a high quality router and switches than a player that 'features' 1G.

I'm sure those will come at a premium in time, but it's much better to spend time maximizing your network so that 100 Mbit and 1G devices play well together and your QoS settings are delivering good, smooth streams.
post #15390 of 16490
I'm looking for the least expensive BD player that isn't total garbage and meets my technical requirements:

1) Plays DivX (and XviD)
2) Up-converts DVDs
3) Outputs a true 1080p signal but also has composite output for my current (SD) TV

Notice, I do not care about streaming/WiFi capability as I will likely get a separate streaming device, and I also am not an audiophile. Even stereo is fine with me (although virtual surround support would be pie in the sky but not necessary).

So, which one would you buy if these were your requirements and had a shoestring budget?
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