Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mentioned: 441 Post(s)
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A minor update, I've been running the ZBOX continuously since I set it up and hammering it with some hard-core multitasking. Lately, I've been shooting a lot of 360 video using a Insta360 One X and a GoPro Fusion. I've had this PC rendering 5.6K 360 video day and night using half of its six cores; the nice thing is that it can still play back the video smoothly while it's rendering in the background. And it does it in commendable silence with very little heat output.
So far, I have noticed a improved stability as compared to my four-core DIY PC. Between the two computers, there is not an appreciable difference in rendering times, the ZOTAC simply has more headroom to handle multitasking. This makes using the double 4K TV configuration feel responsive.
Now, if you're the sort who likes to build and modify PCs, this box is not going to satisfy. Stick with the DIY, gamer friendly builds. This is a much more low-key device, a better fit I think for a living room or dedicated home theater.
So, the obvious main issue is the restrictions on streaming quality placed upon PCs. Grossly unfair! If it can somehow be worked out that you can stream UHD with HDR from Vudu on a PC, I'd have no use for the various little boxes that attach themselves to my gear like little leeches. I've always felt that Windows provides the most complete home entertainment experience, given all the things you can do with it. The unnecessarily draconian copy protection schemes that prevent it from truly being the centerpiece of a dedicated high fidelity home entertainment system need to be challenged.
Experiencing what a well-designed PC can offer in 2019 has me lamenting the current situation.
Editor, AVS Forum