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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully, I'm no opening a cap of worms here.. But in your opinion, whats the best software dvd player right now? I've personally always been partial to PowerDvd, but would like to keep my options open. I'll be using an ATI AIW 8500 with a Sony Grand Wega II.


Thanks!
 

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Now you've done it. There is no one right answer as there are many preferences for many setups and multiple versions for each player. Using Zoomplayer you can mix the video using one player's filter and audio from another. I use Cineplayer video and WinDVD3 audio. Many uses WinDVD4 video and audio. Many others swear by PowerDVD XP for both video and audio. Theatertek also has a large following for being good, stable, and easy to use. Some players are cheaper than others (older version is dirt cheap whereas newer ones can run $50-70). Then you can add ffdshow and reclock and other software to enhance your image and sound. Thus, you're gonna get a lot of info from a lot of people.
 

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You are opening a can of worms -- so I'll stir things up a bit and then run for cover ...


I really like TheaterTek for the OSD, aspect ratio control and picture quality. I think it is a great product.


Despite that, lately I've been "playing" more with Zoom (which is both more flexible and harder to set up), because the LCD communication interface has made it easy to drive my Crystal Fontz LCD display (to show movie title, chapter, elapsed time, etc). If I could just do that without messing with Girder, I would go back to TheaterTek, because it just seems to be a more elegant program.


Sometimes I want to stop messing with my HTPC, and just watch a moviel.
 

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I gave up my powerDVD and finally bought TheaterTek, and now I wonder why I didn't do it earlier. The main reason for the switch was aspect ratio control as I want to use my entire 1360x768 pixels on my plv70 projector.
 

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It's my opinion that Zoom is the best ( It's the most flexible ) and now with zoom 3.0 its very easy to set up any audio and video filter along with ffdshow and relock ( just a couple of clicks ) thank god there are no more graphs.
 

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I use WinDVD Platinum latest edition with spdif out through the motherboard. I used to like PowerDVD XP BUT I SAW A VAST difference in picture quality with WINDVD not to mention that under WIN XP ATI AIW 8500 DX9 I had sync problems between audio and video which were solved only in WINDVD Platinum. Ok I live in Europe and as I have read in an article INTERVIDEO gives great importance in PAL region 2 DVD reproduction.. You'll also find in the forum many good opinions regarding THEATER TEC which I have not tried.... You can read more in my thread
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=247144
 

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If there was one best player for all circumstances the people here probably would have found out and agreed upon the one and only player. I suspect that your graphics card or your monitor/projector and addons like ffdshow influence the picture quality as much as the actual filters you are using.


That's why I also prefer Zoomplayer as a frontend - if you use it say with your ATI DVD filters (you have an ATI Card so you probably also have their bundled player) it gives you the same picture as the ATI player but it leaves much more room for experimentation, e.g. using ffdshow or whatever. And with version 3 it is quite userfriendly.


You could also download the trial versions of the big players like WinDVD or PowerDVD.

But if you are absolutely not the trial and error type just stick with your ATI player - I do not think that anything else off the shelf is that much better.


Otherwise if you are prepared to invest some energy you can start with this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=116221


Bye,

Guenther
 

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It's well known at this point that I'm a TheaterTek user. Its' "set top box" approach works well with my HTPC-as-STB/Digital Media Center set up. With that being said, there are different players to meet different needs. Zoom Player of course leads the pack in terms of flexibility and configuration, and the other "big three": Sonic, WinDVD and P-DVD, all take a more familiar desktop approach. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the good info. Will ffdshow work will all the above software dvd players?


Thanks!
 

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ps24eva - what are the new features of TT 2.0 that you allude to? I am relatively new to this, but I had pretty much decided on buying TT, but I am curious about waiting for 2.0 if it will be improved...


Thanks!

RDaneel
 

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I use MusicMatch Jukebox for exactly this purpose. Double-clicking a track will add it to the end of the play list.


Also, its free, easy to install and it doesn't bug me with advertising.


Another thing I like about it is the way you can see your library in a tree view.


It shows albums and then tracks under albums. So you can create a complete list of albums sorted by artist then track. When you click the + next to the album, the tracks for the album are shown like subdirs in the Windows Explorer file pane.


I can't seem to do this in RealOne, WinAmp or MS Windows Media Player.,


Now, if only it had a "Play Next" function that would add to the playlist as the next track.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by llama
Thanks for all the good info. Will ffdshow work will all the above software dvd players?


Thanks!
As far as I know ffdshow can only be used with Zoomplayer and TheaterTek.


I use it with Zoomplayer and the Ravisent filters that come with ATI DVD 7.6.

ATI DVD, Sonic Cinemaster and TheaterTek all use variations of the filters originally developed by Ravisent and it seems that ffdshow works best with them - at least I can say it works for me and many others (see also this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=226357 )


Bye,

Guenther
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by RDaneel
ps24eva - what are the new features of TT 2.0 that you allude to? I am relatively new to this, but I had pretty much decided on buying TT, but I am curious about waiting for 2.0 if it will be improved...


Thanks!

RDaneel


best filters, thus best picture quality, easy to use, and can use ffdshow (you might want to do searches to find out what ffdshow is, but it is an advanced feature, you might not want to worry about initially)


2.0 will enable Dolby Digital decoding, straight from the computer to an amp.

I have to mention though, that you can do this in zoomplayer by combining the raviscent video filter with windvd audio filter, but i feel i'm probably losing you here.
 

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Hi,


I'm perfectly happy with PowerDVD since it works with SPDIF (with _no_ sync problems) with both my Philips Acoustic Edge and the built in C-Media on my mainboard. I could not get either to work with SPDIF in WinDVD Platinum. Finding the right player for your hardware & setup seems to be important and more trial & failure than science since everyone has different experiences. TT has received its share of feedback in the negative direction in another thread, as has WinDVD and PowerDVD too.


-

Chris
 

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Would be nice if there was a demo version of TT to see if I like it before I cough up the money for it.
 

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If you do not permanently register TheaterTek within the 7-day eval period, you can get a refund. No trial versions are allowed by agreement with the decoder manufacturer.
 
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