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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the minimum specs that I'd need, CPU, Motherboard, and GPU (if not on-board), to smoothly RIP Blu-Ray ISOs to the hard drive, and then play them back via HDMI? I don't want anything "scaleable" or "more than you need" as that just seems like I'd be wasting money on the wrong parts of my home theater. (What good is a great processor that doesn't get used?) I'm not planning on doing any encoding of files, no gaming, no TV tuners, etc. Most recommendations are for solid all-around machines, but I'd rather build specific hardware for a Blu-Ray jukebox, and free up the extra cash for more hard drives in my NAS. Thanks.
 

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All you need to know, right here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark /forum/post/15458338


All you need to know, right here.

I've been through that post a lot, and lots of other ones, but again, I don't want to run a DVR or do any encoding, which would require processor overhead. I know that those suggested systems will get the job done, but my question is what lower spec'ed systems will do the job I need just as well, and probably at lower temps. Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz /forum/post/15458527


I've been through that post a lot, and lots of other ones, but again, I don't want to run a DVR or do any encoding, which would require processor overhead. I know that those suggested systems will get the job done, but my question is what lower spec'ed systems will do the job I need just as well, and probably at lower temps. Thanks.

Did you miss these two systems for low end?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJWikiera /forum/post/15458581


Did you miss these two systems for low end?

Do you think "Low-End I" will get the job done? I was concerned that "Low-End II" says that watching Blu-Rays with PowerDVD is "unwatchable". Does that apply to the first, as well? Thanks for any input.
 

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Those Low-End builds are outdated. The new ones can be found here:
MicroATX
ATX


Any of the builds listed is capable of Blu-ray playback. I'm building the Low-End Intel/NVIDIA MicroATX system for myself.
 

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Here's what I did....budget.


Get a popcorn hour A-110 ($250) or SageTV HD Theater device ($200) as a client. Use a PC you already have and get a BluRay drive and an AnyDVD-HD license (not sure of price).


Should be best bang for buck and you don't have to worry about codec this and driver that. It just works....I have the SageTV device now and I have the A-110 on order for my HD Audio needs (passes through TrueHD and DTS-MA).


This of course assumes you've got some kind of PC.


Given you wanted to build the ISO ripping and playback, the real difference is do you want to spend $200 - $250 for the A-110/SageTV device, or do you want to buy a video card and mess around with drivers/codecs/playback software.


I chose the former about 3 months after choosing the latter.
Lesson learned. I still love my HT server in the basement.....


-B
 

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You need several things.


My setup uses: (All prices rough guesses in US$)

AnyDVD HD $100

PowerDVD8 $80 TMT is $70

LG BR Drive $100

ATI Vid Card (probably can do for $70, some use onboard but I do not.

1T Hard Disk $100


That will get you going, provided you have the PC already.


PC Price including HD / Vid should be at or under $800 easily.


No matter how you break it down, playback of your first BR is expensive.
 

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Yes, ISO playback is listed in the specs, but as mine is showing up on Friday, I can't personally verify it. I did a decent amount of reading on the forums as well to find out how real owners like it and they seem to love it.


-B
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefcake /forum/post/15466350


Yes, ISO playback is listed in the specs, but as mine is showing up on Friday, I can't personally verify it. I did a decent amount of reading on the forums as well to find out how real owners like it and they seem to love it.


-B

But not ISO Bluray...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz /forum/post/15466914


Ahh. Dealbreaker for me. Thanks, guys.

Thats why I didnt even crack open the box and returned it when I found out... BUT just as of last week Divco released bluray support (beta).. dont know if ISO is supported but bluray structure is. (I also returned the Divco unit when it didnt support bluray at the time). I can assume since they support DVD ISO.. its only a matter of time they will support Bluray ISO. Also its considered limited bluray (true bluray support costs $$... I heard they are getting around this using a PC software license).. no fancy features just simple menu structures / chapters, etc. is my understanding.


Buuutttt... these units do support M2TS and MKV... Its not hard nor does it take too long to remux these formats... Im wiser now and probably would have been happy with the Divco unit..


Im going with a HTPC as I know computers and can somewhat manage/control the issues/formats/players/devices/etc.. Divco/PopCorn/NMT your at the mercy of the firmware developers and retailers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm probably going to want to keep the complete discs intact, so an HTPC may be the only way to go. (That is until I get too many Blu-Rays and get tired of buying 1.5TB drives for every 30 movies.) Plus, the HTPC front ends are just so smooth. I'm willing to spend a few hundred bucks just for that and, in reality, the difference in price is probably right about there. It looks like I can build a decent machine for my purposes, and have some fun, for about $400. (I'm a little puzzled that the "old" budget PC specs from last year are only slightly worse than the new one above, and the new one costs more. So be it.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz /forum/post/15467676


I'm a little puzzled that the "old" budget PC specs from last year are only slightly worse than the new one above, and the new one costs more.

From what I can see, the "new" budget AMD/AMD MicroATX build is pretty much the same as the "old" except a discrete graphics card was added. That nets you much better picture quality and multi-channel audio via HDMI. For an additional 20 bucks, I'd say that's not a bad deal at all.


Also, be prepared to spend way more than $400 for this particular project. Cost of software alone is going to add around $300 to your budget (Vista, AnyDVD HD, PowerDVD/TMT). That still doesn't include any peripherals you might want to purchase (universal remote, wireless keyboard/mouse, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I already have most of the software, so that should be good. I will need to add an IR port, though, so I can control my box with my Harmony. Having said that, is the processor on the Budget build sufficient to encode Blu-Rays to other formats, if I decide to go that route at some point? (I don't care how long it takes, I just want to make sure that the final quality is 100% accurate.) Also, is there a preference between the Dolby Digital or DTS formats, that many of these cards seem to flip flop between? I have an Onkyo 875 that can decode all formats, so I assume that I can just pass through the digital data and let the receiver deal with it. (The circuitry/software is probably better there as well, I would guess.) Thanks again for all of the help, guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhorwitz /forum/post/15470853


I already have most of the software, so that should be good. I will need to add an IR port, though, so I can control my box with my Harmony. Having said that, is the processor on the Budget build sufficient to encode Blu-Rays to other formats, if I decide to go that route at some point?

Any processor can transcode, it's just an issue of how long it takes.

Quote:
(I don't care how long it takes, I just want to make sure that the final quality is 100% accurate.)

But that's not encoding, that's remuxing, and that's mostly disk intensive (very little CPU work going on).
 

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It might be a simple question...but


Do you have to rip a BD as an ISO or can it be left as a m2ts file and then use PowerDVD to playback (similar to using VOBs for SD DVDs)?
 

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The ripper I use only does M2ts files. It is free and is called blu-ray disc ripper.

Im a cheap when it comes to computer stuff. I use all the free software I can get away with.

I have a Pentium 4 2.8 that I use just to rip blue rays. It is not htpc compliant but I side step it with HD anydvd so it tricks my system into thinking it is ok. Computer sucks for play back(very choppy) but that is not what I use it for. I use it just to rip the disc to a file. Then I use the new WD HD media player on one tv and PS3 on my other tv. It works and is cheap!!
 
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