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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is an HTPC a better choice than a Digital Media Server if I want to achieve the following:
  • Rip SD DVD to a NAS as DVD Images
  • Use as PVR for OTA HD and Cable Broadcasts
  • Maintain best possible video reproduction, say upscale to 1080i for SD DVD and if possible 1080P for BR DVD
  • Keep sound quality at worst DD/DTS 5.1
  • Not have to mess with transcoding DVD images

and perhaps use as server for Slimcenter


I 've been reading the Media Server threads and everything seems to require changing the DVD image to some other container or packet for best performance - Do HTPC's have the same issues in playback
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Apples to Oranges. These are two different product classes.

OK I'll bite - A fellow at work says he has HTPC which lets him

do these things

Rip SD DVD to a NAS as DVD Images

Use as PVR for OTA HD and Cable Broadcasts

Maintain best possible video reproduction, say upscale to 1080i for SD DVD and if possible 1080P for BR DVD

Keep sound quality at worst DD/DTS 5.1

Not have to mess with transcoding DVD images


So why do you say they are apples to oranges - if the basic functionality is the same or overlaps to some extent - who cares if they are different classes - which does a better job is the question, a car and a horse and buggy are two different classes of transportation but one can compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of each
 

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An HTPC will do "all that you mentioned", but a media server requires a "front end" hardware/software piece to accomplish things. You can't compare an HTPC to a media "server".


HTPC = Media Server + "Front end".


or in other words


HTPC = media storage + ripping + recording + playback

Media Server = (possibly) media storage + ripping + recording, NO playback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well so I guess I used the terminology incorrectly - when I said media server I was not talking about simply storage - those of us who are not techies call things like TVIX, Popcorn hour, etc - media servers - In fact AVS has a forum called Media Servers and content streamers - which is dedicated to these products.


So now that I understand the strict definitions employed here


Is there a qualitative difference between devices such as TVIX, Popcorn Hour etc and an HTPC with respect to:

Does one or the other do better with ISO files?

Does one or the other provide better surround sound?

Does one or the other support more formats of DVD Images?
 

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Quote:
Does one or the other do better with ISO files?

Does one or the other provide better surround sound?

Does one or the other support more formats of DVD Images?

I know your original question was related to DVD "images", but quite frankly, the ISO based DVD playback is a dying breed. Almost every single piece of hardware/software that is not a "DVD player" aka, content streamers, extenders, HTPCs etc etc can play DVD folders natively, while very few can play ISOs natively.


With an HTPC you do have flexibility to incorporate ISOs as playback, but mounting the ISO is an extra step in the chain which is completely redundant. Not needed at all and does not provide any additional functionality. Not even for burning the DVD rip back to a disc, a DVD folder is as easily burnt back to a DVD as an ISO image.


So, the answer to your questions are:


Does one or the other do better with ISO files? - HTPCs will inherently offer more functionality for ISO images.


Does one or the other provide better surround sound? - If you mean digital surround sound, DD/DTS is DD/DTS, there's no difference in the signal provided by ANY device. It's up to your reciver or Pre/Pro that decodes it. That will make a difference, not the playback device.


Does one or the other support more formats of DVD Images? An HTPC is inherently more flexible.
 
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