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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help me choose parts to make my PC Blue Ray/HD-DVD compatible. I thought it was as simple as installing a blue ray rom in my PC. But, it looks like I need HDCP, HDMI, and the correct display adapter.


What's the best ROM for BlueRay and HD-DVD on PC currently? Is there such a thing as Blue Ray/HD-DVD Rom combo? Or maybe one that also has CD/DVD capabilities?


Note:


1) I have an Nvidia 6600GT AGP card (my PC is only capable of AGP).

2) I have a 3.2GHz P4 PC.

3) I can currently can play 1920x1080p H.264/AVC videos at full frame rate using PowerDVD with my current hardware.


Thanks for all the help you can provide!

-Michael
 

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I think you will need an ATI X1600 or X1650 with HDCP. They are the only ones that I believe have HDCP on AGP cards.


You do NOT need HDMI. You can use an DVI to HDMI cable for the video. Use optical or coaxial SPDIF to your receiver.


A dual-core processor would be nice if you can drop one into your existing motherboard.
 

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If you want to stick with Nvidia you'll need to build a new system. You need atleast a 7600GT PCIe based video card.


Here is some basic guide lines that nvidia has put together for HD DVD and BD DVD playback.


system requirements:
http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_pvhd_build.html


parts check off list:
http://download.nvidia.com/downloads...ing_a_HDPC.pdf


I have a 3.2ghz HT prescott P4, OC'd to 3.8ghz 2gigs of ran, and a 7600GS AGP, becuase the video card isn't HDCP compatable I had to switch to the component out dongle, I was able to get playback with the Japanese version of Win DVD, however with power dvd you can't get playback to work with component dongles, so the only way to get HD DVD or BD DVD playback to work with PowerDVD is with an HDCP compatable video card useing DVI or HDMI out, and on the nvidia side ONLY PCIe based video cards are HDCP compatable.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does that mean that everyone here in this thread who's playing blue ray has an HDCP display adapter already? I could have sworn I saw other posts that implied they just have standard display adapters.


Can anyone confirm this for sure?


EDIT: Ooops... it looks like the post above confirms that. I've had nothing but problems with ATI software/drivers. I might just have to wait for Nvidia to come out with something or wait a while to a get a new system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF /forum/post/0


I think you will need an ATI X1600 or X1650 with HDCP. They are the only ones that I believe have HDCP on AGP cards.


You do NOT need HDMI. You can use an DVI to HDMI cable for the video. Use optical or coaxial SPDIF to your receiver.


A dual-core processor would be nice if you can drop one into your existing motherboard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx /forum/post/0


If you want to stick with Nvidia you'll need to build a new system. You need atleast a 7600GT PCIe based video card.

Maybe for HDCP reasons, but not for performance ones. Even in software mode (ie no GPU acceleration) my P4 805D @ 3.5ghz can playback any HD-DVD. Admittedly it's near maxxed with AVC, but with VC1 it's at 50% or thereabouts, so you could clearly get away with a slower machine for those.


For Bluray, depending on the disc you could need anywhere up to a Core2Duo 3ghz for very high bitrate AVC discs (see the anandtech tests). VC1 or MPEG2 are easy meat though.


Basically, the graphics card doesn't make much difference to performance, unless it's an 8800. The key thing is to have a fast dual core, and you're sorted.
 

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Hello Michael, and welcome back.


First understand that a standalone Toshiba HD-DVD player can be had for $409 on the Web and that is cheaper than the HTPC alternative. If still interested, read on.


The bad news is that almost all the HDCP-equipped video boards are PCIe 16X boards and therefore you will need a new motherboard. Here is the HDCP video board list:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1071342


...note that there are only three AGP boards and they are all ATI designs.


The software player that does both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra:

http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/produ...n_112_ENU.html


...click on the "System Requirements" link. Note that few succeed with single core CPUs, but it has been done. I upgraded to a Pentium D 945 for only $111.


The most popular HD DVD-ROM for HTPC use by far is the Xbox add-on drive. Simply run Windows Update to get the driver from Microsoft after connecting it to a USB2 port. No combo drives yet, and the Blu-Ray hardware is more expensive ($700+) writeable drives, so few are using such yet.


When debugging your setup, try more than one movie disk. There are not enough movies out for any clear consensus to develope about the best way to master such a disk.


When choosing A/V upgrades, consider this: Going forward, you will eventually want a receiver that switches HDMI and accepts 8-channel Linear PCM over HDMI. Your speaker configuration should eventually support the 7.1 discrete audio format. Your display could have either DVI or HDMI interface but soon it must be HDCP compliant. Movies mastered during the "Analog Sunset Period" (through the end of 2009) should be playable on non-HDCP displays .... unless the studios set the Image Constraint Token to "ON" earlier than planned in reaction to pirated HD disks now available via Bit Torrent.


Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster /forum/post/0


Maybe for HDCP reasons, but not for performance ones. Even in software mode (ie no GPU acceleration) my P4 805D @ 3.5ghz can playback any HD-DVD. Admittedly it's near maxxed with AVC, but with VC1 it's at 50% or thereabouts, so you could clearly get away with a slower machine for those.


For Bluray, depending on the disc you could need anywhere up to a Core2Duo 3ghz for very high bitrate AVC discs (see the anandtech tests). VC1 or MPEG2 are easy meat though.


Basically, the graphics card doesn't make much difference to performance, unless it's an 8800. The key thing is to have a fast dual core, and you're sorted.

I was merely speaking on behalf of the HDCP aspect. NOT about the playback aspect, as I've already stated I CAN playback HD DVD's with my oc'd 3.2ghz P4 and my AGP 6600GT output via VGA or component dongle, but becuase I am running the Japaense version of WinDVD I only get half rez playback right now. I am still waiting for the WinDVD update to come out to see if I want to upgrade my HTPC or just get a stand alone first gen HD-A1 hd dvd player.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Gary, long time to speak. Yes, I've been interested in getting back into the HTPC world now that I have a pretty nice 1080p 46" LCD display. Thanks for all your helpful information. As you know, ATI driver/software is just not worth it to me to switch just because of HDCP. I'm hoping that HDCP will be standard enough in the near future that Nvidia might make some AGP based boards to meet that spec. Until then, I think I might just buy myself a PS3 and use it's builtin blue ray



PS: Performance wise, this PC seems more than adequate for both HD-DVD and BlueRay (since I can play 1080p H.264 apple movie trailers AND MS WMV-HD 1080p files) at full frame rate. with hardware accelleration.


-Michael

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy /forum/post/0


Hello Michael, and welcome back.


First understand that a standalone Toshiba HD-DVD player can be had for $409 on the Web and that is cheaper than the HTPC alternative. If still interested, read on.


The bad news is that almost all the HDCP-equipped video boards are PCIe 16X boards and therefore you will need a new motherboard. Here is the HDCP video board list:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1071342


...note that there are only three AGP boards and they are all ATI designs.


The software player that does both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra:

http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/produ...n_112_ENU.html


...click on the "System Requirements" link. Note that few succeed with single core CPUs, but it has been done. I upgraded to a Pentium D 945 for only $111.


The most popular HD DVD-ROM for HTPC use by far is the Xbox add-on drive. Simply run Windows Update to get the driver from Microsoft after connecting it to a USB2 port. No combo drives yet, and the Blu-Ray hardware is more expensive ($700+) writeable drives, so few are using such yet.


When debugging your setup, try more than one movie disk. There are not enough movies out for any clear consensus to develope about the best way to master such a disk.


When choosing A/V upgrades, consider this: Going forward, you will eventually want a receiver that switches HDMI and accepts 8-channel Linear PCM over HDMI. Your speaker configuration should eventually support the 7.1 discrete audio format. Your display could have either DVI or HDMI interface but soon it must be HDCP compliant. Movies mastered during the "Analog Sunset Period" (through the end of 2009) should be playable on non-HDCP displays .... unless the studios set the Image Constraint Token to "ON" earlier than planned in reaction to pirated HD disks now available via Bit Torrent.


Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet /forum/post/0


Hey Gary, long time to speak. Yes, I've been interested in getting back into the HTPC world now that I have a pretty nice 1080p 46" LCD display. Thanks for all your helpful information. As you know, ATI driver/software is just not worth it to me to switch just because of HDCP. I'm hoping that HDCP will be standard enough in the near future that Nvidia might make some AGP based boards to meet that spec. Until then, I think I might just buy myself a PS3 and use it's builtin blue ray


Well since AGP is dead and on the way out the door, I highly doubt that. So unless you want to switch to ATI your only bet is to get a new mobo that supports PCIe.


Quote:
PS: Performance wise, this PC seems more than adequate for both HD-DVD and BlueRay (since I can play 1080p H.264 apple movie trailers AND MS WMV-HD 1080p files) at full frame rate. with hardware accelleration.


-Michael

Playback of WMV-HD and H.264 is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy differennt from HD DVD playback. As you might now HD DVD uses VC-1 codec which is what WMV-HD is based off of however the compression scheme or what they call "profile" is vastly different.


There are three levels or profiles and the profile that HD DVD uses is drastically more CPU intensive than WMV-HD ever was.


- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your feedback. Actually, that is exactly what I heard before the AGP version of the 7800 was released just a few months ago. So... you never know for sure... But, yeah, I won't hold my breath either!

Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx /forum/post/0


Well since AGP is dead and on the way out the door, I highly doubt that. So unless you want to switch to ATI your only bet is to get a new mobo that supports PCIe.



Playback of WMV-HD and H.264 is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy differennt from HD DVD playback. As you might now HD DVD uses VC-1 codec which is what WMV-HD is based off of however the compression scheme or what they call "profile" is vastly different.


There are three levels or profiles and the profile that HD DVD uses is drastically more CPU intensive than WMV-HD ever was.


- Josh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkanet /forum/post/0


PS: Performance wise, this PC seems more than adequate for both HD-DVD and BlueRay (since I can play 1080p H.264 apple movie trailers.....

H.264 is a bit unlike any other codec, in the sheer enormous range of difference between different encoding options.


Just as an example, I have a demo 1.4mbit 1080p encode to use as an extreme counterpoint - basically the ultimate in extreme video compression, it looks pretty good despite being a crazy low bitrate for such high res. I've played it on a top-end core2, and the 1.4mbit demo takes about 5 times more CPU than the 10mbit apple one - despite having seven times lower bitrate.


The difference is the 1.4mbit one is maximum profile, with all encoding options turned as high as they go, while the Apple ones are made to be playable on low-end PCs. This is the surprising thing about h264: the cpu load is affected more by how heavily compressed it is, much less by the output bitrate and even less by the output resolution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Arfster, that same thing holds true for divx and WMV9 compression as well when it comes to higher compressed profiles. The more compression, the more CPU it takes to decode in real time.


I don't quite understand your comment about Apple 1080p h264 trailers are made to be playable on low-end PC's. I haven't seen too many PC that can handle these comfortably in real-time without hardware assistance. My 3.2GHz P4 didn't even come close; and, some other people with faster AMD processors seemed to also have the same problem. 720p videos seem to be handled by 3Ghz and faster CPUs.


It would be nice to have an "example" blue ray video clip thats downloadable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arfster /forum/post/0


The difference is the 1.4mbit one is maximum profile, with all encoding options turned as high as they go, while the Apple ones are made to be playable on low-end PCs. This is the surprising thing about h264: the cpu load is affected more by how heavily compressed it is, much less by the output bitrate and even less by the output resolution.
 

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Hi Michael, long time no see. One other thing I have heard is that you would not need an HDCP-enabled video board if you only use VGA output versus DVI/HDMI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Chris, thanks for the info. I'm going to keep it DVI since my display does pixel for pixel perfect 1920x1080p. It would just be easier to get a little software component to fix the HDCP problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisW6ATV /forum/post/0


Hi Michael, long time no see. One other thing I have heard is that you would not need an HDCP-enabled video board if you only use VGA output versus DVI/HDMI.
 
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