AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Appears as though we have some competition going on here. Very exciting, even though i'm in the background so to speak.


Since some/most of us will only decide to purchase one of these players for $60-$70 initially, it would be nice to see comparisons between the 2 players from those who were lucky enough to do so.


Also, a run through different features between the 2 players is essential in order to decide which player suites a particular person's needs/wants.


Thus far, the Theatertek seems to be ahead of the new PowerDVD 4.0 but i would like comparisons on overall sound quality as well, not just video. PowerDVD has always performed well in this department and i'm sure this new version is no different. Video appears to have improved FINALLY according to members that have seen this player in action.


The TT player looks like a winner, but leaves a possible question mark when it comes to sound quality. Good video is only half the equation. I would like more feedback from the Beta testers on this subject, Cliff, others? PowerDVD theoretically seems to have the more advanced software audio decoders but then again, there may not be a perceived difference in audio quality in the real world Home Theater environment. Let's pop in a few DVD's and compare the two.


Shall i say, let the war begin :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Theatertek has better video than PowerDVD ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
I'm interested in finding out from the people who have SEEN BOTH, too. I've seen powerdvd 4xp, and it looks impressive, but locks up consistently, on a system that has been stable forever (granted this is not a retail version of that software.) I'd also like to plunk down my dollars to support the TT player.


So please lets not turn this into another thread where people who haven't seen both and just hopped on the forum expose the wonders of one over the other. No offense, Electronic Punk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
PowerDVD XP 4.0 is 100% solid on a number of systems I've run it on - from TB1.4/SiS735, Geforce2, 440bx, Matrox g400, ATI Radeon etc. etc.


PowerDVD has been the stability king for me.


T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
So far I am leaning towards PowerDVD 4.0 as opposed to the TT player for the following reasons:


1) I already own PowerDVD 3.0 so it looks like the upgrade price will be around $20-$30 as opposed to $70 for the TT player.

2) PowerDVD can play mpeg files as well as DVDs. This is an essential feature for me as I use my HTPC as a PVR and want a uniform interface for both DVD and MPEG playback. I don't want to install two players and deal with two separate interfaces and any software incompatibilities that might result. The TT player can only play DVDs right now and I remain unsure as to if and when file playback functionality will be added and whether this might be an additional cost.

3) PowerDVD has been very stable on my system and has never crashed even when I subjected it to a dirty disc from Blockbuster (in fact instead of crashing it politely informed me that the disc was dirty and needed to be cleaned!). The stability of the TT player on my system is unknown. I realize that the beta testers have had no problem with it but as we all know a program that's stable on one system is apt to misbehave on another for various reasons. I don't think I want to spend $70 to test the TT on my system. PowerDVD on the other hand has a time-limited download which can be used to test with. I understand why the TT isn't available in a downloadable version but unfortunately I like to test out products before committing my hard earned money.

4) The TT player functionality seems more geared towards projector and HDTV setups. I have a direct view 800x600 32" monitor and hence have no need of aspect ratio control and other niceties. Therefore PowerDVD's lack of functionality in this area does not affect me

5) I can control PowerDVD completely from my learning remote (via Girder/IRman) or from the mouse so the TT player's functionality in this area doesn't sway my opinion. In any case it looks like PowerDVD 4.0 has some new OSD functionality which on first glance appears to somewhat match the OSD functionality of the TT player

6) In terms of gamma control, etc, this is an open question for me. PowerDVD 4.0 claims to be better than 3.0 in this area so I'll wait and download a copy and try it out to see if it's controls are sufficient.

7) In terms of picture quality, I don't think my display can resolve the difference between the TT player and PowerDVD. In any case I'm quite happy with the PQ from PowerDVD. Possibly TT can tweak a little more quality out but it's not worth it for me right now considering that the TT player cannot playback MPEG files.


Of course these are all my personal reasons for choosing one over the other so many will not agree with me. However, I'm just giving you one member's view for what it's worth



Cheers

Lester
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,243 Posts
I won't even consider a switch from PowerDVD until I see someone confirm that the TheaterTek player is compatible with the SPDIF output of the Creative SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card on Windows 2000 Professional.


PowerDVD works great with my SB card's SPDIF output, while WinDVD won't work at all. I would hate to run into the same problem with TheaterTek (especially since there's no trial version so that I can test the compatibility).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,912 Posts
I'm going with the TT player precisely because it caters to the needs of HDTV and projector users in an HTPC environment. Although everybody who has seen it agrees that PQ in PowerDVD 4 is improved over version 3, there are decidely mixed opinions on whether it actually competes with the Ravisent filters (I don't think it does).


As for features, I agree that if you're looking for a player that can do software audio decoding and file-based MPEG playback, PowerDVD is a good choice. But if you just want a really good DVD player with excellent quality SPDIF for DD/DTS, TT is the way to go IMHO.


I also think the level of support we're going to get from TheaterTek/Immersive is far better than what we can expect from Cyberlink. Version 1.0 of TT may not have every feature that some people want, but it's a safe bet that changes and feature additions will be geared toward the HTPC crowd, not the OEM market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
another issue to point out is the upgrade factor, $70 for a good software DVD player like the TT is more than reasonable in my opinion even at $105 or so Canadian. My question is that as upgrades arise, will they be free to registered users..... The ever important customer support seems to be in place as already demonstrated in other posts, i'm just looking long term for added costs to this player as improvments become available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Power,

TT will not have free upgrades just free fixes and maybe small modifications.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
Does PowerDVD 4.0 have the same problem PowerDVD 3.0 had with DD/DTS passthrough on Win2K machines? I have PowerDVD 2.55 and even that doesn't pass through DD/DTS on my Win2K SP2 system with my AP2496 soundcard. On WinDVD 2.8 it works perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
Power,

I think I made a comment about upgrades a while back, but it's probably well buried by now.


There will not be unlimited free upgrades to the product. It's unreasonable to say that, and there may be additional costs that come into play in future development.


However, I believe in fairness and incremental upgrades and/or features will be made available at no charge. Since the product is not officially released yet, it's impossible to speculate on what an upgrade would be, and if it constitues a chargeable update.


I think this is a fair policy.
 

·
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
·
8,301 Posts
I am already a PowerDVD 3 owner, so I will be naturally upgrading to 4.0, and I am buying the TheaterTek player as well. I have a Radeon equipped Win98SE machine running 7093 drivers, and so far PowerDVD 4 build 1015 has not outperformed the Ravisent filters (used by the TT player) as yet. I have not seen or used the TT player, and PowerDVD 4 is not finalized, so I will not make any judgements until I have the chance to compare both FULLY COMPLETE RELEASED products on my own machine. But for the paltry sums of money involved, I would be a fool not to buy both products, as I have spent many thousands of dollars on the rest of my system. The one thing I can tell you for sure is that I will not be using WinDVD for the foreseeable future, if for no other reason than its poor audio quality and stability problems (I have to reboot my PC after every DVD played). For those who are trying to make a decision, I would advise waiting until FINISHED RELEASED versions of both players are out in the field, as comparisons of unfinished products really don't tell you anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott Gammans
I won't even consider a switch from PowerDVD until I see someone confirm that the TheaterTek player is compatible with the SPDIF output of the Creative SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card on Windows 2000 Professional.
Scott,

I am one of the Windows 2000 Pro TheaterTek beta testers. Been having a ball beating up Andrew's player:)


I use the Creative Live Platinum 5.1. It's the one with the control panel that goes in a 5" bay. I assume that is the same as the one you are refferring to. It's NOT the Audigy.


The SPDIF output works in TT . I feed the signal to my surround receiver. I have tested both DTS and DD DVD's.


With WinDVD, I always had to click that "digital output only" box on the mixer before it would pass anything through the SPDIF output. Then of course, I get no sound out of my PC speakers which was annoying.



TT has an audio dialog box that is a set once and forget type thing.

The key feature I think you are interested in is a checkbox that is "enable SP/DIF Passthrough".


Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,310 Posts
Hi All:


___Let me add a small addition … When you see what the TheaterTek player is all about, you more than likely will not use any other player regardless of cost. As for display quality, our own tried and true WinDVD 2000 has been shown to have better PQ than the latest PowerDVD 4.0 XP so why is everyone fighting the PQ battle again. With Ravisent decoders and a Radeon, even WinDVD has been shown to be in second place but still very close w/ gamma adjustment available under HWMC enabled setups. I am sure Bjoern will add an ATI 4.1/WinDVD shootout if he cares to similar to his work on the PowerDVD/WinDVD debate just the other day …


___Scott, after I upgraded PowerDVD 3.0 with the .0905 upgrade, I had DD/DTS capability with a Live Value II under Windows 2000 SP2 myself. I would suspect the same in your case. Secondly, why are you still using that out of spec 5.1? Working or not, you still risk your Receiver’s DAC’s w/ a 10X spec S/PDIF voltage.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,240 Posts
"As for display quality, our own tried and true WinDVD 2000 has been shown to have better PQ than the latest PowerDVD 4.0 XP so why is everyone fighting the PQ battle again"


Geez Wayne, I have to disagree big time with that statement. Also, you mention Bjoern Roy, and not wanting to put words in his mouth since he can speak for himself, Roy did say that PDVD 4-XP is equivalent to Ravisent's 4.1 decoder (the same as the TT). WinDVD places third in that pecking order now. Power DVD 4.0 XP needs to be working with Radeon HW and drivers 7093 forward or 7199 in HW acceleration mode as Bjeorn has stated in orrder to achieve those results.



Here is a direct quote from Bjoern Roy:

"b) With a Radeon under W98SE with the newest drivers 7199 and HW accel enabled, the picture quality improved significantly at last! Every artefact that i complained about is gone. Smooth film-like picture, just like the ATI player. Better than the ATI player? No, not really. I found the picture quality to be identical except for slightly better vertically interpolated reds on the ATI player. "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
Does anyone care to answer my previous question about Win2K SP2 compatibility with AP2496 and S/PDIF passthrough of AC3/DTS data? I'm currently using WinDVD 2.8, which has pretty good PQ even with extensive tweaking.


Also, I don't see any mention of any PowerDVD 4.0 XP over at Cyberlink's website. Their latest version is still 3.0 with the patch. Where is this PowerDVD 4.0 XP you guys talk about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by xcel
why are you still using that out of spec 5.1? Working or not, you still risk your Receiver’s DAC’s w/ a 10X spec S/PDIF voltage.
Wayne,

I thought that hooking my Coax to the Platinum 5.1's front panel was supposed to bring the voltage into spec?


Isn't that the same thing as the Hoontech ?


Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
I have a similar question to Goi's. How does one obtain the latest PowerDVD now? Also in the Windows 98 section over at the Radeon site, I see a 7189 driver (dated Oct 15), not 7199. Where does the 7199 driver come from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by lawdawg
So please lets not turn this into another thread where people who haven't seen both and just hopped on the forum expose the wonders of one over the other. No offense, Electronic Punk.
Thats not what I meant mate :)

I am very impressed with the PQ of PowerDVD, and if the Theatertek player has even better picture quality, that can only be a good thing!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,310 Posts
Hi Mike:


___Sorry, I missed it … in 1 of 4 configurations, you get the PQ to match. Now under Windows 2000/XP you get what. Lower PQ w/ PowerDVD 4.0 XP because of the possible absence of iDCT/HWMC from my understanding. What CPU utilization are you seeing under Windows 2000/XP with the new drivers vs. the same player under Win98 SE/Millennium may answer that question.


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top