AVS Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, I'm sure this topic has been discussed many times but I'd like a fresh opinion.


I've had my HTPC (Dell 540s) running for a couple of months and it has proven to be very practical.


I feel ready to upgrade the DVD drive to a BluRay drive that has a DVD/CD-RW. I remember reading recommendations where people recommended buying a model that brought it's own software, but I also see allot of complaints regarding the "watered down" software's that are included with the drives. I use MC and Media Portal withing that to organize my home movies, pictures, music and regular DVD movies.


Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Why combine? Does your Dell have an empty 5.25" bay?

I always like to keep my burners separate from my readers.

In case of Blu-Ray its even economical.

A quick glance at Newegg prices showed the cheapest BD-ROM at $50; while a BD-ROM + DVD Burner combo drive is at least $100. Since you already have a DVD burner just get a BD reader and save $$.

Software that comes with drives is a bonus. Its nothing but advertising to get people to buy the retail version. I've no problems with that. It keeps the prices down a little bit. Its the same thing as Home PCs coming with pre-loaded trial software. The PC manufacturer's get something from the software companies and thus home computers are cheaper than business computers.


In any case, I usually go by the cheapest price (and general reviews). If you are willing to spend $125 for a DVD burner and BD reader; spend $25 more and get a Blu-Ray Burner .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have a space for another drive on my Dell 540s, but I would have to do away with the memory card readers, which I find practical. My HTPC is strictly that, so I don't mind switching out the factory DVD-RW drive for a BD-RW or just BD player, depends.


Regarding the software, I was under the impression that it needed to be used in order to watch a BluRay movie? Being under that impression, I thought the included software's in many models were not "very good" (per other postings). So, is the included software needed or will BluRay movies play, for example, with MC?


I had seen the $50-$60 models on Tiger Direct and New Egg but I didn't know if going that "cheap" would end up costing me later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
hmm....looked up the Studio 540; it seems to have space for 2 optical drives plus card readers (may not be what you have).

You need to buy software to play Blu-Ray movies, MC can't do it. The included software (and I'm only referencing PowerDVD here) had the same video capabilities as retail versions but would support only 2-channel audio. To enable full surround sound you had to buy the full version.

This is what pissed people off (and other things maybe).


Deciding on how much to spend is a personal decision.


My buying tends towards value for money, the cheaper the better. So my decision would be to spend the minimum now, and if it goes bad beyond the warranty (1 year) then I buy another one (prices will always drop). This varies from product to product and depends on price. Between $60 or $100, I would choose the $60. Or spend $150 and get the BD burner. Newegg and TG have extended warranty w/replacement plans for cheap. A 2-year (after manuf. warranty) costs $25 for the BD burner. So for $175 you are covered for 3 years. Similarly you can figure out what fits you best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks hirent.


I could install a second drive but I would definitely have to do away with the card reader on my Studio Slim, replacing the factory drive is no big deal though.


If I buy the "cheap" Bluray drive ($60-$80) which brings the basic software I would be loosing a significant part of the experience which is the 5.1 Dolby sound. That's why I was asking for advice on this matter. I'd rather buy a Bluray drive that brings a good software that lets me use my sound system without paying way more than a stand allon Bluray player. Needless to say the stand allon BlueRay players are so much cheaper than before, $100-$150 (of coarse those aren't the most advanced but they work).


Any thoughts on a good BluRay drive that brings a "better" software OR a less expensive drive and a separate software that let's me use the sound system that's not too expensive?


Would spending $60 on a basic BlueRay drive and $30 on the Power DVD 8 Deluxe be worth it? That would be less than $100 and it seems like Power DVD 8 has everything I would need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Guy /forum/post/18175781


Thanks hirent.


I could install a second drive but I would definitely have to do away with the card reader on my Studio Slim, replacing the factory drive is no big deal though.


If I buy the "cheap" Bluray drive ($60-$80) which brings the basic software I would be loosing a significant part of the experience which is the 5.1 Dolby sound. That's why I was asking for advice on this matter. I'd rather buy a Bluray drive that brings a good software that lets me use my sound system without paying way more than a stand allon Bluray player. Needless to say the stand allon BlueRay players are so much cheaper than before, $100-$150 (of coarse those aren't the most advanced but they work).


Any thoughts on a good BluRay drive that brings a "better" software OR a less expensive drive and a separate software that let's me use the sound system that's not too expensive?


Would spending $60 on a basic BlueRay drive and $30 on the Power DVD 8 Deluxe be worth it? That would be less than $100 and it seems like Power DVD 8 has everything I would need.

Ok, what do you mean by '5.1 Dolby sound'?

Both, DVD quality tracks as well as HD audio tracks can have '5.1 Dolby sound'.

What is your audio setup? How have you connected it? What are expectations from it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Can you find one for =

Hirent, I think he was speaking of your post stating 2 chan.... now, I would assume he has a 5.1 setup and worried that the software will only allow 2 speakers to play... based on your post. So his expectations would be to play 5.1. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
HTPC4Ever is right, I'm worried that by me buying a basic BluRay drive, which comes with the basic version of a software, will ruine the sound experience. I have my HTPC (Dell Studio Slim) connected via HDMI to the 50" plasma and the sound via coaxyl to my Onkyo 7.1 receiver (which I use as a 5.1). My assumption is that a software that only puts out 2 channel will only give me that 2 channels and although my receiver can improve it, I'm sure it wont be as good as a regular DVD which comes in Dolby, THX or any other high quality sound format.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Guy /forum/post/18176805


HTPC4Ever is right, I'm worried that by me buying a basic BluRay drive, which comes with the basic version of a software, will ruine the sound experience. I have my HTPC (Dell Studio Slim) connected via HDMI to the 50" plasma and the sound via coaxyl to my Onkyo 7.1 receiver (which I use as a 5.1). My assumption is that a software that only puts out 2 channel will only give me that 2 channels and although my receiver can improve it, I'm sure it wont be as good as a regular DVD which comes in Dolby, THX or any other high quality sound format.

Ok, let me explain.

What you call 'high quality sound format' is not high quality at all (I'm referencing Blu-Ray audio).

Blu-Ray audio would be HD audio and it trumps DVD audio.

Dolby labs & DTS systems, both have encoding formats for DVD as well as HD.


DVD: Dolby Digital (up to 6.1), DTS (up to 6.1)

Blu-Ray: Dolby True HD (up to 7.1), DTS-HD (up to 7.1)

Though mostly all discs come with 5.1

Both come in various flavors and channels. Number of channels has nothing to do with audio quality. I think that is where you are mistaken. SPDIF (Coaxial/Optical) cannot transmit HD audio.


So if you are planning on getting a BD drive for your PC, you need to buy a card which can do that (cheapest right now is ATI 5450 @ $35). Then you would have to spend $80 on buying the software. It all adds up (and becomes more expensive than a standalone player).


If all you plan to do is use Coaxial connection, then it cannot transmit HD audio, it can do DVD quality audio just fine. And the software player bundled with the drive is capable of SPDIF (Coaxial) along with the 2 channels.


One word of caution: Blu-Ray playback on PC is not all its cracked up to be. It used to be a great choice when the cheapest players were $400. But in these days of sub-$100 players, its easier and better to get a standalone player.

Having said that, a HTPC is the best & the greatest to have a central location for all your media. You can back up your discs to hard drives and play at will.

I don't see myself parting ways with my HTPC anytime.

However, if your goal is to simply pop in a disc and have it play, a HTPC is the worst choice, better to have a CE player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That clears up allot, hirent.


I wouldn't mind spending $150 on a standalone BlueRay player but space is an issue in my cabinet, plus I already have a very nice 2 year old 6 DVD/CD Onkyo up converter player.


I did what to have the BlueRay option without getting rid of the DVD player and at times also be able to back-up a BlueRay movie onto my HD (not often though since it'll take allot of space).


If I understand you right I think I've confirmed I can/should buy an inexpensive BlueRay drive ($60-$80). That way for less than $80 I'll have the BlueRay option and the day I'm willing to pass the standalone Onkyo DVD player to another room I'll spend the $$ for a standalone BlueRay player then.


Thanks allot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thansk Nimo.


But, what the heck do you mean by "Flash it to GGC-H20L" and what's "PDVD 7.3"?



Also, that page does not have customer ratings. Have you had any experience with that specific model?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Guy /forum/post/18185744


Thansk Nimo.


But, what the heck do you mean by "Flash it to GGC-H20L" and what's "PDVD 7.3"?



Also, that page does not have customer ratings. Have you had any experience with that specific model?

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16827136133


PowerDVD is a software player that enables you to play back blu ray and HD DVD movies, that comes with this optical drive. It's by far the easiest way to get you up and running via plug n play.

Flashing the drive only enables playback for HD DVD but as far as it being the ultimate DVD/BD ripper/reader of any DVD content and the ability to play back BD content makes it a winner either way for the price.


I bought one of these (actually bought from client for me) a few weeks ago as a back up for my GGW-H20L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By the way, how do I know if the drive can burn in dual layer? I'd like to to burn full DVD movies in their native 6-7 GB.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top