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I've read much about the differences in video and sound quality between PDVD and WINDVD. After using a version of PDVD that came with my Asus mobo, I'm more interested in stability. This thing crashes too often for my taste. Certain movies always crash at a particular chapter others don't play at all. Happens in about one out of every ten movies.


Is one player known to be more stable then another?
 

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YMMV but IMHO WinDVD 2000 v2.6 is the most stable software player. It's in the middle of PQ and SQ. Cinemaster or ATI player has the best PQ/SQ but also the worst stability. PowerDVD 3.0 is in the middle for stability and SQ but worst PQ. I don't know about PowerDVD XP as I don't have it. Another option is to use Zoomplayer as a free front-end player using WinDVD or Cinemaster filters. It's very stable for me but again YMMV. Try it as it's free :) .
 

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I've never had any stability problems with ATI in the year and a half I've used it except for the occasional dirty Netflix disk and I usually watch at least 3 to 4 DVD's per week. Never once crashed or hung up. No problems except I couldn't get Crouching Tiger to play which has been well documented. Setting up the ATI is rather annoying though. If you use the latest drivers (7199) you can now access a global overlay tab in the advanced display properties and can set the overlay gamma, brightness, etc. for any player. Prior to this development, you pretty much wanted to use the ATI player. I currently experimenting with the Zoomplayer and the Cinemaster engine (that installs with the ATI) so that I can use the ISCO II (when it arrives) with non-anamorphic material.
 

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I have used Win, Power and the ATI on different configurations and every time Power is the most stable. With the latest version of Power I feel it offers the best average across video, audio and stabliity. If yours crashes I would either get the latest version or look to your system for a fault.
 

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For the 2 years that I have been using software DVD players, PowerDVD has been MUCH more stable than either WinDVD or Cinemaster. Luis, the problems you mentioned concerning PowerDVD are similar to the problems I have had in the past with WinDVD, so I understand your frustration. You mentioned that you have an Asus motherboard. Which chipset does it use? I have heard about a lot of problems with any of the DVD players if you have the VIA chipset.
 

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when you add DTS passthrough to the mix, WinDVD is the only stable one there is. I can't seem to get WinDVD to skip a beat when rifling through chapters and still keep DTS going smooth. The PQ is not nearly up to that of the yet to be released PowerDVD XP, but I think the two issues are related somehow, someway.
 

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Overall, I think the PowerDVD provides the most stability and, IMHO, predictability. The ATI is like a backyard dog - you never know when it will bite you. Viewing a DVD by myself I can and will tolerate the ATI's nature but general viewing with friends and family I will always default to Power DVD or WinDVD. Granted, the PQ of the ATI is superior guests don't and wont tolerate its uneven temper. When I want to watch a movie stability and predictability has a higher priority.

I recently fired up the Zoom Player and it appears to be very stable with excellent PQ. No idea about its long term stability but it looks promising. Still some issues with features (DTS, etc) but they are being addressed and resolved. ATI, on the other hand seems to be long on promises and short on delivering.
 

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I have never had a disc that would not play or glitched with PowerDVD ever !!!


I can say the same for the TT player but it has had far less titles thrown at it but so far so good...
 

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I could not play The Cell with PowerDVD for some reason. At that time my HTPC was in a state of flux, I had no other players installed and did not yet own a standalone player.


So we went upstairs and watched it on my son's Playstation. ;)


- Tom
 
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