Stand-alone BR or something else

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  • #26463

    Well, I finally have a 7.1 sound setup ordered to install upstairs in my 2nd family room. Downstairs I have my HTPC and an adequate 5.1 setup, 50″ plasma (had to go with a small satellite setup to keep the WAF high vs big boy speakers) where we consume most of our video content.

    Upstairs is a nice room setup, prewired for surround sound, I have a 42″ plasma mounted with built-in shelving I recently installed (eventually want to get a bigger TV). Anyways, this is currently where the xboxing wiing kinecting, etc all goes down. But now with a nice sound system going in up there, it will be a great spot to watch movies. We use the xbox as an extender, but I was wondering what to do regarding BR content. I see my options as:

    1) Standalone BR player upstairs (any recommendations on stand-alone players (never purchased one before)

    2) Create BR isos, give them some room on the NAS and get something like Popcorn hour, western digital tv, boxee box, etc, that could handle ISO formats and get all the HD audio goodness (recommendations here would be great too)

    Am I missing another option? I know my options through 7MC are limited.

    Now I have a machine gun too, ho ho ho, Merry Xmas!

    NitDawg

    #31955
    Matt

    Probably the easiest and least hassle option is to get a nice standalone BD player for upstairs. Panasonic players are rock-solid, I’ve used multiple generations of them, and Panasonic continues to support their players for firmware fixes long after they’ve been replaced with newer models. Their 2011 models have all streaming features you could want (Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant, etc.) they also support basic DLNA features if you end up wanting to go the NAS route at some point. Go with the DMP-BDT110 if you have Ethernet wired upstairs, if not the DMP-BDT210 is the step up with Wi-Fi built in. Both go on sale pretty frequently at Fry’s (if you have one nearby) and on Amazon.

    #31956
    Aaron Ledger

    It depends on what you want. If it were me, I would put in another HTPC and use it to playback the BDs as digitally stored files on my server. This would also grant the benefit of TV content and anything else I might desire. This is the more costly approach though.

    #31957
    NitDawg

    Good info, thanks Matt…I will look into those Pannys!

    #31958
    NitDawg

    The xbox extender gets me 80% there, as I do have a lot of content on my NAS accessible for playback through the 7MC interface, have all my TV content…that’s why I’m sort of leaning towards the standalone as at least a temporary plan. I haven’t really gotten into ripping BR ISOs yet, but if that was the only missing piece, I’m assuming there is a format ISO, BDMV that I could use on my primary HTPC and also through a small appliance like popcorn hour.

    #32052
    NitDawg

    [quote=Matt]

    Probably the easiest and least hassle option is to get a nice standalone BD player for upstairs. Panasonic players are rock-solid, I’ve used multiple generations of them, and Panasonic continues to support their players for firmware fixes long after they’ve been replaced with newer models. Their 2011 models have all streaming features you could want (Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant, etc.) they also support basic DLNA features if you end up wanting to go the NAS route at some point. Go with the DMP-BDT110 if you have Ethernet wired upstairs, if not the DMP-BDT210 is the step up with Wi-Fi built in. Both go on sale pretty frequently at Fry’s (if you have one nearby) and on Amazon.

    [/quote]

    [quote=Matt]

    Probably the easiest and least hassle option is to get a nice standalone BD player for upstairs. Panasonic players are rock-solid, I’ve used multiple generations of them, and Panasonic continues to support their players for firmware fixes long after they’ve been replaced with newer models. Their 2011 models have all streaming features you could want (Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant, etc.) they also support basic DLNA features if you end up wanting to go the NAS route at some point. Go with the DMP-BDT110 if you have Ethernet wired upstairs, if not the DMP-BDT210 is the step up with Wi-Fi built in. Both go on sale pretty frequently at Fry’s (if you have one nearby) and on Amazon.

    [/quote]

     

    I went with the DMP-BDT210. So small, light, and fast! 

    I felt like an idiot since it took me 20 minutes to get DTS-HD to my AVR, since the documentation was pretty weak (high clarity sound, seriously?) and I since I haven’t used a stand-alone player (well, never for a BR) the audio menu settings are not that clear to me.

    In that same thought, is it better to pass on 8 channel PCM from the BR player to the AVR or (from what it looks like in the settings) bitstream the HD audio to the AVR so the pretty red lights turn on?

    Very happy with this guy, thanks!

     

     

    #32054
    Aaron Ledger

    Theoretically, there should not be a difference where the audio decoding takes place. In some cases, it may be better to let the AVR handle because some may possibly disable some of the room correction (as an example) if fed PCM vs. letting it decode. To be on the safe side, let the AVR do the decoding unless there is some other reason not to.

    #32055
    NitDawg

    Thanks Aaron. That’s how I have it going now, plus it was a warm fuzzy feeling when I saw the DTS-HD light up for the first time Smile

    #32056
    eldouche

    After building two HTPCs with blu-ray, I recommend going with a standalone player. I have been using Arcsoft TMNT 2 and 3 because they integrate quite nicely with WMC. However, there have been issues with playback of newer movies (search for TMT and StarWars). With the price of a BD-ROM drive AND playback software at parity with a decent standalone player (especially with all the VOD streaming that is built in now), I wouldn’t bother with an HTPC solution anymore unless space is at a premium.

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