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I'm having so much trouble deciding what to do.

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default I'm having so much trouble deciding what to do.

I now realize if I want to play hd-dvds or blu-rays on my computer I need a drive for one of them, I need a processor and motherboard plenty fast enough, I need a hdcp graphics card, an hdcp monitor and I just now realized according to this http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/suppo...nProdVerId=191 I have to allow the software to update the AACS every so often. does this just mean you may not be able to play future disc you buy if you don't do this? You don't have to do this with standalone players do you? I'm wondering if I'm better off buying something like this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1186003898783 for now and then get the drive motherboard processor and hdcp graphics card I really want later when it's much cheaper. Does this make sense?
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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I now realize if I want to play hd-dvds or blu-rays on my computer I need a drive for one of them, I need a processor and motherboard plenty fast enough, I need a hdcp graphics card, an hdcp monitor and I just now realized according to this http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/suppo...nProdVerId=191 I have to allow the software to update the AACS every so often. does this just mean you may not be able to play future disc you buy if you don't do this? You don't have to do this with standalone players do you? I'm wondering if I'm better off buying something like this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1186003898783 for now and then get the drive motherboard processor and hdcp graphics card I really want later when it's much cheaper. Does this make sense?
Yes. You might have to update the software PowerDVD frequently, because some new discs might not play. This has happend quite a few times by now. Afaik the PowerDVD updates are free of charge, if you have a full licence for the "Ultra" version.

For example right now, "we" are waiting for an update of the software to play the BD "3:10 to Yuma", because neither the movie or the 1.1 profile extras are playing right now. And so far, PowerDVD is the "best" HDM software, go figure.....

Honestly, is you just want to play the movies and want a "legal" pc with full hdcp/aacs/bd+ etc., you might be better off just buying two standalone players for each formats. I had a strong enough cpu already, so upgrading the pc with a BD drive wasnīt much of an investment, but i donīt think i would want to build a pc just for HDM playback at this time.

btw some standalone players will need firmware updates for some discs to play as well. Check the HD DVD/Blu-ray player section for more info.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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By some do you mean most standalone players need firmware updates? How often does it typically need it? I thought the reason a lot of people say "no thanks" to wmv-dvd's was because they didn't want to go online and get a new patch so they could play it every 5 days. I have a hard time imagining people who don't know much about hi def doing these firmware updates. Could this put an end to it perhaps I hope?
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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By some do you mean most standalone players need firmware updates? How often does it typically need it? I thought the reason a lot of people say "no thanks" to wmv-dvd's was because they didn't want to go online and get a new patch so they could play it every 5 days. I have a hard time imagining people who don't know much about hi def doing these firmware updates. Could this put an end to it perhaps I hope?
Itīs totally unpredictable. Sometimes there are single titles, that just won't play on some standalone players. Until now, i think most issues were solved fast with firmware updates. For the time being, we have to live with the updates and i donīt know when and if they will stop.

As you might know, the PS3 is considered to be the best BD player/value right now and it gets the best support. Most other BD standalones should be fine as well for playback of the movie. The only BD player that seems to have more problems than others is the Samsung 1200, something went wrong with that one. The thing shows up in sales for cheap, but i wouldnīt touch it with a pole.

The HD DVD players also get updated frequently and i think most reported playback problems are caused by old firmware.

Like i said, if youīre interested in the standalones, you might want to check out or post in the HighDef player forums here.

P.S.

To underline what i said before: i have received the Spiderman Trilogy on Blu-ray and i am having trouble playing it with my version of PowerDVD, meaning not one of the three discs plays atm. I will probably be able to work around that, but itīs still annoying....

Last edited by Nikopol; 01-31-2008 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:58 PM   #5
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I have a HP laptop with bluray drive and hdmi out. My buddy brought over his PS3 and it looks better than my laptop using powedvd. They both look awesome but its like the PC just doesn't look as good. What settings do you use on powerdvd? I find it hard to believe that a $3000 laptop can't match the quality of a $400 PS3. any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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I have a HP laptop with bluray drive and hdmi out. My buddy brought over his PS3 and it looks better than my laptop using powedvd. They both look awesome but its like the PC just doesn't look as good. What settings do you use on powerdvd? I find it hard to believe that a $3000 laptop can't match the quality of a $400 PS3. any help would be appreciated.
Youīre not alone. Thatīs the next problem, the pq of PowerDVD is sometimes not very good and even varies from setup to setup. For example depending on the video card and os in the system, it changes the renderer (sometimes overlay, sometimes VMR9, sometimes EVR) without correctly stating which one it is using. It does other "bad/weird" stuff as well.

For the best pq, i actually rip the disc and use a direct show filter player (MediaPlayerClassic HC) with the main stream.

haali splitter -> cyberlink h264/avc decoder -> [ffdshow for scaling to 720p with Lanczos for my 720p pj] -> EVR renderer

This way the pq is the same as my Toshiba HD DVD standalone. At this point, i wouldnīt really recommend a HTPC as an HDM player, if there arenīt any special reasons for it. (For me, itīs the option to play all BD regions).

Last edited by Nikopol; 02-01-2008 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:28 AM   #7
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what the software you are using to play the movies from HD. I tried some but I don't think I have the right settings in the software our I am missing something. My problem is usually the audio. Video is fine and dolby digital is fine but whenever I do DTS my audio is not in sync with the video. I spent hours trying different things. Feel free to send me a private message. Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nikopol View Post
Youīre not alone. Thatīs the next problem, the pq of PowerDVD is sometimes not very good and even varies from setup to setup. For example depending on the video card and os in the system, it changes the renderer (sometimes overlay, sometimes VMR9, sometimes EVR) without correctly stating which one it is using. It does other "bad/weird" stuff as well.

For the best pq, i actually rip the disc and use a direct show filter player (MediaPlayerClassic HC) with the main stream.

haali splitter -> cyberlink h264/avc decoder -> [ffdshow for scaling to 720p with Lanczos for my 720p pj] -> EVR renderer

This way the pq is the same as my Toshiba HD DVD standalone. At this point, i wouldnīt really recommend a HTPC as an HDM player, if there arenīt any special reasons for it. (For me, itīs the option to play all BD regions).
I'm using PDVD Ultra and have considered migrating to MPC. HDD space is the issue for me. Well, that and configuring all of the necessary filters. Build 3516 has certainly had its hiccups but, works for all of my HD DVD's and BD's so far, including Spiderman trilogy, Die Hard collection and Harry Potter (HD DVD). I'm getting better PQ on BD's so far... I'm guessing that you're on 3319 or swapped files into 3516 for HDD playback w/PDVD?

Is MPC more reliable and with better PQ? What filters are you using for audio decoding? Do they decode DTS HD MA and TrueHD? Downsampling?
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:28 AM   #9
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I'm using PDVD Ultra and have considered migrating to MPC. HDD space is the issue for me. Well, that and configuring all of the necessary filters. Build 3516 has certainly had its hiccups but, works for all of my HD DVD's and BD's so far, including Spiderman trilogy, Die Hard collection and Harry Potter (HD DVD). I'm getting better PQ on BD's so far... I'm guessing that you're on 3319 or swapped files into 3516 for HDD playback w/PDVD?

Is MPC more reliable and with better PQ? What filters are you using for audio decoding? Do they decode DTS HD MA and TrueHD? Downsampling?
Yes, i am using an older version of PowerDVD (2911), because i get the "forced hardware acceleration" bug with the later versions. Also i want to keep the option to play from harddrive, which is disabled in all later versions except one afaik. BD+ titles play with this version and the Spiderman movies play from my harddrive (!?!). I have no idea, why they will not play from the disc.....

About MPC:

Quote:
Is MPC more reliable and with better PQ? What filters are you using for audio decoding? Do they decode DTS HD MA and TrueHD? Downsampling?
MediaPlayerClassic is not a "real" BD/HD DVD software player. Itīs only for playback of .m2ts (BD) streams from the harddrive. No menues, no (original) subtitles, a rather purist approach.

I have read, that the .evo (HD DVD) files are not really useable right now, because no directshow splitter can handle them well. Most using MPC for HD DVD playback are remuxing to the .mkv container.

The beauty of MPC is, that it is a very stable direct show filter player. If you know how to work with direct show filters, then you probably can get better pq with MPC than with PowerDVD. Like is wrote earlier, the results vary from setup to setup. For me, it is much better. My filter chain atm looks like this:



- Haali Splitter
- cyberlink h264/avc decoder (from PowerDVD)
- ffdshow (only for resizing 1080p to 720p for my 720p pj; much better results than letting the renderer do the resizing)
- EVR renderer (MPC offers to use it in XP)

Another good player to work with direct show setups is the ZoomPlayer, it has more options to organize everything. I like MPC better, because itīs more of a lean design.

Audio:
Is a problem for many. Some canīt even get PCM to play. It works for me, but i only need a 2.0 downmix and itīs simply working.

So right now, i am switching between PowerDVD and MPC from disc to disc. There is no "one size fits all" solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMpoor View Post
what the software you are using to play the movies from HD. I tried some but I don't think I have the right settings in the software our I am missing something. My problem is usually the audio. Video is fine and dolby digital is fine but whenever I do DTS my audio is not in sync with the video. I spent hours trying different things. Feel free to send me a private message. Thanks.
see above.

I donīt know what could cause your problems with the audio synch, sorry.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback, Nikopol. I'm thinking about trying MPC in the next year. Just need to do a little more research on getting it up and running.
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