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Decisions Decisions: what to get-PCH A-200 or C-200?

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Media Players' started by Azzin, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    So here's the thing....

    I currently use my PS3 with PS3 Media Server to watch my stored films and my physical Blu Ray disks (it's a USA machine with a 500 gig hard drive) and I don't use it for any gaming (other than Singstar :rolleyes: ) and that as we don't do much Singstar I'm thinking of selling it to get an A-200/C200.

    Following my thread here, I think I've narrowed my choice down to either the A-200 or the C-200. :thumbsup:

    (I would also buy from Digitalera as they are an Assured Advertiser here @ AVF and I wasn't aware of them before I mentioned Scan & AMP3!) :oops:

    However.....

    I'm trying to justify the cost of the C-200 over the A200 (£280 V £175). :rolleyes:

    A-200.

    • Price (obviously!)
    • Doesn't do Full BD navigation (which from what I understand is Menus, Extras etc that form part of a Blu Ray disk?)
    • Doesn't have a Blu Ray drive to allow me to play the disks that I already have and would potentially buy in the future.
    • I have a Pioneer BD Drive in my current PC I'm wondering if this could be "shared" and mapped to via the A-200, in the same way a folder with movies in it can?

    C-200.

    • Cost. :eek:
    • I could fit the BD drive from my PC to a C-200 to watch my current and any future Blu Ray purchases.
    • It seems quite a bit of extra cash (£105) over the A-200 just to be able to watch the extras on my current/future Blu Rays.

    To sum up....

    If the BD drive in my PC can be shared and accessed via the A-200 to watch physical disks, then the A-200 wins hands down but.....I'm presuming that wouldn't work as the A-200 "only" does Simple BD Navigation and if it can read physical disks in a drive that's shared out, then it would be able to do Full BD Navigation?

    Are there any other benefits that I have missed with these units that may help me sway towards either one of them?



    Another option I have in considering an A-200 is instead of selling the PS3 to fund this purchase, I could keep it which would give me the following:

    • Ability to play Blu Ray disks for Extras etc, that the A-200 can't handle.
    • Keep SWMBO happy with Singstar!
    • "Only" spend £175 on a new player.

    Help! :lease:

    Ta. :D
  2. Member 351202

    Member 351202 Member

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    Well imo the C200 is only worth getting if retail blu-ray and dvd play back is important.

    As you have a PS3 already then I would suggest you save some money and look at the A200.
    A lot of people rate the new HDX model so that maybe worth a look.

    IF HD audio is not important then you have even more options and could save more money :)
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  3. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    HD audio is right up there at the top of my "must haves". :smashin:
  4. Member 351202

    Member 351202 Member

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    well you could try picking up a A110 on ebay cheap?

    If money is not an issue you could look at the HDI products (base/prime)
  5. Stoke192

    Stoke192 Member

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    I knew you'd get there in the end ;)
  6. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Azzin i'm in the same boat as you at the moment, ditching my ps3 to fund a media player, originally I was going to get a WDTV live but decided it was under speced for my needs, I too want that HD audio playback (well, pass through anyway)! I also would like to be able to rip my current blu ray's for full playback, is this possible with the C-200? The main reason for this is that I have a fair few US locked titles which will be unplayable on my standard UK blu ray player (my ps3 is a US model). I'm also considering selling the stand alone blu ray player to fund a blu ray drive for the C-200 if I go that route, the idea being to reduce the amount of boxes under my TV.

    Is it possible to make a blu ray drive installed in a C-200 region free at all? I like the idea of being able to store my library on drives for playback but also have the ability to just pop in a disc if needs be (ya know, for the wife!).

    Are there any major problems with the C/A-200, I vaguely remember reading about lip sync issues?

    Sorry to hijack your thread but I figure it's all questions you probably want answering too!

    Jase.
  7. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    If you're asking if you can use the C200 to do the actual ripping of the Blu Rays, then I think the answer is no and that you have to still do that on your PC.

    Mine too! :D

    Do you have a standalone Blu Ray player and a PS3? [Edit] - Just seen in your sig that you have a UK Sony BDP S350.

    I hear you there brother! :smashin:

    The simple answer from me is that I don't know about region compatability with the C-200. I don't have any region locked disks (mine are all region free)., so it's not something I've considered (although now I think I should!).

    I've not read any, but that's not to say there isn't/wasn't an issue.

    No problem at all, we're after the same answers! :devil:
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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  8. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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  9. Uridium

    Uridium Active Member

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    i've also just been down exactly the same road, however i do already have a standalone BluRay player....

    I just needed a better streamer :(. I kept my PS3 in the end and picked up a AC Ryan HD mini for those awkward to play media files..
  10. Rom

    Rom Active Member

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    You can rip the BDs but this will have to be done on a PC and the C/A200 will play back the BD rip just like it was a disc (except the A200 only does BD lite, not full BD menus)

    As the previous reply, you can rip them to an internal drive in the PCH or a network drive to stream from. The BD drive option (if you want region free) is more involved.

    Yes, Azzin found the main thread but be aware you may have to flash the drives firmware and use the CSI region free app. Apparently you would have to re-install the app everytime you do a firmware upgrade.

    As to the wife, install YAMJ and what could be simpler than turning on and selecting the movie cover to play the film of your choice? ;)

    The 16th March firmware corrected the majority of lipsync issues. These were only on SOME MKV & AVI files with AC3/DTS audio. I had a few out of sync files and all the ones I have tried with the latest firmware are fine now. CEC is fixed.


    If you want my honest opinion, get an A200 and rip your blu-rays/hd dvd/dvd to a hard drive (whether internal to the A200 or external housing). The optical drive option in the C200 seems to be more trouble than it is worth and IMO will never be as full featured or pain free than a stand alone BD player.

    I have the C200 as I preferred the AV kit styling, no fan, 2 internal drive option and the brushed metal case. Also the A200 was not out when I got my C200 :)
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  11. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Sounds like the A-200 probably is going to be the best option for me. Whats the deal with BD lite menu's then? Is that something you would do in the ripping process? I'm only really interested in the main movie but want to get straight rips (of the movie) with no compression.

    Think I was unclear in my first question, I meant to ask if it was possible to play back a BR in an ISO (or file structure) format and wasn't asking if the C-200 could do the ripping. I was working on the assumption the C-200 wouldn't be able to rip the discs and that I would have to get a BR drive for my PC for that. I'm also assuming there is software available to rip region locked discs and make then region free, i've not looked into it much at all as untill now i've used discs and players. Obviously this question has been answered now though so thanks!

    If I opt for the A-200 I may end up keeping the PS3 anyway for my region locked blu-ray's as I won't need as much cash, guess i'll see what I can get for it.

    Thanks for the replies guys!
  12. scumball

    scumball Active Member

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    On a PC you need AnyDVDHD (About £100) to de-region and decrypt your BDs. You can then use TSMuxer to create a BD folder with just the movie in it for use on your A200/C200. Or you could use AnyDVDHD to create a .iso of the whole disc (inc. menus etc.) if you get a C200.
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  13. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Thanks mate, that makes things clearer!

    Think I'm pretty set I'll be going for the A-200 and keeping my standalone BR player.
  14. Rom

    Rom Active Member

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    As the A200 does not have a full BluRay licence it will not display the full blu-ray menus. The BD Lite menu is a basic screen created by the A-200 that allows you to select audio, subtitle & chapters. You will not get the flashy animated menus etc.

    However, if the disc does not use BD Java for its menus it has been reported that the A200 will show the menu in full.

    This would be from a BD rip into a folder structure or ISO.

    The A200 will play both in full quality and HD audio passthrough.

    I personally just rip the main movie in full quality to my NAS and stream to my C-200. At least there is no waiting 3 minutes for (some) BD discs to load ;)
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  15. scumball

    scumball Active Member

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    It's a shame they left out USB slave mode on the C200 - it would have been handy to be able use the BD drive in that on the PC without having to remove it...
  16. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Thanks Rom, so I could rip a full disc, and if it had a fancy java menu the A-200 would just default to a lite menu? If that's the case I can totally live with that, really don't care about fancy blu ray menus!
  17. Rom

    Rom Active Member

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    Yep, thats xactly what you'll get :thumbsup:
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  18. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Great well, A-200 it is then I recon, now if only tuesday (payday) would hurry up and come around!
  19. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    It's an A-200 for me too! :smashin:

    Where are you going to order yours from?

    Do Digitalera charge for delivery (and is it next day by courier like Scan)?
  20. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    I'm not going anywhere near scan after they tried to screw me over with a WD HDD that didn't work properly so may try digitalera since they are an assured advertiser here. Not sure about delivery costs though, i'll have to check that out.
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  21. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    I sooooo want to hit the Buy button on this bad boy! :eek:
  22. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    I can afford it come tuesday, but selling my ps3 would make it sit just that bit more comfortably, plus I'd be able to pick up a new 2TB HDD for it rather than having to stick one of my existing 1TB drives in there. Trouble is since the damn ps3 slim came out no one wants the older ones anymore!
  23. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, if it weren't for my current disks I could sell the PS3 in a flash as we literally only use it for watching stuff (so A-200 would take care of that) and Singstar, where we have a few nights a year with friends over, food, drink etc and have a session.

    I've put a 500 gig drive in it, so it's ideal for someone who wants a PS3/streamer with a large hard drive. :thumbsup:

    Then again, I could just rip all my existing (and future disks that I buy) disks to a hard drive and watch them via the A-200, but then I wouldn't have the option of watching any extras/making ofs/etc.

    But then again (can you see a pattern here!?), it's rare that I do watch those kind of things, but at least I have that option! :devil:

    So I come full circle-decisions, decisions......! :D

    Here are my options:

    • Sell 500 Gb USA PS3 + 5 (maybe 6 :eek: ) Singstar games and get A-200 to current/future ripped Blu Ray movies, but no option of watching any extras.
    • Keep PS3 and get A-200 to watch current/ripped ripped Blus on, which gives me the option of watching extras etc via disk that I rarely watch now!)

    :facepalm:
  24. scumball

    scumball Active Member

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    I would always want a standalone player too - you may want to watch something that isn't ripped. You may have problems with the file you make and want to check the disc. You may not have enough storage for all your future discs...how about selling the PS3 and getting a cheap BD from the classifieds for around £70-£80?
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  25. MarkE19

    MarkE19 Moderator

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    I've just ordered a Dune Prime 3.0 from them and they charged about £6 for next day delivery - so not too bad IMO.

    I went for this in the end as I couldn't get the C-200 RF remote to work in my home and AMP3 couldn't find a fault with the unit :confused:
    I was seriously considering the A-200 but I wanted to get rid of my old S500 BDP but still wanted the options of a standalone player. This now (hopfully :rolleyes: ) gives me the best of both worlds in a single box.

    Mark.
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  26. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    I'll definately be keeping my standalone BR player just for convenience, I also don't want to have to rip all my BR's, just the ones that are locked, for a start I don't have the HDD space at the moment!
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  27. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    Just ordered the A-200 from digitalera, £181 with next day delivery so I should have it wednesday. Decided to keep my PS3 as a) no one seems to wanna buy a 40GB Fat US model and b) it seems I would get next to nothing for it so i'll keep it for hassle free region locked blu ray playback.
  28. Jase Winter

    Jase Winter Active Member

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    My A-200 arrived today and is set up and streaming my content using myihome at the mo. YAMJ looks like it takes some setting up and i'm working on it but for now I can access all my content and files that wouldn't work using PS3MS and my ps3 seem to be playing just fine. Shame the unit itself is pretty ugly, Navigating menu's seems pretty quick though, a friend of mine said he ditched his A-110 as the gui was so slow but so far so good with the A-200.

    Digitalera processed the order quickly and I had no problems with them at all. Thanks!
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  29. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    So.....

    I still haven't gotten myself one of these but I'm back en route now. :smashin:

    I'm a bit confused about what shares the A/C-200s can see at any one time.

    My films stored on different hard drives in 2 x different PCs.

    The PS3 currently sees all of them, but can only browse one drive letter at a time (which isn't a problem at all) using PS3 Media Server (I used TVersity before that, which showed all mapped shares as one big share which was great, but didn't transcode MKVs on the fly, so I switched to PS3 MS).

    I have 5 shares (drive letters) mapped in PS3 MS, with most of my stuff being on the first share and the rest is on 4 hard drives in another PC (
    most of my stuff is stored on my Dell Server's E: Drive and the rest on 4 drives in another PC).

    So my question is-can either the A-200 or the C-200 browse/view/play films from multiple mapped shares?

    [Edit] - Having re-read this post, I'm not sure it makes sense, but hopefully it does.

    What I want to do is make sure that I can map 5 drive letters in the GUI of the A/C-200 and browse them in the same way that I can using my PS3 (one drive letter at a time if fine BTW).

    Does that make sense!? :eek: :D

    [Edit #2] - Here's a pic of PS3 MS's GUI showing the 5 drive letters I have mapped (with E: being the most used one):

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  30. Rom

    Rom Active Member

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    The answer is...Yes....and no :)

    You can map multiple drives no problem but the PCH can only MOUNT 1 external drive at a time. ie it connects to the drive as you browse to it.

    So yes, it will do what you want but it will cause problems in other areas. If you use YAMJ (the moviewall GUI) then that cannot mount drives though it does let you see your library all at once.

    There are workarounds to mount multiple drives at once but this would mean you tweaking startup scripts in the popcorn hour.
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