Blu-ray rips with subtitles: PlayOn!HD or PCH A-200? Others?

McKeegan

Standard Member
Hello all. I could really use some help from you streaming experts.

Here's my situation:
I backed up my DVD collection to .ISO files years ago with only the main title, main English audio, and English subtitle tracks (I used DVDShrink to strip out all the bits I didn't want). I used softmodded Xboxes running XBMC to launch the ISOs which were stored on a network share. This worked great! I scrolled through a list of DVD covers, found the movie I wanted to watch and selected it. The movie immediately started playing with subtitles enabled.

My problem now, however, is that I want to start ripping my Blu-ray discs and use them in the same manner. We all know that an Xbox is incapable of playing back HD content, so I need a new streamer.

My requirements:

  1. SUBTITLES! - The single most important requirement is subtitle support. I am almost completely deaf and without subtitles, a movie is not very entertaining to me. This is why XBMC was so awesome.
  2. Time consideration - I don't want to spend hundreds of hours transcoding/encoding/muxing, etc my Blu-ray collection. Storage space is not an issue for me. I want to be able to just rip the Blu-ray disc with the bits I want (Main feature, main English audio, English subtitles).
  3. The streamer thus needs to be able to read a raw/uncompressed Blu-ray rip and play back the video, audio, and subtitles when selected. I don't really want/need BD menu support.
  4. I have a Sony HD camcorder, and I'd like the streamer to be able to play the AVCHD files generated by the camcorder.
  5. I'll soon be recording TV shows and sporting events on my Win 7 PC. I'd like the streamer to access/play these files.
  6. Multi-source support - I've got my DVD collection on one drive and it's full. I want to start my Blu-ray rip collection on a new drive, so the streamer needs to be able to access/mount more than one network location.
  7. I'd like a UI that's similar in presentation to XBMC, meaning, I like scrolling through DVD covers to find what I want to watch.

The folder structure that I'll want looks like this:
[Movies]
[Music]
[Pictures]
[TV episodes]
[Home videos]

That's pretty much it. I'm deaf, I live in the United States, I want to stream Blu-rays with lossless video and audio, and I absolutely need to have subtitles (without spending literally hundreds of hours muxing subtitle rips onto a video file).

From the research I've done, I think I might be able to do this with a PlayOn!HD or a Popcorn Hour A-200, but I want to be sure before I buy. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to accomplish my goals (mainly the Blu-ray ripping with subtitles and which streamer to get)? My house is completely wired for a Gigabit network, so I do not want (nor do I need) a wireless solution.

What do you experts think?

EDIT: I should mention that I have a PS3 and an Xbox 360, but they have horrible subtitle support, and I don't think they'll do very well with straight Blu-ray rips anyway. But if you think one of my consoles will work for what I want to do, please let me know.
 
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D65

Novice Member
Hi,

Have you considered the hd dune 3.0?.

I've got this myself, and it works great with blu-ray, even iso files can be played with ease. Subtitles work flawlessly.

If you're looking for a blu-ray compatible mediaplayer, the dune is a good choice.

See if you can get a demo somewhere.

Dimitri
 

McKeegan

Standard Member
I'd never come across the Dune HD 3.0 in my research. I'm not sure if the Dune HD is going to be a contender for me, because it's $400. I want to get multiple streamer units for various rooms in the house. If I had a budget of $400 for each unit, I'd just build HTPC's and run XBMC (or possibly MythTV).

I was hoping for a cheaper solution that can be purchased multiple times and still have a great movie jukebox (wife and kid friendly) UI experience.

Thanks for the help!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Most of the streamers are not as feature rich or easy to use as XBMC. The Boxee box is worth keeping an eye on as that will eventually run XBMC (Boxee is a commercial spin-off of XBMC) and will sell for $200.

I can't think of a single streamer that has the same sources ability of XBMC that allows you to mix content sources from various locations. None of them have a GPU accelerated GUI either.

Watch out about recording to Windows 7 media center files those will be .WTV files and nothing other than windows media center plays those, support was asked to be included into XBMC by some users but reply was its not a high priority if someone wants to code in support all the the better but the devs have more important things to focus on.

What I would do is get an Acer Revo (you may find it cheaper elsewhere) its an Atom/Ion nettop and install XBMC Live on it to turn it into a dedicated media player sort of like the old Xbox. It will handle anything video wise as the GPU is doing the decoding, although I'd check about HD audio on XBMC forums. Pair it with a windows media center remote to control it and use the Ion specific build of XBMC Live to save yourself some setup chores.

As for ripping duties use MakeMKV to rip everything to a single file and keep original video, audio & subtitles.

As for cheap end stuff that can do all of the above, nope doesn't exist if you dont mind losing HD audio, and a few other things the WDTV Live might suffice
* Will handle raw Blu-ray video
* Has limited cover-art support so you can still browse in thumbnail mode with cover-art for movies.
* Subtitles are supported in MKV though not sure about raw Blu-ray subs.
* Does not play DVD or Blu-ray menus, so you have to use MakeMKV to generate playable files. It will play DVD/ISO images but jumps to main movie automatically.
* Has folder browsing along with media library mode.
 
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McKeegan

Standard Member
Wow, this is exactly the kind of response I was hoping to get in this forum. Just this morning I had resigned myself to building a $375-400 HTPC and running XBMC (Linux) on it.

The Revo is definitely cheaper and the XBMC folks all say that with VDPAU the Revo decodes 1080p Blu-ray rips just fine.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

(Everyone, please don't consider this thread closed, I'm always, always willing to read your suggestions and comments)
 

lmaolmao

Well-known Member
if you dont mind converting your blurays audio, you have can still have lossless audio and subtitles with a cheap realtek. although its not bitstreaming, so if you want that little "DTS-HD" light, its not for you.

using clownbd, or your choice of eac3to, rip your bluray film to a single .m2ts but convert the audio to LPCM. This does mean your audio will be ~6gb per film, but the realteks happily play it. and subtitles will work perfectly.

the other option is if you want .mkv is to convert the audio to FLAC. this means subtitles need to be converted to either 1).idx/.sub with sup2sub. or 2).srt with suprip.

both of these give you subtitles and lossless audio, the first one is easiest. the second one, smaller file sizes (about 3.5gb smaller per film).

I did both to my star trek (2009) disk to see how they play on a realtek. the first option produces a 36.2GB .m2ts, the second produces a 32GB mkv which has BOTH a lossless FLAC and a normal DD5.1, both play flawlessly.
 

McKeegan

Standard Member
What I would do is get an Acer Revo (you may find it cheaper elsewhere) its an Atom/Ion nettop and install XBMC Live on it to turn it into a dedicated media player sort of like the old Xbox. It will handle anything video wise as the GPU is doing the decoding, although I'd check about HD audio on XBMC forums. Pair it with a windows media center remote to control it and use the Ion specific build of XBMC Live to save yourself some setup chores.

This was brilliant. I got an Acer Revo 1600 and used this guide to install a minimal version of Ubuntu (without a window manager). It configures the machine to boot straight into XBMC for a flawless HTPC experience.

The suggested remote also works out of the box with this build and can wake the HTPC from suspend without problem. Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 also likes this remote, and turns on whenever I wake the HTPC from suspend.

With this setup, I'm streaming 1080p uncompressed blu-ray rips across a wired network, over HDMI to my TV. The PC has the default 1GB of RAM in it. I don't see a need to install more RAM. I did, however, configure the BIOS to share 256MB of RAM to the GPU.

Thanks, all, for your help. I am exceptionally well pleased! :thumbsup:
 

next010

Distinguished Member
This was brilliant. I got an Acer Revo 1600 and used this guide to install a minimal version of Ubuntu (without a window manager). It configures the machine to boot straight into XBMC for a flawless HTPC experience.

The suggested remote also works out of the box with this build and can wake the HTPC from suspend without problem. Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 also likes this remote, and turns on whenever I wake the HTPC from suspend.

With this setup, I'm streaming 1080p uncompressed blu-ray rips across a wired network, over HDMI to my TV. The PC has the default 1GB of RAM in it. I don't see a need to install more RAM. I did, however, configure the BIOS to share 256MB of RAM to the GPU.

Thanks, all, for your help. I am exceptionally well pleased! :thumbsup:

Cool glad to hear it.

About the 360 problem all you have to do is go into xbox 360 settings/remote control section and set it to respond to the xbox 360 remote control only. After that the 360 will no longer respond to the commands from the win media center remote.
 

McKeegan

Standard Member
next010, I had suspected as much, but haven't gotten around to finding out for myself. As soon as the box was configured, I pulled my media-storage HDD out of storage to find that it was dead. It was still in warranty, so Seagate is sending a replacement, but I've been so busy re-ripping my entire collection this week that I forgot to look up the remote situation.

Thanks again for your help and suggestions, you've been a tremendous help. I'd take you to lunch if I could.
 

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