Blu-ray - what to expect?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by imilne, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. imilne

    imilne
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    Having just ordered the LG BD/HD-DVD drive, I was wondering what to expect from the bundled software (PDVD 7 I guess?).

    My HTPC is currently connected to my amp via spdif giving me DD/DTS from DVDs, no problems at all. As PDVD is likely to be OEM, I'm guessing it'll be restricted in some way, but what? I can live without the HD audio formats for now, but will I at least get DD/DTS via spdif from blu-ray without paying for any upgrades (or TMT)?

    I should add that this is a slightly nervous toe-dipping experiment into the world of blu-ray. My HTPC works perfectly as a triple tuner freeview box, plus DVD and all the other usual media formats...I just have this nagging feeling that blu-ray will cause problems :)
     
  2. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    PowerDVD 7.3 that comes with the LG drive still supports passthrough of DD/DTS over SPDIF so you will still get exactly the same as before.

    Should be zero impact on freeview and DVD setup as is. (the only thing it could do is change the MPEG2 codecs being used now to the PowerDVD ones but depending on your player you can normally change this and even then it is unlikely to manke any difference)
     
  3. imilne

    imilne
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    Good stuff!

    S'ok...I didn't expect it to cause problems with any of the existing stuff (its WAF will nose dive if that happens); I'm just expecting the BD playback itself to be a problem. Guess I've been lurking on these forums for too long reading about too many people having too many issues :)
     
  4. Woodymogs

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    I installed the LG BD player/writer yesterday together with the bundled software, which is PowerDVD 7. There was a software update that installed automatically and a quick activation process. Then I put in a BD and noticed that, on the PowerDVD control panel, the display indicates that only 2 channel audio is supported. However, if you click on the 'configuration' box, there's an option under the audio tab (speaker selection) to change the output to SPDIF. I did this and got DD5.1 through my system :)

    Obviously not as good as the HD sound formats but it will do me until there's a soundcard that will handle these formats properly. I thought I'd have to upgrade the bundled player but I'm happy with it as provided, for the time being. Picture was also very impressive on a 42" plasma (it's my first venture into BD). Like you, I was anticipating the worst but it was all up and running very quickly. Hope you are as pleased as I am!
     
  5. jameson_uk

    jameson_uk
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    I installed mine a good 12 months ago and was suprised how simple it was. Really was a case of install software, apply update and watch....

    The only thing you may find (which annoyed me and not the misses) was that on the occasional BD media PowerDVD does not want to output a DD or DTS soundtrack and outputs stereo. (I think is because the actual disc only have HD audio and 7.1 LPCM and OEM powerDVD will only output these as stereo)

    This has only happened with one disc in 12 months though... (Kung Fu Panda)
     
  6. imilne

    imilne
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    Well, so far everything has been fine :)

    No problems with the drive itself, but PowerDVD didn't want to install at first. Turns out I was being too clever and trying to run the installer for PDVD directly from the CD, but it would only work if I used the full Cyberlink more-than-you-need package installer (can't recall its name now).

    Anyway, after that hiccup, PDVD ran fine, prompted for an update and away it went. 5.1 sound via spdif is working fine too. I only have Hellboy, Casino Royale and Blade Runner in BD for now, but they all worked great.

    My motherboard has onboard 690G graphics which are supposed to manage 720p blu-ray decoding, but with my AMD 4000 CPU it didn't quite manage. CPU was at 100% near enough all the time, but playback was actually smoother than I would have expected - it was still jumpy though. Not that it mattered, because I had an ATI 4550 on standby, and with that CPU usage is barely 25-30%.

    With that all sorted, it was time to get it working via a decent interface. I use GBPVR for all TV/DVD/etc duties, and it was a simple enough matter to add a "Play Blu-ray" option to its main menu, which opens PDVD in fullscreen and instantly start playing whatever was in the drive. Closing PDVD returns to GBPVR.

    HIP is used to seamlessly control everything via a harmony remote (pretending to be an MCE one) and everyone is happy :thumbsup:

    Time for a question now... OEM PDVD 7.3 seems to be doing everything I need, so apart from getting the HD audio formats, what other benefit to paying for a full version do I get? I can't seem to find anything listing the differences between PDVD 7 and 8 (the latter being what I'd have to buy I assume). I have no HD-DVDs, so no support for them isn't that big a deal.
     

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