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DVD / Media Player - Most satisfactory by experience

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Antpink, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Antpink

    Antpink
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    I am new to this, and just sorting out the hardware side of the HTPC. Now I am wondering about how to playback the various media files, primarily DVD from HDD and disc, but also mp3 and wav for music. I do not think I will be using too many other media formats, except maybe DivX and Xvid, when I can work them out, and Avi and mpeg for downloaded stuff, and or copied/converted VCD material.

    Seems the current faves for video types are Theatretek and Zoomplayer, but the former seemd restricted in palyback formats to only DVD. The latter looks good but seems to be a lot more configurable (and easier to screw up then).

    What I really want to be able to do is to have PAL and NTSC movies optimised, so that when I select the player defaults to the best settings, without having to manually switch each time. Do either of these players do this? Also, should be able to download movie covers and info and store for each movie as well.

    Also, for music files, would good old WMP 10 be good enough? Or do the various frontends, like Meedio, Media Portal etc come with a standalone media player which could handle this just fine.

    Thanks in advance
    Antpink
     
  2. KraGorn

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    Simple answer to your PAL/NTSC switch .. by which I presume you mean 50hz/60hz .. is 'no', neither know how to do that. There are a few alternative methods involving other bits of software.

    'Fraid I've no idea about downloading movie covers etc, not something I've felt the need to do.

    TT uses the NVidia MPEG codec so that's what restrict the format it plays, I know it does things like .TS HD streams and some others, I'm not too sure which .. and yes, ZoomPlayer is a more flexible option but requires a bit of poking around and some luck, the first time I tried it it failed to 'build a graph' and I couldn't get anyone to explain to me what the fudge that was, only some time later did I find out.

    For MP3 there are a few options, Winamp is one I use though there's also one called dbPowerAmp I also have that works well .. I avoid WMP because it prefers WMA and at version 9 didn't handle MP3s at all, I see no reason to switch from Winamp but if WMP 10 does what you want then maybe that's all you need.
     
  3. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    here is what I use...

    Win DVD 7: for playing back .TS files

    Media Player 10: DVD's, MP3, Wma, Wmv, Divx, Xvid, DVR-MS

    I experimented with a lot of configurations and this is the best I have found
     
  4. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Hi Antpink,

    I think you will really like the My Movies plug-in for MCE 2005.
    It is free (optional donation) and basically stores all of your movies in a database, you get a thumbnail for each movie which is the DVD cover, automatically loaded via the web.. it also stores cast details AND you can stream trailers from the net.. My | Site

    With the right codecs installed (dvd/xvid/divx etc...) my MCE machine playsback all files ok, except .ts (transport stream) hi def files. It does play them, but won't navigate them properly. For these I just drop out of MCE and use Windows Media Player.

    If you already have a copy of XP though it may be an expensive upgrade, as you will have to buy MCE 2005 (which includes XP Pro) and the remote control - about £100.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  5. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Quick Update, so you want to play all your media files and get info on them ,i.e title/album cover, well media player 10 is great for it, it will play most audio and video formats, and gets your info and cover art for music and dvd's if available, but if you want to sit on your sofa and do it via a remote control then Like LIsa said get Media Center, I personally use my computer at the desk, so media player 10 is great for me...
     
  6. Antpink

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    Thanks all so far - Lisa - XP Pro is what I have, and I guess I'll have to get some form of front end for it. I am hoping that this extension should be able to do the fancy movie cataloguing shenanigans for me, which just leaves the media player. I guess the best thing to do would be to try WMP 10 at first to see if this does the biz and work from there if it's not too satisfactory - walk before run sort of thing. Guess I'd seen all the pizazz about TT and ZP and assumed that they are the bees nads, and ignored the humble workhorse progs. Ah well, this will be a work in progress and I guess it will take the best part of a year before it can be unveiled in the living room as a finished article for the wife to use with minimal fuss! Time aplenty to work through to the advanced course of HTPC by then......

    Mean - thanks for the HU, didn't know WMP could be so flexible, must be a question of downloading the right codecs. Do you know if WMP can play HDD copies of DVD's as well?

    Thanks all again
     
  7. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Well it's kinda fussy about HDD copies, what format are they in, if it is a .vob file best renaming is to a .mpg file or you could just drag it into Win DVD and it will play it straight off, but if you have a DVD image such as in .iso, just mount it to a virtual drive and media player should play it fine...
     
  8. Rambles

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  9. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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