High-End DVD/HD-DVD/BD player available!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by charris cy, Apr 23, 2007.

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  1. pythagoras

    pythagoras
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    If only Onkyo would put a hd audio multi channel card in this, coupled with a dual format drive:

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/01/onkyos-hdc-1-0-hd-audio-pc-for-audiophiles/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards

    John.
     
  2. malkit

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    I was reading about a couple of new msi motherboards being demoed at some computer show on msicomputer.tw the other day.They actually had the hdmi socket on the motherboard itself doing away a separate graphics card altogether.Looks like this may be the way pc manufacturers go to combine audio and graphics via hdmi.The item didn't say what spec hdmi interface they where using though.
    P.s. I'm using analogue out from the 96/24 realtek hd audio outputs built in to my msi motherboard to my yamaha rx-v4600 amp and I'm really happy with the results.The 7.1 pcm soundtrack on the Crank blu ray sounds awesome all 6Mbs/s of it,as dose full bitrate dts hd master audio. I also have a Toshiba XE1 connected via hdmi and the pc analogue certainly bears comparison with the sq from that!
     
  3. homethx

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    Hows the new sound card testing coming along do you hear a marked improvement compared to the on board sound ?
     
  4. ralphmalph

    ralphmalph
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    I would be interested to know as well as I have built a HTPC over the weekend (wow how many updates does xp need nowadays) and I am using the on board realtek HD chip with 8 channel output. I would descrive this as having plenty of detail but not much presence/musicallity. It sounded thin but full of detail. This was using the deerhunter HD DVD with the 5.1 output at 2.1mbps.

    As a footnote boy oh boy does this hd dvd lark need some processing. If we can offload the audio processing to a sound card it should free up some of the cpu. Seeing as I have an athlon x4400 dual core and it could not properly play the complex scenes in the deehunter, both cores at 100% maxed out and a studdering picture.
     
  5. mickey101

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    That's worrying to hear (about the stuttering). Could I ask what soundcard you're using? As I thought a lot of the processing was offloaded to the GFX card using PowerDVD and the latest Geforce drivers?
     
  6. ralphmalph

    ralphmalph
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    I am not using a sound card, I am using the sound chip that is built onto the motherboard. A realtek ALC888 chip 8 Channel HD audio. I do not think this is the problem. THe problem is that I am using the onboard graphics chip. It is based on an old 6 series nvidia chip. I will have to upgrade to one of the new nVidia 8600 chips as these do 100% of the hidef video processing on board. the lower end 8600 gt is about 80 quid so not to much damage in the pocket.

    So to actually answer your question is yes the processing is offloaded to the graphics card as long as it is the right one. 86xx, 795x, or 88xx nvidia series, just not the one that is built into my motherboard. The reviews also indicate that it is the 8600 series that have the most offloaded to upto 100% as they seem to be designed not for games but for hd video processing
     
  7. charris cy

    charris cy
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    My systems sound has improved a lot since I added the M-Audio Revolution 7.1. Everuthing seem to be clearer with bigger soundstage and I would also describe the sound as more accurate. There is definetely huge improvement on the analog outputs. The DolbuTrueHD and LCPM soundtrack are amazing!

    I understand why there is improvement on the analog output. What I don't understand is that I noticed a lot of improvement on the spdif output as well when I use theatrtek for DVD playback! It seems that this card sounds much, much better than my motherboard.

    I wish I can try also the Auzentech X-Meridian card which also gets excellent reviews. But I think my next sound card/video card would be an HDMI or HMDI 1.3 when available! Of course I would have to upgrade my amplifier (processor) as well to benefit from HDMI.
     
  8. mac_monkey

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    Hi Charis,

    I've got a very similar setup to you, I havent quite got as much storage but I'm working on that ;)

    I've got a couple of questions about the audio side of things.

    Firstly, What cables are you using I tried some better quality ones but they didnt fit due to the spacing of the outputs on the Maudio card.

    Secondly, do you manually change the output in the maudio control pannel between digital and analogue everytime you watch a HDDVD? I was toying with the idea of going analogue but was put off due to the fact that I can't apply DD PL11 to my normal TV viewing using analogue. I could of course change the output everytime I was to watch a HDDVD, but I was looking for a soloution that didnt involve me getting a mouse out?

    Found anyDVDHD this weekend, it's great but it did make mincemeat of my last 300GB drive :devil:

    Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  9. peterweg

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    Thats the primary reason I gave up on using a PC for HD. The requirements for BBC's terrestrial HD trial from crystal palace required dual core 5Ghz cpu and the top of the range video card and that was for a 20mbit data stream. The xbox add-on hammers the cpu resulting in noise and heat.

    A dedicated decoder/HD players is a far better choice at this time (the PS3's SPE's are designed to play Blu-ray so they pass muster as well).
     
  10. homethx

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    A geforce 8800 series graphics and a good duel core intel cpu should be able to handle blu-ray/hd-dvd no problem. charris cy has already done this so what are you saying, did you read all the thread ?
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Will a dual core laptop have enough umpff, and if so how much would be needed?
     
  12. peterweg

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    No I didn't read it all. How much heat does it put out?
     
  13. jakey

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    Absolutely, I recently built myself a HCPC, I'm using a C2D 6600 and originally with a 7300 gpu and both Blu-ray and HD DVD played perfectly. I have now upgraded to the new 8600GTS which is said to be better than the 8800 for home cinema use, this card coupled with the latest nvidia drivers givers much better colours than the 7300.
     
  14. charris cy

    charris cy
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    ralph,

    I think it is not your cpu that is the problem. I have an X2 4200 and there is no studdering. After you posted this I did some testing.The CPU utilisation is between 30-50% on my computer. For graphics card I am only using a 7900GT. The 30-50% utilisation is when I have the option of hardware acceleration on in Powerdvd Ultra. This means that the video card is helping in the video processing. When I uncheck that and I leave all the video processing to the CPU the higher I got was 80%. I do not think the audio processing is very CPU demanding. All of my tests above though where done with the M-audio card in the system but even before the card, using the motherboard's on board sound, my results were very similar.

    Yes I believe that is the problem. You will have to upgrade to one of these cards. I want to do so as well but I am trying to be patient and wait for an HDMI solution.

    Also try to download the dual core optimizer from AMD. I read somewhere it helps.



    mac_monkey,

    yes anydvd HD is great! But with the amount of space the HD movies take I will be needing more space as well soon!

    I could not find any branded cables in Cyprus but I found some that look decent. You are right that the spacing of the analog outputs on the card is not much. What I did I unscrew the plastic around the jack of the middle interconnect so that all the 3 of them fitted.

    As for your second question, I am not using the PC for TV viewing. Are you using MCE? I am using though theatertek for dvd playback so I need spdif out. I am lucky though because in Theatertek you can bypass the default windows sound options and use the once you choose in the Theatertek audio options. So I have the card as default to output 5.1 and the amp at the 5.1 bypass. This works for HD-DVD and BD. When I launch Theatertek from my movies I just choose the correct audio digital input on my amp and everything is fine.

    As I a solution you might want to look at Girder (www.girder.nl). You might be able to program it to change the outputs of the card using the MCE remote or another remote.


    Nic,

    I am not sure about using a laptop. They have different processors and graphics cards (usually onboard) and I believe even a high end one would struggle with BD/HD-DVD playback. And they are not upgradable.


    What exactly do you mean? Not much more than a good power amp or the PS3. Also much more silent compared to the PS3 and picture quality on a much different level.
     
  15. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    I think you'd have to get one that had an Intel Core 2 Duo inside. Intel seem to have deliberately made their laptop processor naming very confusing and called just about everything 'Core' which means you need to check the manufacturer specs very closely to see if you really are getting a Core2Duo based processor... I would imagine 1.8GHz or above should suffice.

    In terms of graphics, at least an nVidia 7600GT or higher based solution is required. For ATI, I'm not so sure but I'd guess that at least a mobility X1800 or higher would be the spec to aim for. In each case you need 256MB of RAM on the graphics as a minimum.

    I tried an ATI X1600 with 128MB on a desktop and it would handle MPEG-2 at up to about 25mbps, but could not handle higher rate MPEG-2 (30-40mbs) or fairly low rate AVC, completely unwatchable on the latter.

    Don't expect too much battery life when running one of these. I think you'll be lucky to make it through a film on a charge. ;)
     
  16. peterweg

    peterweg
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    I can't hear my PS3 more than 1ft away, I'm sceptical a PC could be quieter than this. After all the fan is much bigger diameter than in PC's which makes a significant difference.

    Also , isn't it the case that most HDMI ports on PC's can't support HDCP? As for the picture quality being better than PS3 - I'd prefer to have independent confirmation of that, the PS3 has processors with an instruction set optimised for Blu-ray playback. I can't see how a PC could be 'better' or worse to be honest.

    I think there is very little chance most laptop's will have the power to playback Blu-ray or HD-DVD
     
  17. ilkand

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    For me the thing about the PS3 is that it is region locked. That could be quite annoying if America gets all the good titles first. Can't buy two of them.

    How do you go about doing bass management on the PC? Via Powerdvd or via the av amp? That would be a problem for me. At the moment with TT the s/w does the bass management.

    Andrew
     
  18. Mevlock

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    Well the thing with Pc's is you can build them to your exact specifications. Your not stuck with 1 build unlike a PS3.

    A pc can be quieter than a PS3 or noisier, it's entirely up to you. Use a noiseless PSU, an ultra quiet or even passsive cpu heatskink and a passively cooled graphics card and your set.

    It's the same with HDMI, pick a card that is hdcp compatible or one that isn't (if you want to go down the AnyDVD route for example).

    I'm about to buy a passively cooled Nvidia 8500 that is hdcp compatible. It offloads 100% of h.264 decoding to the gpu.

    And again when it comes to picture quality it's entirely dependant on the components used, but in this case it's usually specific to the graphics card and drivers. But a pc can easily be better or worse than a PS3. Just as there are many variation in quality when it comes to standalone players.
     
  19. Member 22549

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    Some don't, but some do;

    Just two examples of ones that do are;

    ASUS EN7600GT/HTDI/256M
    MSI NX7600GT Diamond Plus

    So every dvd player that outputs via hdmi is the same? There is alot of reliance of other components within the system, including the software,

    I can't comment on whether a specific HTPC would be better or worse than the PS3, as I have not seen either playing blu-ray, but I would suggest that the PS3 is unlikely to be the benchmark in quality for Blu-ray, in fact some people have confirmed that some of the standalone blu-ray players have better picture quality than the PS3, and HTPC's are often tweaked to give the same quality as higher end players (for DVDs anyhow). Don't forget that the PS3 is a form of HTPC, but a HTPC is far more tweakable,

    Ricky
     
  20. mickey101

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    Y'know, I really have no idea why your being so critical on a subject you obviously know very little about. If you haven't anything to add that's actually of benefit or based in any kind of experience you may have on the subject, perhaps you should leave the posting on this thread to those that do know, or limit your own to asking questions
     
  21. peterweg

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  22. peterweg

    peterweg
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    Situation has changed, but its something to be wary of with older cards -
    the HDCP Scandal

    I've not seen any reviews claiming the PS3 is bettered by any standalones from any aspect. In fact the PS3 is is often stated as the best Blu-ray player.

    HTPC is much more flexible than a standalone/PS3, granted.

    So, you are saying if you don't have anything useful to say you should not bother posting?
     
  23. charris cy

    charris cy
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    I am not sure powerdvd has bass management, i will check later. My card though (M-Audio Revolution 7.1) has advanced bass management features. Or you can do the adjustments on the amplifier.
     
  24. garyc

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    Hi Charris,

    Arrr - thanx for the redirect to this thread.

    With your setup as above - with HD analog to 5.1 audio input on your amp does that not mean that you have both the windows & amp volumes working together on your audio?

    Are you running 5.1? or have you tried the 7.1 its just whether the rev7.1 does the 5.1>7.1 audio conversion stuff?

    cheers

    Gary
     
  25. sideysid

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    Not fantasy mate, you can do this now with a Abit F-190HD motherboard which has HDCP graphics and audio through its onboard HDMI.
     
  26. homethx

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  27. Wierd Bob

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    I have a Dell D620 with 2.16 GHZ Dual Core duo processors, 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro NVS 110M.
    I plugged in the XBOX-360 hd-dvd drive and was able to play the Bourne Supremacy with no problems. I haven't tried anything else yet.

    regards

    Bob
     
  28. charris cy

    charris cy
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    I am trying to understand how we are going to implement hdmi or hdmi 1.3 out of the pc. I think with the video we are already there (not much to be done) but combining video and audio in one cable it is a bit difficult since on the pc two different components are needed: one for video and one for audio (graphics card and sound card).

    I think the first step would be powerdvd to be have an upgrade where in the audio options there would be 2 more choices: HDMI 1.1 and HDMI 1.3. HDMI 1.1 would mean that the software is decoding the HD audio formats and then sends them digitally to the amp for the DA conversion. HDMI 1.3 would mean that the software would just passthrough the audio digitally to the amp (HDMI 1.3 amp) and the amp will do both the decoding and the DA conversion.

    I have read an answer from Auzentech support saying that "We are planning to develop the next generation board the 'Auzen X-Tension HDMI 1.3'. It will offer the high quality sound of Dolby-HD and DTS-DH". This is great news and I guess the best way is to send the audio from the card using HDMI 1.3 to the amp and using an Nvidia 8xxx card to send the video to the display.

    I am not sure how the Abit motherboard mentioned above can be implemented for now. We need at least the HDMI audio option in Powerdvd. And also I would prefer not to use the motherboard's onboard graphics but a dedicated graphics card. Does the motherboard let you do that?

    Also my last point for thinking: If they include an hdmi INPUT (preferably 1.3) on the graphics card or sound card then both video and audio can be sent using one cable. Although I am not a real fun of sending the video through the amp.

    I also think we should try sending some emails to cyberlink to see if they have plans to include HDMI and HDMI 1.3 as options for audio.
     
  29. Ian_S

    Ian_S
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    I'm not sure you need a soundcard to pass what is still a digital signal down an HDMI port.

    At the point where you have either the raw TrueHD or DTS-HD MA bitstream, or a PCM stream, PowerDVD (or similar) has done all the work. The next step is for the program to either send that to a soundcard for conversion to analogue.

    If the graphics card makers include an HDMI transmitter capable of carrying digital audio, they could provide API's to allow Cyberlink or others to send audo along with the picture. Such stuff may already be available in Vista where all sounds get mixed together and sent to the target device you select... So if say nVidia create an HDMI audio device in their Vista driver, it might well be possible.

    What's extremely unclear in Vista is how say PowerDVD gets exclusive control of a device so it can output exactly what you want and not have all other Windows sounds mixed in with it. This may well be down to programs such as PowerDVD not having worked this out yet either.
     
  30. charris cy

    charris cy
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    Yes, Ian I agree what you are suggesting is probably the best solution. A graphics card with HDMI able to carry audio. I wonder when we are going to see these. A sound card with HDMI is also not a bad idea either if you do not want to pass the video through the amp. Anybody has any information when we are going to see these products?
     
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