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Is the EVA9150 likely to be a good alternative to the Popcorn Hour?

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Hi all

In my never ending quest to achieve streaming nirvana, I'm considering different options. For those who don't know this is where I'm at:

* Built a PC to rip my Blu-Rays; I have a mapped network drive on the main PC and an internal HDD in my PCH.
* My network is hard wired.
* The intention is to rip and play uncompressed Blurays in .ts format, so basically 1080p/24 with lossless audio.

Experiences so far:

* Wireless doesn't work full stop, even with homeplugs. Doesn't matter now though as I've drilled a hole in the ceiling and now have a wired network.
* The Popcorn Hour doesn't work. Well, that's not strictly true, but SEVERAL .ts rips don't play properly. Some of the failures are catastrophic, i.e. file is unwatchable, others just drop the odd frame which is irritating and unacceptable. And others just judder all over the place.
* I contacted the dealer who I bought the PCH from and they sent another one, which was DOA.

I'm now at the stage where I'm utterly fed up with the whole thing, but if I could just see the light at the end of the tunnel I'd be much happier. I don't mind putting in hours of work and having a steep learning curve if I get the end results I'm aiming for, but it just doesn't seem to be happening for me.

The trouble is I don't know if there's a hardware problem with the PCH, or it just simply can't handle uncompressed BluRays and the bit-rate spikes that come with it. What makes it more confusing is that various forums are littered with playback problem posts, and some in the know have acknowledged that the PCH can't handle heavy bitrate spikes.....yet other users report flawless playback with uncompressed BluRay rips. (a further complication is that one person's definition of flawless HD playback is not necessarily the same as mine e.g. a 9GB MKV file is NOT an uncompressed BluRay rip).

The plan up until this weekend was to get a HDX-1000 as a replacement to the PCH. Before anyone jumps in, I know it's identical to the PCH in terms of innards, it just looks a damn sight better than the PCH which looks like it was thrown together and feels...well flimsy. And if the issues I've experienced are hardware related then potentially...problem solved.

Now with the imminent arrival of the Eva9150, I'm beginning to wonder if I should opt for this instead. Sure it's expensive, but actually not much more than the HDX-1000 when you consider it comes with an internal HDD. The positives to the Eva are:

* Wireless N (although currently this has no impact on my setup or method of streaming).
* The "next gen" of media streamers, with a more powerful processor/chipset than the current NMTs.

What I can't see from the specs are:

* Can the EVA9150 pass through Dolby True-HD? (it only says downmix in the specs)
* Will it output 1080p/24?
* Will it alter resolution/ output frequency automatically? (i.e. 24hz for BD, 60hz etc for DVD)
* Does the front end contain lots of info about the movie a la YAMJ?

I guess nobody knows the answers as this isn't out yet, but this is what I need to consider when it does arrive. I've also noticed it mentions in the specs that the max bitrate is 40mbps, and I'm not sure this is any different to the HDX/PCH?

Aaargh I'm so confused. Any advice?

Cheers
Matt
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
sounds to me you want a HTPC - that will play everything you throw at it

No it doesn't. There's not (or there wasn't) a card out there that can bitstream HD audio. The whole point of the media streamer is that I don't need a HTPC, are you saying the EVA probably can't do what I want it to?

Reading on the NG forums, it seems there's nothing this can do that the popcorn hour can't? I'm a little disappointed :(
 

Messiah

Well-known Member
Hi Smurfin

I have a TViX M6500a and on the same quest as you. My experiences thus far are that files (irrespective of file or container type) up to about 20GB play perfectly when fed either from a USD HDD or streamed from my Mediasmart WHS in the garage over a wired fast ethernet (100mbps) network, although using Gigabit switches (though only Cat5e cabling).

My issues are that files larger than (approx) 20GB stutter terribly and drop sound. 90% of those large files pl;ay absolutely fine streamed to my office PC (Quad core Q6600 with 4GB RAM). Most, if not all of those large files are direct blu-ray ripped .m2ts files. Biggest problem for me so far is Cars (36GB). Plays perfectly off the USB HDD but will not stream without dropping frames, stuttering, losing sound and locking up. Largest file I am trying to use is a 47GB rip of Independence day. Again plays perfectly from the HDD but, obviously, will not stream.

Therefore, my conclusions are that the TViX can handle all files tupes and sizes when fed from an attached storage device (internal or external) but the ethernet port seems severly restricted for streaming.

BTW, the large files stream just perfectly to my PC using XBMC front end. Maybe worth adding that using a bandwidth monitor I have determined that no rips I have stream at a rate higher than 50mbps. So even though my network will happily stream data at 100mbps transferring files these large files will not play correctlky on the TViX thereby determining it is definitely the TViX that is the weak link for large files and not my network, hence no point upgrading cabling to Cat6 (for this purpose)

HTH.
 
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acave

Active Member
Are you going out via HDMI and 23.976? I found this stream better than 1080i 59.94 etc. No reason why it should but it seems to work better. This was on Tvix 6500 / Istar / Popcorn 100/110.

Out of maybe 50 rips only two had problems (Cars was one). I can spot judder a mile off in face I look for it.

I used Ihome for NMT boxes and Allegro NFS for Tvix.

HDI Dune via component judders on the unit I had (even via composite it did. strange problem that one). Fine via HDMI.

All units were fed into Lumagen HDP pro and output at 47.95 to CRT projector.
 

acave

Active Member
Hi Smurfin

I have a TViX M6500a and on the same quest as you. My experiences thus far are that files (irrespective of file or container type) up to about 20GB play perfectly when fed either from a USD HDD or streamed from my Mediasmart WHS in the garage over a wired fast ethernet (100mbps) network, although using Gigabit switches (though only Cat5e cabling).

My issues are that files larger than (approx) 20GB stutter terribly and drop sound. 90% of those large files pl;ay absolutely fine streamed to my office PC (Quad core Q6600 with 4GB RAM). Most, if not all of those large files are direct blu-ray ripped .m2ts files. Biggest problem for me so far is Cars (36GB). Plays perfectly off the USB HDD but will not stream without dropping frames, stuttering, losing sound and locking up. Largest file I am trying to use is a 47GB rip of Independence day. Again plays perfectly from the HDD but, obviously, will not stream.

Therefore, my conclusions are that the TViX can handle all files tupes and sizes when fed from an attached storage device (internal or external) but the ethernet port seems severly restricted for streaming.

BTW, the large files stream just perfectly to my PC using XBMC front end. Maybe worth adding that using a bandwidth monitor I have determined that no rips I have stream at a rate higher than 50mbps. So even though my network will happily stream data at 100mbps transferring files these large files will not play correctlky on the TViX thereby determining it is definitely the TViX that is the weak link for large files and not my network, hence no point upgrading cabling to Cat6 (for this purpose)

HTH.

I have Cars down to 23 gig and it still stutters. I think it played on the HDI Dune fine as a blu-ray folder though. tested too much of late I've lost track.
 
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Messiah

Well-known Member
I am still struggling getting to grips remuxing any of my files to reduce size. Did Cars twice and it was same size so based on your statement it still stutttttters at 23gb I won't try any more. Just gonna store all my HD stuff on external HDDs. Shame, especially since upgarding my WHS to 4.5TB last week :(
 

acave

Active Member
I am still struggling getting to grips remuxing any of my files to reduce size. Did Cars twice and it was same size so based on your statement it still stutttttters at 23gb I won't try any more. Just gonna store all my HD stuff on external HDDs. Shame, especially since upgarding my WHS to 4.5TB last week :(

Try using tsMuxeR_1.8.4(b)

I did have a lot chugging on my PC when I tried to stream Cars. I'm going to try again later after a reboot. I will try the file via USB as well.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
The problem is guys, that for me rips are stuttering on both streaming AND the internal drives. Seems to me that these NMTs simply can't handle uncompressed BluRay reliably, although my problem seems to be elsewhere as my problems aren't just related to streaming from another source :(

See here for more info: http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...blu-ray-ripping-guide-sense-check-please.html

I'd be interested to hear if other people are ripping in the same manner as me.... (Wall E and Hancock are two such problematic discs - I have Cars as well so will try that later)
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I am still struggling getting to grips remuxing any of my files to reduce size. Did Cars twice and it was same size so based on your statement it still stutttttters at 23gb I won't try any more. Just gonna store all my HD stuff on external HDDs. Shame, especially since upgarding my WHS to 4.5TB last week :(

Interesting. Just to confuse me further, I've just ripped Cars - came out at 25GB with the 1080p video, LPCM and an AC-3 soundtrack to ensure LPCM works. I'm streaming it from my PC now, I'm 10 mins in and there's no stuttering. There were 2 tiny frame jumps when the camera hovers over the stadium in the opening credits, but beyond that....no problems :confused:

Specifically, where have you seen these problems guys? Is it right from the beginning etc?

Makes me wonder, why can't I get Wall*E to work? :confused:

Edit: When ripping to .ts or .m2ts, do you need to keep the meta file?
 

Messiah

Well-known Member
Specifically, where have you seen these problems guys? Is it right from the beginning etc?

Interesting. I may try again then using your guide in the other thread. Will let you know how I get on.

For me, Cars gave problems right from the opening portcullis scenes. Played sound for about 3 seconds then no sound at all and all jerky video.
 

Jackass

Well-known Member
Smurfin,

I feel for you mate,
It sounds like the whole HTPC thing over again, it was bloody frustrating trying to get judder free playback when DVD first came out on a HTPC.
I gave up in the end and went with a standalone DVD player though TheaterTek was a great player.

Now that these NMT's have hit the market, it has hit my interest again to have all my movies in one location and be able to select from a good looking film menu.

As Messiah pointed out, is USB better at handling high bitrates than the network connection?

If so, what is a good USB multiple harddrive solution (6 to 9TB)?
If not what other attached storage solution are out there for the Istar HD?

Reading the posts so far has given me doubts on getting the IstarHD :(
 

acave

Active Member
Do you own the HDI Dune?

I've owned most lol.

Dune is a very nice peice of kit. Very fast interface and nice GUI.

re: Cars rip.

It would not play off without stutter off the external USB either. Stopped in the same spot. I have noticed I rarely have any problems when a m2ts file does not require segments to be joined together.
 

acave

Active Member
"Reading the posts so far has given me doubts on getting the IstarHD"

It's a good little player. I sold mine today but only as I seem to have gathered a collection of NMT boxes.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I've owned most lol.

Dune is a very nice peice of kit. Very fast interface and nice GUI.

re: Cars rip.

It would not play off without stutter off the external USB either. Stopped in the same spot. I have noticed I rarely have any problems when a m2ts file does not require segments to be joined together.

Where did it stop as a matter of interest?
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
hmm streams fine for me. Tempermental buggers aren't they :D :suicide:

As a matter of interest, what resolution/refresh rate are you using on the PCH and what panel are you outputting to?

Have a look at my other thread...think I've discovered the root of alot of my problems :eek:
 

acave

Active Member
re: Cars.

Just as I suspected all along. The file starts to stutter where the files are joined together.

i.e 00148.m2ts joined to 00149.m2ts

Play the files on their own and they play without any stutter.

Which would also backup that I never saw any stutter via the HDI Prime. I will test this again on the Prime soon.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
re: Cars.

Just as I suspected all along. The file starts to stutter where the files are joined together.

i.e 00148.m2ts joined to 00149.m2ts

Play the files on their own and they play without any stutter.

Which would also backup that I never saw any stutter via the HDI Prime. I will test this again on the Prime soon.

Do you have the Region B version? Mine's the Region A, and the entire movie is one one .m2ts file - 00060.M2TS. Maybe why I can stream this fine?

Interestingly, I played some Hancock and it froze earlier...different place to normal, but funnily enough it corresponds with a switch in .M2TS file (I think). Wondering if these problems are caused by multi-stream BDs.

Anyone know of a solution?

LOL.....I think this has gone way OT from the thread title:D:oops:
 

acave

Active Member
The other films that had problems for me were The Simpson and Ratatouille both of which were joined from multiple m2ts files . . you can see the pattern here ;)

Last night I watch Max Payne via HDI dune . . . no problems with stuttering and this title was also joined from multiple m2ts files.

Tonight I played part of the movie via the Popcorn Hour I had problems galore in one scene :devil:

I'm nor blaming the NMT box as I suspect some time stamp errors on the joined m2ts is causing the problems.
 

Messiah

Well-known Member
My Cars disc also has the single .m2ts file (00060.m2ts). Tried using ts4np last night following Smurfins guide but come down this morning and says insufficient system resources to complete the operation with an hour left of the 2 hour operation :mad:
 
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kultschar

Active Member
Well I have been keeping an ey eon these kinda thread - I want a streamer but mainly for uncompressed blu ray rips!! Sounds like im gonna have to stick to my blu ray player for a while yet :(
 

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