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Is there a media player that isn't rubbish?

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
EDIT on 13/2/2019:

This has turned out to be quite a popular thread, and it's possible people may stumble across it while searching the forums for media player recommendations. So, while I will leave my original question below this note (so people can read through the whole thread in order and understand what's being discussed), I've decided to add this note at the top to summarise its conclusions, as of mid-February 2019.

The short answer to my question, as posed is "no": there is no media player on the market that isn't rubbish. In fact, I'll put that even more strongly: every media player that exists is a steaming pile of excrement. Some are larger steaming piles of excrement than others, but every single one is at least a medium-sized pile, and some are positively gigantic.

Why do I say that? The requirements for a media player are very simple: it has to play media properly. More specifically, it should be able to output a picture that accurately reproduces the contents of the video file; the output refresh-rate should be the same as the video frame-rate; either it should upscale well, or it should be possible for the output to match the resolution of the video so all upscaling can be done by the TV; and it should be able to deal comfortably with all common video and audio codecs.

There is no device on the market that can do all of that.

So, if you ask me "I want to buy a media player, what should I get?" my first answer is "don't."

If you persist....

If you want something for running Internet Streaming Service apps (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) then ask yourself seriously whether the apps built into your TV won't do the job adequately. If they won't, then an Apple TV 4K will cover most of the bases, so long as your TV can handle Dolby Vision. (If it can't, you may get some interesting problems). It also can't handle 4K or HDR stuff on YouTube.

If you want something for streaming locally-stored files across the LAN, then an Apple TV 4K is also okay if you don't care about Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio. If you want it to handle Atmos and DTS:X, and you don't mind something that's a bit buggy and requires regular intervention in the form of entering commands at a Linux command-line, then the Vero 4K+ might do you (but not if you want it to play 10-bit h.264 - a format that is often used when sharing anime).

Note 1: Neither of those devices can play 3D Blu-ray rips properly. If that matters, then try a Zidoo X9S. (Or, if you don't care about 4K or about Atmos/DTS:X, try a Raspberry Pi 3+ running OSMC or LibreELEC).

Note 2: None of the devices I have so far mentioned can play rips of Dolby Vision blu rays while preserving the DV content. If you want to do that, then you have three options: if you can cope with downgrading all audio to basic AC3, then a Sony X700 Blu-ray player will suffice; if you need full audio as well, then you can either try and track down an Oppo 203 or 205 blu ray player (not an easy trick, as they've been discontinued), or you could try the device described in this thread: www.avforums.com/threads/the-ultimate-oppo-media-device.2207229/ But caveat emptor on that one - do your research carefully.



And this was my original question:

__________________________________________________


My requirements for a media player do not, on the face of it, seem all that demanding; but I'm finding it surprisingly hard to find one that meets them.

Must Haves
  • Image quality that isn't terrible. (For God's sake, how hard can it be to decode h.264 correctly?!)
  • The ability to stream video files across the LAN that have HD audio formats (e.g. DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD).
  • Actually use the HD audio track itself, not just extract the lower-quality "core" track.
  • Able to stream frame-packed 3D (preferably from an MKV file, although from an ISO would do as a fallback if absolutely necessary).
  • Output at the same resolution and refresh rate as the source (including 576i for DVD rips).
  • Decent subtitle handling, including the ability to play subtitles from a separate .srt file in the same folder as the video file, and correct handling of 3D subtitles.
  • No stuttering due to frame-rate/refresh-rate mismatching.
Nice-to-Haves
  • 4K/23.976Hz output from Netflix, with DD+ audio (preferably in a way that is compatible with Atmos). If it could do that with Dolby Vision output, that would be particularly cool!
  • The option of either bitstreaming HD audio or decoding it and outputting it as 7.1 (or 5.1) channel PCM via HDMI.
  • Reasonably responsive.
Occasionally Useful
  • 4K/HDR on YouTube.
None of this seems particularly controversial, but I'm depressed by how few devices seem to be capable of all of this.

My Nvidia Shield TV, for example, got a 10 out of 10 review on AVForums, and yet it has abysmal image quality, it can't output 4K/24Hz from Netflix (and even 1080p/24 sometimes drops frames), it can't handle HDR on YouTube, it can't handle framepacked 3D, and it has no output resolution lower than 720p (so you can't output DVD rips at native res).

Many people rave about the Apple TV 4K, but it isn't capable of streaming HD audio across the LAN at all and (last time I checked) couldn't bitstream even non-HD audio; and (again) no 4K on YouTube.

Do people simply not care about sound and video quality when streaming?

Is there any device that will do what I want?

EDIT:

Other kit that I have: LG G6 television; audio is currently being handled by my Oppo 105D (but I'll probably get around to buying a new audio processor eventually); Lumagen RadiancePro video processor.

Getting the maximum benefit out of the RadiancePro requires that I use an external source for everything, not the TV's built-in apps, and that everything be as unprocessed at possible (e.g. at native resolution, not upscaled).
 
Last edited:

daveb975

Well-known Member
I moved from the Shield to the Zidoo X9S, mainly because it was one of the only boxes that handled 3D.

It might be worth you checking out as I think it has everything on your 'must haves' list. No Netflix support, though, so might fall down there.

I use it in tandem with an Apple TV 4K. Both together covers all bases for me, but I'd like to just have one box really.
 

DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
I moved from the Shield to the Zidoo X9S, mainly because it was one of the only boxes that handled 3D.

It might be worth you checking out as I think it has everything on your 'must haves' list. No Netflix support, though, so might fall down there.

I use it in tandem with an Apple TV 4K. Both together covers all bases for me, but I'd like to just have one box really.
And now with new firmware update released today :)
 

Joe C

Well-known Member
I have an Egreat A5 and that definitely does all the must haves
 

W49n3r

Novice Member
If you are willing to put up with windows on your HTPC (a tough proposition, I know) you could indeed have everything you want, using the latest NUC.

Since I can't stand Windows on a HTPC, I settle for Chromecast Ultra for Youtube/Netflix 4k and a 7th gen Intel NUC running Libreelec for everything else.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
My requirements for a media player do not, on the face of it, seem all that demanding; but I'm finding it surprisingly hard to find one that meets them.

Must Haves
  • Image quality that isn't absolute rubbish.
  • The ability to stream video files across the LAN that have HD audio formats (e.g. DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD).
  • Actually use the HD audio track itself, not just extract the lower-quality "core" track.
  • Able to stream frame-packed 3D (preferably from an MKV file, although from an ISO would do as a fallback if absolutely necessary).
  • Output at the same resolution and refresh rate as the source (including 576i for DVD rips).
  • Decent subtitle handling, including the ability to play subtitles from a separate .srt file in the same folder as the video file, and correct handling of 3D subtitles.
  • No stuttering due to frame-rate/refresh-rate mismatching.
Nice-to-Haves
  • 4K/23.976Hz output from Netflix, with DD+ audio (preferably in a way that is compatible with Atmos). If it could do that with Dolby Vision output, that would be particularly cool!
  • The option of either bitstreaming HD audio or decoding it and outputting it as 7.1 (or 5.1) channel PCM via HDMI.
  • Reasonably responsive.
Occasionally Useful
  • 4K/HDR on YouTube.
None of this seems particularly controversial, but I'm depressed by how few devices seem to be capable of all of this.

My Nvidia Shield TV, for example, got a 10 out of 10 review on AVForums, and yet it has abysmal image quality, it can't output 4K/24Hz from Netflix (and even 1080p/24 sometimes drops frames), it can't handle HDR on YouTube, it can't handle framepacked 3D, and it has no output resolution lower than 720p (so you can't output DVD rips at native res).

Many people rave about the Apple TV 4K, but it isn't capable of streaming HD audio across the LAN at all and (last time I checked) couldn't bitstream even non-HD audio; and (again) no 4K on YouTube.

Do people simply not care about sound and video quality when streaming?

Is there any device that will do what I want?

EDIT:

Other kit that I have: LG G6 television; audio is currently being handled by my Oppo 105D (but I'll probably get around to buying a new audio processor eventually); Lumagen RadiancePro video processor.

Getting the maximum benefit out of the RadiancePro requires that I use an external source for everything, not the TV's built-in apps, and that everything be as unprocessed at possible (e.g. at native resolution, not upscaled).
I took issue with the reference tag the shield got when it was reviewed.
Reference means something different round here now, as in best of a bad bunch it would seem.

There are no media players meeting all your requirements.
You requirements essentially mean a perfect player.
You may as well be looking for a unicorn.
Such things dont exist.
All of them will fall down on one or more of your requirements.

You might get a PC to meet them all, but only after a colossal amount of your free time has been put into it and it will only last until the next round of OS updates and then you start all over again.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
I moved from the Shield to the Zidoo X9S, mainly because it was one of the only boxes that handled 3D.
I will read up on that.

I have an Egreat A5 and that definitely does all the must haves
I'll read up on that too, although I'm a bit wary of Egreat, having had a bad experience with their H10 HDMI splitter a while back. (It's supposed to be Dolby Vision compliant; it isn't.)

You might get a PC to meet them all, but only after a colossal amount of your free time has been put into it and it will only last until the next round of OS updates and then you start all over again.
If you are willing to put up with windows on your HTPC (a tough proposition, I know) you could indeed have everything you want, using the latest NUC.
I have wondered about an HTPC in the past. A decently performing Intel NUC is a little on the expensive side, and I'm a little concerned about fan noise (and, indeed, power consumption on some of the upcoming models!) but if it really does do everything, it may be worth it.

How well does a Windows-based HTPC handle limited-range YCbCr output rather than full-range RGB?

It's probably safe to assume it can't handle Dolby Vision output on Netflix.

I'm also not sure about ease of control: if one is running Kodi then one can use a smartphone app to control that (I already use Yatse), but if you have to use other Windows applications besides Kodi then (given the way my living room is set up) it would be tricky to resort to a cordless keyboard and mouse. Are there any alternatives - anything one can use as a remote for non-Kodi use?

Since I can't stand Windows on a HTPC, I settle for Chromecast Ultra for Youtube/Netflix 4k and a 7th gen Intel NUC running Libreelec for everything else.
I actually own a Chromecast Ultra. I find it annoying in a number of ways; the two most significant are 1) you generally can't get it to output 24Hz, and I'm extremely sensitive to 60Hz judder, and 2) you can't stop it from upscaling everything to 4K - badly. (Unless you mess around with some kind of fairly sophisticated EDID emulator).

(Talking of other things I own, I also have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ running LibreELEC which I use for blu-ray rips).

I took issue with the reference tag the shield got when it was reviewed.
You and me both. :censored:
 

DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
I will read up on that.

I'll read up on that too, although I'm a bit wary of Egreat, having had a bad experience with their H10 HDMI splitter a while back. (It's supposed to be Dolby Vision compliant; it isn't.)



I have wondered about an HTPC in the past. A decently performing Intel NUC is a little on the expensive side, and I'm a little concerned about fan noise (and, indeed, power consumption on some of the upcoming models!) but if it really does do everything, it may be worth it.

How well does a Windows-based HTPC handle limited-range YCbCr output rather than full-range RGB?

It's probably safe to assume it can't handle Dolby Vision output on Netflix.

I'm also not sure about ease of control: if one is running Kodi then one can use a smartphone app to control that (I already use Yatse), but if you have to use other Windows applications besides Kodi then (given the way my living room is set up) it would be tricky to resort to a cordless keyboard and mouse. Are there any alternatives - anything one can use as a remote for non-Kodi use?

I actually own a Chromecast Ultra. I find it annoying in a number of ways; the two most significant are 1) you generally can't get it to output 24Hz, and I'm extremely sensitive to 60Hz judder, and 2) you can't stop it from upscaling everything to 4K - badly. (Unless you mess around with some kind of fairly sophisticated EDID emulator).

(Talking of other things I own, I also have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ running LibreELEC which I use for blu-ray rips).

You and me both. :censored:

One thing that may interest you is the Zidoo does playback of 3D Blu Ray .
 

W49n3r

Novice Member
How well does a Windows-based HTPC handle limited-range YCbCr output rather than full-range RGB?
You mean 4-2-2? What you are concerned about? Black crush? Dithering?

It's probably safe to assume it can't handle Dolby Vision output on Netflix.
As I said, I'm not a Windows fan, but Windows 10 is Netflix HDR certified (or whatever). Now... given a platform where plain HDR works, I wouldn't know if the jump to being Dolby Vision HDR compliant is just a driver/software thing or a hardware thing. So yes... maybe it's better to assume it can't handle it.

I'm also not sure about ease of control: if one is running Kodi then one can use a smartphone app to control that (I already use Yatse), but if you have to use other Windows applications besides Kodi then (given the way my living room is set up) it would be tricky to resort to a cordless keyboard and mouse.
As much as I like Yatse IMHO nothing beats a plain IR remote for ease of use. I configure my Harmony to a WMC compatible device profile and use that instead of Yatse most of the time. As for outside-Kodi control, I wish I knew some viable alternative... but I really don't.
 
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NicolasB

Distinguished Member
How well does a Windows-based HTPC handle limited-range YCbCr output rather than full-range RGB?
You mean 4-2-2? What you are concerned about? Black crush? Dithering?
Black crush, white crush, dithering, messed up gamma, inaccurate colours - all kinds of possibilities.

By "limited" or "full-range" I meant 16-235 vs 0-255. PCs usually work in RGB space, with black = 0. Televisions prefer YUV space with black = 16.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'Do people simply not care about sound and video quality when streaming?' - for the most part no, and you don't need to limit your observation to streaming devices either.

Joe
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
It's not so much that as Netflix won't licence a device who's primary purpose will be seen to be the playback of pirated content.
That does actually make sense. But it doesn't explain why, of the devices that do run Netflix, so few of them are capable of 4K/24Hz output, with DD+ audio (let alone Dolby Vision video as well).
Plenty of devices will play h264 fine, 4k h265 also, albeit very recently) if you avoid android.
Such as?

Although the next Amlogic generation will be DV capable so there may be some opportunities there.
Any specific devices to look out for?

Not a problem. As a general rule GPU set to full-range, whatever app you're using set to limited. You might get an issue due to your tv, but I assume LG would have fixed that by now.
You'd be unwise to assume that LG would ever fix anything. On my G6 there have been issues with (for example) a buggy audio EDID, and the sound lagging behind the picture in the TV's own apps, ever since it launched - no sign that LG will ever do anything about either.

Are you suggesting feeding full-range RGB to the television...? If so, that's likely to cause calibration problems: my TV hasn't been calibrated for that, and at the moment my Lumagen RadiancePro can't process full-range RGB input - and even if it could, that would mean an unhealthy number of colour space conversions in the chain. (How many TVs are professionally calibrated for full-range RGB? Not many, I'm guessing.)

That might not be quite what you mean, of course.

But I'd have thought, given that the source material is in YUV, and the TV is probably expecting that as its input, you'd want any media player to keep everything in YUV space right the way though the pipeline? (I know Kodi converts limited-YUV to full-RGB internally; that makes sense if your display is a PC monitor, but not if it's a TV. That's one of the reasons I'm not wild about Kodi.)
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
The real problem though, as others have mentioned, is Windows. Whilst it'd mean you won't need your processor, and it'll upscale your dvds better than anything else, it will be rather frustrating at times.
I'm fairly sure I would still need my processor. Aside from the fact that Lumagen upscaling is about as good as it gets, I don't know if Kodi (or whatever else you're suggesting I use) is capable of supporting 6 or 8 separate 3D LUT tables for colour correction; and even if it can, I'd have to get a professional calibrator back in to configure them.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Still thinking about this.

I'm resigned to the fact that I'll probably have to use different devices for Netflix and for streaming across the LAN.

As I'm possibly also in the market for a UHD blu ray player, I did wonder if I should swallow my pride and fork out for an Oppo 203 before it disappears; but AFAIK that can't stream frame-packed 3D in any way. Presumably the Cambridge Audio CXUHD has the same limitation?

I'm toying with the idea of getting a Zidoo 9XS specifically for 3D streaming - wondering if it'll do a better job than my Raspberry Pi 3B+ (currently running LibreELEC).
 

DELUCAS

Distinguished Member
Still thinking about this.

I'm resigned to the fact that I'll probably have to use different devices for Netflix and for streaming across the LAN.

As I'm possibly also in the market for a UHD blu ray player, I did wonder if I should swallow my pride and fork out for an Oppo 203 before it disappears; but AFAIK that can't stream frame-packed 3D in any way. Presumably the Cambridge Audio CXUHD has the same limitation?

I'm toying with the idea of getting a Zidoo 9XS specifically for 3D streaming - wondering if it'll do a better job than my Raspberry Pi 3B+ (currently running LibreELEC).
Purchase via Amazon the X9s try out if not happy return unit win win situation .
You may find more uses for it as well .
Or one or two on the classified here who have upgraded to the Zidoo X10 version from the X9s version .
 
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Zigourney

Active Member
My requirements for a media player do not, on the face of it, seem all that demanding; but I'm finding it surprisingly hard to find one that meets them.

Must Haves
  • Image quality that isn't terrible. (For God's sake, how hard can it be to decode h.264 correctly?!)
  • The ability to stream video files across the LAN that have HD audio formats (e.g. DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD).
  • Actually use the HD audio track itself, not just extract the lower-quality "core" track.
  • Able to stream frame-packed 3D (preferably from an MKV file, although from an ISO would do as a fallback if absolutely necessary).
  • Output at the same resolution and refresh rate as the source (including 576i for DVD rips).
  • Decent subtitle handling, including the ability to play subtitles from a separate .srt file in the same folder as the video file, and correct handling of 3D subtitles.
  • No stuttering due to frame-rate/refresh-rate mismatching.
Nice-to-Haves
  • 4K/23.976Hz output from Netflix, with DD+ audio (preferably in a way that is compatible with Atmos). If it could do that with Dolby Vision output, that would be particularly cool!
  • The option of either bitstreaming HD audio or decoding it and outputting it as 7.1 (or 5.1) channel PCM via HDMI.
  • Reasonably responsive.
Occasionally Useful
  • 4K/HDR on YouTube.
None of this seems particularly controversial, but I'm depressed by how few devices seem to be capable of all of this.

My Nvidia Shield TV, for example, got a 10 out of 10 review on AVForums, and yet it has abysmal image quality, it can't output 4K/24Hz from Netflix (and even 1080p/24 sometimes drops frames), it can't handle HDR on YouTube, it can't handle framepacked 3D, and it has no output resolution lower than 720p (so you can't output DVD rips at native res).

Many people rave about the Apple TV 4K, but it isn't capable of streaming HD audio across the LAN at all and (last time I checked) couldn't bitstream even non-HD audio; and (again) no 4K on YouTube.

Do people simply not care about sound and video quality when streaming?

Is there any device that will do what I want?

EDIT:

Other kit that I have: LG G6 television; audio is currently being handled by my Oppo 105D (but I'll probably get around to buying a new audio processor eventually); Lumagen RadiancePro video processor.

Getting the maximum benefit out of the RadiancePro requires that I use an external source for everything, not the TV's built-in apps, and that everything be as unprocessed at possible (e.g. at native resolution, not upscaled).
The Dune HD Pro 4K Ultra is supposed to be good, think it ticks most of your boxes....
http://dune-hd.com/eng/products/full_hd_media_players/58
 

Hampy1972

Well-known Member
Media players, yeah something I have been messing with numerous years and started off with the first Chinese based Himedia players back in the mid-00s.

We all remember how big thing it was when we could not just play a media on a PC screen but then was about to move the file to a USB drive and view via media player on the box.
The first players were not networked at all.

Network connections came and then home storage (NAS) and we started to built own personal libraries.
1080p and DTS came to the fore and everyone jumped on the bandwagon esp XMBC later known as Kodi.
Now with 4K going mainstream finally after some years in the background, chip-sets and connections have evolved on to gigabyte LAN connections the things we can access via media players from IPTV to personal CCTV is endless.

Question was is there a perfect media player?
I would say no because we all want different things and have different demands in how we want and view media.
I want 4K, HDR, ATMOS with audio passthrough to a AV receiver and be able to stream to other devices, someone else will just be happy with 720p with 2 channel audio.

From the recent players, had a Popcorn VTEN,Nividia Shield, Egreat A5, Zidoo X9S and now running a Himedia Q10 Pro.
Don't have any experience of Zappiti or the Dune 4K boxes but again depends on what your requirements are.
If you just want 1080p get a £30 Himedia 900B (I still have mine, why? because the windows based SMB) i believe has a better picture then the now android based models and easy to use.

Impressed with the Egreat line of 4K players, I would buy another but happy enough with the Q10 Pro.

Just adding my 2 cents.
PEACE!
 

RobinDB

Active Member
I use a sony bluray player that does all that. I have my movie on server and the player sorts it all out.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Media players, yeah something I have been messing with numerous years and started off with the first Chinese based Himedia players back in the mid-00s.

We all remember how big thing it was when we could not just play a media on a PC screen but then was about to move the file to a USB drive and view via media player on the box.
The first players were not networked at all.

Network connections came and then home storage (NAS) and we started to built own personal libraries.
1080p and DTS came to the fore and everyone jumped on the bandwagon esp XMBC later known as Kodi.
Now with 4K going mainstream finally after some years in the background, chip-sets and connections have evolved on to gigabyte LAN connections the things we can access via media players from IPTV to personal CCTV is endless.

Question was is there a perfect media player?
I would say no because we all want different things and have different demands in how we want and view media.
I want 4K, HDR, ATMOS with audio passthrough to a AV receiver and be able to stream to other devices, someone else will just be happy with 720p with 2 channel audio.

From the recent players, had a Popcorn VTEN,Nividia Shield, Egreat A5, Zidoo X9S and now running a Himedia Q10 Pro.
Don't have any experience of Zappiti or the Dune 4K boxes but again depends on what your requirements are.
If you just want 1080p get a £30 Himedia 900B (I still have mine, why? because the windows based SMB) i believe has a better picture then the now android based models and easy to use.

Impressed with the Egreat line of 4K players, I would buy another but happy enough with the Q10 Pro.

Just adding my 2 cents.
PEACE!
My requirements are listed at the top of the thread.

I'm actually getting quite annoyed by the suggestion (from several sources, not just you) that I'm looking for a "perfect" media player: I'm not looking for perfection, I'm simply looking for a basic media player that isn't horribly broken.

Is it really too much to ask to have something that can actually play the video contained in the file without either corrupting the picture or messing up the frame rate? Is it too much to ask to be able to decode (or even just bitstream) lossless audio formats?

Apparently it is. :(

Egreat players, for example, generally output frame-packed 3D at 24Hz instead of 23.976, meaning they skip a frame roughly once every 40 seconds. There's no way I can tolerate that, and why should I have to?

I'm amazed people put up with it. it ought to be the case that every player on the market does all of the basic stuff correctly, and the makers differentiate them with value-added features like more sophisticated UI and library management, or additional storage; but instead, it seems like there isn't a single device out there that actually plays videos properly. It's bizarre!
 

Hampy1972

Well-known Member
My requirements are listed at the top of the thread.

I'm actually getting quite annoyed by the suggestion (from several sources, not just you) that I'm looking for a "perfect" media player: I'm not looking for perfection, I'm simply looking for a basic media player that isn't horribly broken.

Is it really too much to ask to have something that can actually play the video contained in the file without either corrupting the picture or messing up the frame rate? Is it too much to ask to be able to decode (or even just bitstream) lossless audio formats?

Apparently it is. :(

Egreat players, for example, generally output frame-packed 3D at 24Hz instead of 23.976, meaning they skip a frame roughly once every 40 seconds. There's no way I can tolerate that, and why should I have to?

I'm amazed people put up with it. it ought to be the case that every player on the market does all of the basic stuff correctly, and the makers differentiate them with value-added features like more sophisticated UI and library management, or additional storage; but instead, it seems like there isn't a single device out there that actually plays videos properly. It's bizarre!
Please don't get annoyed, get annoyed when you have 30Gb file which you sit down with your family to watch the the words come up on the screen *File corrupt*
I have actually played 24HZ but the media player does not like it one bit so back one step we go.
The most surprising thing for me is that all of the modern sh*t-hot media players on the market you would think they would do proper research in the creation of one before a prototype is made.

They need to sit down with someone who has experience with media players and has been using them for some years, ok, what do you need, well I think the next media player should have this function and that and be able to do this.
That way the void which you're mentioning can be filled.
 

Eddy555

Member
I'm frustrated by this.
I'm currently using a Vero 4K to stream non-compressed 4K/1080p BluRays from my server. Which works fine most of the time (image quality and audio quality are all direct) - it's not perfect and I'm having issues with audio pops at the moment. I've also got a Roku Streaming Stick+ as I was fed up with my TV apps not working properly. This does Netflix and YouTube HDR (and iPlayer HLG) and it should do Amazon HDR, but Amazon have broken that at the moment in the UK. The other advantage of the Roku is that I can get Alexa/Google Home to turn on the different apps directly.

Ultimately I would like one box to handle it all.

I had an older Celeron based NUC which did 1080p stuff OK running embedded Plex but that had weird colour range issues on resume from sleep which I could never sort out and as it didn't do 4K I swapped it for the Vero.

A PC would be the most flexible but would take some tinkering. The benefit of having a standard hardware box like a Vero is that the software can be developed to work on that and should save on the user having to mess about and get it to work.

I feel I'm close with my setup, but still think there has to be a box that can play both local media and stream content too.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
not sure what frame packed 3D is but it plays 3d.

yes hd audio, 4k HDR
Frame-packed 3D is the format that 3D blu ray video is in: it contains two separate video streams, one for the right eye and one for the left, both with a resolution of 1920x1080, and 24 frames per second.

Sometimes 3D support just means being able to handle "side by side" or "over and under" 3D, which is a simple 1080p/24 stream, with half of each frame dedicated to each eye (so the resolution is halved).

What model is your blu ray player? The latest Sony players (like the X700) don't even come close to meeting my requirements (can't handle HD audio when streaming, and Netflix is limited to 60Hz output and DD - rather than DD+ - audio) so I'm surprised that an older one would be so much better.
 

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  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Virgin Media adds more free Sky channels
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Disney Plus reaches 50 million subscribers globally
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung to end Smart View app support on older TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Leema Acoustics offers factory shipping for locked down customers
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
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