Local hard drive player advice needed please

goodguys

Standard Member
Hi and thanks for reading. I am looking for a local hard drive player for use in home theatre, something that can support an internal 8 tb hard drive via sata port connection.

There are plenty of streamers and hard drive players but most do not support internal drives. They have hard drive support via external usb. Don't want to use usb as it degrades the audio and video.
I plugged an external hard drive into my pc via usb 3 port and used it to watch a movie, then i took the hard drive out of its external enclosure and plugged it straight into the motherboard's sata port, immediatly noticed an increase in picture and sound quality. Think it is something to do with the hard drive sata interface interfering with and processing the sata signals from the hard drive into i2s, then into something else, then the pc's usb processing the i2s into something else. Sorry not a techie, it was all way above me. My feeling is the direct into motherboard solution avoids some of this processing
I am leaning towards a streamer or hard drive player which accepts internal 8 tb hard drive, a high-end quality model with strong processor plenty of ram and features.

Many thanks.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
It doesn't work like that, not sure what you have done to see an improvement but it's not because of moving a drive from USB to internal SATA.

It does not use i2s in this instance, not sure why you think that but that's often used in audio streaming over when the player has already decoded it. Don't get hung on the word streamed either in this sense, it is not the same. Even Googling doesn't find anything relevant but if you have a link feel free to post.

What player did you use? Use something like VLC if you didn't and then test again.

In the case of your setup, the file is read from the disk into memory and the player will then start to decode it and display it on the screen. If there is a problem with reading the file then you will start getting buffering or the file playback will stop. There is no change of data by the PC on the way off the disk.

This would be a fundamental issue as the SATA-USB connection in the drive is not context-aware of the programme requesting the data, and if it did it this manner, why stop there, why not modify your Word document, put a few extra words in etc.

So something else must have changed, plugging the PC into a different HDMI port on your TV would make a difference if the picture settings are on a different mode\preset.

Re player, you don't necessarily need a strong processor, you just need something that decodes the picture properly. Not many have built-in disks these days as most people will use a NAS. Again the data is just sent over the network. All decoding is done via the player.

I am using Vero 4K+ which are nice little box but can support NAS or USB. Nvidia Shield Pro is also an option but no internal HDD unfortunately.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Brilliant reply which i have framed and hung on my wall for all time.

Thanks for the suggestions about the sheild it is a very popular device but no internal hdd support, any other suggestions
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
A lot of the players with internal HDD have been discontinued and not replaced, in a lot of cases the companies seem to have disappeared. Dune is a company that still does them and certainly got good ratings in the past, they are not cheap however, their current offerings:

Dune HD Pro Vision 4K Solo ($450 not sure what UK price is)

Dune HD Ultra Vision 4K ($1,499 :eek:)
 

Coulson

Suspended
Brilliant reply which i have framed and hung on my wall for all time.

Thanks for the suggestions about the sheild it is a very popular device but no internal hdd support, any other suggestions
Zidoo z1000 Pro has a slot for internal drives. I use it for one of my old 4TB NAS drives. Again not cheap at about £300.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Could you use your PC as the player ?

If not if you are happy to keep the interface as USB there are hundreds of players available. Even something like the older Amazon TV support USB hard drives.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
One other option I was thinking about was using a NAS then you can access your media from anywhere. You might even be able to plug your USB drive into your router and share it from there.
 

goodguys

Standard Member
Thanks! Pc's are okay and i have used them before but i hear a lot about pc's being noisy, emi radiation which is supposed to get into everything and lower performance, having to run a massive windows 10 operating system with possible conflicting software and drivers,
compared to streamers which probably run some simple more efficent linux os, are smaller with lower power consumption and this could possibly lead to lower noise levels. It's been bothering me for some time now so now that i have the free time i would like to give it a try.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Thanks! Pc's are okay and i have used them before but i hear a lot about pc's being noisy, emi radiation which is supposed to get into everything and lower performance, having to run a massive windows 10 operating system with possible conflicting software and drivers,
compared to streamers which probably run some simple more efficent linux os, are smaller with lower power consumption and this could possibly lead to lower noise levels. It's been bothering me for some time now so now that i have the free time i would like to give it a try.
Note sure where you are getting your information about PC from but most of it isn't correct and if you are worried about noise they you can get media PC that are very compact and virtually silent. There is a forums on here for media PC that you might want to read.

As for EMI, all electronics have EMI field but they are designed for it and it won't be affecting performance. You mentioned something similar in your opening post and and it really makes zero difference.

As I mentioned before, it does sound like your easiest route is keep the HDD in USB caddie and get yourself an Android TV box which can easily be found for under £50.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Will you be able to network the player?

Otherwise, how will you get new content onto the drive if it's an internal drive.

As above, for playback quality, it doesn't matter a bit if your drive is internal, external or networked. The device is reading digital data.

As long as the device/usb port/network is capable of the required throughput of data.
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Yes agree with @oneman your information is incorrect, at best it How are you connecting to the TV\AV system as if it is by HDMI then as @oneman says it will make zero difference.

EMI used to be an issue for older analog sound, new MBs have some higher quality components for audio but these are only actually used if you use that, say for analog headphones plugged directly in. If you are outputting to an AV you will be normally be bitstreaming the audio directly. The way HDMI works is that the audio gets embedded in the video and its all encrypted so it can't be interfered\extracted without the proper HDCP handshakes.

What will make a difference to PQ is the software used to decode the media files and any post-processing that is done on the player. Look at the MADVR thread for that, one company produces an 8k PC with various bits built into it.
 

Coulson

Suspended
As I mentioned before, it does sound like your easiest route is keep the HDD in USB caddie and get yourself an Android TV box which can easily be found for under £50.
The "best" option is something like the z1000 pro because it is a dedicated player with internal HD slot. But this is a £300+ android box when as you said you can pick one up for £50. It won't be a dedicated player but for just playing stuff off your hard drive that makes more sense. Another good option is to pick up an Nvidia Shield pro 2017 or 2019. Both are less than £200 and it is ridiculously powerful and flexible.
 

Coulson

Suspended
What will make a difference to PQ is the software used to decode the media files and any post-processing that is done on the player. Look at the MADVR thread for that, one company produces an 8k PC with various bits built into it.
The only issue with MadVR is that it does require a decent GPU to get the best out of it if you require it to perform up or down scaling. I wouldn't go below a 3060ti or AMD equivalent. If it's just for rendering then you should be OK with a slightly lesser GPU.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
You can do 4k playback with CPU only on most modern processors.

Playback wise, VLC and Kodi are free and simple to use.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
The "best" option is something like the z1000 pro because it is a dedicated player with internal HD slot. But this is a £300+ android box when as you said you can pick one up for £50. It won't be a dedicated player but for just playing stuff off your hard drive that makes more sense. Another good option is to pick up an Nvidia Shield pro 2017 or 2019. Both are less than £200 and it is ridiculously powerful and flexible.

Yep agree, I was wrong it wasn't 8k it was £15k :eek:

 

Coulson

Suspended
You can do 4k playback with CPU only on most modern processors.

Playback wise, VLC and Kodi are free and simple to use.
Yes you can and the quality will be OK.

Yep agreed. My Vero 4K+ with Kodi has better PQ even at 1080P than the Intel NUC running Libreelec with Kodi.
Exactly this ^^^. Dedicated players will usually have better playback features and quality than a general PC unless that PC has a decent GPU and is running MadVR.

Yep agree, I was wrong it wasn't 8k it was £15k :eek:

Yeah I was looking into that processor after it was reviewed. Then I saw the price :(
 

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