Question No 4k no games just plain old boring PQ

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by THE BOARS, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. THE BOARS

    THE BOARS
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    Hi guys ,this is a question that my mate has put to me
    He wants a media player for playing his mkv files ,like stated no frills here .
    A nice media player with a top notch video playback [all about the PQ] nothing else really matters ,he doesnt have a 4k telly ,a nice few years old VT panasonic and a decent yamaha amp .

    Please feel free with your views
     
  2. THE BOARS

    THE BOARS
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    any thoughts on the matter
     
  3. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Most of my files are 1080p MKV bluray rips. I use:

    WDTV - no frills, cheap and still cuts the mustard at 1080p.

    Popcorn Hour A500 - expensive and 4K capable, currently my main player of choice.

    Shield - Improving all the time and ambitious device but not yet 100% reliable.

    HTPC - built around Kodi and an AMD 6450. Soon to be upgraded to a new generation card. Works well.
     
  4. THE BOARS

    THE BOARS
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    excellent would you say the shield was as good as say the a500 for PQ
     
  5. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Pretty much but the Popcorn has VXP processing which to some eyes might add something. I've left it on, some might switch it off. Marmite like Darbee.
     
  6. THE BOARS

    THE BOARS
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    very tempting ,he like me is pretty fussy .
    That was the only thing that i was slightly put of with ,PQ on the shield ,there was quite a bit of negative reviews regarding this .
     
  7. a5ian300zx

    a5ian300zx
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    If you want PQ the sigma chipset so popcorn a500, vten or dune solo 4k.

    Shield the PQ is not as good as sigma processor and you have to use third party's apps like kodi or spmc to play the media files so no native media player.

    I'm also not on the 4k bandwagon yet and have VT plasma and yamaha amp.

    I normally visually check for PQ but also have few test patterns and calibration blurays for testing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  8. sjackson

    sjackson
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    In my case I'm running a Mede8er 1000X3D and a Windows HTPC with Emby Theater instead of Kodi. On my other displays I have Amazon Fire TV's and again running an Emby client (Android). All the Emby clients are supported by Emby Server which I have running on a virtual machine in the house (in fact the HTPC is also a VM on the same physical machine with a GT 730 card passed to the VM. Thinking about upgrading that card to something like a GTX 950 soon. Quite impressed with Emby Theater so far as it comes bundled with madVR which works with it's in-built player).

    Honestly can't fault the Mede8er for picture quality. Crap UI though. Emby has a lovely UI
     
  9. a5ian300zx

    a5ian300zx
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    I did not know you could have emby bundled with madvr do you have a link?

    I have emby server running on my qnap and use the mobile app but might run VM with emby theatre and test it out.
     
  10. sjackson

    sjackson
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    Just download Emby Theater and install it. It's based on a DirectShow (I think) player and comes bundled with madVR. So on one VM I have Server running then the Android Clients on my FTV's and Theater on the HTPC.
     
  11. a5ian300zx

    a5ian300zx
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    Is the htpc based on Windows setup?
     
  12. sjackson

    sjackson
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    Yes, running Windows 7 Pro in a VM on unRAID with an Nvidia card passed to the VM to allow HDMI to the AVR etc.
     
  13. mtenga

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    I've been watching a bluray rip of the Leftovers this morning and switching between the Popcorn A500 and SPMC on the Shield. If you can confidently state the Popcorn has superior PQ then you have better eyes than me. The PQ was virtually indistinguishable between the two. If blind tested I could not have told you which device I was watching.

    SPMC did crash once, which the Shield is prone to, but on the other side the Popcorn refused to play two MKV files that the Shield did play the other day. They are all flawed to some extent.

    That simply is not true. The Shield does have its own media player, not that I ever use it.
     
  14. a5ian300zx

    a5ian300zx
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    Yes, I could tell the difference in PQ. I own the dune solo 4k and the shield.

    What's the built in media player called? Did the built in media player play the two mkv files or the 3rd party apps like spmc or kodi.

    Mkv can be encoding using different methods and some chipset like Realtek, sigma won't play all kodi/spmc is based on its own codec packs like vlc and easier to implement new codecs.
     
  15. mtenga

    mtenga
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    The internal Shield player is called the Photos and videos app. You can access files connected to the Shield or network files via something like ES File Exploer.

    I used Plex to play the two MKV that the Popcorn wouldn't. They were bad rips made by MakeMkv that the WDTV struggled with as well. Plex on the Shield was most forgiving.
     
  16. skinnywhippet

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    Mtenga, how big is your tv? If it's 50" or thereabouts then ur not gonna notice a difference in picture quality, I used to have a Dune and Mede8er and the Dune was noticeably better quality on a BIG (in my case 106") screen, 50" or 60".... Not so much difference, this isn't placebo, its fairly obvious
     
  17. mtenga

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    Currently I'm on a 55 inch oled. I had a 65 inch plasma earlier this year and used the Shield with that. Based on my own experience of streamers and bluray players you really don't get that much difference in PQ, if they are setup and working properly. People will swear that the Oppo does a better bluray than a cheap player. That sort of thing is mostly placebo and confirmation bias.

    The guy above who is noticing the apparent superior picture quality of his Dune is using a 55 inch TV according to his signature.
     
  18. skinnywhippet

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    well I'm not sure I'd agree with a5ian300zx although to be fair I dont have his devices.

    However I can assure you that when its a big screen like a 106" projector screen, that's when you see the differences. I also had a HTPC previously with my aformentioned screen (a dedicated batcave - which i miss) and the HTPC wasn't as good as the Dune PQ wise, even with MADVR setup.

    Anyway, In your setup it seems the above won't be a factor in any case :)
     
  19. mtenga

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    Sorry what are you alleging? That the Dune is superior to what devices on a large screen? Dune don't even claim that.

    A typical projector does not have any more resolution than a typical TV regardless of the screen size :)
     
  20. skinnywhippet

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    Mate not sure what I'm alleging :)

    Basically, I had a Dune, Popcorn Hour (both sigma chips) and also a Mede8er, Xtreamer, Himedia (Realtek chips) and some other players etc over the years. I guess what I'm saying is the the Sigma players were always noticeably better PQ wise then the Realtek's (there are previous threads on this exact issue). In my setup it was always obvious between the two on my large projector screen but not so on my 60" plasma. The projector was calibrated by the way. I also found that the HTPC I built and tinkered with even using MADVR didn't match up to the the Popcorn Hour/Dune PQ wise. Alas I no longer have my setup so can't compare the recent android players but I did latterly have a Minx X8H connected to my projector. Even though i no longer had the Sigma players to make a direct comparison, from memory, the Sigma players were better PQ wise than the Minix android also, just my cents worth!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  21. plum23

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    Theoretically they should be as Kodi performs most poorly on Android. Openelec on a Minix is even worse.
     
  22. indus

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    I'm a bit confused by users reporting that these modern machines regularly crash.

    I use a mede8er and watch ripped blu ray discs only and it has NEVER crashed and audio works faultlessly.

    Is there no modern equivalent to my mede8er in terms of stability?
     
  23. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Well my mede8er 600 crashed permanently after two weeks and wouldn't play files anymore!

    Bear in mind that it is early days for the new generation. They'll be better next year as firmware develops.
     
  24. indus

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    I don't understand that as my 800 has never crashed or failed to play full audio (inc atmos and dtsx) and video in over a year and at least 50 films.

    I appreciate it maybe early days for the new players but why should they crash playing standard files of blu ray rips??
     
  25. CARLOS

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    I got the Solo 4K last week and I'm very pleased with it, its faster than my old Dune H1 and I've had no issues at all with stability other than the Atmos sound issue that will be fixed.

    The jury is out to whether its any better picture than the Shield but its definitely more stable.

    Edit to say I've never had any issues with my old Dune or the new Solo crashing other than when playing a badly encoded file, where as the Shield seems to crash pretty much every movie (using SPMC).
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  26. indus

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    I don't mean to sound like a parrot but why does the Solo 4k have an issue with atmos that 'will be fixed'?

    Atmos has been around for years now and my mede8er has never had a problem with it.

    I don't understand what the excuse is and why people keep buying products that don't consistently work.
     
  27. CARLOS

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    There's a glitch that when playing an Atmos soundtrack if you hit the info button to call up the information display then the soundtrack drops out and stutters, its not a major issue as you just don't use the info display while playing a movie, Dune have fixed the issue in their next firmware update.

    The reason I bought another Dune player is I just think they are better than the others, I have owned both Popcorn Hour and Mede8er media players and although they mostly played the files I just didn't like the interface and the way they worked.
     
  28. mtenga

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    You make it sound like previous generation media players were faultless. That's not correct.

    As said the current generation of 4K players like Popcorn and Solo are right at the beginning of their life cycle and will take time to fully mature.
     
  29. indus

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    I've only owned one, the mede8er, one so am no expert on them. However in the time I've owned it I've only used it for viewing blu ray rips and can tell you it hasn't had any issues.

    When I chucked the first atmos rip at it there was no problem it just worked. Same thing when dts:x was released.

    It's never failed to play a rip or crashed or lost audio etc in over a year and circa 50 films (probably more)

    I would expect any new player to be able to do that for 1080p material. I appreciate there might be issues with 4k, HDR etc streaming as the format itself is in its infancy and personally I have no interest in gaming.

    I wouldn't accept a blu ray player that crashed when playing films so I don't understand why it seems acceptable with media players.

    Apologies if I've misunderstood the situation.
     
  30. xar

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    Same here on the mede8er. Would buy a 4K one tomo if they had one. Have a hi media Q5 pro and is a pain by comparison (and it drops a frame every 34 secs).

    Can't comment on the PQ difference as I can't see one (110" projector), but the hi media has a darbee style feature called the imprex engine.

    I am curious about the dune solo 4K as a result f this thread though.
     

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