4k media player recommendations

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Caffeine, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    A freind of mine is building a home theatre room, and going all out on it. He's asked my opinion on the Kaleidescape Strato S player.

    https://www.kaleidescape.com/strato-s-movie-player

    To me, it looks like a raspberry pi running OSMC or something similar. The big attraction seems to be the content library.

    He's also looking at the Zappati Pro player and associated NAS
    https://www.avaustralia.com.au/zappiti-pro-4k-hdr-player/
    https://www.avaustralia.com.au/zappiti-4k-hdr-8-bay-nas-enclosure-with-rip-function

    What would everyone else recommend for a high end player? He's got >$50k of projector and speakers going into the room so I'd like to recommend something to him that would do them justice.
     
  2. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Looks a little gruntier than that. I can't find specs anywhere online, but the data sheet mentions a few things that make it sound more like NUC hardware rather than ARM.

    Regardless, 4K content can be played back on almost anything today. Hardware specs are almost moot. The user interface is what you're really judging, and with that the technical capabilities of the audience.

    An RPi running Kodi works well enough for my family to catalogue and categorise media. But I've set it up to be pushed to via SickRage and auto-update on a frequent basis. If you're recommending something for a bit of a tech-numpty (and no, owning a projector doesn't make you "techy") then a better user interface might be worth the extra dollars.

    I repeat: in 2019 "high end" refers to presentation and UI polish, not hardware. Audio and video philes be damned, low end hardware capable of 4K HDR/10bit content playback happened years ago.
     
  3. power

    power Member

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    where is the content coming from?
     
  4. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    I was under he impression that "Kaleidoscope" where out of business.

    Back in the day, it was a first class concept of movie delivery. The way it worked was each machine // receiver, was registered with Kaleidescape and the user had access to there vast library of movie titles. Then the movie studio's joined with the copywrite authorities, due mainly with the huge amount of pirate downloading and Kaleidoscope got caught up in the copywrite legislation, and was more or less out of business overnight, dispite a long legal battle, where they climbed that they owned the media, and was simply renting it to there subscribers.

    Another strange thing was, each machine was registered with the maker, and should you want to dispose or sell your receiver, it had to be returned to the factory where the harddrives where formatted and the new owner had to start with a fresh subscription

    The Kaleidoscope system was good but very expensive, with the main receiver, storage modules, etc costing in excess of 40k 12 gig harddrives where worth something like 2k each. As a business saver they introduced, the cheaper "Strato" model, The idea being you purchased the media, and loaded it into the Strato player. Of cause this was no different to using your bog standard DVD player

    At one time Len Wallis Audio was the main distributor of the Kaleidoscope systems,
     
  5. HuggyBear

    HuggyBear Member

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  6. power

    power Member

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    also why are they only looking at 4K? 8K is here and if the system is expensive and bleeding edge as you've highlighted it should have full 8K capacity.
     
  7. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    As I said, "Back in the day" I'm going back 10 years plus, When Blu-Ray was the thing to have, 1080p and 4k where still in development. 4k disc readers are still unknown, and while players will upscale to 4k [supposed ]] Oppo came close,and despite what you might read they didn't collapse, They just withdrew products, to concentrate on there massive mobile phone commitments

    As to whats available right now, regardless of availability and price, check this site out, You decide if there genuine 4k players , No costs are shown.

    https://www.techradar.com/news/video/the-best-4k-blu-ray-players-you-can-buy-right-now-1321481

    The problems with 4k are two fold, Gig size and lousy Internet speeds, As an example [and please I have no wish to infringe on moderation rules ] The download size for GOT season 8 is 120+GB. Man in the High Castle is 150GB.. And with our Internet speeds you will need to wait a week. And forget loading on to a disc.

    As for 8k, forget that, while demo presentations are seen at Audio / Home Theatre shows , nothing exists for home use. Even if Uncle Gerry, tells you he has a giant 8k screen for sale. There's no media. ??
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  8. power

    power Member

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    make the system 8k capable and downscale to your current projector.
     
  9. Dilbery

    Dilbery Member

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    Nvidia Shield

    /thread
     
  10. power

    power Member

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    agree, something like Shield will run circles around all this 'high end" gear from people who market to suckers.
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    Thanks all,

    He had mentioned the shield. I'll suggest he goes that way then.

    He's also very tech savvy (head tech guy at a very large datacentre) but the rest of his family are not, so he was hoping for an idiot proof solution.
     
  12. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    There are still reasons to go further - for example, lots of videophiles with projectors favour playback with MadVR because you can use 3D LUTs to map HDR content onto the capabilities of the system in a much more powerful/flexible way than the cheap Amlogic boxen's HDR->SDR conversion.

    But if you trust the display to do the right thing with the input you give it? The cheap boxes are awesome. Perfect video output and bitstreamed HD audio formats, just the content as it was intended. The Odroid N2 linked above is the pick of the bunch for a DIY-savvy type, or the Vero 4K+ for something that will just work out of the box.

    If you want app support for Netflix et al, the new 2019 nVidia Shield is the go. I gather the firmware they're shipping with has issues with colour space detection and switching, but a new build is in testing so that should all be OK shortly.
     
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I've spent the last decade doing professional colour for film makers. Applying 3D LUTs to 10bit content (and beyond - 16-32bit is frequently used at the content creation and DCP end before it's compressed for lousy consumer BluRay) was a big part of that, and is achievable today (at least on 4K 10bit HDR content) on a commodity PC hardware (probably even an RPi) today using $0 software.

    If you want to convince me that videophile level spending is necessary in 2019, you're going to have to show me some "killer feature" that's going to really blow my socks off, and isn't available in open source hardware or software. But the days of magic boxes with proprietary, mysterious supernatural image processing powers are long gone. Videophiles are of course welcome to spend their money in any way that they want. But much like a big night out on the booze, it sounds fun at first, but ultimately we're all just pissing the money away.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  14. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Oh, totally - I'm talking about MadVR on commodity hardware with a midrange graphics card, not some whacky exotic unicorn. All I meant was "there's reason to pay more than the $150 an AMLogic SoC TV box costs", not "piss away $$$$$$$$ on well-marketed bullshit"
     
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  15. flu!d

    flu!d KDE Neon 5.16

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    MadVR's reliance on DirectShow really pisses me off.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    So he's putting in a Trinnov altitude 16 for sound and a benq x12000h with an anamorphic lense so will the Vero 4k+be able to drive that?
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The player doesn't "drive" anything (in terms of the way an amp drives speakers). If it can do 4k24p and supports the licensed audio formats needed, it'll do exactly that.
     
  18. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Re: Audio - the optimal case is that the player can output the digital bitstream untouched and let a surround processor or receiver deal with it. The Vero 4K+ supports passthrough for those formats because you don't need a license if you're not decoding.
     
  19. d3vour3r

    d3vour3r Member

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    xbox one X? plays 4k HDR and you can play games :) good outputs etc too, looks good, plays 4k blu rays etc.
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    so does the S - fact is the Shield is better suited.
     

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