Blu-ray + media player + easy to use?

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Chris McMahon, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    I'm after an all-in-one solution for a blu-ray player, media player (.avi, xvid, mkv, ISOs & subtitle support) that's fairly easy to use. Budget up to $500.

    The PS3 seems to be a popular choice. How does it handle the media side of things? Subtitles? ISOs? (PS3 doesn't support region free DVD - which I need). I've got a WinXP media server that runs 24/7, so I can run "helper" apps eg DLNA, if required.

    Is there a better option? I'd prefer a single box, but would a low end blu-ray player + say a WDTV live be a better option?

    I've got a spare Netcomm Ethernet-over-power adapter so I don't need wireless support.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  2. sickbunny

    sickbunny Member

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  3. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    Probably your best option, and you should be able to pick up those items for around $400.

    There is a few reasonable blu-ray players around now that can be had for $200 - $250, that would be a better choice for a blu-ray player than the PS3.
     
  4. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    I'm in the same boat and initially looked at the WD TV for dad but it would be nice to have an optical drive, the Samsung bd c-5900 looks ok but a bit wary with branded names, it's only around $300.
     
  5. TRG.dOinK

    TRG.dOinK Member

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    I love my tvix 6600, records dual channel (u need to install a HDD into it to record), has nice cover art (tvixie).

    I think you can connect an external blu-ray player via usb to it as well, but you'd need to confirm that. Not sure if streaming via a NAS is working correctly, is through XBMC I think.

    My mates use to have the WDTV, but now both use tvix as well :)

    PM if you want more info.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  6. stevo4

    stevo4 Member

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    It wont handle blu-ray discs via usb.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  7. OP
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    Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    Thanks for all the replies. Keep 'em coming.

    I forgot to mention I need DVD region free as well. So that rules out a PS3. I know Sony's Blu-ray players are DVD region free out of the box, so that's a fall back position. I've only recently started buying Blu-rays, and they are all region B so far. Amazon.uk seems to be a good source of cheap Blu-rays. Local prices are still stupidly expensive.

    This certainly looks good. Local price is $394 delivered. Add to that a Samsung Blu-ray drive for <$60 and I'm still under budget.

    The Samsung Blu-ray drive SB-083 seems to be on the patched firmware list. Has anyone got a Popcorn Hour C-200 setup with a Blu-ray drive and got DVD region free working?

    Stuff like this is really attractive to me, but I don't know how hard the setup is on the PC side of things.


    At the moment I'm leaning towards the Sony BDPS370. Under $200 and DVD region free. Add a WDTV Live and it should be around $365 all up.

    Although the WDTV Live doesn't seems as sexy as the Popcorn Hour C-200. Is the media format support roughly the same? How about subtitle support?

    Haven't heard much about the Tvix 6600. I have a Foxtel IQ for the TV side of things, so don't really need any more tuners.
     
  8. Fishface

    Fishface Member

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    A HTPC with Blu-ray drive could be built for around $500 if you carefully select the components.

    Windows 7 media centre is easy to use although there are other options.
     
  9. OP
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    Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    I've been down the route before with less than satisfactory results. A HTPC is just too high maintenance, IMO.
     
  10. OP
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    Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    Since replies seem to have dried up, I thought I'd post an update.

    I've borrowed a Sony BDP-S370 Blu-ray player. I believe they currently go for around $200. I'm using it with the Netcomm Ethernet-over-power adapter I linked in my first post. It's DVD region free out of the box.

    On the Blu-ray side of things, it does everything it should and I'm quite happy with it. I've got it hooked up via HDMI to a 55" Sony EX500 LCD. The picture is great. I've using the optical sound output to an older non-HDMI, DD5.1/DTS only, Denon amp.

    The surprise was the built in DLNA support. I've only got SD resolution media files, your basic Xvid/DivX avi stuff with stereo MP3 sound, but the Sony had no trouble playing any of the files I tried.

    The DLNA interface is very basic, basically just alphabetical nested folders, streamed from my Acer Easystore NAS. I can fast forward, review and skip around pretty well. The files take about 15 seconds or so to initially start playing (buffering? media detection?). Skipping around resumes play in a second or so.

    Now I haven't tried any media files with a DD5.1 or DTS encoded soundtrack. Or any ISOs, or MKVs. It doesn't support subtitles at all.

    But for $200, it'll tide me over while I investigate some flashier options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  11. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    The LG BD550 looks good for around $190.
     
  12. OP
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    Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    Looking at the specs, the BD550 lacks DLNA support. The BD570 seems to be the better option for an all-in-one.

    However I'd never buy anything LG, but that's just me.
     
  13. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    Well, DLNA is not really needed if you are not networking and I'd probably trust LG over Sony/Panasonic/Samsung as the well known brands try to push their own bullshit formats, reminds me of our old Panasonic DVR, to watch recorded 16:9, you can only view them on DVD-RAM and not normal DVD-R, if you save video on DVD-R then it'll convert to 4:3, pricks.. LG is more closer to povo yumcha players.

    *just checked out the 550, took my mem stick which had some 1080p mkvs, normal 700mb divxs and jpegs, the mkv's looked average, I think it was interlaced as well so it had jaggies, divx looked terrible, pixelisation everywhere especially around text and outlines of shapes, I tried Top Gear, An Idiot Abroad etc, only thing which looked ok was jpegs, I tried the unit on a Toshiba 46" via composite.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  14. bubblegoose

    bubblegoose Member

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    I'm gonna chime in and say an HTPC would be a good route.

    You say High maintanence, but I don't think so. Sure, there would be some building, configuring etc to do, but What else is there? (not including hardware failure). There are updates, but it's not a major drama.

    Ive had my HTPC up and running for a bit over a year, and haven't seen the desktop in that time since I first built it (for real). Updates and everything are all set automatically, just does what it needs to. I don't have a blu-ray player in mine, but I do have a DVD drive, so i wouldn't see too much issues using a blu-ray drive rather than a DVD drive.
     
  15. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    HTPCs are too big, for someone who doesn't use pc's, they need something simple as well, Mac Mini size with blu-ray and a tv tuner would be nice.
     
  16. meremortal

    meremortal Member

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    I use an HTPC running windows XP SP3 - lots of hard disk space, decent CPU and 4GB Ram in a small Antec case with mATX mobo, plugged into the TV via HDMI - Ati 5450. Wireless mouse and keyboard. VLC for playback. Works great. Wouldn't go any other way. Tried media players but they are just another layer. Windows Explorer works just fine for me. :)

    Next time I'll just make the case a newer more modern HTPC case with better airflow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  17. pongie

    pongie Member

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    Just bought a sony bdp-s470 for $240. Hopefully the DVD is still region free on this model. Considering whether to get a boxee box to go with it. Bumps the budget over $500 though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  18. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    Heh, Sony, I plugged my 32gb NTFS stick in the Sony and it couldn't read the stick, typical Sony bs, just like Panasonic and Samsung.
     
  19. OP
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    Chris McMahon

    Chris McMahon Taking a break

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    Had to return the borrowed Sony S370. I liked it enough to order one myself.

    Found a great deal too:
    Sony S370 Blu-ray player + HDMI cable + 4 Blu-rays for $214 delivered from Sanity.
     

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