HTPC Hardware Suitable for Playing BR/HD-DVD? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question HTPC Hardware Suitable for Playing BR/HD-DVD?

I have some only parts lying around and I wanted to try and put together something that could use the Dual Format LG drive. The specs are as follows:

Intel P4 2.8 GHz
768 MB Ram
500 GB HD
ATI HD 2600 Pro

Would this be enough to use the drive? Or would it require an upgrade? (Dual core, pcie, ddr2 etc)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 03:14 PM
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You'll probably need more RAM.

If the H/W accelaration of the HD2600 is working it will probably be close with that CPU. If you are planning on doing the upgrade anyway and already have those parts just buy the drive and try it out.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 04:40 PM
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I have two machines that can play BD/HD movies. One has a P4 2.4Ghz CPU, and it does just fine.

However, you might want to go to a full gig of RAM. I find that the system will push up to 1Gb at times - have not seen it go over yet, on the other system with 2Gb installed, but it does go over 768Mb frequently.

The one thing missing from your list is an optical drive. I have the LG GGC-H20L, purchased from NCIX. So far, it has done well for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs. Does not do very well for DVD or CDs, though, so I would be hesitant to make it the only optical drive in a system.

FYI, hidef movies can take up a lot of room, if you are ripping to hard drive. For example, PoTC:At Worlds End has two discs, and if you rip both, you will use up 100Gb. Most HD-DVD's run 19Gb to 28Gb.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfielder View Post
The one thing missing from your list is an optical drive. I have the LG GGC-H20L, purchased from NCIX. So far, it has done well for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs. Does not do very well for DVD or CDs, though, so I would be hesitant to make it the only optical drive in a system.
Can you elaborate on why it doesn't do well for DVDs and CDs - I personally never use CDs in my HTPC but I only have one slot for optical drive and I am thinking of getting this disc and I still use it for DVDs although I do generally also rip DVDs to my drive.

What software are you using for playback? Did you use the software that came with the drive or did you pay up for other software?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Can you elaborate on why it doesn't do well for DVDs and CDs - I personally never use CDs in my HTPC but I only have one slot for optical drive and I am thinking of getting this disc and I still use it for DVDs although I do generally also rip DVDs to my drive.

What software are you using for playback? Did you use the software that came with the drive or did you pay up for other software?
I can't say why the LG GGC-H20L does not work well for ripping DVDs or burning DVDs or CD in my system. I can only report that ripping DVDs is slow on that drive, and burning anything fails.

I used to use DVD Decrypter for ripping DVDs. Now, I am using imgburn for ripping. Burning is with Nero, latest version. Mounting images is with daemon tools. Viewing is with PowerDVD Ultra (OEM version on this machine), Intervideo (Corel) WinDVD 7, WinDVD 8, or Home Theatre 2. AnyDVD is loaded in the background, but not used for ripping.

When I mentioned this in the NCIX discussion forums, the suggestion was made that maybe I got a faulty drive. This was based on one other person having the same drive, and not encountering similar issues.

The drive replaced a Plextor PX716 SATA drive. There are still a Plextor 5224 CD-RW drive (IDE) and a Plextor PX-760 (IDE) drive in the box. While it was installed on the SATA port used by the LG drive, the PX716 was very fast - actually faster than the PX760, which is rated at a higher speed. I put this down to the SATA interface vs the IDE interface, but that is just speculation on my part.

The point is that the LG drive has some pretty stiff competition, and some high expectations to fulfill. Others may find that ripping a DVD at 2x to 4x is acceptable, but I am used to much higher speeds.

I would not hesitate to recomment the LG drive- but would suggest you do some testing with it, before deciding to make it the only optical drive in your system.

Should you get one, and find that it works much better for you than it has for me, please post. I would love to be able to validate that my drive is not working well, to the point of returning it for warantee replacement.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-10, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rfielder View Post
I used to use DVD Decrypter for ripping DVDs. Now, I am using imgburn for ripping. Burning is with Nero, latest version. Mounting images is with daemon tools. Viewing is with PowerDVD Ultra (OEM version on this machine), Intervideo (Corel) WinDVD 7, WinDVD 8, or Home Theatre 2. AnyDVD is loaded in the background, but not used for ripping.
Am I correct in assuming that you need AnyDVD loaded in the background to allow imgburn to rip the DVD, otherwise the disc is protected by CSS?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-11, 10:05 AM
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Am I correct in assuming that you need AnyDVD loaded in the background to allow imgburn to rip the DVD, otherwise the disc is protected by CSS?
When imgburn starts, it has a note - not very prominent, so I only just noticed it a couple of days ago - that is AnyDVD is running, imgburn may not be able to verify the ripped disc.

As far as I know, you can rip with AnyDVD, but you may need to have AnyDVD installed before you can view the movie.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 08:28 PM
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I am about the pull the trigger on an HD2600 Pro PCI-E and I will be able to test on two platforms for system overhead.

If you are not in a rush, hold off till I get the card and run some tests. I will followup here either way.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-20, 10:13 AM
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BD/HD DVD playing requirements

My system had one first generation Athlon 64 at 2,2 GHz. It can be overclocked to at least at 2,5 GHz. Would it be suitable for playing both formats, directly with the LG unit? Ram is 1,5 GB and video card is MSI 7900GT. Can I play smoothly bluray and hd dvd with this config and some ovc, or do I need to upgrade?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-20, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by que3jxp View Post
I am about the pull the trigger on an HD2600 Pro PCI-E and I will be able to test on two platforms for system overhead.

If you are not in a rush, hold off till I get the card and run some tests. I will followup here either way.
que3jxp,

I am not sure what the difference is but I read a good review on the HD2600 XT card.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-20, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Can you elaborate on why it doesn't do well for DVDs and CDs - I personally never use CDs in my HTPC but I only have one slot for optical drive and I am thinking of getting this disc and I still use it for DVDs although I do generally also rip DVDs to my drive.
My system has three optical drives. The LG replaced a Plexor PX716SA. That is a pretty impressive drive, so my opinions are a bit biased.

The LG does not rip DVDs well - very slow. It does not burn DVDs or CDs at all for me.

However, after mentioning this on another forum, other owners of this drive reported that they had not encounted such issues. The suggestion was made that I may have received a faulty drive.

Not something I have followed up on - there is still a Plextor PX760 and a Plexor 5224 CD-RW in the system, so I am covered for CDs and DVDs.

Given the reports of others, I would try this drive as your only optical drive. DVD drives are cheap, as are external USB cases, so if it does not work for you, adding an external DVD drive would not take a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
What software are you using for playback? Did you use the software that came with the drive or did you pay up for other software?
You can always tell when someone is new to this field - PowerDVD Ultra is the only application that can play hidef movies at this point. An OEM version comes with the LG drive, so you are covered for that.

I use imgburn to rip the moves to an ISO on my PC. AnyDVD from Slysoft helps with other aspects of playing the movies.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-20, 01:26 PM
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The LG does not rip DVDs well - very slow

this is a well known fact, LG is slow when it comes to dvd ripping. Fast brands for that are Sony, NEC, Liteon, Pioneer, Plextor. Personally I have a Liteon.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-20, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q
I am not sure what the difference is but I read a good review on the HD2600 XT card.
For HDTV use, the only difference is price and that Gigabyte makes the Pro with a lower profile fanless solution than the one on their XT.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MARSTG
My system had one first generation Athlon 64 at 2,2 GHz......Would it be suitable for playing both formats, directly with the LG unit?
See here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...&postcount=318
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-24, 08:40 PM
 
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ATI has just launched the 3650 and 3450 the former of which is supposed to replace the 2600XT.

The 3450 is a seriously neutered version with 64bit memory and lower stream processors.

The 3650 is supposed to be priced around $100 while the 3450 will be $50. I assume that for 1080p the 3650 will be necessary?

What's the opinion here? What specs on a video card matter for HTPC 1080p decoding? Is it the core speed, stream processors, memory bandwidth, memory speed, or what?

Thanks.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2008-01-24, 08:46 PM
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What's the opinion here? What specs on a video card matter for HTPC 1080p decoding? Is it the core speed, stream processors, memory bandwidth, memory speed, or what?
It's a mix of all of those. Most importantly though is the GPU needs to support UVD, which I'm pretty sure both of those do.
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