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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking at replacing my Samsung BD-F7500 as Samsung no longer makes Blu-ray players and seems to be lacking on the support for them.

So I'm tired of Blu-ray players that always go obselete and I'm looking at building a home theatre pc for streaming Netflix, Amazon, etc and with Blu-ray, Bluetooth or wireless keyboard and remote control.

Issues: I don't want a typical tall tower.
I want a case that can fit in my theatre stand and that will lay horizontal. Compact basically but I want 120hz, 4k output.

Talking to my local computer shop they say the gtx-1650 in low profile is hard to come by. I've
found them on Amazon however.

Before I go too far, does something like what I want to build already exist in this compact package?
 

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It's possible to do this but the issue then becomes obsolete and discontinued Blu-ray player software. I've had several companies drop player support with no warning or compensation and replacements don't seem to be available. The issue seems to be with licensing and ongoing support for Blu-ray software players from the studios. There are a couple of illegal decryption packages that appeared to be still supported independently (the last time I looked.) One will rip the disc to an unencrypted disk file or another disc. The other removes encryption on the fly for playback on any software video player that supports Blu-ray format. I opted for the latter but it discontinued support due to legal problems, moved to another country and forced people to buy it again under a different name. They also put the price up by about 50%, even for former purchasers. Under the circumstances, I declined. My video watching is now limited to DVD and streaming. I still have the AV cabinet compatible desktop case but it's sitting empty.
 

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I have no idea about any PC's that would meet your needs, but I wonder if you are not chasing a technology that is going to be obsolete quite soon. Streaming is the way of the future and is here today. The top providers are selling or renting 4K movies so buying new Blu-ray discs is getting old.
It might be more practical to rip your existing collection to a NAS and use a media player for playback. The total cost may even be less than the PC.
 

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If you do put everything on a NAS, you could then just put in a Nvidia Shield Pro that comes with Plex Server.
 

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I'm decommissioning HTPCs due to the low cost of streaming devices and the high cost and ongoing maintenance demands of PCs. When the cost of a 4K streamer that supports the latest video and audio standards costs less than any one of the multiple hardware and software component that go into an HTPC then it's time to switch.

Customer: I need a new video card that supports ultra high definition 4K video and audio for Blu-ray.
Salesperson: That will be $200 but it doesn't do uncompressed audio, HDR or Dolby Vision. I have some streaming HDMI dongles that do and cost only $70. I also have a 4K Blu-ray player for $200. Did I mention that the video card requires an expensive piece of software with an annual subscription fee to play Blue-ray discs?
 

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I'm decommissioning HTPCs due to the low cost of streaming devices and the high cost and ongoing maintenance demands of PCs. When the cost of a 4K streamer that supports the latest video and audio standards costs less than any one of the multiple hardware and software component that go into an HTPC then it's time to switch.

Customer: I need a new video card that supports ultra high definition 4K video and audio for Blu-ray.
Salesperson: That will be $200 but it doesn't do uncompressed audio, HDR or Dolby Vision. I have some streaming HDMI dongles that do and cost only $70. I also have a 4K Blu-ray player for $200. Did I mention that the video card requires an expensive piece of software with an annual subscription fee to play Blue-ray discs?
I agree.

I use an AppletTV with Infuse connected to a NAS and it works beautifully. I used to have a HTPC but would go back and forth between it and the AppleTV until I tried Infuse. I no longer use the HTPC.

Mr.6
 

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I see that Infuse Pro 6 is US$30 in the app store. The "upgrade" to my HTPC Blu-ray software was US$120. Thanks for proving my point. :)

The Chromecast with Google TV has pretty much made my HTPC obsolete as well. Two of those with a 6 month Netflix subscription cost CDN$180. That worked out to about $60 per device and a big discount on Netflix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's possible to do this but the issue then becomes obsolete and discontinued Blu-ray player software. I've had several companies drop player support with no warning or compensation and replacements don't seem to be available. The issue seems to be with licensing and ongoing support for Blu-ray software players from the studios.
I've ordered all my gear with an Asus Blu-ray drive. Asus has always been pretty good about support. The beauty about building this is that I can always upgrade components. Does anyone have allot of experience with software such as Kodi and Plex or a ytbing else out there that may help me organize apps and media? For now I'm thinking about putting my amazon tv and Netflix short cuts or icons in the task bar and start menu.

Attached are images of my final build components.
 

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Asus is not the issue with Blu-ray. It's the copy protection put on the discs by the studios. Asus may provide a Blu-ray player "lite." Most DVD and Blu-ray drive makers once did but a lot of the companies that made Blu-ray software have stopped development or gone out of business. Kodi will not play copy protected Blu-ray discs, which is just about all of them. It will play DVDs. Plex is the same. The software I referred to above that removes copy protection on the fly is called RedFox AnyDVD. It's not sanctioned by the studios and they consider it illegal to use, as do some countries, even if it's just used to watch legally obtained Blu-ray discs using other software like Kodi or VLC.

There is a list of Blu-ray players for Windows here. The only paid player that I recognize is CyberLink PowerDVD 16 Ultra. It's been around for a decade or two so it's probably a good bet. A few searches should turn up some ways to play Blu-ray but it's a moving target due to the studio's penchant for copy protection and prosecution of software developers that make unlicensed products.

It looks like you are going down the same road I did 10-15 years ago. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks ExDilbert! That list of free Blu-ray players is a big help and set me me off in a direction I was looking for.

I'm not big on paying to stream newer movies. Example: right now I can rent the new release of Wonder Woman 1984 on amazon for $24.99. No thanks! I'll wait and buy the Blu-ray before I pay that to rent. I used to play around with Torrents years ago and can't stand it. I'm not into piracy or hacked Blu-ray movies. So far I remain a Blu-ray Snob. I'll buy the discs and I'll stream shows like Yellowstone on Amazon Prime. I have two Roku sticks in other rooms of my house, one in my wife's sitting room and the other I take with me in my travel trailer in the summer for my Yamaha sound system in there. Lol!

I like to surf different avenues, channels and apps but hate searching with remote controls moving the curser around to type in searches. The wireless keyboard will be nice for that but I'll still have the remote control for the simple functions. It's a toy and a new adventure really. And that list you gave me will really help. I didn't realize Kodi will play Blu-rays. I was more interested in it to see if it's something like amazon Prime TV or Netflix. I'm definitely a out to relearn allot of stuff I've fell out of touch with over the last few years.

57 - Unnecessary Long Quote Removed
 

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Thanks ExDilbert! That list of free Blu-ray players is a big help and set me me off in a direction I was looking for.

I'm not big paying to stream newer movies. Example: right now I can rent the new release of Wonder Woman 1984 on amazon for $24.99.

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I have shared access to my daughters amazon prime video, so no cost to watch WW84. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime for $7/month, you get PrimeVideo for free. I do have a htpc in a very small Thermaltake V1 itx case which fits into my shelves. I use a motherboard with built-in video, wifi and BT. I also have a Harmony hub which has keyboard and mouse using an older ipad. The case can fit in a regular size video card and regular PSU. Has 2 slots for ssd and 2 for HDD. I find that htpc can access PrimeVideo, netflex, crave, disney+ and my rogers ignitetv. Being small size, it cannot accommodate a dvd or BR. It has a 12 cm fan which keeps the box cool and almost no sound.
 

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I'm not big paying to stream newer movies. Example: right now I can rent the new release of Wonder Woman 1984 on amazon for $24.99. No thanks!
Same here. That pricing is for titles released at the same time as theatrical release. After a few months, it will drop to regular rental prices and be available for purchase. I can wait. Most of the time we wait for titles to show up at the local library on DVD or on subscription services at no extra cost.
 

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Hi Dwayne,

I'm a bit of a computer geek and have built many PCs for HT, Gamers, Family, Friends, and even most recently a 42 foot Yacht. I'm also into Audio, and much, much prefer a Blu Ray disk not only for better Video => but amazing Audio. I have over 150 Concert DVDs and about 50 Blu Ray Concerts as well. We have 3 HT setups in our home (I am a bit of a nut according to my Misses...), with the most recent being a 7.2.2 Dolby Atmos setup. Streaming (to date) can't touch the output from a Blu Ray disk for quality.

We have Netflix (My Misses loves it) but I'm not a fan as the sound is often too compressed for me, and lacking proper Dolby encoding. My son, who lives with us, has Amazon Prime but he says the "free" Prime Video has nothing worth watching so we haven't even set it up.

ExDilbert is correct in that Cyberlink's PowerDVD plays Blue Rays very well, and it's up to version 20 these days. I use it on a couple PCs, including a Laptop. Cyberlink have got a Valentines Days sale (~40% off) on at the moment.

Another is VLC Media Player. VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various protocols. And by adding AACS and BD+ DRM libraries and keys, VLC can play most of Blu-Ray movies.

I too had AnyDVD back in the day, and it worked flawlessly to allow you to Rip a Disk to a Hard Drive. I hear DVDFab, which has a BluRay player built in, can do similar work. I had a free promo issue of it's 9.1 version (good for a year) but never got around to installing / using it.

These software packages all have free versions you can download and try before you buy. It's probably worth your time to try a few and see what works for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Dwayne,

my son, who lives with us, has Amazon Prime but he says the "free" Prime Video has nothing worth watching so we haven't even set it up.
Thanks for the advise Jim. I will define trying out these free DVD programs to see what I like.

Have you watched Yellowstone on Amazon yet? Definitely worth the watch. I'm anxious for the fourth season to be released.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well. Folks, I've got it all set up but I cannot get any sound out of the sound card. Video is fine. I have the audio output set to what my amp is rated for:
  • 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown DACs for all channels
I've tried different HDMI cables. Simple connections. HDMI to amp and HDMI from amp to tv. If I bypass the amp with with the HDMI directly to the tv I get sound.

My amp (RXV-1700) does not seem to like this new system. I've tried different decoding settings on the amp as well.

Thinking I'll look into some G-force graphics card decoding software.
 

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This is usually resolved with settings in Windows and the playback software. Make sure audio pass through is enabled in the Windows audio, sound device driver and software player settings. The sound card is not even needed when playing back video. The audio playback device should be set to the video card or motherboard video HDMI device, not the sound card or motherboard audio device. You may need to install or upgrade the HDMI video and sound drivers. These will be available from the video card or motherboard maker.

I found that it's often better to go with the simplest solution. Integrated video in modern APUs (CPU + GPU) is often better and easier to setup than using discrete components, especially low end video cards. The trick is to find an APU with a good GPU, an adequate CPU and a low power profile. That way it's easier to keep the HTPC quiet and cool. None of my HTPCs have audio or video cards and they all have low powered APUs rated at about 45w-55w. In practice, it's quite a bit lower than that most of the time. They are all a bit dated and only one does 4K but that may be remedied with newer APUs. AMD had better video options for some time but that may be changing with newer Intel APUs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I've had my local computer shop guys that helped me with this build belp troubleshoot this issue as well.

From what I can tell from the research I've done it turns out Ive wasted a ton of money on the Asus TUF Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 ideo card and that it is my major problem.

I've read in all kinds of forums on Reddit, the ncidea website and other AV forums that Nvidea no longer has converts audio to bitstream. They only put out a PCM signal and my amp cannot decode this.

Looks like I need to find a different graphics card that can decode Dolby Digital and DTS and output the sound in bit stream format or add a sound card. I think I'd rather sell the sound card a d buy one that decode the sound properly through the HDMI.

My MSI z490-a pro atx lga1200 motherboard only outputs 30 Hz video soni was trying for something better without knowing the Nvidia decoding issues.

So that's where my research is at this point. And now I continue the research on video cards.

A PS5 would probably have just fine but I seem to have to do everything the hard way! Lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
An RX-V1700 should have no problems with an incoming PCM signal. You likely have a different issue.
It's driving me nuts. If I press pure direct on the amp, I get sound but it cuts out the video obviously. So it's definitely a handshake issue with decoding. I've gone through all decoding settings on the RX - V1700 as well.
 
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