Best iso players?

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cabinetmaker
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Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:30 am

Ok, my home theater is about to go through a major transformation. My 70" Big screen is about to finally be replaced with a HD set... or at least I think it is. With all the talk of 4K, and the fact that I've waited this long to go HD, I'm starting to wonder if I should wait another year or so till 4K get's ironed out... Anyway, My 4th CX777 is full so I'm looking to start storing my movies on Hard Drives now. I'm wondering what is considered the best software player for ISO files right now for DVDLobby? I've slowed my DVD buying specifically because I feel like I should be buying Blu-Rays instead. Plus I need to consider the age of my 1st CX777, and know I'll want to start Ripping some of my old discs to ISOs at some point in the future. Considering how long it is taking me to recatalog my multi discs from Version 3 to Version 4, I can't say I'm looking forward to any of this, but I still have to be realistic. So which player seems to be the best choice to handle Blu-Ray & DVD ISOs? And does it seem likely to keep up with the times and likely to be upgraded to handle 4K in the future?

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby CinemarDave » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:27 am

Arcsoft, PowerDVD, MPC and Dune are the possible choices for .iso playback at this point in time. Of those four the tightest integration is with Media Player Classic and Dune. I strongly recommend either one of them. If you go with a software player then you will want to make sure that the video card in the PC that will be used for movie playback will be capable of playing the 4K streams when that media is available. It does not require a super-high end video card. Just about any modern video card will be capable for this playback. Just stay away from the el-cheapo $39 cards.

Ripping DVDs and Blu-rays while time consuming is a fairly easy process in V4. Just set up the AV Agent for automatic archiving and all you have to do is drop the disc in the drive and let the Agent do all the work. When you get the email that the rip is done just drop in the next disc. We support AnyDVD or DVDFab. I suggest using DVDFab because you can configure it to only rip the main movie and then you won't have to watch all those mandatory commercials and trailers every time you go to watch a movie.

I would also suggest ripping to files and not .iso. File format requires less work during playback and you get to start watching your movie sooner. Just plan ahead for your storage for the ripped media. DVDs will average 4GB per movie. Blu-rays will average 25GB per movie. Our data servers use RAID technology and come in sizes from 4TB up to 36TB. You'll also want to make sure that your hard wired network is running on a Gigabit switch / router to make sure that there are no network bottlenecks.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:00 pm

Thanks for that detailed reply Dave. That saves me a great deal of guesswork, and my brain is about to explode with all the stuff I've been doing with your software lately so it's a great help.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby mcascio » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:17 pm

I'd highly recommend the Dune player route.

The Dune B1's are still available and we have (1) Dune Duo left in stock.
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Re: Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:08 am

At first I thought, nahh, I like the software solution, but then the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea since I will need to get a blu-ray player anyway and the Dune equipment seems to be priced decently, but then I see the Duo & B1 are only HDMI 1.3. While I think 3D is more of a novelty, I do think it might be fun to have a handful of 3D titles just for fun, and at the very least, I don't like the idea of being locked out of it. I'll mull it over. A lot of decisions to make, and it doesn't have to happen right now.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby mcascio » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:10 pm

We also sell and support the Base3D model...so you're covered. :)

I'm telling you, moving to the Dune really simplified things for me over dealing with an HTPC. Especially since I need multiple video and audio outputs to playback simultaneously. I also had problems playback issues with DTS-HD/DTS-MASTER audio tracks on the HTPC that went away with the Dune.
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Re: Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:28 am

It's funny you mentioned the audio tracks because that is what I have been reading about on other forums regarding ripped blu-rays.

So I've been reading up more on the Dune. I'm usually the type that researches the crap out of things before I make my final decision. So if I go the Base3D route, I still have to get an external BluRay to rip discs. No biggie. But can you clear up 1 thing for me that isn't 100% clear to me just yet. For some reason I just thought the Dune would be like a slave to a main HTC, but it seems 100% independent. So I'm guessing the only way for a HTC & the Dune to share storage is via NAS. Is this correct? Not really a big deal, but my future storage plans were going to be Thunderbolt drives hooked up to a Mac Mini. I'm a Mac guy that's one thing that won't change. I've been a Mac guy since 1983 (I was able to have a hands on demo with a prototype before it's introduction), and the more I use windows the more i know I'll never change. I just recently purchased a 2 terra bye thunderbolt drive, and it really serves no purpose if I have to switch to NAS.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:41 pm

Another point I forgot to mention is that gigabit NAS isn't fast enough to stream 4K content. This could be a moot point if 4K is still years away, but something tells me 4k will shake out faster than HD did. I remember when I bought my 70" Standard Definition TV. HD was already out, just as 4K is out now. Some thought I was crazy for spending the kind of money I did on a SD set, but I knew there was no infrastructure for HD when it was first introduced and a LOT of details had to be worked out. Today, I think a lot of the infrastructure is there, it just needs to be refined and implemented. Heck back then HDMI wasn't even thought up yet and everyone was arguing about how to get the image from the developing blue laser players to a display. These many years later, I'm glad I didn't wait for an HD set, but to get a set with the same visual impact in my room to replace my 70" SD screen I need, at the very least, an 80" screen, and 90 would be better. I've seen Bluray on a 90" Mitsubishi and it could really use 4k content. I think that's the beauty of old analog sets, They can be magnified far more gracefully than todays digital sets.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby CinemarDave » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:07 pm

For some reason I just thought the Dune would be like a slave to a main HTC, but it seems 100% independent. So I'm guessing the only way for a HTC & the Dune to share storage is via NAS. Is this correct?


It is both, but in our world the Dune is just a slave. You do not ever see the Dune UI. When you want to play a movie DVDLobby via MLServer commands the Dune to do the work.

It is possible to use the NAS capabilities built into the Dune but it is not recommended as the Dune is not RAID and I would only store ripped media on RAID devices. The Thunderbolt drive on the Mac mini should be fine. Just turn on SMB sharing so the Windows PCs will be happy. NFS is possible but a bit trickier to configure.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby cabinetmaker » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:38 pm

Next version of the Mac OS will be SMB only so that isn't an issue even though that's not the way I want to go. I'll just run it under bootcamp. Barriers between systems keep being knocked down. Ok I think you've answered all my questions on the Dune. I really didn't want to run a NAS. The Dune seems to be a good way to go. So I rip and store all my media on my HTPC and the dune has access to it and decodes it? Excellent. The nice thing about doing it this way now, is that I can experiment with it on my old TV till I upgrade it in the near future. This one feature alone makes it very attractive for my needs. All the other solutions I was looking at had HDMI as a MUST which means no video to my old TV. I think I can gather the pesos for this in the next few days.

Thanks for all the input guys.

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Re: Best iso players?

Postby mcascio » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:25 am

That's right. It's really just a HD network media player. But eliminates all the headaches associated with traditional HTPCs.
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