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HTPC and 3d Blue ray

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
Simple question guys.

My current HTPC just has a regular blu ray player in it.

do I upgrade that to a 3d model to match my new plasma or do I get a standlone player.

Any pro or cons with either choice?
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,212
38
91
Stand alone unit... ease of use. I tried jacking with installing a BD player in my HTPC, but found I needed some fairly expensive software to get it to work 100% Instead, I swapped optical drives... put the BD player in my desktop and just rip the BD disk to an MKV/MP4 file and view it that way.

I still have my $89 LG standalone BD player plugged into the TV for the odd occurrence we get a BD to watch, and as a backup to stream Netflix should the HTPC be down for some reason.
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
81
I don't know what the guy above is talking about "expensive software". TMNT is all you need for BluRay and 3D BluRay playback.

A standalone unit costs more (or equal to) than a license for TMNT


I have XBMC set to play BluRays with TMNT as the backend. It works like a charm.

Not going to clutter my entertainment system with a standalone player.
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
Stand alone unit... ease of use. I tried jacking with installing a BD player in my HTPC, but found I needed some fairly expensive software to get it to work 100% Instead, I swapped optical drives... put the BD player in my desktop and just rip the BD disk to an MKV/MP4 file and view it that way.

I still have my $89 LG standalone BD player plugged into the TV for the odd occurrence we get a BD to watch, and as a backup to stream Netflix should the HTPC be down for some reason.
Just the information I was looking for.

I can already stream from the desktop pc or rip it to the HTPC and just play it in MKV/MP4 format, i'm more looking to play directly from disc which will be easier for my girlfriend.

She knows how to start XMBC on the HTPC and play the current stuff I have ripped and stored on there but the ripping will be out of her league and when i'm not home and she is at my place she will be lost lol.
 
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Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
I don't know what the guy above is talking about "expensive software". TMNT is all you need for BluRay and 3D BluRay playback.

A standalone unit costs more (or equal to) than a license for TMNT


I have XBMC set to play BluRays with TMNT as the backend. It works like a charm.

Not going to clutter my entertainment system with a standalone player.
Hmm this may work for me the HTPC is already running XMBC version 11.0

I'm trying to avoid clutter also since my 65 Inch plasma only has 3 HDMI inputs and they are all being used.

1. Cablebox
2. HTPC
3. AVR

Does this TMNT backend work on 3d disc?
 
Last edited:
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
58
86
I don't know what the guy above is talking about "expensive software". TMNT is all you need for BluRay and 3D BluRay playback.

A standalone unit costs more (or equal to) than a license for TMNT


I have XBMC set to play BluRays with TMNT as the backend. It works like a charm.

Not going to clutter my entertainment system with a standalone player.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles do BD3D? ;)

OP, playing Blu-ray 3D in a PC doesn't require a special 3D Blu-ray drive. All that's required is a regular Blu-ray optical drive and the right playback software (along with a GPU that is Blu-ray capable). Both TotalMedia Theater (TMT - which is what SheHateMe is actually talking about) or PowerDVD can both do BD3D.
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles do BD3D? ;)

OP, playing Blu-ray 3D in a PC doesn't require a special 3D Blu-ray drive. All that's required is a regular Blu-ray optical drive and the right playback software (along with a GPU that is Blu-ray capable). Both TotalMedia Theater (TMT - which is what SheHateMe is actually talking about) or PowerDVD can both do BD3D.
Hmm..

The specs on his HTPC are

AMD Opteron 170 Stock
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe
4GB DDR500
Radeon 4890 has HDMI out
LG Blu Ray player
Silverstone Lascala LC20

I do believe the burner came with a version of PowerDVD I will have to look for that disc.

Looking at it now it looks like the GPU will have to be upgraded as that wouldn't support 3d playback based on its age.
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
58
86
Hmm..

The specs on his HTPC are

AMD Opteron 170 Stock
ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe
4GB DDR500
Radeon 4890 has HDMI out
LG Blu Ray player
Silverstone Lascala LC20

I do believe the burner came with a version of PowerDVD I will have to look for that disc.

Looking at it now it looks like the GPU will have to be upgraded as that wouldn't support 3d playback based on its age.
The version of PowerDVD that came with the burner is unlikely to do 3D. Usually those are either trial or gimped versions of the app where you need to purchase an upgrade to get the full capabilities.

I'm pretty sure the 4K series of Radeons didn't do 3D. iirc, the 5 series had at least partial support and the 6 series has full 3D support.
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
The version of PowerDVD that came with the burner is unlikely to do 3D. Usually those are either trial or gimped versions of the app where you need to purchase an upgrade to get the full capabilities.

I'm pretty sure the 4K series of Radeons didn't do 3D. iirc, the 5 series had at least partial support and the 6 series has full 3D support.
lol I do actually have my previous 6950 2GB card around but it has an after market cooler and i'm not sure it will fit in the silverstone I never tried tho.... I do have the stock cooler also.

It may be better to buy something 7 series and low power tho since I do have to go pickup a 2TB drive for this machine soon.

I'm thinking of going to a haswell rig for this machine maybe sometime in january of 2014 possibly.
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,584
469
126
I'm pretty sure the 4K series of Radeons didn't do 3D. iirc, the 5 series had at least partial support and the 6 series has full 3D support.
The 5000-series Radeons have 1.3b, which means they cannot do 3D via Frame Packing, which is what you'd want for Blu-Rays. The 6000-series Radeons do have 3D support as I recall it mentioning it on my old 6950's box.

So, yeah... what you said. Also, you can usually just upgrade the crappy PowerDVD software to a more feature-rich version. Do keep in mind that you'll need PowerDVD Ultra for 3D (or just ArcSoft's TMT). It took awhile, but I was eventually able to get TMT for $50 on sale.

EDIT:

I'm thinking of going to a haswell rig for this machine maybe sometime in january of 2014 possibly.
Ugh... the thought of building another HTPC that depends on Intel's sad excuse for graphics drivers makes me ill. My i3-3225-based HTPC is such a pain that it's nearly unusable. I'm tempted to just throw a low-end, passive Radeon card into it.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,212
38
91
I don't know what the guy above is talking about "expensive software". TMNT is all you need for BluRay and 3D BluRay playback.

A standalone unit costs more (or equal to) than a license for TMNT


I have XBMC set to play BluRays with TMNT as the backend. It works like a charm.

Not going to clutter my entertainment system with a standalone player.
And I'm not going to ruin my ease-of-use with a bunch of software I have to juggle around.

I tried to get BD to work on my HTPC, even using XBMC (which I don't care for, but that's my opinion...) and some of the freeware that's available and just never got it to work reliably... when I have a stand-alone setting right there... that is a no brainer. Because I rip 99% of the DVD/BD's to my HTPC anyway, trying to get BR to work was a waste of time... for me. YMMV.

There have been a number of threads about BD playback and BD software/freeware, the consensus was usually split between the people, like me, that wanted an out of the box program that worked easily vs the people who endlessly modified programs to get them to work.

On the plus side... if TMT does what you say it does, that may be a winner based on the low cost of entry. :)

Ugh... the thought of building another HTPC that depends on Intel's sad excuse for graphics drivers makes me ill. My i3-3225-based HTPC is such a pain that it's nearly unusable. I'm tempted to just throw a low-end, passive Radeon card into it.
Intel's iGPU's are fine... within their limitations, in much the same way AMD's APU's are. I put a passive HD6450 in my HTPC... it didn't improve playback much, if at all, for 99% of what I'm streaming over the Pentium's iGPU. Further, I used my 2500K's iGPU to run MW4 & 2 at first until I got a discreet card in my desktop system... it worked very well for what it was. No, it wasn't 60fps, but it was playable... a pretty tall order for a 'nearly unusable' iGPU.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,584
469
126
Intel's iGPU's are fine... within their limitations, in much the same way AMD's APU's are. I put a passive HD6450 in my HTPC... it didn't improve playback much, if at all, for 99% of what I'm streaming over the Pentium's iGPU. Further, I used my 2500K's iGPU to run MW4 & 2 at first until I got a discreet card in my desktop system... it worked very well for what it was. No, it wasn't 60fps, but it was playable... a pretty tall order for a 'nearly unusable' iGPU.
I'm talking about the drivers not the hardware. Dealing with Intel's drivers is an exercise in frustration. For the longest time, my HTPC was working fine. Until, all of a sudden, I started getting stuttering playback on some h.264 content. I figured that I'd try upgrading the iGPU drivers since I heard there were some new ones with a revamped control panel -- big mistake.

First of all, good luck finding your drivers on Intel's site. I refuse to install their automated tool, because it requires Java, and after JRE 6.0's numerous security flaws, I won't install Java unless absolutely necessary. Since I should be able to simply drill down a list, that's not necessary. However, if you drill down the list, it just sends you to a 404 page. The only way to find any drivers for my GPU is actually by going through the Notebook section. Once I finally got the drivers installed, I was rather miffed to find that overscan correction, which didn't work well to begin with, didn't work at all. :|
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,212
38
91
I'm talking about the drivers not the hardware. Dealing with Intel's drivers is an exercise in frustration.
My bad... I missed the 'driver' part. I have not had the pleasure of having to install Intel's GPU drivers... :\ ...and I hope I never will!
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
The 5000-series Radeons have 1.3b, which means they cannot do 3D via Frame Packing, which is what you'd want for Blu-Rays. The 6000-series Radeons do have 3D support as I recall it mentioning it on my old 6950's box.

So, yeah... what you said. Also, you can usually just upgrade the crappy PowerDVD software to a more feature-rich version. Do keep in mind that you'll need PowerDVD Ultra for 3D (or just ArcSoft's TMT). It took awhile, but I was eventually able to get TMT for $50 on sale.

EDIT:



Ugh... the thought of building another HTPC that depends on Intel's sad excuse for graphics drivers makes me ill. My i3-3225-based HTPC is such a pain that it's nearly unusable. I'm tempted to just throw a low-end, passive Radeon card into it.
O trust me if I do upgrade it to haswell it will still be using a dedicated GPU I don't really care how good the IGPU is.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
First of all, good luck finding your drivers on Intel's site.
I'm running i3 3225 CPUs on three different machines and it took me all of 45 seconds to find the updated drivers for HD4000 and I didn't even have to run Java at all (though I do have JRE on my main workstation since I do a fair amount of Java programming). BTW, if you are just doing normal HTPC things, WMC cable card TV and Internet streaming video HD4000 is just fine and dandy.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,584
469
126
I'm running i3 3225 CPUs on three different machines and it took me all of 45 seconds to find the updated drivers for HD4000 and I didn't even have to run Java at all (though I do have JRE on my main workstation since I do a fair amount of Java programming). BTW, if you are just doing normal HTPC things, WMC cable card TV and Internet streaming video HD4000 is just fine and dandy.
It looks like they've changed the site since I looked about a month ago. Honestly, it still isn't very good. The first page gives you an option to use their automated ActiveX/Java tool, or manually find it. However, when I select my options, they send me to a page that says to use their automated driver tool! :| Intel, if I wanted to use that, I would have selected that from the start. You have to then click on another link on that page, choose the correct generation, and then they finally send you to the page you should have gotten from the start. To at least give them some credit, at least you don't get directed to "Page Not Found" pages anymore. However, if you look at the search settings on the link result, you'll see that it still isn't an obvious category:
Code:
Product family
        Graphics
Product line
        Laptop graphics drivers
Product name
        3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 2500
Why would I be searching under laptop graphics drivers for my desktop CPU? If I remember correctly, that was the option I had to select to find my drivers in the past. Every other logical Family + Line + Name combination returned that "Page Not Found" result. :\

However, none of that changes the fact that the drivers have issues that directly affect HTPC usage. Well, unless you're fine with not being able to see the task bar or the top of all of your windows, because overscan correction doesn't work. Although, it hasn't worked well in the past either as it would never reduce the resolution past a certain point. Fortunately, I was able to see enough that it it didn't cause a problem. My other HTPC uses a NVIDIA discrete card, which I must say, I've always liked their two corner method for setting the resolution. It's pretty much the same as the XBMC setup.
 
Last edited:

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,246
1,205
136
I don't know what the guy above is talking about "expensive software". TMNT is all you need for BluRay and 3D BluRay playback.

A standalone unit costs more (or equal to) than a license for TMNT


I have XBMC set to play BluRays with TMNT as the backend. It works like a charm.

Not going to clutter my entertainment system with a standalone player.
"TMNT" :awe:

I know you mean ArcSoft TMT. It's almost $90! ($87.99)

BD players can cost far less. I have a lot of gripes with BD software too (no time to go into it).
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
However, none of that changes the fact that the drivers have issues that directly affect HTPC usage. Well, unless you're fine with not being able to see the task bar or the top of all of your windows, because overscan correction doesn't work. Although, it hasn't worked well in the past either as it would never reduce the resolution past a certain point. Fortunately, I was able to see enough that it it didn't cause a problem. My other HTPC uses a NVIDIA discrete card, which I must say, I've always liked their two corner method for setting the resolution. It's pretty much the same as the XBMC setup.
Sorry to hear that you had problems correcting the overscan. It only took me a couple of minutes to correct this for my two builds. I got my information straight from the Intel website: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-033418.htm?wapkw=hd+4000+overscan
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,212
38
91
"TMNT" :awe:

I know you mean ArcSoft TMT. It's almost $90! ($87.99)

BD players can cost far less. I have a lot of gripes with BD software too (no time to go into it).
PowerDVD was more...

I had already spent about $140 on AnyDVD HD to be able to break DVD's, I really didn't want to spend any more on BD software that might still require a lot of tweaking.

My end-all is... my wife and daughter have to use it... and she needs it to be simple/stupid. :p
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,246
1,205
136
It looks like they've changed the site since I looked about a month ago. Honestly, it still isn't very good. The first page gives you an option to use their automated ActiveX/Java tool, or manually find it. However, when I select my options, they send me to a page that says to use their automated driver tool! :| Intel, if I wanted to use that, I would have selected that from the start. You have to then click on another link on that page, choose the correct generation, and then they finally send you to the page you should have gotten from the start. To at least give them some credit, at least you don't get directed to "Page Not Found" pages anymore. However, if you look at the search settings on the link result, you'll see that it still isn't an obvious category:
Code:
Product family
        Graphics
Product line
        Laptop graphics drivers
Product name
        3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 2500
Why would I be searching under laptop graphics drivers for my desktop CPU? If I remember correctly, that was the option I had to select to find my drivers in the past. Every other logical Family + Line + Name combination returned that "Page Not Found" result. :\

However, none of that changes the fact that the drivers have issues that directly affect HTPC usage. Well, unless you're fine with not being able to see the task bar or the top of all of your windows, because overscan correction doesn't work. Although, it hasn't worked well in the past either as it would never reduce the resolution past a certain point. Fortunately, I was able to see enough that it it didn't cause a problem. My other HTPC uses a NVIDIA discrete card, which I must say, I've always liked their two corner method for setting the resolution. It's pretty much the same as the XBMC setup.
Most modern TVs do slight overscan simulation that can be disabled if you dig deep in the TV settings. I had to set my old Sony 1080p TV to "full pixel." The option is worded differently on Samsung and other brands. I did encounter a cheap Insignia TV at a friend's house with no option to disable it.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
Yes, the preferred method is to set to 'full pixel' but lots of older TVs don't have that feature. My 32 inch Sony Bravia (seven years old) does not so I had to use the Intel Utility to correct the overscan.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,246
1,205
136
Yes, the preferred method is to set to 'full pixel' but lots of older TVs don't have that feature. My 32 inch Sony Bravia (seven years old) does not so I had to use the Intel Utility to correct the overscan.
It's a CRT (glass tube) television, right? Overwhelmingly, most HTPCs are connected to a 1080p flat panel.
 

Alan G

Member
Apr 25, 2013
127
0
0
It's a CRT (glass tube) television, right? Overwhelmingly, most HTPCs are connected to a 1080p flat panel.
No it's a flat panel but the lower end of the line I think and the connection is 1080p. There is no control to do 1:1 pixel mapping with this one so you have to do it with the Intel utility. It wasn't a big deal once I figured out what the issue was.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,584
469
126
Sorry to hear that you had problems correcting the overscan. It only took me a couple of minutes to correct this for my two builds. I got my information straight from the Intel website: http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-033418.htm?wapkw=hd+4000+overscan
Yeah, I know where the options are, but it simply doesn't do anything. :( If I remember correctly, if I even try to save a profile with the slider at anything but 100%, it refuses to do it. It makes me wonder if something is really borked with my GPU driver's profile, and that I should probably just find out how to delete it and start over.

Most modern TVs do slight overscan simulation that can be disabled if you dig deep in the TV settings. I had to set my old Sony 1080p TV to "full pixel." The option is worded differently on Samsung and other brands. I did encounter a cheap Insignia TV at a friend's house with no option to disable it.
I have everything hooked up through a receiver, so wouldn't that be an issue? If I remember correctly, those sort of settings are usually controlled on a per-connection basis. The problem is that things that do and things that do not need overscan correction are connected through my AVR. I've run into this catch 22 in the past with other issues. :\
 

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