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Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to El Quintron

Re: Netflix Super HD/Open Connect

Actually, I suspect that PC users are fairly large as an individual platform, since Netflix made a big deal of the PS3 being bigger than the PC when the PS3 was announced as the single most popular Netflix platform.

But when broken down into classes (mobile, STB, PC), I would suspect that the PC is a small minority due to the sheer number of individual platforms in the STB class (into which I include things like smart TVs).

In terms of an HTPC that is less than $200, a first gen AppleTV might technically qualify, since they used an x86 processor and you could load Linux (including XBMC) on them. Of course, they don't play blurays.

A sub-$200 HTPC is probably still possible with general components, but you'd have to rely heavily on an iGPU... Darn it, you've got me curious now, to see if such a system is possible :P

You'll never get the power usage down that low for that price. It's not that matching a bluray player's power usage isn't possible (word is IvyBridge goes down to 10w, and that Haswell will hit 7w, while bluray players tend to be 15-25w), but you won't get it for under $200.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

vikingisson

join:2010-01-22
Mississauga, ON
I won't reply in detail or to anyone in particular, there's just more here than I give a crap about. My HTPC cost more than $200 to be sure but I've had it for years and years. How many black boxes have people bought in that time? I have tuners and can record uncompressed HD, your pissy black box can't do that. It does a lot more and I can change it, upgrade it, whatever I want plus it serves the whole house and anywhere I am remotely. It can dance circles around every proprietary box out there and is still far superior as a PVR. But that's me.

I won't argue how big the PC market is because I don't know and neither does anyone here. What does that matter? We're big enough and bigger than any single off brand piece of crap blu ray player. The app is simple, their issue is not about numbers or coding.

As for a cheapo box that isn't locked under a brand name, two words, Raspberry Pi. It isn't what I use but I tested one running XBMC. At least as good as a Boxee Box ('cept for no easy Netflix). $35 plus 30 minutes of my time to set it up one time.

C'est la vie, I'll just save my $8/mth.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to El Quintron
XBMC/Pi has some crucial flaws when it comes to audio decoding. Even though they've written a hardware accelerated DTS decoder, DTS won't give them the time of day when they try to buy a license. Doesn't matter if you're bitstreaming, though.

Also, the Pi (or XBMC on any platform, really) won't play blurays, since there's no commercial bluray software for ARM, and none of the opensource solutions even support java menus (which most bluray discs use).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

vikingisson

join:2010-01-22
Mississauga, ON
I don't know what you use but I'm sure it lacks something I'd want.
I don't care about blu rays, I don't have a player and will skip getting one. 1080 is 1080 with or without blu ray. I've got plenty of HD content without ever buying a player or disc. If I used a Pi as a full time player I'd buy the $2 codec which then covers the content it doesn't currently handle but most of what I have is playable just fine.

I said that I don't use the Pi as my main player but if I trimmed down to the basics I'd use it vs a Boxee Box. It's that good.

I still prefer my HTPC. It does all server duties for the house plus all the media I'd ever want. the only thing I could add is pay content but without cable tv or other over priced crap I'm fine without that. $8 for Netflix seemed like a good deal but if I don't see more HD content I'll drop it. The real saving grace is watching Netflix from any of their markets which greatly increases the available content.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

1 edit
reply to El Quintron
I didn't quite manage. Here's what I came up with:

Small form factor approach:
Complete system, no optical: $211
Complete system, external DVD: $236
Complete system, external bluray: $279

Regular sized case approach:
Complete system, no optical: $151
Complete system, bluray drive: $177

All of that is Atom (because it's the cheapest) and SSD (because surprisingly a 32GB SSD is cheaper than a regular hard disk of ANY capacity). Relies on hardware decoding using iGPU. Power usage should be not much different than a bluray player, but the regular sized case approach is much larger.

Curious to see the cheapest you could do this with a current-gen (sandy bridge or ivy bridge, since they have decent iGPUs) non-atom CPU, I came up with a complete Sandy Bridge system, about the same size as my videotron cable box, for $242 with bluray drive, $216 without.

Here were the specs of the various parts I looked at on newegg:

$155 Atom case/psu/mobo/cpu
$10 2GB DDR3-1066
$46 32GB SSD
$25 external DVD reader or $68 external bluray reader

$60 atom mobo/cpu
$35 case/psu
$10 2GB DDR3-1066
$46 32GB SSD
$26 bluray reader

$120 STB-sized LGA1155 case/mobo
$40 Celeron G465 (dual core Sandy Bridge with iGPU)
$10 2GB DDR3-1066
$46 32GB SSD
$26 bluray reader

$120 STB-sized LGA1155 case/mobo
$40 Celeron G465 (dual core Sandy Bridge with iGPU)
$10 2GB DDR3-1066
$46 32GB SSD
$26 bluray reader

EDIT: I would never actually buy such a system. If I wanted to build an HTPC, I would do it right. If I wanted it small, I'd buy an Intel NUC and not bother with bluray because I have my PS3 for that. If I wanted a more normal sized system, I'd buy a higher-end STB-sized case, and an i7-3770T (the only 45w quad-core Intel CPU with HD4000 iGPU) and give it 8GB of RAM and a modern Intel SSD of 80GB or more (like the 120GB 330). This would cost a whole lot more, but would be much more capable.

The Intel NUC has me sorely tempted for HTPC use, but with the overheating issues of the first-gen NUC, I'll wait for the second-gen models before considering them again.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

vikingisson

join:2010-01-22
Mississauga, ON

1 recommendation

You forgot the remote control.

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

But when broken down into classes (mobile, STB, PC), I would suspect that the PC is a small minority due to the sheer number of individual platforms in the STB class (into which I include things like smart TVs).

This is what I was talking about.

said by Guspaz:

In terms of an HTPC that is less than $200, a first gen AppleTV might technically qualify, since they used an x86 processor and you could load Linux (including XBMC) on them. Of course, they don't play blurays.

I don't want an Apple TV especially first gen. I don't care about Blu-rays'. I don't want physical media. Then there is the issue of no Netflix so it's all for nothing.

said by Guspaz:

A sub-$200 HTPC is probably still possible with general components, but you'd have to rely heavily on an iGPU... Darn it, you've got me curious now, to see if such a system is possible :P

Might be able to find a system with a decent ATI/AMD GPU.. but definitely not with crappy Intel GPUs.

said by Guspaz:

You'll never get the power usage down that low for that price. It's not that matching a bluray player's power usage isn't possible (word is IvyBridge goes down to 10w, and that Haswell will hit 7w, while bluray players tend to be 15-25w), but you won't get it for under $200.

This is an important feature for me.

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
reply to El Quintron
The RPi I won't consider. I'd consider something based on a SoC with a more decent CPU/GPU combo and which is ARMv7 based such as Cortex A9/A15 (Tegra 3/4, Exynos, OMAP 4/5), Snapdragon but it also has to be a fully finished product hardware wise and not a bare board like these development/prototype boards.


clarknova

join:2010-02-23
Grande Prairie, AB
kudos:7
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to vikingisson
I have altogether too many HTPC/STB options, and none of them what I would consider ideal.

HTPC: Zotac IONITX (Atom 330 + Nvidia GPU), XBMCbuntu Frodo. Great for streaming off the NAS, but terrible Youtube performance and no Netflix. Another annoyance is that only AC3 and stereo work over HDMI, for reasons I have not yet been able to identify. Power consumption is mediocre at ~32W.

Roku 2 XD: 1080p/5.1 output. Plays Netflix and a bunch of other channels, USB support, but no good option to stream from the LAN. I tried a couple channels that claim to stream from a local web server, but these were buggy and non-free. I'm not interested in something that requires dlna. For some reason Netflix SuperHD options don't show up, despite this being listed as a supported device.

Samsung smart tv: Decent picture. Netflix works in HD/5.1, but no SuperHD, and the interface is terribly slow. No LAN play without dlna, and limited to 30 Mbps.

Samsung smart receiver: Same features and weaknesses as the smart tv, but amazingly no 5.1 option in Netflix.

Windows 8 pc: SuperHD/5.1. This is actually a very functional option for Netflix and LAN play, but it'll be a cold day on Venus before I drop $ on Windows for an HTPC. The only reason I have it on my desktop is because of a work-subsidized home license. I suppose I could make the HTPC my work-at-home pc :P Not sure how Win8 would run on the old Zotac.

So in summary, there are lots of options out there for Netflix and similar streaming media solutions, but I have yet to see one that is ideal. Something like the PS3 or a beefier HTPC might do everything I want, but I'm not at the point that I want to lay out that kind of money, nor would I want a player under the tv burning up 70 watts or more
--
db


creed3020
Premium
join:2006-04-26
Kitchener, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to El Quintron
Build a proper HTPC and don't look back. Messing about with all these streamers is ridiculous as you're fussing around with them ad nauseam because not everything works 100%.

Go here and you'll find a great community of wise resources for getting your HTPC done right: »forum.xbmc.org/forumdisplay.php?fid=112

I am of course biased to a Windows based HTPC and have built many for friends/family. Here is mine: »forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=114724

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
reply to El Quintron
That thing is way too big. So I can build an HTPC and still have no Netflix. Not useful.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to 34764170
said by 34764170:

said by Guspaz:

A sub-$200 HTPC is probably still possible with general components, but you'd have to rely heavily on an iGPU... Darn it, you've got me curious now, to see if such a system is possible :P

Might be able to find a system with a decent ATI/AMD GPU.. but definitely not with crappy Intel GPUs.

Unlikely. AMD's cheapest discrete CPUs cost more than Intel's cheapest discrete CPUs; the Sandy Bridge based G465 is a few dollars less than the cheapest AMD CPU on NewEgg. That cheapest AMD CPU uses almost double the power, and AMD's integrated GPUs are no better than Intel's these days. In fact, AMD's hardware accelerated video support is worse. If you want to compare the Atom to the Zacate (AMD Fusion) chips, then neither is particularly well suited to HTPC use, since hardware decode in either is iffy. If I had to choose, Zacate would come out ahead, but it uses way more power than an Atom...

said by 34764170:

said by Guspaz:

You'll never get the power usage down that low for that price. It's not that matching a bluray player's power usage isn't possible (word is IvyBridge goes down to 10w, and that Haswell will hit 7w, while bluray players tend to be 15-25w), but you won't get it for under $200.

This is an important feature for me.

Why, if I may ask? I use my PS3 for such things, even though it uses 70w...

When presenting stuff "seriously" (normally when I have company), I prefer the PS3 because I know it's going to correctly handle the framerates going to the projector. No PC GPU can do 23.976 Hz output perfectly. Even when they can do it right for one display, they're not necessarily going to be able to do it right on a different display. But with a PS3 or other "hardware" player, they just get the framerates right in every circumstance, no having to worry about vsync, no having to mess with custom refreshrates, it just works.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

pjlahaie

join:2009-03-14
Ottawa, ON
said by Guspaz:

Unlikely. AMD's cheapest discrete CPUs cost more than Intel's cheapest discrete CPUs; the Sandy Bridge based G465 is a few dollars less than the cheapest AMD CPU on NewEgg. That cheapest AMD CPU uses almost double the power, and AMD's integrated GPUs are no better than Intel's these days. In fact, AMD's hardware

The G465 and G450 are HD2000 parts, the comparable AMD CPU on that list is a Llano part which has a significantly more powerful GPU.

As well, newer Trinity processors have significantly better GPUs than comparable Intel processors, in fact you can game on a Trinity processor much more effectively than on Intel, even though the Intel processor is much stronger on the CPU side.

Paul

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON

1 edit
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

Why, if I may ask? I use my PS3 for such things, even though it uses 70w...

Why do I not want a device that sucks back that much power for what little it is doing? I don't want a PS3 or an HTPC. I have a media player that plays everything I can throw at it + Netflix which the HTPC would be missing and it takes 11w when playing content. I don't play games so the PS3 is just sucking back power and is a poorer media player for my use.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
reply to Guspaz
boy I'd love to see your house and all the tech stuff you got in there.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
said by TOPDAWG:

boy I'd love to see your house and all the tech stuff you got in there.

In where? My apartment? Well, I do tend to have a higher gadget count than most other people, but there's not much that's particularly special. My file server is nice, 15x3.5" hotswap bays. And it's a bit ludicrous for a 366 sqft apartment to have a home theatre projector with an 80" screen, especially when that part of the apartment is only 10 feet wide (thankfully the projector has a decently short throw distance).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

sas

join:2011-01-28
reply to 34764170

Re: WD TV

said by 34764170:

said by kragop:

I've used WD TV and didn't like it too much.

After having both Boxee Box / WD TV and some other setups the WD firmware is completely god awful. So buggy it is pathetic. It is almost criminal that WD sells these devices with how bad they are.

I own a WD TV. I agree with these comments. WD TV would stop responding to the remote control frequently. Many times, I had to hit the "home" button to get out of the "service" that stops working. When "home" did not work, I had to get up and pull the power plug (WD TV does not have a power switch).


clarknova

join:2010-02-23
Grande Prairie, AB
kudos:7
My coworker has a WD box and it 'loses' the samba share from time to time. He has to power cycle it to get the share back.
--
db


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to 34764170

Re: Netflix Super HD/Open Connect

said by 34764170:

Why do I not want a device that sucks back that much power for what little it is doing? I don't want a PS3 or an HTPC. I have a media player that plays everything I can throw at it + Netflix which the HTPC would be missing and it takes 11w when playing content. I don't play games so the PS3 is just sucking back power and is a poorer media player for my use.

Let me know when you find a media player that can handle advanced subtitles as found in fansubs. I'm not being sarcastic, I've yet to see any player actually do this, despite all the rendering libraries being opensource (like LibASS or the reference implementation itself, vobsub).

A few years ago, the best you could do was players like Popcorn Hour which would transform ASS subtitles into SRT before display, which has a bunch of serious drawbacks. In addition to what you'd expect in terms of not supporting fonts, colours, transformations (kind of useful for putting the translation of a sign in the right place) or animation, SRT also doesn't support showing more than one subtitle on screen at a time. So whenever you'd have dialog and a translation note, or dialog and a textual (like a sign) translation on screen at the same time, when converting to SRT, you'd lose anything but the first one to display.

These days, you can find somewhat better subtitle support... modern Popcorn Hour boxes have partial direct ASS support, which might be considered "good enough" but perusing their forums shows that firmware updates randomly break it. And I don't think I've seen real subtitle support in much other than Popcorn Hour.

Again, I don't really understand why. All the relevant code is opensource, the work is already done, and all of these streamers are already using opensource code, so there shouldn't be a licensing issue...
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
reply to Guspaz
oh the way you talk tech it seemed like you got a sever rack and all types of goodies in your home. I got a shit set-up needs cleaning up bad I tell you if I ever finish my basement I want to fix everything up nice.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to El Quintron
Not so much a rack of equipment as "a bunch of equipment stacked up on eachother behind the couch" :P It was a lot messier when I was still doing MLPPP and had the second modem there.

In that area is the a Back-UPS ES 750 that powers the DSL router and modem (no longer use MLPPP, so just one), and a Back-UPS PRO 1500 with extended run external battery pack which powers the file server, Epson PowerLite 8345 and the wireless subwoofer from my Sony HT-550W sound system (I know, I know, a soundbar, but I have very limited space).

On the other side of the room is (other than the projection screen, an 80" Da-Lite Theater-Lite) a Back-UPS Pro 1500 (older generation) with external extended run battery, a PS3, a 360, sometimes a wii, a Videotron digicable box, a Monoprice 4x2 matrix switcher, the Sony soundsystem's receiver and soundbar, the harmony remote charger and PS3 adapter, my SFF desktop computer (Shuttle XPC SZ77R5), various computer peripherals (microphone, mouse, keyboard, Dell U2711 monitor, etc).

On both sides you'll find a variety of chargers for things :P

One problem is that all the plugs in my apartment (except for the kitchen and bathroom) are on one single 15A circuit. So all three UPSes are on the same circuit... Even then, I think I've only blew the fuse for breaking the 15A level once in the past five or so years.

Some of my experience isn't just because of what I've done at home, though. For example, I have a lot of experience with projectors. Not because I own the one I have at home, but because I've purchased and managed or rented 20 or 30 of them (lost track) for Otakuthon.

In the past, we would get mostly DLP office projectors, because we had such a tight budget. We have a few different brands. In the early days we mostly bought ViewSonic units (and a few others like Vivitek or Optoma sprinkled in). We tried some dual-bulb BenQ models (the SP920 or something) that were supposed to be super bright, but they were a disappointment. Then we started buying nothing but Dell models, because they make some very affordable and bright DLP office projectors. We've also rented large-venue projectors for our main events room, where last year I had two 290" screens, so those take pro-grade projectors. The kind that cost as much as a car. They're DLP, but three-chip, so they can do decent colour.

Recently, we've decided to start moving to 3LCD. We always knew that 3LCD would have more accurate colour and higher brightness (single-chip DLP produce white by blocking two thirds of the light at any given time and combining it again, while 3LCD works by splitting the full light into three and shining it in the same spot). But 3LCD cost more, and we didn't think it was that big a difference.

Then, when we were buying a projector to ceiling mount in our office (we got an office for the convention's owner company a few years ago, super useful), we decided to go 3LCD, because we were tired of the design department presenting artwork and having to say "I swear, that purple colour is red on my laptop's screen!". So we got an Epson PowerLite 1940w...

It's a 4200 lumen 3LCD WXGA projector, and the projector it was replacing was a Dell unit that was a 4300 lumen DLP WXGA projector... So I thought it was the perfect time to compare them, and I had the logistics department bring the Dell to the office. I put them side by side, and... the difference was ridiculous.

Despite having an officially lower brightness, the 3LCD projector was enormously brighter, and the colours were enormously improved. Pure green looked like pure green on the 3LCD, and puke green on the DLP... And the projector only cost 20% more... So from then on we decided it was worth the extra expense. So for our 2013 crop of projector purchases (and we don't need additional projectors, so at this point we're going to sell off our oldest and crappiest and replace them with newer ones), we're going to focus on 3LCD projectors. The 1940w is a pretty good candidate for the rest of them, but we'll re-evaluate the available models when the time comes. They'll probably be Epson, since they own the 3LCD tech, so I'd rather use first-party projectors instead of getting 3LCD projectors from other companies that just license it from Epson.

There is a downside to 3LCD though, because of how they work, the RGB subpixels are often not perfectly aligned (not at the ~$1000 pricepoint anyhow). single-chip DLP doesn't have this problem. So single-chip DLP can produce sharper images, but at the cost of terrible colour, low brightness, and the rainbow effect.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
reply to clarknova

Re: WD TV

said by clarknova:

My coworker has a WD box and it 'loses' the samba share from time to time. He has to power cycle it to get the share back.

For me it has never been able to find my NAS on the network but Windows / OS X / Linux systems work just fine. Some other media players have the ability to manually input a hostname for the system so they can workaround their somewhat broken SMB/CIFS support but the WD doesn't allow the user to manually input a hostname. If you go into their forums you'll see that a very large portion of the posts are from users having issues with the device not being able to see systems on the network with which they have SMB/CIFS shares on. It's like are you kidding me? They still haven't fixed this.. even allowing the user to manually input a hostname would be an improvement for most users.


tristen1230

join:2010-12-26
Belleville, ON
reply to El Quintron

Re: Netflix Super HD/Open Connect

Too bad it is only on devices if I am correct. I at least do not have any of those devices.

34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
said by tristen1230:

Too bad it is only on devices if I am correct.

No, that is not correct.

Linkness

join:2009-05-15
reply to El Quintron
Hi I am currently on DSL 6Mbps and I am unable to get anything higher than medium/HD when trying to stream a Super HD movie on PS3. I am thinking of upgrading to 10 Mbps DSL service and I was wondering if people on 10 Mbps DSL are able to achieve the full quality of Super HD

Luis


milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
kudos:2
reply to El Quintron
Just got a Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-Ray player today. It, along with the S1100 and S5100 models, support Netflix Super-HD. The S1100 doesn't have Wi-Fi support (just wired Ethernet), and the S5100 *might* support Netflix 3D, but I didn't bother to check since I'm not interested in watching anything presented in 3D.
--
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»thecanadianpublic.com/live

paulwye

join:2007-02-17
Toronto, ON
reply to Guspaz
said by Guspaz:

the projector it was replacing was a Dell unit that was a 4300 lumen DLP WXGA projector...

Any chance the projector you're referring to is the Dell 4320 (or something in that series)?

I ask because we have one at work and, while I'm more pleased with it than I have been with previous DLP units (and it's certainly reasonably priced), if the Epson is that much better at a similar price point, I'd rather grab a couple of those instead. Much obliged for any advice you can offer.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to El Quintron
Yeah, we have a bunch of the Dell 4320. They're decent, they're cheap (when on sale), but having experienced the quality difference between the Dell 4320 and the Epson 1940w, we'll be buying LCD projectors like the 1940w from now on.

The 1940w has a slightly lower brightness rating on paper, but is MUCH brighter in practice, and has enormously better colours (I actually put the two projectors side by side :P)

The 4320 is a good DLP projector, it's just that we realized that the price premium for LCD is more than worth it.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to milnoc
said by milnoc:

Just got a Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-Ray player today. It, along with the S1100 and S5100 models, support Netflix Super-HD. The S1100 doesn't have Wi-Fi support (just wired Ethernet), and the S5100 *might* support Netflix 3D, but I didn't bother to check since I'm not interested in watching anything presented in 3D.

I'm looking for alternatives to my PS3 that support it, so far the only thing I really like as much as the Boxee are the Roku boxes.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
kudos:2
The only thing I wish Sony would make available is an optional keyboard remote. Typing using the standard remote is slow and painful.
--
Watch my future television channel's public test broadcast!
»thecanadianpublic.com/live