Much has been talked about here recently about the benefits of PC audio and its ability to transmit a virtually jitter-free and error-free digital signal through an Asynchronous USB to S/PDIF device like the Musical Fidelity V-link. This is great when playing back audio content saved onto a hard drive or streaming audio from Pandora, but as I'm sure we've all found out, its not as easy to store and playback DVD's in this same fashion.
In order for me to ditch my Sony CX777ES Mega Changer and Escient Fireball I will need something that will be able to store and playback my DVDs. Recently I came across a Sony VAIO VG-XL1(B) which is basically Mega Changer that sends this information to a PC via Firewire.. its not decoded the same as i.Link, its the same technology used in Sony's camcorder line from my understanding. I would need the proper software (not sure of what I will need yet, or if I just use what comes with the changer) and a PC with a Firewire input. If this works then I'm covered for DVD's. Has anyone used one of these to vouch on how difficult it is to set-up and use in this manner?
However, what do I do for Blu-Ray? The V-link doesn't work for this purpose and in order for me to be able to decode the newer formats I will at least need a way to transit the audio via HDMi or Multi-Channel analog outs. There is also the issue of not being able to utilize the DSD stream for SACD. I don't want to do this with HDMi anyways, to me the only way to send the DSD stream is via i.Link to a DSD compatible processor or receiver. At this point I view HDMi as a video source only, but that's a topic for a completely different thread.
I still may need to go with something like the Oppo BDP-83 I spoke of in my previous thread, but if there is a way to do this with just a PC I am game. Someone needs to design a Media Center PC around the BDP-83, and be done with it. I have contemplated such an undertaking.
I need something that plays digital content directly off a hard-drive sent converted to S/PDIF Asynchronously, transmits the DSD feed from SACD CD via i.Link and video via HDMi. With an internal DAC that automatically matches the output of the digital signal like the Behringer I mentioned before all one would need is an amp and speakers. Everything else could be controlled through a nifty device like this.
The closest thing out there that does all this is the PS3, but it too doesn't send the DSD feed, it converts everything to LPCM. And its browser is terrible for streaming video and audio.. and it needs an external DAC and processor to decode the formats anyways.
I got it pretty well figured out for audio playback only. Get a V-link, send it to my DAC and play. Its a little more complicated in my system, but you get the idea. With newer video formats and even DVD, I am stumped.
If we all put our minds together I am certain we can design something that will be able to do all of these things, the technology is out there, figuring out how to make it all work together in a single box solution is the real challenge. No company or product has yet got it right and its become more complicated than ever.
I've been doing some research on the net into building my own media server. I still have to do alot more research but at this point I find the idea quite appealing. doesn't seem like it'll be an impossible do for me.
AFA my own processing issues go, I'm starting to research legacy pre-pros with video pass thru. If I can find one that will pass HDMI 1.4 and simply serve as a HDMI switcher when it comes to video for the right price on the used market I may have to go that route. If I can't find a suitable used unit at the right price that does HDMI 1.4._mykl
Joined: Mar 13, 2003
From: Sewell, NJ
Posted: 2011-08-25 10:30
I just took a look at the VGX-XL1 Operating Instructions. The operating system installed on the VGX-XL1A PC is Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition. This tells me that the product is obsolete. IMHO, the starting point should be network attached storage (NAS) if you are serious about going all digital. As a starting point, you might check out http://www.buffalotech.com/products/network-storage/terastation/. I am pretty sure that all of the drives listed are DNLA compatible, meaning that if a connected device is also DNLA compatible and includes software/firmware to view a file type, it should be able to play any of that type file stored on the NAS. Any Windows 7 PC would do the job.
In order to avoid ripping all of ones CDs/DVDs to digital files, what one needs is a player that appears as a NAS device and is DNLA compatible. That would be perfect!
On 2011-08-25 10:30, jehill wrote: ... In order to avoid ripping all of ones CDs/DVDs to digital files, what one needs is a player that appears as a NAS device and is DNLA compatible. That would be perfect!</DIV>
So far I have ripped almost 300 CDs that I own. All the music is stored in FLAC files. Believe me, it accumulates to a lot of hours ripping CDs.
Make sure you back up the digital copies if you rip them. I ran out of space in my old back up hard drives & recently bought a 1 terabyte hard drive for back up purposes. Two more 1 terabyte hard drives will be added for redundancy.
Joined: Mar 13, 2003
From: Sewell, NJ
Posted: 2011-08-26 10:02
Here is something else that I came up with by googling "networked attached DVD storage. I have no idea how much it cost, but it creates images of CDs/DVDs to disc and allows any connected device to play the disc. Here is an excerpt from the FAQ:
"What is a CD/DVD server?
A CD DVD server is a specially designed network attached storage system that shares information stored on CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs with others in your organization or those who have access to your network. These NAS devices connect directly to your Ethernet network, saving the cost of a separate server and network software license.
When you place a CD or DVD disc into the server's optical drive(s) it automatically copies an exact disc image onto the server's hard drive. The original CD or DVD can be put away in a safe place as users will now have access to the disc image."
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