Apple TV with Infuse Pro or HTPC with madVR ?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by ng4ever, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. ng4ever

    ng4ever Flaccid 4Evar

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    Which one would be better, have higher picture quality, and more reliable + supported ? I know which one is cheaper.
     
  2. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Apple TV is great if you have an Apple Ecosystem. Phones automatically trigger search boxes when you go to search. Can airplay easily (like if you want to show someone a picture or YouTube video). The interface is sooo smooth and responsive.

    But if you aren't willing to use the ecosystem (like having an iTunes server) then you might not find it that enjoyable. Videos must be in MP4 format with either AAC stereo or Dolby Digital (or both). It wont play DTS, or any HD audio. If you rip your own movies, you will want to use Handbrake. If you get movies from online sources than you will need to repackage the video from AVI to M4V. I use Subler on a Mac to do this since it's specifically designed to do this job, not sure what a Windows equivalent would be.

    I have a collection of about 1400 movies on a iTunes server and have a pretty good work flow for ripping movies or sourcing online. So it's not an issue for me and I'm used to it. But you aren't going to be able to just dump whatever media you want into iTunes and it just work. You MUST curate your library.

    Apple TV will play h265 4K content that you may find online. Again though, you will have to at the very least transcode the audio into 640Kb/s 5.1 Dolby Digital or you can keep E-AC3 if the file has it.....which is rare. I then use Subler and combine the original video stream from the file and replace the original audio with the transcoded audio (a 2channel AAC stream and a 5.1 Dolby Digital stream).

    I like Apple TV, we have 3 in the house. But in order to do all that it does, you have to supply it with consistency. The HTPC and other stuff will give you freedom to do whatever, but at the expense of not being as streamlined.

    I also have Plex running on my Mac in order to feed our Roku TV's in the house as well as to watch movies away from home, and Plex is totally inferior to iTunes (in my experience...Plex fans feel free to rebut).
     
  3. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sorry, I didn't register the Infuse Pro part of the title. I have not used this. Dolby Digital has been fine for me, I have a disc player if I really want to enjoy a movie. And iTunes will natively stream 4K local files (that didn't come from iTunes store), so I didn't have a reason to get Infuse Pro.

    The HD audio seemed to be the only reason to go with Infuse Pro, and with 4K files being 50-60GB, I haven't downloaded too many.

    I also use Handbrake to add some dynamic range compression and also increase the audio volume by +5db. This has eliminated any problems of having to jack up the volume or keeping the volume control in hand to go between whisper scenes and action scenes. Since Handbrake only supports Dolby Digital, even on 4K movies I have downloaded, the HD audio issue wasn't an issue for me.