Stream Blu-ray ISO to TV with PC stick?

Discussion in 'General Hardware Issues' started by moviemadness, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    Has anyone used one of those PC sticks for this purpose? Most media devices and apps like Roku, Plex, etc. can't playback Blu-ray ISOs, so it seems the only way is to use a media device that is an actual Windows PC. These sticks have very little storage (32-64GB usually), but most have a USB port which you can connect to an external HD that stores your ISOs. You install PowerDVD to the PC stick and play the ISOs like you normally do, except that you plug the stick into your TV and see the output there. There are Android/iOS apps for remote-controlling the PowerDVD playback from your smartphone. So my question is has anyone here actually done it like this? Are those PC sticks reliable and efficient? Are there any DRM, HDCP, or AnyDVD issues with them? Are they even fast enough to play BDs? These sticks cost $150-$500. I really would rather not spend more than I would for a $100+ Roku box, which I already think is overpriced.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  2. seajunk

    seajunk Member

    In the $150 range you can also look at the lesser known media streamers from kdlinks, himedia and mede8er that will play bd iso's with full menu's. Ive used the kdlinks hd720 for a number of years.
     
  3. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    How is the BD menu support of these things? I looked up the HiMedia Q10 ( http://www.himediatech.com/q10iv.html ) and the page says "BD support is via custom BD-Lite menus, not the original disc menu." What does that mean exactly? I take it that it does not have full menu support, the kind you get from regular BD players. Is this typical of boxes like this?
     
  4. seajunk

    seajunk Member

    The level of BD menu support is based on the chipset the device uses. Generally devices with a sigma designs or realtek 1186 will support the full BD disc menu just as you see on stand alone blu ray players.
    For other chipsets, the device will replace the BD disc menu with a plain list on the screen with the same options (play, scene, setup etc). This is the BD-Lite menu. You dont loose any functionality, you just dont have the fancy disc menu.
    If you dont mind the lite menus, the Q10 looks like a good box.
     
  5. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    Thanks for your help so far, btw. KDLinks HD720 uses Realtek 1186 chip, I believe, and this page says the box supports true BD menus, but only for BD profile 1.0 (i.e. no BD Live, which needs profile 2.0) and 2D BDs only. Is this true with your HD720? Do you know of any such boxes that support BD profile 2.0? BD Live is not that important to me, but I just want to see if such boxes exist.
     
  6. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    I researched a little more, and it seems the chips you mentioned did at one time support full BD menus, but only on some old player models. The industry has since disallowed this feature so that newer players, even those with those chips (including KDlinks HD720), do not support full BD menus.

    I'm now looking at one of those Intel NUC mini PCs that run real Windows, which will allow me to run PowerDVD with full menu support.

    I'm also looking at these:

    VidOn.me AV200 Android box - http://www.vidon.me/vidon_box_av200.htm

    Vidon XBMC Pro app - http://www.vidon.me/vidon_xbmc.htm

    Both claim to provide genuine BD menu support.
     
  7. ddjmagic

    ddjmagic Well-Known Member

    They do have BD menu support, but from my experience this isn't close to 100% (it is a good box though)
    If you have to have BD menu support than PowerDVD would be the best choice IMO.
    I've started to drift towards MKV and main movie playback now, they pretty much work with any box.
     
    whatever_gong82 likes this.
  8. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    What kind of problems have you experienced in that regard? Are all the important functions present: choosing different cuts of a movie from the menu, viewing picture galleries from the menu interface, choosing different episodes of a TV show on the menu, etc.?

    PowerDVD is the best choice, but unfortunately Windows is the worst platform ever existed. So I'm always looking for alternatives.

    I do have a lot of MKV, MP4, etc. that I can stream easily with other boxes, but I also have a lot of BD/DVD ISOs. Unless there is a super-cheap and super-fast way of transcoding video, I'm unlikely to convert ISOs to MKV and MP4.
     
  9. ddjmagic

    ddjmagic Well-Known Member

    Minor problems like certain functions of the menus not working properly to major problems of menus not loading at all.
    You can still play the movies however, just not using the full menu.

    You don't have to transcode the video, software like CloneBD can create a lossless/untouched MKV from the ISO, speed wise it's as quick as your source/destination drive can handle. Note: This function is also free in CloneBD.
    You're right though, it's still a pain if you have lot's of ISO's already.
     
  10. moviemadness

    moviemadness Member

    Sometimes I need to put "burned in" subtitles on the MKV/MP4 because the streaming box can't work with the subtitle streams nor even external .SRT subtitles. The Roku box, for instance, doesn't seem to support certain font sets and doesn't display subtitles in certain languages. So I have to create a video that has "burned in" subtitles, which alters the image of the video, which, in turns, requires transcoding.

    In cases when the subtitles don't pose a problem, I definitely try to "pass through" the video and audio to save time in creating the MKV/MP4. But sometimes I don't bother doing even that and just leave ISOs as they are.