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Are ad-on DVD applications significantly better than OEM?

Thanks very much for your time, this isn't really a problem just a quest for an unbiased answer. Are pricey add-ons like Win DVD7 Platinum or Power DVD 7 significantlty better than the HP DVD Player or Media Center. This is a new HP Media Center PC with DVI and Digital Audio. The display is a 30" hi-def monitor/TV combo and the audio runs through a 1000 watt Pioneer Home Theatre. Performance is excellent already, can it get better?

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Unbiased answer

In reply to: Are ad-on DVD applications significantly better than OEM?

If the performance is already excellent why take a chance with something that could possibly mess it up?.

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Depends

In reply to: Are ad-on DVD applications significantly better than OEM?

It all depends on what sort of things you value on this front, and then, how much you value them.

In terms of picture quality on an LCD display, there's no real comparing of SVGA and DVI. DVI is the clear winner since it's a digital connection system, so there's no need for any signal conversions, where unavoidable quality loss occurs.

On the audio front, the same is true. If you're using analog connections now, you will find a big improvement in audio quality if you go with a SPDIF passthrough setup. Particularly if you have a 5.1 speaker setup. There's no comparing upmixed stereo to true 5.1 discreet channeling. The clarity of the LFE channel alone will do wonders for sound quality.

Now, the question is, how much money these things are worth to you, which is something only you can answer. It's also not something that requires an all new computer. You could just replace the video card with one that supports DVI and the sound card with one that has SPDIF output.

In my personal opinion, if you already have a 30" TV and home theater system, then you strike me as the sort of person who would consider it worth the money to have these things, but it doesn't require a whole new computer.

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I am using spdif output to Pioneer receiver

In reply to: Depends

Thanks for the post, I am utilizing the spdif out as well DVI-D as I ordered the upgrade sound card and Video card on the PC and it is a 2 week old Media Center PC. This model has the Media Center as well as the HP DVD player, but I was told that the Win or Power DVD decoders have a much broader spectrum of configurations than the OEM, but until I see something really spectacular, I think I'll save the money and space on the hard drive. thx

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In that case

In reply to: I am using spdif output to Pioneer receiver

Yes, save your money. One DVD player is pretty much the same as the next, and the HP player is probably set to respond to the keys on the remote that came with the system, whereas any other program would have to be configured manually, if it was even possible.

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