iMac vs. disc player + monitor vs. "smart" tv. Please advise!
Posted by: nbpf on 14 April 2016
During the last two years, my approach towards (occasional) replaying of DVDs and streaming of AV contents (mainly from BP's Digital Concert Hall) has been very straightforward:
1) Place an old 24 inches iMac in front of the sofa and connect to the mains
2) Connect the iMac to the Naim DAC via 10m optical cable
This has worked quite well until recent browser (Firefox 45.0.2) and Flash Player (21.0.0) upgrades have conspired to reveal how old a 10 years old iMac actually is. Now the CPU load goes up to about 140% when streaming from the DCH archive in full screen mode and I am experiencing massive frame drops and upscaling artifacts. I might be able to revert to more usable FF/FP combinations but it is clear that, after 10 years, the iMac is now reaching its limits. Thus, I am considering replacing the current setup with something new.
An obvious possibility is to replace the old iMac with a new 27 inches retina iMac. But I was wandering whether a smart tv or a combination of a disc player (Oppo, Arcam, ?) and a monitor could be more better alternatives.
I have to add that I am only interested in solutions which can be easily set up and removed. Once a film or concert is over, the iMac (monitor, tv) should readily get out of the living room. In my current setup, the optical cable is steadily connected to the Naim DAC and disappears in a cabinet when the connection to the iMac is not needed. In a disc player based solution, I would put the disc player on a separate shelf beneath the DAC and the optical cable would be replaced by an HDMI cable. In a smart-tv based solution, the current setup would not change.
What do you think? What are the pros and the contras of iMac vs. disc player vs. smart tv? I would be grateful if you could provide some advice. Thanks, nbpf