Is there a cheapo device that can play mpeg 4 videos as well as PS3? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-03-2009, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, here is my current situation. I have a bunch of HD videos in MKV format. I have converted these movies to mpeg 4 (or basically put them in a mpeg 4 container) with mkv2vob. I have also split the files for use with a FAT 32 external Hard Drive. This way, I can use this FAT 32 external HDD, and plug it directly into the PS3, and not even need to use the PC whatsoever. The nice benefit to that, is that I don't need to leave my computer on 24/7, to be able to stream a HD video. I don't need to go to my computer room and make sure PS3 Media Server is active, and detects my PS3. Also, I can take both my PS3, and the external HDD on the road with me, and have a collection of HD videos on the go.

Ok, now, what I'm curious about, is if there are any other devices that will work with this external HDD besides my PS3. Obviously, the PS3 isn't exactly cheap, and I can't afford to put a PS3 in each room in my house. Also, if there was a cheaper, smaller device, then it would be easier to take my external HDD on the go with me (if I so choose).

I know Best Buy sells some $99 set top box type device that is supposedly compatible with external HDD's, but I don't know what video formats it supports, and if it would be compatible with what mkv2vob spits out. Anybody have any ideas or suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-04-2009, 12:51 PM
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a "Popcorn Hour" machine is like $200 i think, it plays everything under the sun. don't know how it would fare with the mkv2vob converts... its network enabled as well, so that might save you some running around...

probably not as cheap as you are thinking...

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-04-2009, 01:08 PM
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I'm not necessarily making a recommendation here (as I don't have either of these devices yet), but there is a lot of talk about either the WDTV (Western Digital, cost about $125) or the Popcorn Hour A110 in the digital media servers sub-forum here at AVS:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39

I'm kind of in the same boat, where I'm looking to add a second media playing device (that's cheaper than the PS3 but will play everything that I've converted already), but since I'm looking for something that has wireless capabilities, I'm leaning towards the Popcorn Hour A110. The WDTV, based on what I've read, might suit your needs since you play off a USB hard drive and its significantly less expensive.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2009, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Shortly after making this post I stumbled upon the WDTV. This is very close to what I'm talking about. It's price ($99.99 on sale at most places), is exactly what I'm looking to pay. Unfortunately, it only has HDMI output and composite output. No component. If it had component output, I would but it immediately. I still have an older HDTV in my bedroom that I would love to use that WDTV on, but unfortunatley, no HDMI.

I wonder if this is a legal restriction, or if it was just a cost cutting measure? (not having component output)
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-05-2009, 12:57 AM
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There's another alternative, but I hesitate to recommend it as the output resolution is pretty low 720x576. However, it does have component output
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-05-2009, 08:08 AM
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-05-2009, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacom8 View Post

a "Popcorn Hour" machine is like $200 i think, it plays everything under the sun. don't know how it would fare with the mkv2vob converts... its network enabled as well, so that might save you some running around...

probably not as cheap as you are thinking...

+1

The software is kind of buggy and takes some getting used to, but my NMT/Popcorn Hour is all I watch movies on anymore. Plays 1080P MKV no problem. Also handles 1080p .ts files with TrueHD or DTS-HD MA (via my Onkyo AVR) without a hitch. All my media is streamed from a server, but the Popcorn Hour can hold an internal 3.5" or 2.5" drive, and can also read from external USB drives so that shouldn't be a problem for you. And the device is fairly small -- about the size of a broadband router.

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-05-2009, 01:09 PM
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eCost has the WD box for $82 +ship (reman).

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