Streaming From PC - Which is the best device to accept stream? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-25-2013, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at getting a media streaming device for my bedroom as opposed to an HTPC. The most important function for me is the ability to receive streamed content from a PC over my home network to the media device, mostly MKV files from a shared network drive. The price range I'm looking at is ~$100 and I have been considering the following devices...
Roku 3
Apple TV MD199LL/A
G-Box Midnight MX2
WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-26-2013, 02:04 AM
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WDTV or Pivos XIOS DS the official Android/XBMC box, you can ditch the Android firmware and use the XBMC/linux firmware too with the XIOS DS.

G-Box has nothing to do with XBMC, it's just a random cloner who got in early and pushed their products on XBMC forums, all they do is take the work Pivos does.

AppleTV is useless, Roku is useless without Plex.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-26-2013, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

WDTV or Pivos XIOS DS the official Android/XBMC box, you can ditch the Android firmware and use the XBMC/linux firmware too with the XIOS DS.

G-Box has nothing to do with XBMC, it's just a random cloner who got in early and pushed their products on XBMC forums, all they do is take the work Pivos does.

AppleTV is useless, Roku is useless without Plex.

Couple things:

Just checked out the XIOS DS, its slightly cheaper and looks good ...my only hang-up is I can't find the hardware spec on the processor, whereas the G-box lists "Dual Core A9 CPU paired with the powerful Mali400 Dual Core 3D GPU Graphics Processor"

Some further research on the WD TV Live Streaming Media Player on WD website http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3787/p/208,393/session/L3RpbWUvMTM2OTU2Nzg0Ny9zaWQvT2FUcVA4cmw%3D
"At the current time Windows 7 HomeGroups must be disabled in order for your media file to appear on the WD TV Live"
This is a non-starter as I'm not going to disable my Homegroups.

What is Plex and why is the Roku useless without it?

Thanks
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-26-2013, 05:39 AM
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I vote Roku + Plex. It's stupid-simple to set up and extremely flexible. Roku provides advantages in UI and other services as well.

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-26-2013, 08:51 AM
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The roku plex app needs to be at 20Mbps to maintain the high PQ of a bluray mkv IMO and it will play for a few mins before it locks up, also it requires transcoding on the host plex server. So if direct mkv playback is what you want the roku is a no go...

There are better options for direct mkv playback. I have a roku XS btw. But I use my LG BD-590 for direct playback of mkv files hosted on a plex dlna server running a Mac OS X computer. The bd590 has issues with vc1 files and cannot play the HD audio tracks, therefore I have an oppo 103 and wdtv live hub on its way to see if I can do any better than the lg bd590.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-31-2013, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by imws View Post

So if direct mkv playback is what you want the roku is a no go...

There are better options for direct mkv playback.

Would a Raspberry Pi with XBMC be a better option?
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-01-2013, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbrown View Post

Would a Raspberry Pi with XBMC be a better option?

Slower than Pivos XIOS XBMC and XIOS comes with hardware decoding for more video formats, R-Pi only gets H.264/MPEG4 out of the box.

You in general wont find support for Windows Homegroups, you must manually share out a folder in Windows or use a UPnP/DLNA server.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-02-2013, 11:20 AM
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Hey guys i have been asking the same question lately as OP, I have been streaming from my laptop via plex media server to ps3 for a while now & all seems fine its just 1 or 2 formats that has tripped me up along the way mkv was my first prob so i installed Showtime media player on ps3 that solved that problem, But now its 1080p movies done with 5 frames in other words 1920*1040 if that makes sense. PS3 does'nt support 5 frames so i'm told 1920*800 4 frames is fine don't pretend to know what all that means:) But here is my question i could spend money on one of these media players and they could end up having more trouble than my current setup would that be right or do they all seem pretty ok?
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-02-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Now I am also thinking of waiting for Ouya to come out at the end of June. The Tegra 3 specs show it being being able to hardware decode a number of video type (eg H.264, VC-1 AP, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 ect).
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-02-2013, 11:15 PM
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There are a lot of media players out there that can do what you want. Price for $100 would be Pivos, WDTV, and that's about it.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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post #11 of 18 Old 06-03-2013, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbrown View Post

Now I am also thinking of waiting for Ouya to come out at the end of June. The Tegra 3 specs show it being being able to hardware decode a number of video type (eg H.264, VC-1 AP, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 ect).

The Ouya is not a good choice
* poor hardware quality
* lame controllers
* no DTS audio pass-through (Ouya have no license)
* no SDcard slot which XBMC uses to save data to
* is stuck using libstagefright version of XBMC


There are three ways XBMC can decode media on Android, CPU based being the worst option, libstagefright a generic hardware decoding API provided by Android (less then optimal with limitations) and direct to the hardware (best option).

The XIOS goes direct to the hardware and is licensed for Dolby/DTS 5.1 and has an SDcard slot, it is made by people who develop XBMC so they know what they are doing more than any of the others who are jumping on the bandwagon.

if you feel like waiting Davilla on XBMC forums (who works for Pivos and is main dev of XIOS branch of XBMC) has hinted at more powerful hardware units coming from Pivos but no ETA, probably something using the Amlogic 8726-M6 or 8726-M8 chipsets.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-03-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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A couple more options I found while surfing...any thoughts?

Boxee Box - $99 refurbished from Amazon - Hardware specs look decent 1.2GHz Intel Atom CPU
Kdlinks hd700 - Looks like it will play all the formats that I want


I'm also worried that the Xios will be too techie for the wife who is still pushing for the Apple TV (I don't want to be stuck having to go through iTunes)...will the above options be any more friendly?
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-03-2013, 05:01 PM
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I personally use the WD TV Live Player and it works great for what I am looking for. I can just simply plug in a USB with .mkv files and it will play without requiring any codecs or plugins! very convenient and efficient
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-03-2013, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glibchef View Post

I personally use the WD TV Live Player and it works great for what I am looking for. I can just simply plug in a USB with .mkv files and it will play without requiring any codecs or plugins! very convenient and efficient

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I won't use the the WD TV Live since according to their website ..."Windows 7 HomeGroups must be disabled in order for your media file to appear on the WD TV Live". This is a non-starter. I mean I'm not complaining that the WD device is not able to use Win7 Homegroups to access files since I could always manually share the media folders the old fasion way in windows. But I am not willing shut down Homegroups on my home network since that is what I use for all four of the Win7 PCs on my home network to talk to each other, just so one device can function.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-03-2013, 10:31 PM
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I' ve been using a couple of Wd streamers with my Win 7 system for years. I have a home group setup, have 3 desktops and 3 laptops all connected and sharing files and printer. I just set up my video and music folders as network shares all on the same workgroup. perhaps you are doing something different than I am with your networked PCs, but WD and Win7 are fine for me.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-04-2013, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbrown View Post

A couple more options I found while surfing...any thoughts?

Boxee Box - $99 refurbished from Amazon - Hardware specs look decent 1.2GHz Intel Atom CPU
Kdlinks hd700 - Looks like it will play all the formats that I want


I'm also worried that the Xios will be too techie for the wife who is still pushing for the Apple TV (I don't want to be stuck having to go through iTunes)...will the above options be any more friendly?

WDTV Live is probably your best option for non-techie

Though XBMC itself is very flexible, for example you can install the Confluence Customizable Mod and turn off almost everything, add-ons, pictures, music etc paring down the player to it's most basic feature set. The Amber skin can also do some of this and is designed for boxes like the XIOS. There are even AppleTV skins available like Quartz.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-27-2013, 03:17 PM
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Will the G-Box Midnight MX2 provide an LFE/Sub/.X channel?
I want to get something like this that will allow me to use the LFE channel when streaming Netflix, like my Pannasonic BD player does.
I've tried the Roku3, but it only has 5.0 surround sound and no LFE/Sub channel.
If the G-Box won't do it ........ is there a similar device that will?
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

WDTV Live is probably your best option for non-techie

Though XBMC itself is very flexible, for example you can install the Confluence Customizable Mod and turn off almost everything, add-ons, pictures, music etc paring down the player to it's most basic feature set. The Amber skin can also do some of this and is designed for boxes like the XIOS. There are even AppleTV skins available like Quartz.

I would not even consider getting a player that does not use XBMC. I have it running in every room in my house and gave away my BoxeeBox and WDTV Player as they do not provide an experience even close to XBMC. My wife could barely use a DVD Player but is able to navigate XBMC and the Add-ons with no problem.

I currently have 5 set-ups with all different hardware. Listed Best to Worse

Alienware x51 - Perfect Home Media & Gaming Centre .. this is hooked up in our main entertainment room.

Appletv 2 - While the AppleTv 2 doesn't have the hardware specs of some of the new boxes out there it still seems to run XBMC the best out of the other Android Boxes I have tried. Never have any issues with crashes or video stutter. This is in our living room/den set up. Only problem is it doesn't do 1080 streams.. hoping a jailbreak for ATV3 comes out soon.

EnjoyTv 520 Dual Core - Great little android box that has HW Acceleration built in and streams 720 and 1080 in XBMC's native player. Android OS actually works pretty good on this box and can be used to browse internet, facebook and other popular apps. Have this set up in my Bedroom.

JynxBox HD & Pivos - boxes are pretty much useless as android media centre's. Video streams were choppy and always buffering even when connected to Ethernet. UI was extremely slow to navigate. I was about to get rid of both of them until I flashed them to Linux and run them as dedicated XBMC boxes. Now they run pretty good and I seem like a decent low end toy to run XBMC . These are set up in each of my kids rooms.

I would think that the Gbox Midnight MX2 would run similar to the EnjoyTv 520 as it has similar specs and I have read some decent reviews on it. For the price I would definitely purchase one of these over getting another Pivos. The Pivos team has done a fantastic job opening up the world of XBMC to Android but until they get better hardware I would not recommend.
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