BEST/AFFORDABLE DIGITAL NETWORK MEDIA STREAMING PLAYER???! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-24-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

The goal of this thread is to display what I currently have, what the issues are, and what I need. And I need feedback from many on what I should get to achieve my goal in the "What I want" section.

My Setup currently is:
  • 60" Sony Bravia 1080P HDTV (Does not support 3D)
  • Dish Network
  • Samsung BD-D5700 BlueRay Player (Released: 2011) (Does not support 3D)
  • Onkyo HT-S5400 (7.1 Home Theater System) (Released: 2011) (Does support 3D, ARC, and Pass-Through!)
  • XBOX 360 (Do not have XBOX Live currently)
  • NetGear WNDR3800 Router (connected to the Comcast Cable Internet Connection, not DSL!)
  • Seagate GoFlex Home Network Storage System (External Hard Drive - 2 TB) connected to my Router via Ethernet Cable (This houses all of my Media files, from movie files, to music, to pictures, and documents!)

ISSUES:
  • My BlueRay Player plays NetFlix, but the NetFlix App does not support 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound streams nor does it support Subtitles and 1080P Videos for my Blueray model.
  • My BlueRay Player supports the amazing Plex application, but it can drop the DLNA connection abruptly. My files are located on my Seagate Network Hard Drive. My router is great, so i know DLNA should work fine, as I am able to access my files smoothly on my smartphone all the time.
  • My BlueRay Player does not support M2Ts format, but supports many other formats.

So I I know I must replace my BlueRay Player to the new Samsung Model or the Sony one, so that the NetFlix app supports the things i am missing (5.1 surround sount, subtitles, and 1080p streams), and is very good with DLNA via Plex!

Furthermore, I am wondering if I need any Digital Network Media Streamers, such as PopCorn Hour, DuneHD, Sony Google TV, Mica EP Series, or Western Digital WD TV Live. (Roku does not suit me as it has issue and I dont like it)


WHAT I WANT:

Devices that support the following:
  1. Support DLNA Streaming (SMB/UPnP) very well for streaming high resolution (up to 1080P) and surround sound media files (up to 7.1 surround sound) from my network hard drive.
  2. Support Plex App or the XBMC Media Interface directly on the device (either BlueRay Player or a Network Media Streamer)
  3. Support surround sound and 1080p with subtitles streaming from apps like: NetFlix and Vudu, Redbox Instant, and etc.
  4. Support Phone Mirroring via Miracast or something similar (Samsung has Allshare Cast)
  5. Support many file formats and audio/video containers for low and high resolution and surround sound formats (including 7.1 surround sound), including:
    -> Video Files: AVI, MKV, MP4, M2TS, MOV, DAT, VOB, IFO, MPG, TS, TP, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, FLV, and ISO (and BlueRay ISO files with menu) (RM files are not that important to me!)
    -> Video Codecs: H.264/AVC, MPEG1/2/4, DivX/Xvid, VC-1, and RMVB
    -> Audio Formats: AC3, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-MA (Master Audio), MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC, M4A, WAV
    -> Image Formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and TIF files
  6. Supports Web Browser (Built-in) (that supports Flash/Java) to go to websites that support Flash video and be able to stream and watch it on my HDTV.
  7. Supports USB Input and Built-in WiFi, with Ethernet Connection also!
  8. Supports latest Firmware Updates directly via the Internet or USB.
  9. Supports a Smartphone App (for Android) to behave as remote control or for typing as keyboard!

BLUERAY PLAYERS:

SO, here are the 2 BlueRay Players that i compared and the difference between each:

SAMSUNG BD-F5900
-> Supports:
1) [YES]
2) [YES, has the Plex App]
3) [YES]
4) [YES, via AllShare Cast]
5) [YES, but don't know about M2TS and ISO Files]
6) [YES, but don't know if it supports Flash/Java]
7) [YES]
8) [YES]
9) [DON'T KNOW]

SONY BDP-S5100
-> Supports:
1) [YES]
2) [NO, but has Gracenote that pulls in meta-data for media files!]
3) [YES]
4) [NO]
5) [YES, but don't know about M2TS and ISO Files]
6) [YES, but don't know if it supports Flash/Java]
7) [YES]
8) [NO, since firmware updates are supposed to be installed by burning them unto a blank CD (this is what i heard)]
9) [DON'T KNOW, but does have a TV-Side View app!]

WireCutter.com labeled the Sony one as the BEST Player! See: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-blu-ray-player/
So, can someone tell me which is the better player, and if the Samsung one supports the M2TS and ISO files and has Flash/Java in its browser?


NETWORK MEDIA PLAYERS:

Can everyone who has researched on Network Media Players before, please provide their preferences and feedback as to what is the BEST NETWORK MEDIA PLAYER OUT THERE RIGHT NOW, that supports the following:
  • many many file formats and containers!
  • Full 1080P HD video (via HDMI 1.4a) and up to 7.1 Surround Sound (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA) (either via HDMI or Optical/Coaxial Audio)!
  • can stream via DLNA easily and smoothly for high resolution media files that also supports surround sound (up to 7.1) and in full 1080P HD!
  • built-in WiFi with Ethernet Connection port!
  • Comes from a manufacturer that provides good support and releases good firmware updates easily!
  • Has very good and powerful hardware and software support
  • has a nice beautiful interface (like Plex or XBMC) that fills in the meta-data (using the internet) for my media files that are on my Seagate network hard drive, from the following list:

  1. Western Digital WD TV Live
  2. MiniX (Neo X5 or the upcoming X7) -> This is an Android based Media Box that has access to the Google Play Store, and can do almost everything a smartphone/tablet does!! (http://www.minix.com.hk/Products.htm) (http://www.minix.us/)
  3. PopCorn Hour A-400 (http://www.cloudmedia.com/products/popcornhour/store-a-400)
  4. DuneHD (affordable and very good player for under $200) (http://www.duneplayer.com/) (Has a Za
  5. Zappiti Player (http://zappiti.com/zappiti_player_series.html) (Has one Player that DuneHD also supports!)
  6. Sony Google TV (http://store.sony.com/p/NSZ-GS7/en/p/NSZGS7)
  7. Micca EP Series (http://content.miccastore.com/node/208)
  8. KDLINKS HD700 Extreme (http://www.kdlinks.com/index.php/home-products/kdlinks-hd700-network-media-player.html)

Also, which one of the above has Apps like NetFlix and etc? (I know the MiniX does, as it connects directly to the Google Play Store!)

Can someone please list the PROS/CONS of each media player above and list their preferences, and features! PLEASE!!! Provide info on the media player's hardware and software and usability and features! Also, is it better to have the hardware do the transcoding of the media files that are coming into the unit via DLNA or USB? If so, what is the best player that does transcoding of many file formats and containers

NOTE: Since i am using my network hard drive (Seagate GoFlex 2TB), I don't mind getting a media player that has room to support a 3.5" hard drive in the unit. If it does, then I need a media player that supports up to 4TB+ (I think the Micca does this!)!

The reason why I put MiniX in there is cause the X7 will be Quad-Core and its supposed to be amazing! Who wouldn't want Android directly on their HDTV! And it supports XBMC and Plex!!

I compared many but I am tired of comparing and want to decide very soon!!

Please provide a detailed and solid feedback through research. I will really really appreciate it. I am tired of comparing products and researching and want to make a decision soon.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

REPLY.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-24-2013, 04:58 PM
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DLNA sucks, sorry. For streaming high bitrate HD content locally, consider Mede8er, Dune or PCH. Pros/cons to each route, but to me Mede8er is best (perfect 2D and 3D playback, decent jukebox support, and iPad jukebox control). This covers you for local media. For online, Roku is terrific, and supports Plex. But, for all the things you list, like a web browser, a HTPC is the only way to go.

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-24-2013, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msyed500 View Post


Can someone please list the PROS/CONS of each media player above and list their preferences, and features! PLEASE!!! Provide info on the media player's hardware and software and usability and features! Also, is it better to have the hardware do the transcoding of the media files that are coming into the unit via DLNA or USB? If so, what is the best player that does transcoding of many file formats and containers

your very post sounds like a homework assignment with stern consequences if not answered correctly.

like Brajesh said, DLNA sucks.

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post #4 of 4 Old 07-25-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

DLNA sucks, sorry. For streaming high bitrate HD content locally, consider Mede8er, Dune or PCH. Pros/cons to each route, but to me Mede8er is best (perfect 2D and 3D playback, decent jukebox support, and iPad jukebox control). This covers you for local media. For online, Roku is terrific, and supports Plex. But, for all the things you list, like a web browser, a HTPC is the only way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero 1 View Post

your very post sounds like a homework assignment with stern consequences if not answered correctly.

like Brajesh said, DLNA sucks.

Hello,

Thanks for the replies. haha, i don't mean to publish my posting as a HWK assignment. Sorry about that, but I am just in a rush to get the best product for the price and features!

Ok, so step by step:
  1. Why is DLNA bad? It works pretty well on my GalaxyS3 phone.
  2. How does DLNA work on most media streamers or set-top boxes? (I dont have a set-top box yet, so that is why i am asking).
  3. Mede8er seems really good, but is it better than DuneHD, Popcorn Hour, or the Micca EP Series?
  4. I just came across: The Little Black Box (http://www.thelittleblackbox.nl/en/), which has built-in XBMC, supports AirPlay, and comes with a remote control/keyboard. How is this compared to the rest I mentioned?
  5. I also came across the PIVOS XIOS, (i heard from them that there AIOS Series is an older series). The XIOS has Android and can put XBMC in it. Does anyone know how good this is and if it can fullfil my need/want? (http://pivosgroup.com/xios.html). How does it compare to Dune and Micca?
  6. Who is a good manufacturer that releases firmware updates and keeps the device going for years!
  7. I also came across this Jynxbox Android HD (Android & XBMC based) set-top box. It has many great features, but i cannot find an optical output for surround sound. (http://www.boxtoptheater.com/products/jynxbox-android-hd) Would anyone know about this and how it is?
  8. What's the best media device or set-top box that collects accurate meta-data (title, director/artist, description, length, etc..) for my all media files (either on network or attached USB hard drive or 3.5" hard drive via bay) and displays it on the HDTV with the resolution/format info (such as: 1080P, AAC, 5.1 Dolby Digital, 16:9, etc..) directly on the screen for each media file?? And which device out of the supported ones allows me to update the meta-data manually, if its inaccurate. (Plex allows updates, and I know the Mede8er has XML meta-data collection, but it does not display the resolution/format info on the screen for each media file, or DOES IT??)

I am a believer that you get what you pay for, so I don't want a cheap device. I am willing to spend anywhere from $100-300 for a device (network media streamer or set-top box) that has everything I need/want and will last me for years!

Brajesh-> you mentioned that you tried many devices in the past. Can you please tell me which ones and what was your experience and which one you recommend the most and why?? Also, what kind of media files do you stream to your media devices? Are they 1080P with surround sound capability?

reply soon.

thanks!!
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Samsung Bd D5700 Blu Ray Disc Player Black , Onkyo Ht S5400 7 1 Channel Home Theater System , Sony Bdp S5100 3d Blu Ray Disc Player With Wi Fi , Samsung Bd F5900 3d Wi Fi Blu Ray Disc Player
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