Are the media8r units still in development by the manufacturer? Are they still releasing firmware for these units?
I have the Kdlinks Hd720 (Realtek 1186 chipset) and the WDTV Live smp and they will both do what you want.
The remote on the KDL is a bit cheap and the UI is pretty downright ugly (similar to the medi8er). The apps are pretty weak. But the player just works
. I haven't encountered ANY problems at all. Check out the review here
. You can also use about.jpg images. I create a short video of how that looks here
. The 720 can house an internal HDD and the 700 is the exact same thing without the HDD bay.
The WDTV is a great option for a pretty-looking interface. They have a sick user-base and fans making custom themes. And WD support is great. Their last FW added DTS-MA pass-through. Google WDTV Titan theme for an example. On the downside, it can be a bit buggy at times. I have noticed this with Network shares. Sometime you might have difficulty connecting. It keeps spinning, which then requires a reboot. But I turn my pc on and off all the time. Still, it isn't much of a problem.
If I had to choose between the 2, I would go for the WDTV. But if I had to pick one that needed to work 100% and wanted a simple hit-play-and-go player, that's the kdlinks.