Suggestion for media player or 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 02-01-2014, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Prerequisites: My home has a quality wired gigabit network, and a NAS capable of SMB or NFS. The movies on the NAS are mostly full size folder structure backups (m2ts/vob).

1. For the first player, an occupied bedroom, Amazon Prime support is the main requirement, and relatively easy/intuitive to operate. Output is HDMI directly into the TV. It would be nice if it could play movies off the NAS. It is a smaller TV so 1080i or 720p would be fine, but it would be nice if it could downscale 1080p media.

Budget for first player is $75 or less ideally, up to $100 or so (Roku 3).

2. This player is to replace a WDTV Live Hub. Output needs to be HDMI and needs to pass the digital audio to a receiver including 7.1. I'd really like it to handle cover art and descriptions, much like the WDTV Live Hub promised to (and mostly did). Ideally the cover art would be compatible with the first player.

Budget for this one is less than it would cost to build an HTPC.

I've read a good number of the threads here, but my head ends up hurting. I'd appreciate suggestions.

My home theater, 16 years and growing in the making (bought the main 5.5's new in 1995)
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post #2 of 2 Old 02-02-2014, 03:54 AM
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Problem is were in technology limbo

The old boxes like WDTV are no longer developed but things like the Roku which are all the rage are not quite as capable as NAS media players compared to the WDTV, especially if you have produced raw disc structure backups. You could run folders through MakeMKV which would extract the movie lossless to MKV container but the Roku would still likely have trouble playing the videos through Plex. You'd need a server with a powerful CPU that could allow the Plex media server to transcode the content in real time making it playable on the Roku.

What we are waiting on is AndroidTV which is basically GoogleTV v4, AndroidTV runs a version of Android 4.2 so it gets Amazon prime instant video but also has the means to run XBMC which will handle the media decoding from a NAS. But AndroidTV devices aren't yet available and the only one known to be coming is the Hisense Pulse Pro hopefully in the next few months. Pivos may also (not totally sure) have a AndroidTV box in the works and their version would support HD audio, it could turn out to be just a regular Android tablet box, still even if it were you'd get XBMC and possibly Amazon video via the tablet app.

Plex is also an option on the AndroidTV boxes but Plex doesn't handle disc structures so well, you'd be better using MakeMKV on the folders to extract the movie, the upside is that the Plex server would not need to transcode the content, the AndroidTV boxes should be up to the task.

There aren't really a whole lot of options for what your trying to do, platforms that support disc structures on a NAS and Amazon video are very rare. The bulk of Amazon video platforms use DLNA media players similar to Plex (without the coverart)
* Game consoles = DLNA
* BD players = DLNA
* Smart TV = DLNA
* Roku = Plex
* GoogleTV = DLNA, Plex or NAS (but not very good at that, as no XBMC)

So a PC is probably the only real option right now or wait for Amazon's own rumoured set top box (which runs their Android fork so that gets you XBMC).
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