Seeking advice on buying a media streaming device - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone

 

I'm looking for some help. I've been using my PS3 for the last few years as a media device, given that it plays pretty much every file format I need. However, it's died and I've replaced with a PS4 which plays... nothing. Nice.

 

So I'm looking for a media streamer now. There's a lot out there so I need some proper advice. I don't have many requirements really:

 

1. must play as many file formats as possible, avi, divx, xvid, mp4, mkv and so on.

2. must be able to play them from a USB stick or similar storage card

3. HDMI out

 

Anything on top of that is nice, but literally just bells and whistles.

 

Budget? Well, I'm realistic. I'm happy to pay for something very good that will last as opposed to something OK that will not last. I'm in the UK btw.

 

The device will most like be plugged into the HDMI In on an Xbox One as I'm out of inputs on my TV!

 

Thank you!

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post #2 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 05:56 AM
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Yeah... I'm SORT of in the same boat now. I used to use the PS3 but then got the boxee box streamer. Great little streamer for its time but it's starting to do some weird things, and they're not making them anymore. I do have the WD TV Live streamer (older version) which works okay, but I find it pretty simplistic. It plays just about everything one could need and it's not a bad price, so if you don't mind simplicity then it could be right for you. I on the other hand use streamers enough so that I'm now thinking of something a bit more high end... popcorn hour, or dune perhaps (although I have heard that dune is starting to slip a little with slow firmware upgrading)

Aside for my little dilemma though... I'm pretty sure just about all streamers will meet your demands (except I believe for Apple tv, which sort of marches to the tune of its owns drummer)
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post #3 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 05:57 AM
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Based on your 3 requirements, your choices are wide open. If you want a jukebox (posters, fanart, movie info.), then you'll want a WD TV Streaming Media Player, Mede8er, Popcorn Hour or Dune. If you want 3D support, then Mede8er X3D series or Popcorn Hour 400 series.

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post #4 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Based on your 3 requirements, your choices are wide open. If you want a jukebox (posters, fanart, movie info.), then you'll want a WD TV Streaming Media Player, Mede8er, Popcorn Hour or Dune. If you want 3D support, then Mede8er X3D series or Popcorn Hour 400 series.

 

Yeah I realise my choices are a bit wide, that's why I'm here :) nothing like poster or fanart interests me and I have no 3d support. I really am just looking for simple, good quality.

 

Oh, and not Apple TV :)

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post #5 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 06:17 AM
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In that case, I'd personally pick either the WD TV media player or a Mede8er MED450X2. Both are solid (just Sigma chip for WD vs. Realtek chip for M8R), and WD has nice premium apps (namely Netflix). I expect others will chime in with recommendations smile.gif.

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post #6 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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The WD stuff does look good, but it also seems to me there's nothing basic enough to just do what I want :)

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post #7 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK13047 View Post

The WD stuff does look good, but it also seems to me there's nothing basic enough to just do what I want smile.gif
The Live-SMP can be as basic as you want. You don't have to make movie sheets and a jukebox UI. I just display a list of video files and pick the one I want to play -- it is pretty basic. You can do the same. Just plug a memory stick or a USB-powered HDD into the front of the Live-SMP and display a list of files, organized in folders if you want -- select and click to play.

In my opinion: Nothing touches the Live-SMP in its price class. The only reason to move up is if you want 3D.

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post #8 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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post #9 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 01:24 PM
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Yes, that's it.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #10 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 02:11 PM
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The WD box can also stream content from a networked PC, correct? That's what I'd like to do-- stream HD video from my PC over my home network to the WD box, then HDMI out through my Denon AV receiver to the TV.

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post #11 of 56 Old 02-04-2014, 02:24 PM
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Yes

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #12 of 56 Old 02-05-2014, 11:37 PM
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Be sure to look at the:

Matricom G-Box MX2 $99 (getting outdated spec wise but runs well)

MiniX NeoX7 $140. Quad-Core Cortex A9 Processor 1.65GHz, QuadCore Mali 400gpu, 2GB ram, 16gb internal storage,simultaneous dual-band 2.4/5GHz b/g/n

That are some purrty specs for under $140. Definitely next on my list...

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post #13 of 56 Old 02-06-2014, 10:56 AM
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Hi all,
I just went through this and went with the KDLinks HD700. It rocks. My old Seagate FAT+ was hitting its ceiling. Stuttering with high bitrate movies or clips. 

 

There is a famous bird scene out there that plays up to 40mbs bit rate (http://www.auby.no/files/video_tests/). The HD700 played through the whole thing with out a hitch.

 

It's bare bones, but I needed something to play movies over my LAN with a NAS device.  It has several USB ports, HDMI out and plays just about everything. Also, it has a gigabit Ethernet port which was extremely important to me. Not sure the WD Live does. 

 

Worth a look for sure at about $130.00

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post #14 of 56 Old 02-06-2014, 11:56 PM
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Actually the various bird scene clips go up to 90mbs (my WDTV suttered at ~50). Can't remember where I downloaded those, though.

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post #15 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 07:17 AM
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I'm guessing that 40 is the average but I wouldn't be surprised if it spiked to 90. That's a heavy scene. The link is above. I was shocked that the KDLinks played through it. It was just time for an upgrade.
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post #16 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 09:05 AM
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What I meant was, that the guy who released this 40 mbit video also released the same video in 20, 24, 28, 34, 38, 40, 42, 50, 55, 60, 70, 80, 90 mbit versions.

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post #17 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 09:33 AM
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Wow. Really? What device can play bitrates that high?
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post #18 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 09:40 AM
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Mede8er X3D series for 90+ bitrates, but only via NFS 32K (if your server supports it).

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post #19 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick4Real View Post

Be sure to look at the:

Matricom G-Box MX2 $99 (getting outdated spec wise but runs well)

MiniX NeoX7 $140. Quad-Core Cortex A9 Processor 1.65GHz, QuadCore Mali 400gpu, 2GB ram, 16gb internal storage,simultaneous dual-band 2.4/5GHz b/g/n

That are some purrty specs for under $140. Definitely next on my list...

 

I ordered the Minix NeoX7 and will have it tomorrow. All the reviews looked good for this one. There are some on youtube you guys can check out too.


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post #20 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 03:58 PM
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I couldn't find the larger Birds files, but I found Jellyfish if needed. Up to 120mbs

http://jell.yfish.us/

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post #21 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 05:22 PM
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For those still looking at media players. I was able to play up to 80 mbps clip using the jelly fish test clips. That's almost double what a traditional blue ray might be. That was with the HD700 and ethernet cable. 

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post #22 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 10:20 PM
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The max bitrate for BD = 48 Mbps.
The max transfer rate for BD = 54 Mbps.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #23 of 56 Old 02-07-2014, 11:44 PM
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Do you care about DTSMA and TrueHD. If you do I wouldn't recommend any Android media players since none of them support DTSMA or TrueHD. If you care for 3D, the Mede8er is the one to beat at the moment. For 2D Dune, Mede8er, PCH and WDTV would work. I didn't like the WDTV much due to the remote not being responsive...or should I say the unit. Plus you need a clear line of sight for it to work. So, it all depends on your budget, and if you care about forced subtitles as well.

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post #24 of 56 Old 02-08-2014, 09:33 PM
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If your serious about streaming decent video you need think about a media server. A Plex server works pretty good for everything out there you can't go wrong.The wdtv doesn't have the processing power to hand large video feed. I think the roku 3 is a pretry big jump in this catagor but you need a server to help offload the work. 

 

I stream blue media all the time and haven't any issues with a plex/roku combo. The wdtv is crashes a lot and the software is a little buggy.


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post #25 of 56 Old 02-08-2014, 09:50 PM
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I think you are in a very small minority. The WD plays flawlessly and steams perfectly, has for years. With the WD I need NO media streamer, network shares work well from either my windows box of my linux box. I stream lots of high bit rate stuff but of course it's all wired not wireless. I feel a media streamer just adds another layer that can create issues. There are times I use one but they are few and far between. If you have files on your computer, the WD will play them straight from there.
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post #26 of 56 Old 02-08-2014, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger1873 View Post

If your serious about streaming decent video you need think about a media server.

Since when? DLNA is an awful crutch and supports less formats while adding a completely unnecessary layer of complexity.

Quote:
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The wdtv doesn't have the processing power to hand large video feed.

Bull, we've been over this.

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post #27 of 56 Old 02-09-2014, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
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Since when? DLNA is an awful crutch and supports less formats while adding a completely unnecessary layer of complexity.

Thats really no longer the case, DLNA is arguably the more popular path these days it's what helped shrink the media player market with DLNA players in everything from TV's to BD players and tablets.

There was a lack of good DLNA servers a few years back but that has changed, for the desktop Plex, Mezzmo, Serviio, TVMobili all work well, some of them are even on commercial NAS too. Mezzmo even feeds ISO images to WDTV and XBMC works with ISO over UPnP/DLNA if the server supports it.

Network shares have become increasingly problematic particularity with windows and the central server approach has become very popular, even XBMC team are moving towards a UPnP central server system, but network shares will stay around of course.


Anyway a WDTV Live would be fine for the task as a basic player.

If you want something XBMC related the Pivos XIOS is the one to go for with it's linux XBMC firmware, it works pretty well these days. There is also a EU clone of the linux XIOS that goes by the name of The Little Black Box that you might be able to get.
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post #28 of 56 Old 02-09-2014, 07:50 AM
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With the rumors of a new Apple TV in March, I'd hold off to see what happens. There's been rumors of HDMI passthrough as well as an open App Store and local storage options.
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post #29 of 56 Old 02-09-2014, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

The max bitrate for BD = 48 Mbps.
The max transfer rate for BD = 54 Mbps.
For 3D BD's, peaks can reach near 100 Mbps. Examples are 'Immortals', 'The Avengers', and 'Titanic' to name a few.

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post #30 of 56 Old 02-09-2014, 09:21 AM
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Hi, I am also seeking a media streamer like the OP.

Ive had a Popcorn hour a-200 since it came out and it has treated me well. I have a ReadyNas Pro that holds all my media files. The A-200 was reading the files as an NFS share on the network and played all the content natively, subtitles included. I was never able to get it play HD over my network so those got transfered to an internal HD, which is formatted in xfs? Ive found lately its been getting slow, overheating, and rebooting randomly. Some files formats (anime?) havent been able to be played lately as well.

I am looking for something that will play everything on my NAS including blurays and 3d rips (eventually?) with all subtitle formats. I was just going to upgrade to the a-410 but it seems like mede8er and dune have some nice offerings as well. My media library is very large and so I would like something that can handle a large library on a NAS without problems.

Thanks so much for all your help.

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