Set top box for playing media on TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an older HDTV that doesn't support playing media. I want to be able to play my movie files (mp4, mkv, avi) on the TV. I have a PC connected to the TV but I use the PC for gaming so I don't want to put the extra load on the PC or need a second sound card to have sound from both sources.

I don't care about internet streaming sources. I am more interested in playing files off of USB or across network.

It looks like WD TV Play or WD TV Live would do this. I am not sure what the difference is between the two. What other options are there?

Thanks

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 09:30 AM
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Do you have a surround sound setup with a receiver, or just your TV? If you do not have a surround sound receiver then get the Live, if any of your MKV files have Dolby DTS audio, the WDTV Play cannot decode and play them, but the Live can.

There is not much out there relative to what the WDTV offers, there are other media players, but they are proprietary, geared towards streaming and is many cases more money, and its unclear yet if they are worth the money, in terms of reliability, stability and whether the companies making them will be around a year or two from now. I was a huge fan of the DLink Boxee Box but they dropped that over a year a go and left a void in the market. The way things are going, I don't know that we are going to see any new media players geared towards local content since everything seems to be going towards streaming, I hope I am wrong.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 09:34 AM
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The WD TV Live does this for me. Roku also does some of this but is more limited unless used with Plex which is my favorite right now. Plex really adds a lot. There are a multitude of products that do this now.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 09:47 AM
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Yes Plex is nice but its designed to transcode or downsample media to be played over a slow connection or the internet, not everyone has their media on something that has the CPU power to transcode, so something to consider.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 10:22 AM
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The transcoding is optional with a fast connection, especially ethernet, and I have a fast (i7) cpu on my desktop. I don't use wireless except for my phone and tablet and my wireless connection is fast at least with the tablet. Its one of the reasons I don't believe in using a low performance cpu.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-07-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The TV doesn't have any sort of sound system.

I have a fast PC (core i7-3770k, GTX-690). However I want its full power for gaming. I want any decoding done by the box not the PC.

It sounds like the WD Live TV is the best fit. The Wifi is 3' away. The gigabit switch is 5' away. My external hd for my pc is 3' away.

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