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Media Player Recommendation

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I have all my DVDs ripped on my network nas server and I'm trying to find the best device to play them with. All my devices are connected to the same network I am using a Marantz AV7701 pre-amp to do all the switching. The first thing I tried was a Boxee which worked great when directly connected to my TV but it didn't work at all with my pre-amp so I gave up on it. I also tried Roku + Plex but it doesn't always pick up new files in the media library and gets wrong cover work for 20% of my movies so I'm not really happy with that setup which also requires a computer to be running at all times for the Plex Media Server.

The next avenue I'm thinking of trying is getting one of those Popcorn boxes from cloud media. They look to support everything I want (vob, mkv, and mkv3d files) plus have some nice little things like a netflix app and such. My only dilemma is I got worried when ordering from overseas like China.

Does anyone recommend any other media players that can connect to a network file server to play VOB, MKV, and MKV3D files that would work when connected to a pre-amp like my Marantz?

Thanks!
post #2 of 19
The boxee box didn't have an optical audio out? The roku and the WDTV both have it so you can route audio to your receiver. I'm not familiar with your model preamp but I assume it does support optical audio.

I have the WDTV and it plays vob and mkv over the network fine, but I am not sure about 3d support.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Cool I was looking at the WDTV last night also and it seems like a good fit as the reviews on it are good. Are you accessing your media files through DLNA or Samba with no problem and does the WDTV do a good job at getting movie info such as the cover art and description from online? Thanks!

(Btw, the problem with the Boxee is that no video or audio was sent to my TV when connected to the receiver. It only worked for me when directly connected to the TV.)
Edited by rsumi - 4/5/13 at 10:41am
post #4 of 19
I am accessing with SMB, I have used DLNA and it did work, but I didn't like the extra software that has to run on the pc in the background all the time.

The WDTV does get all the box art if the filenames are simple. It works for tv shows too. I have only had one or two where it didn't get box art because the filename was either too long or too complicated for the search.

My receiver is old and doesnt have hdmi, so I connect hdmi to my tv and optical audio to my receiver and then tell the WDTV to output audio via optical, and that's how my setup works. I am guessing you connect hdmi and optical audio both to receiver? If it works with your tv and not with your receiver, that sounds like a receiver setting problem.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey ZmHD69PigQ - I bought a number of media players, WD TV Live being one of them and that's the one that I found to be my favorite and stuck with it. It does a great job playing any file I throw at it and works effortlessly. When I upgraded the firmware on it though, it stopped working with my pre-amp. I don't know why this is and maybe this is the issue with Boxee as well. Maybe I need to upgrade the software of my pre-amp as well? I had to rollback to a few versions back of WD TV and it started working with my pre-amp again and now I'm scared to upgrade the firmware on anything.

How did your WD TV get all the artwork for your movies? I am accessing with SMB also because I can't play .ISO files through DLNA (as far as I know) and I had to provide the cover image for each folder within it. Here is an example folder structure I have:


- Despicable Me (2010)
|-- cover.jpg
| -- Depicable Me.vob


I guess what I'm wondering is if you have your WD TV configured somehow to retreive the boxart from the internet somehow and pull all metadata available for the movie like rating, director, etc? Thanks!
post #6 of 19
I have the latest firmware on mine and it kept working with my receiver, I am using optical audio. It is weird that rolling back the firmware fixed the audio issue, and you might want to email western digital or search around the WD community if you haven't already. So with the new firmware, it only works when you connect it directly to your tv? Is there light coming out of the optical audio jack in the back?

I think the problem may be that the meta data downloads automatically for files only on a connected usb drive It doesn't search for files on the SMB share, but I heard WD is working on that in a future firmware release. It takes your filename and searches it on thetvdb.com. It then generates an xml file. I have all my files in mkv. I have one movie in ISO format and the metadata downloaded correctly for it, too.

It downloads box art, actors, director, rating, genre, pictures, year, description, etc. from thetvdb.com. The way my setup works, when I get a movie or tv show rip and copy it to the wdtv (I have the hub version), it automatically gets metadata.

However, there is a tool available here where you can get metadata and put it into a format that wdtv recognizes. It should work when it sees those files on your smb share.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks ZmHD69PigQ for all the support you've been giving me! I created a post on the WD Community forums to see if that issue can get any support. Here is the link incase anyone here experiences a similar issue: http://community.wdc.com/t5/WD-TV-Live-Streaming-Firmware/WDTV-doesn-t-work-on-my-pre-amp-when-firmware-is-upgraded/m-p/556935

I got everything working on the WDTV live the way I like except one thing. When I am browsing my movies, it doesn't show me the movie info for the folder I'm on. It only does it when I enter the folder then it shows me everything. I have my folder structure something like this:

Crime/Snatch (2000)/Snatch.iso

I have it like this because there are some movies that I rip a regular version and a 3d version of the file. Also because I used to download my own cover art when I used to watch my media through my Playstation.

Anyways, WDTV is now my primary device for watching my movies but I can't figure out why it doesn't show the info when selecting a file. I've attached pictures to show you what I mean. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks again!



post #8 of 19
I guess it doesn't like your folder structure. On mine I just dump all movies into a 'movies' folder. My movies are in mkv and one iso file. I also have a 'tv' folder, and folders for each show.

The way it treats folders is when you browse to a folder, it shows the box art for the first file it sees. It is probably suppressing the rest of the info because it is expecting more than 1 movie in a folder. So when I browse to my 'movies' folder, it picks the first box art and shows it. Try moving a movie file up one folder and see how it handles that. It should show the info that way.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsumi View Post

I got everything working on the WDTV live the way I like except one thing. When I am browsing my movies, it doesn't show me the movie info for the folder I'm on. It only does it when I enter the folder then it shows me everything.
As ZmHD69PigQ said, all your movies need to be in the same folder or else it won't display the info. The info file that the WDTV loads is connected to the media file (vob, mkv, etc.) not the folder.

There are other streamers that have "jukebox" features that allow you to have your files anyway you want and they use links to actually launch the movie. The WDTV does not do things this way unfortunately.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah I figured that is true when in Folder View. I started playing around with the Filters and sorted by Genre which gave me the interface I was looking for. It gives me the right info for each movie but it seems to have a problem with Genres that WDTV downloads. I guess I'm going to have to use the tool mentioned earlier and try to solve that.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to follow up here and say that after all this, I ended up going with a discontinued Boxee Box. Reason being, my gf liked the Boxee interface better as it did a better job at getting movie covers and it attached the Youtube trailer for a lot of movies which was a nice thing to have. For me, it can play send TrueHD sound which I was reading that the WDTV cannot which was kind of a big deal for me since I was just getting a new sound system.

However I did notice that the Boxee Box does not play video as smoothly as WDTV.

There have been occasions where it will lag for a half second but not too bad. At the same time, I've been ripping my DVDs back onto my media server while playing movies so maybe that caused an issue? The reason for that being I ripped all my movies before by just pulling the vob files. This had issues and I decided to bite the bullet on wasting a few gigs more per movie to get the whole dvd so playback was perfect. I guess it's also nice to have the DVD menus. I also noticed the Boxee Box had problems playing large avi files. I ripped Hunger Games to AVI and after an hour and a half, it will lag. Maybe there was too much action going on for the AVI but I had to stop the movie then resume it back. I re-ripped it in MKV and it plays much smother. (This was my blu-ray test).

The Boxee hacks seem nice also but after installing them I noticed my system would screw up sometimes when navigating that occasionally required a restart. So I don't deal with hacks anymore. I wanted to try WDTV hacks but there is always a scary warning before doing so that I cannot reinstall WDTV firmware if a hack is installed so I never did.

I really want to try a Dune HD Smart player. They sound promising but I am always scared about a company offering no return policy. Most people swear by them and I like that I've read some reviews calling them the poor man's kaleidescape. Of course Kaleidescape would be the perfect solution but who really wants to spend $10k on a media player?

Anyways, thanks for all the help!
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsumi View Post

Just wanted to follow up here and say that after all this, I ended up going with a discontinued Boxee Box. Reason being, my gf liked the Boxee interface better as it did a better job at getting movie covers and it attached the Youtube trailer for a lot of movies which was a nice thing to have. For me, it can play send TrueHD sound which I was reading that the WDTV cannot which was kind of a big deal for me since I was just getting a new sound system.

However I did notice that the Boxee Box does not play video as smoothly as WDTV.

There have been occasions where it will lag for a half second but not too bad. At the same time, I've been ripping my DVDs back onto my media server while playing movies so maybe that caused an issue? The reason for that being I ripped all my movies before by just pulling the vob files. This had issues and I decided to bite the bullet on wasting a few gigs more per movie to get the whole dvd so playback was perfect. I guess it's also nice to have the DVD menus. I also noticed the Boxee Box had problems playing large avi files. I ripped Hunger Games to AVI and after an hour and a half, it will lag. Maybe there was too much action going on for the AVI but I had to stop the movie then resume it back. I re-ripped it in MKV and it plays much smother. (This was my blu-ray test).

The Boxee hacks seem nice also but after installing them I noticed my system would screw up sometimes when navigating that occasionally required a restart. So I don't deal with hacks anymore. I wanted to try WDTV hacks but there is always a scary warning before doing so that I cannot reinstall WDTV firmware if a hack is installed so I never did.

I really want to try a Dune HD Smart player. They sound promising but I am always scared about a company offering no return policy. Most people swear by them and I like that I've read some reviews calling them the poor man's kaleidescape. Of course Kaleidescape would be the perfect solution but who really wants to spend $10k on a media player?

Anyways, thanks for all the help!

The Dune is the way to go.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah but I really want the Dune Base 3D player and reviews aren't so great on it frown.gif The Dune Smart ones sound great but no real 3D support.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
2+ weeks later I returned my Boxee Box. I think it's near perfect but not quite. I ordered the Dune Smart HD1 in search for a solid media player. I don't really like how I have to use Zappiti on a PC to manage my movie collection because my network is all Macs but if the video playback on it is the best with TrueHD sound then so be it. I'm a little scared about the no return policy. Hopefully one day the Base 3D will be solid and I can eBay the Smart HD1 for it. Anyone have any pro-tips or want to tell me I should've gotten another player? wink.gif
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsumi View Post

2+ weeks later I returned my Boxee Box. I think it's near perfect but not quite. I ordered the Dune Smart HD1 in search for a solid media player. I don't really like how I have to use Zappiti on a PC to manage my movie collection because my network is all Macs but if the video playback on it is the best with TrueHD sound then so be it. I'm a little scared about the no return policy. Hopefully one day the Base 3D will be solid and I can eBay the Smart HD1 for it. Anyone have any pro-tips or want to tell me I should've gotten another player? wink.gif

I've owned and used the following media player:
PCH-A210, PCH-A300, Mede8er MED500X2, Pivos AIOS, WDTV2, Dune D1 and Dune TV303D.

Out of all of them, I kept the Dune Smart Series D1 because it can downmix HD audio (I use it in the master bedroom), and the Dune TV303D, which I use in the living room with 7.1 surround sound. I don't do 3D movies at all. We only watch 2D movies. My BD movies are in BD folder structure main movie only, DVD movies are in MKV (makemkv), and TV Shows are single file created by MKV. I use Zappiti, which my wife and kids love. Everything works perfect.

I liked the Mede8er as well, but their jukebox does support TV Shows unless you use a separate program, and their YAMJ to Mede8er isn't that great in my personal opinion. Hopefully, they will eventually support a full third party jukebox like Yadis.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I've owned and used the following media player:
PCH-A210, PCH-A300, Mede8er MED500X2, Pivos AIOS, WDTV2, Dune D1 and Dune TV303D.

Out of all of them, I kept the Dune Smart Series D1 because it can downmix HD audio (I use it in the master bedroom), and the Dune TV303D, which I use in the living room with 7.1 surround sound. I don't do 3D movies at all. We only watch 2D movies. My BD movies are in BD folder structure main movie only, DVD movies are in MKV (makemkv), and TV Shows are single file created by MKV. I use Zappiti, which my wife and kids love. Everything works perfect.

I liked the Mede8er as well, but their jukebox does support TV Shows unless you use a separate program, and their YAMJ to Mede8er isn't that great in my personal opinion. Hopefully, they will eventually support a full third party jukebox like Yadis.

Zappiti fails to find about 100 of my movies with such tricky names as "Alien", "Bugs Life", Monsters Inc" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead".....any thoughts?

Bill
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

Zappiti fails to find about 100 of my movies with such tricky names as "Alien", "Bugs Life", Monsters Inc" and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead".....any thoughts?

Bill

You are not alone. I'm having similar issues with the latest Zappiti. I didn't have these issues with the previous version.

I had to scrape them as default and manually choose the correct movie from their list.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

You are not alone. I'm having similar issues with the latest Zappiti. I didn't have these issues with the previous version.

I had to scrape them as default and manually choose the correct movie from their list.

I was also under the impression that it would pull from NFO files first if they existed.

Disregard I have uninstalled, it puts all of the movies that start with "The" in the "T's"........that drives me INSANE

Bill
Edited by mrfattbill - 5/9/13 at 2:26pm
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I've owned and used the following media player:
PCH-A210, PCH-A300, Mede8er MED500X2, Pivos AIOS, WDTV2, Dune D1 and Dune TV303D.

Out of all of them, I kept the Dune Smart Series D1 because it can downmix HD audio (I use it in the master bedroom), and the Dune TV303D, which I use in the living room with 7.1 surround sound. I don't do 3D movies at all. We only watch 2D movies. My BD movies are in BD folder structure main movie only, DVD movies are in MKV (makemkv), and TV Shows are single file created by MKV. I use Zappiti, which my wife and kids love. Everything works perfect.

I liked the Mede8er as well, but their jukebox does support TV Shows unless you use a separate program, and their YAMJ to Mede8er isn't that great in my personal opinion. Hopefully, they will eventually support a full third party jukebox like Yadis.
The only reason why I didn't order a 3D model like the TV303D is because I have been reading the forums regarding the Base 3D and a lot of people are complaining about the teething problems and audio drop outs. I was assuming that because the TV303D model also has the newer chip and hardware that it might suffer from the same problems. So no problems so far huh?

I also have a 7.1 surround sound system. Is the Smart Series not good enough for a 7.1 surround system? What are the reasons why you have the Smart HD series for your bedroom and the TV303D for the living room?
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