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Media Players

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I am currently looking for a media player for my home network. However, I am currently in Afghanistan so trying them out is out of the question. I have also researched a lot of reviews and have yet to find exactly what I'm looking for to be bluntly stated. I'm new at this but am going to break it down Barney style to best explain my situation.
Setup: -1 laptop setup in my bedroom
-1 laptop setup in roommates bedroom
-1 TV setup in the living room
-1 wireless router
-1 500gb external hd
-1 1tb external hd
What I want: I would like a media player set up in my living room for my television. I would also like to be able to have this media player on my home network so it can be shared with the two laptops in the other rooms. This way I can watch any movie or tv show that I own onto either laptop or tv. I could care less about hulu, netflix, and all those other online apps that media players offer. I just want access to my own personal stash. Here are the 2 media players that I've narrowed it down to, but can't seem to find a big difference besides one being a hub and having its own storage. I already have external hard drives so am not too worried about getting more storage for now.
http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/pd/ThemeID.30153100/productID.237609800/parid.13092400/catid.13742300/categoryID.57123700
http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/pd/ThemeID.30153100/productID.275356500/parid.13092400/catid.13742300/categoryID.52400100

My questions: Both of these have 2 usb inputs, can i plug my hd's into them and watch the movies on those hard drives from my laptops as well? Or would those hd's only be available locally to the tv?
If that's a problem then could I just plug the hd's into my laptop and stream it from the media player to my tv?
What is the main purpose of the wifi on the first media player? I already have wifi so seems pointless right?
I'm aware that the hub's internal storage can be shared on the network to any device, but since I already have 2 externals I'd rather not spend the extra couple hundred bux for 2tb hub that would soon fill up anyways. I'm mainly concerned about the externals being shared on the network.

I'm not too shabby with electronics or computer systems since that's my everyday job. Except being in the military is time consuming and prevents me from using all these fun gadgets for my personal use so I'm not too sure about my best option. Any input helps! If you need me to clarify something just ask and you shall receive! Thanks for any future assistance!
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post #2 of 5
I would suggest to make sure that the WDTV is able to play the type of file format or formats that you have. If it does then it will work. If you plug in the external HD to the WDTV, it will only be available to the WDTV. WDTV has wifi or it is wireless so you can connect to a wireless network. If you have high bitrate content such as bluray quality movies, you will have a difficult time streaming these via wireless.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Gotcha Gus, and thank you. Sounds like the hub would be my best bet then, I'm not too concerned about the wifi but more concerned on streaming quality. I'm just trying to avoid paying for a NAS for a couple hundred bux, but I'll see how this setup works first. Thanks again!
post #4 of 5
If you want best streaming quality I would recommend to use a wired connection if possible.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
what about routers with usb ports? I'm sure the WDTV can read and play those. An Asus rt-n56u or n66u seems like it would have the capability to provide good network streaming
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