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Spreadsheet comparing all media players

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 
Has anyone created a spreadsheet comparing all of the available digital media playback devices? There are so many out there with such differing feature sets that I'm having trouble keeping track of all of them. My main interest is HD MPEG-2 playback and DVD jukebox functionality. The attached Excel spreadsheet is the kind of information I'm trying to track; if no one else has something better I'll populate my matrix and share it when finished.

I'm not really interested in audio capabilities, but if someone wants to provide that information I'd be willing to incorporate it.

Spreadsheet updated 5/12/2006.

Note: I can no longer upload the Excel spreadsheet in a separate zip file, so it is included inside the PDF as an attachment. I don't know whether Acrobat Reader will allow extraction of the attachment (I use Acrobat Pro). If you want a copy of the original spreadsheet and can't get it out of the PDF, send me a PM.

 

MediaPlayers.pdf 33.2265625k . file
post #2 of 156
Why not create a table in this post and keep it active/updated?
post #3 of 156
Might want to update to your information with the Mediagate MG-35. Definitely able to play ripped DVD video over a network with full IFO navigation intact!
post #4 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwtseng View Post

Might want to update to your information with the Mediagate MG-35. Definitely able to play ripped DVD video over a network with full IFO navigation intact!

Yeah, I just learned that and I think I'm going to order one rather than set up an Xbox Media Center (or perhaps, in addition to XBMC).
post #5 of 156
Nice spreadsheet, jhue.

One suggestion... the term "High Definition" under Connections may be confusing, since it does not distinguish between HD decoding (which the MG-35 lacks) and HD upconversion (which the MG-35 has).

Can you post an HTML version?
post #6 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Garci View Post

Nice spreadsheet, jhue.

Can you post an HTML version?

Thanks for the feedback.

Not sure I'll get to it this weekend, but this is my current list of players. I've tried to select only the most fully-featured product from each vendor, rather than try to list every product (except for TViX, because I thought the HD M-5000 release was right around the corner.

AVeL LinkPlayer 2
Buffalo LinkTheater
D-Link DSM-320RD
KiSS DP-1504
Mediagate MG-35
Momitsu V880N
Netgear MP115
Pinnacle Showcenter 200
Roku PhotoBridge HD
SnaZio Net Cinema DVD HD
TVIX M-3000
TVIX HD M-5000
Xbox Media Center

and yes, I can export HTML from Excel and put it my personal webspace.
post #7 of 156
Hey avsr's,

I recently started doin' what your doin' but your much farther so............


Here's a couple more to add:
1.GOVIDEO D2740
2.ADS TECH MXL-581 (DVI-D conn)
3.VIEWSONIC WMA100 (DVI-D conn)

I previously researched the Pinnace, Roku,Go Vid,Dlink,Buffalo, linksys, ADS, and Viewsonic. Only the ADS and Viewsonic have DVI connectors but no TS streamn,' so that's where I am. I am only interested in a media player that has the DVI or HDMI output and the network allows streamn' of the TS files. I want to rip the DVD's but not have to burn them, and then just stream the TS or ISO files from the HD w\\out takin' the time to wait for burnin.' Any of those others on your list have what I'm lookn' for?

I've dialogued w\\several of the ROKUr's and although it is only component and a VGA the streamn' is there and the High Def recording's (I own two HDTV's ) are, accordin' to those I queried on a scale of 1-10 on a 16x9 HDTV, they said, reproduce a 10. So.....any feedback appreciated.
post #8 of 156
I think it is important to add the Roku Soundbridges. The reason is that they can play DRMed music which is important to some people. Like me.
post #9 of 156
so which one is the way to go......i like the new tvix 5000.....what do you think?
post #10 of 156
Nice job, jhue. If possible, I'd love to see what other formats these players support, particularly dvr-ms.
post #11 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by leovip View Post

so which one is the way to go......i like the new tvix 5000.....what do you think?

If you can hold off i would wait a month and get the Zensonic Z500
post #12 of 156
thanks for that. the zensonic looks also good and its australian made!
post #13 of 156
I can help w/the Pinnacle ShowCenter SC200, if you tell me how!

My only quibble is with the name of the file (as with the name of this forum!). These are Media Players, not servers, though some/most NEED servers as noted on your ss.
post #14 of 156
Thread Starter 
I just posted an updated spreadsheet to the first article in this thread. I've got information for seven of the sixteen players I have listed.

PM me with any corrections, or if you want to provide info on any of the remaning nine players (I'll take any format: edited spreadsheet, plain text, crayon scribbling on a napkin).
post #15 of 156
I think you should add a modified Xbox. To me it is the one to rule all. I would like to see anyone who has a well modified Xbox and knows how to configure it compare it with any other video streaming device. I think I know what the comparison would show. Most other devices would have serious limitations in the formats they were able to stream or have at best only mediocre interface design.

One very important thing to seriously consider in setting up media streaming, replacement cost of the streamer. I just modified an Xbox for a total cost of $100. I used a soft mod that works as good as any chipped Xbox. Then, last night, just as my wife and I were settling in to watch some TV the Xbox I use in my living room suddenly would only boot to the MS dashboard. I grabbed the softmodded Xbox out of the bedroom and in about 3 minutes we were enjoying a couple of episodes of Lost (my wife didn't think she would like it last year but now she is hooked). The point of the story is - electronics fail. Having a clone replacement at hand can certainly be a factor to consider.
post #16 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qooop View Post

I think you should add a modified Xbox. To me it is the one to rule all. I would like to see anyone who has a well modified Xbox and knows how to configure it compare it with any other video streaming device. I think I know what the comparison would show. Most other devices would have serious limitations in the formats they were able to stream or have at best only mediocre interface design.

No need, XBMC in the last column is Xbox Media Center (www.xboxmediacenter.de).

It can't play back high definition streams, which makes it a non-starter for many people. It's ability to navigate DVD menus is also fairly recent. But the screenshots I've seen do give the appearance of a much nicer UI than say, the Mediagate MG-35.
post #17 of 156
So Whats The Best Streamer. Ive Heard Alot Of Them Are Failures And Do Not Do The Job They Are Suppose To Do. Cables Are Still The Best..............
post #18 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by leovip View Post

Cables Are Still The Best..............

I don't get it.

Streaming is streaming, wired or not.

I'll stack my XBMC boxen against anything standard def. Very reliable streamer from an SMB share.
post #19 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue View Post

It can't play back high definition streams, which makes it a non-starter for many people.

To be specific, it cannot stream .ts (transport stream) files.

XBMC can decode HD DivX & Xvid. But the CPU is at it's limit doing this, so results vary depending on the encoding / content.
post #20 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slack View Post

I don't get it.

Streaming is streaming, wired or not.

I'll stack my XBMC boxen against anything standard def. Very reliable streamer from an SMB share.


Just moved apartment - will i be able to stream a DVD across a "G" wireless network?

Used to a have them wired - but wondering if i have to go through the hassle again.
post #21 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue View Post

No need, XBMC in the last column is Xbox Media Center (www.xboxmediacenter.de).

It can't play back high definition streams, which makes it a non-starter for many people. It's ability to navigate DVD menus is also fairly recent. But the screenshots I've seen do give the appearance of a much nicer UI than say, the Mediagate MG-35.


Not sure where you are getting the content for the HD streams you speak of. The modified Xbox does put out up to 1080i although as I said there is a lack of available content to actually test this in a way that really has any meaning. The other devices seem to have a lot more disqualifiers, mainly in their inability to do what they claim to be able to do. This is not all their fault as the Xbox was designed to be sold at a loss so had higher level components than most of these other manufacturers are able to put into their devices and still sell them at a price people will pay. Now there are so many Xboxes out there they can be had dirt cheap.

A modified Xbox is so different from Xbox Media Center as to the point where you would have thought they were two enirely different products. The Modded Xbox has such a semi open source, fully user configurable, daily updated, and with scripts, uses that no other player can match and at a price point that no other player will come close to in the forseeable future that everytime I turn it on I sit in awe and amazment at the wonderful gift Bill Gates gave us, although unwillingly. I do not have an Xbox Media Center from Uncle Bill but I can only imagine the proprietary DRM'd nightmare it must incorporate to satisfy the the RIAA, MPAA, and Mr Gates' MS itself.
post #22 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qooop View Post

Not sure where you are getting the content for the HD streams you speak of. The modified Xbox does put out up to 1080i although as I said there is a lack of available content to actually test this in a way that really has any meaning.

I probably have close to a terabyte of archived HD movies and TV shows, as do many others. Maybe you lack the content and the hardware to acquire it, but many others have it and need an HD-capable device to play it back.

Quote:
A modified Xbox is so different from Xbox Media Center as to the point where you would have thought they were two enirely different products. The Modded Xbox has such a semi open source, fully user configurable, daily updated, and with scripts, uses that no other player can match and at a price point that no other player will come close to in the forseeable future that everytime I turn it on I sit in awe and amazment at the wonderful gift Bill Gates gave us, although unwillingly. I do not have an Xbox Media Center from Uncle Bill but I can only imagine the proprietary DRM'd nightmare it must incorporate to satisfy the the RIAA, MPAA, and Mr Gates' MS itself.

You're describing "Media Center Extender for Xbox". I'm talking about "Xbox Media Center". They're two different products, hence the two different names. I did not list "Media Center Extender for Xbox" in my spreadsheet since it requires XP MCE. Get it straight - your confusion is not adding anything to this thread.
post #23 of 156
jhue what would you buy for streming dvds...................
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue View Post

Get it straight - your confusion is not adding anything to this thread.

Yeah alright mate calm down - i doubt it he did it on purpose its an easy mistake to make.

I think you might need to stop holding on so tightly before you lose your grip.
post #25 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leovip View Post

jhue what would you buy for streming dvds...................

If that's all I wanted to do, I'd probably try Xbox Media Center next.

The MG-35 works, but the UI is really ugly. It's just a very plain file browser. It could be a lot better, if they would just put in a browser interface, and allow you to customize the appearance with HTML files. The portability is an interesting feature though, I'll be bringing it along on my next few business trips to see how useful it really is (how many hotel TVs can I hook it up to).

But like I wrote before, for everything I want to do (not just DVDs), Xbox Media Center is a non-starter because it can't play back any of the HD MPEG-2 content I have archived (which is growing at about 100GB/month).
post #26 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhue View Post

You're describing "Media Center Extender for Xbox". I'm talking about "Xbox Media Center". They're two different products, hence the two different names. I did not list "Media Center Extender for Xbox" in my spreadsheet since it requires XP MCE. Get it straight - your confusion is not adding anything to this thread.

Ah, right. Well listing it by its interface instead of by the component was enough to addle my old brain. I do see that HD streaming is a factor if you have access to real ripped HD content. No reason a modded Xbox cannot sit alongside the HD streamer since it is caple of so much. Now with the XM and Serius scripts you can play your subscribed satellite radio over the XBox.
post #27 of 156
its so comfusing....im gonna wait and get the xbox360. you guys in the usa get it soon i heard.you always beat australia for things....................................
post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by leovip View Post

its so comfusing....im gonna wait and get the xbox360. you guys in the usa get it soon i heard.you always beat australia for things....................................

I doubt the xbox360 will be the panacea many think it will be.

Get ready to re-encode evertything to wmv10.
post #29 of 156
In looking at the spreadsheet, I see that the LinkPlayer2 and Buffalo units have "no" checked for DVD Medu Navigation and "yes -- ?" (respectively) checked for Chapter Navigation. The MediaGate MG-35 has both of these features checked.

So assuming I rip my Desparate Housewives Season 1 DVD to a VOB file...does that mean that the MediaGate will put up the menu just like the real DVD media is playing? So what exactly is Chapter Navigation then? Does it just mean that the unit simply lists the episodes and allow me to select. If so I guess I can live with that.

What about the "?" in the Buffalo unnits Chapter Navigation field. Can someone verify if this feature works or it doesn't?
post #30 of 156
SmokeBringer...

The mediagate is capable of IFO play, which means that it will play a DVD file rip with all the IFO and VOB files in a folder. So YES it will play your DVD rip exactly like the original DVD with the menus AND chapter marks.
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