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There is no spoon....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Back in 2003 I received a Prismiq media streamer as a supposed birthday present. After having suffered with it for the past 3.5 years(never was able to get it to stream video content, only reliably stream mp3s using slimserver, only photos would work reliably and I have it hard wired to my 100Mb network) I have decided that this industry must have matured enough by now. After reading through a number of threads in this forum, I obviously have made an ass out of u and me.

I foolishly thought that my requirements were simple, stream video content in HD, stream music in both mp3 and wma format, and maybe some pics while we were at it. It seems that there is no one device that can do all of these things reliably.

Here are some of the devices I considered so far with what I understand to be their faults.

1. Xbox with XBMC - seems to be one of the highest regarded solutions but no HD content

2. Xbox 360 - might be a top contender but very little information on how to stream existing content and no real streaming DVD support.

3. Apple TV - I had high hopes for this one, but it requires to lock you into iTunes, don't think it will play my ripped dvds or downloaded videos.

4. Various set-top boxes - no one product seems to be either reliable enough or user friendly enough.

Please let me know if I have missed something, I really want to get a good workable solution in place for around $300, but I have no desire to live through my Prismiq experience again.
post #2 of 6
Just some thoughts.

For the Xbox 360 check out TVersity, no DVD menu support (A Microsoft Media Extender limitation) but has everything else.

AppleTV: You can recode content into mp4/h.264 format that iTunes will support. But yes, very limited

Set Top Boxes: I feel the same way right now.

Another thing to look at, if you are running a Windows system is Vista. Believe it or not, the version that most media people/Gamers would get also has Media Center built into it. Combine that with MyMovies and TVersity on a 360 extender and it's compelling, even if it's not a PVR or dedicated system.

Links:

http://tversity.com/whatsnew.html
http://www.mymovies.name/
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tybio View Post

Just some thoughts.

For the Xbox 360 check out TVersity, no DVD menu support (A Microsoft Media Extender limitation) but has everything else.

AppleTV: You can recode content into mp4/h.264 format that iTunes will support. But yes, very limited

Set Top Boxes: I feel the same way right now.

Another thing to look at, if you are running a Windows system is Vista. Believe it or not, the version that most media people/Gamers would get also has Media Center built into it. Combine that with MyMovies and TVersity on a 360 extender and it's compelling, even if it's not a PVR or dedicated system.

Links:

http://tversity.com/whatsnew.html
http://www.mymovies.name/

Thanks for you input, I am running Windows XP Media edition decent rig but probably will not run well under Vista. Besides I do not want to hook my pc up to my tv, I just want a device to serve the content on my PC to my home theater.

To me currently the only possible options are either the Xbox 360 or Apple TV, but neither one really seems to be a solid fit.

-B
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonsainola View Post

Thanks for you input, I am running Windows XP Media edition decent rig but probably will not run well under Vista. Besides I do not want to hook my pc up to my tv, I just want a device to serve the content on my PC to my home theater.

To me currently the only possible options are either the Xbox 360 or Apple TV, but neither one really seems to be a solid fit.

-B

Well, one of the things I'm considering is running Vista with the Media Center stuff /on/ my desktop. Then I'd have a 360 in the living room using that system as a server. The upside of that is that I only need one box to do both functions, depending on the content, transcoding and streaming should not be that harsh (well, h.264 perhaps, but WMV is just a file and stream so that's no hit at all really). That would let me use MyMovies, and pray for a software update to the 360 that makes it something other then....crap.

You may want to check out Green Button if you have not, a great forum for learning about Windows Media Center and it's abilities...including about Extenders (like the 360). http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/default.aspx

That's the only alternitive to a true HTPC /or/ AppleTV solution that I see right now. There is always the last resort option of running TVersity on my desktop to transcode, but that's a stop-gap sort of solution.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonsainola View Post

Back in 2003 I received a Prismiq media streamer as a supposed birthday present. After having suffered with it for the past 3.5 years(never was able to get it to stream video content, only reliably stream mp3s using slimserver, only photos would work reliably and I have it hard wired to my 100Mb network) I have decided that this industry must have matured enough by now. After reading through a number of threads in this forum, I obviously have made an ass out of u and me.

I foolishly thought that my requirements were simple, stream video content in HD, stream music in both mp3 and wma format, and maybe some pics while we were at it. It seems that there is no one device that can do all of these things reliably.

Unfortunately, I think you are right about this. I know a lot of members in this forum will disagree, but it seems to me that everything is still "trial-and-error", or a "hack-and-geek" solution, or at the very least a 2-box tradeoff.

My own situation is I have decided to plunge into digitizing my overwhelming CD collection by purchasing an Infrant NAS server. Originally I was just looking to do music and I was going to use either Sonos or Squeezebox on the front end. But with 3T of space, its tempting to add some video and maybe even think about a dedicated Infrant down the road, but I can't find a friendly front end for the video, much less one that would do both.

I'm really surprised that the PC-makers haven't edged their way into this niche yet. I mean sure, the average consumer who just wants to watch movies is still years away from a solution like a dedicated 3T server, but isn't the goal of MS and all these PC makers to get the box out of the office and into the living room?

CD
post #6 of 6
Not sure if its my system but TVersity crashes repeatedly which is unfortuante as it looks to have nice functionality. Conversely the Dlink Media server software and using Microsoft Media Player 11 are both stable although have less functionality.
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