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My 360 finally died and I've been looking to upgrade to a network media player. However the sheer number of choices is a bit overwhelming.


I'm trying to locate a device that can do all or as close to all the following as possible:


Can stream mkv's from my pc/future nas.

Can stream netflix, Amazon Prime/vod, Hulu Plus.

1080p

Optical Audio out (my receiver only has hdmi passthrough)

Both Wired and wireless options just in case.

$175 or less.


I've considered the Playon HD, WD TV Live+, PopBox 3d, Seagate's FreeAgent Theater+ HD.. which many of you here seem to like, but I haven't found much on how they handle the internet streaming side of things. Netflix is quite a bit more prominent on these that the other 2 services.


I tried a roku xd last night. It worked great for the internet streaming, but the playback of mkv's from my pc wasn't great. Had that looping issue where it seems to start over when it runs out of buffer. I used playon on my pc to transcode things. My pc is beefy enough to do it. The 360 never buffered once the stream was playing. Other problem was the hdmi audio, and the crushing blacks in dark scenes.


Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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You're running into issues because you're looking for something that doesn't presently exist. Likely the CLOSEST answer is the Boxee Box, though it doesn't currently have an app for Amazon or Hulu Plus. (I'm a little surprised one of those isn't on there by now.)


It does, however, have an excellent Netflix interface, and can play back local files as you ask. It is slightly over your budget at $200, but you may be able to pick one up used for $175, maybe even less.


There is an issue right now with HD audio formats (TrueHD and DTS-MA), where the Boxee can't stream those properly. If you can't or don't use either of those formats, you can ignore it. (Like me.)
 

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The boxes out there that have Hulu Plus and Amazon VOD are crap for local media playback, that's the problem. The Apple TV and Roku will do the 'net streaming you want, but won't play back your MKVs right.


One other option is picking up a box that does good local playback, and using PlayOn to access other stuff on it. PlayOn is a piece of software that basically accesses things like Hulu and Amazon VOD on a PC, then transmits and transcodes them to a UPNP capable set top box.


Still, the only box that's a REAL balance of local and internet streaming is the Boxee.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Fatman /forum/post/20888292


There must be more than one? I mean there are tons of these players out there, others must come close to what I'm looking for? Anyone?

What you ant does not exist. The previous person trying to help you that are not beleiving is correct. He also told you the ONE player that comes closest to what you want.


Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Fatman
My 360 finally died and I've been looking to upgrade to a network media player. However the sheer number of choices is a bit overwhelming.


I'm trying to locate a device that can do all or as close to all the following as possible:


Can stream mkv's from my pc/future nas.

Can stream netflix, Amazon Prime/vod, Hulu Plus.

1080p

Optical Audio out (my receiver only has hdmi passthrough)

Both Wired and wireless options just in case.

$175 or less.
The WD Live+ will do everything you want (except amazon VOD). It streams MKV and most everything else; does Hulu plus and Netflix (with v3 interface); 1080p; optical out; comes with wired ethernet but you can add an inexpensive USB wireless adapter; sells for $90 at NewEgg with free shipping.


I'm pretty sure it doesn't do Amazon VOD, but not certain and I can't check my unit at the present time. I know it does do Blockbuster VOD. The Live+ streams True HD but not DTS-MA, but that won't matter to you since HD audio formats are only transmitted over HDMI (not optical) and your AVR is not an HDMI repeater.


Has a simple and very clean UI that does the job. If you want pretty pictures/fanart and a movie wall, look elsewhere.
 
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