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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've lurked this thread for a long time, and read a LOT of user experiences with most all of the popular players. Some appear to be close to a simple, effective solution, but most or all seem to have some drawbacks. Whether the disconnect is GUI, functionality or seeking out and implementing several workarounds, it seems that there is a good bit of complexity required to be decoded by the user.


I'm no techno-idiot. I've successfully built, installed and use a WHS, a wired 10/100baseT network, and a dedicated music server. I have a self-installed HT and a whole house audio system with four sources and 16 zones.


I would like to be able to rip and play BDs, DVDs, HD DVDs, music, and other video files and play them, simply, in multiple places throughout my home. I want an intuitive GUI, that my wife and kids can use as easily as a DTV box, or a DVD player. Basically, I want a user-friendly solution...I don't want to join a cult.


Based on a LOT of research, I have concluded that the technology is not yet here to allow me to do this. I can do some of it, but with too much complexity, or all of it, but with a lot of hassle.


Am I missing something here?
 

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While not perfect, the WD Live Plus and Hub offer easy-to-use GUI's and good functionality. My wife and 5-year old kid use it fine. The Dune is solid for local media playback, but setting up a movie jukebox requires work. The PCH A200/C200 are also both solid for local media playback, but setting up YAMJ or other movie jukeboxes is a lot of work.


Boxee Box is great for web content, but local media playback is a mess right now. So, if you need something that mostly works and is easy to use, I'll come back to suggesting the WD players.
 

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actually with the release of Sage v7 and the HD300, I would say sage is there...

what you need:
SageTVv7 - in your case the WHS version would be the ticket...
MyMovies - their collection manager is just nicer...

one or more HD300 's

setup the sageMyMovies plug in, its actually easier then it looks...


and proceed on to happiness




if you really want true joy and happiness, then set up an OTA antenna or two, hook up an HDHR ... use HDPVR 's to get cable/SAT if needed and have all your video under one UI... (plus you can't beat auto comskip, or the pause in room A, pick up in room B)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/19518568


actually with the release of Sage v7 and the HD300, I would say sage is there...

what you need:
SageTVv7 - in your case the WHS version would be the ticket...
MyMovies - their collection manager is just nicer...

one or more HD300 's

setup the sageMyMovies plug in, its actually easier then it looks...


and proceed on to happiness




if you really want true joy and happiness, then set up an OTA antenna or two, hook up an HDHR ... use HDPVR 's to get cable/SAT if needed and have all your video under one UI... (plus you can't beat auto comskip, or the pause in room A, pick up in room B)

I couldn't find the WHS version of SageTV on their website. Can you give me a direct link?
 

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I would also recommend looking at the Dune Players running something like Zappiti as the Front End. Right now I have a WHS (about 24TB) streaming all my video content (BluRays, etc...) to various players in my house (HTPCs, Dune BD Prime, SageTV HD300, PCH C200, etc...)
 

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How many of those are actually NMTs? I thought the OP wanted to know about Networked Media Tanks?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt /forum/post/19519850


How many of those are actually NMTs? I thought the OP wanted to know about Networked Media Tanks?

hey you are right... I just read the OP post as "I just want something that works", I just assumed by NMT he was referring to any sort of generic Media Stream Rendering device...

so I guess the correct answer is: No there are not any NMT branded options that are ready for prime time Unified Whole House media streaming at this time...


of course in all probability, Sage probably sourced the HD300 from Syabas, or at least someone like that... and it is based on the Sigma chipset just like the NMT's... so maybe we could consider it a long lost brother, or cousin or something to the NMT's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/19522559


hey you are right... I just read the OP post as "I just want something that works", I just assumed by NMT he was referring to any sort of generic Media Stream Rendering device...

Yep.


Thanks to all for their help...nice to have a guide through the 'woods'
 

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to the OP, just something else to consider:

If you ever decide to go completely overboard, Sage is supported by the top Home Automation packages... CQC, Main Lobby, homeseer, etc...


nothing quite like having the lights automatically dim when you press play (movie only, not regular TV, unless you want it too...) and brighten when the movie ends or you press pause/stop...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do the auto-dim thing in my dedicated HT using a ProntoPro. Very cool.


Over the years I have accumulated a very large collection of CD, DVD, HD DVD, BD and digital software that would be nice to access throughout my home. I have four plasma displays and six other secondary CRT TV's fed by composite video now. I have a Russound whole house system and I distribute DirecTivo audio through one of its sources. I distribute the Tivo's video via existing RG6 converted to composite with video distribution and F-connector-to-RCA(composite) adapters. The Russound will transmit IR signals from Harmony remotes to the source device. That gets me DTV audio and video throughout the house to secondary locations, and I can change channels, etc. Quality isn't spectacular, but it looks OK on a 27" to 32" CRT TV. I have DTV HD DVRs feeding the four flat panels, and one in my HT. I have a hardwired CAT-5 network throughout the house.


My goal is to be able to keep my DTV capability and add access to my existing entertainment SW throughout the house with HD to the flat panel displays that can utilize it...with a minimum of user hassle. Seems like it ought to be possible and that with my exisiting network and WHS in place I already have a lot of the infrastructure needed. Of course I'll need to add additional HD storage in the WHS.


Seems like it ought to be a fairly straightforward task, once I get educated. And you guys are helping me immensely in doing just that.
 

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well, it sounds like you have been having fun....


here are a couple useless random thoughts, feel free to ignore as needed:
  • I had a pronto once, the original 4 shades of black/green... wonderful remote until my dog ate it... FWIW, I have it on good authority that the pronto touch screens makes a wonderful crunchy noise when you chew on them... just something to think about if you ever get hungry I guess...
  • if you run all the DTV boxes into the Sage server, you would then have pretty much perfect quality at each TV that has an extender, and digital sound for those that support it... and a unified UI with the rest of your video... then you could dump the directivo thing and maybe save a couple $$$... and get auto comskip... never underestimate the value of auto comskip...
  • whatever you end up doing/going with, you should post it here... maybe inspire someone else to tackle their HT/media... maybe it will end up helping someone...
  • instead of adding more HDD's to your WHS, Maybe adding a separate unRAID box might be a better way to go? (yes, I have been on an unRAID trip lately... but its a wonderful setup... only spins up the drive that contains the data you currently need, can recover from a drive failure, etc... it appears to be the perfect media storage solution)
  • you really can't go wrong with a software based HA app running in the background... Due to the untimely demise of my Pronto, I had to find another solution... I ended up with CQC & a Samsung Q1 as my remote... keep in mind, I am not a qualified GUI developer of any sort, but here are a few of my interfaces I have been working on...


here is the 'main menu' of sorts (still a WiP)




and here is the 'pick a movie' pull down... (very much still WiP)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks. I'm early in the drive expansion process, but I have a bunch of assorted drives lying around. As you know, one of the great strengths of WHS is that you can basically plug in any drive and use it. I have a pair of 500GB drives inside the box and a pair of 500GB externals and a 1TB external running through a USB card.


Do you have any UnRaid solutions you can recommend? (Blatant lazyily conscripting you to do my research for me :) )
 

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 unraid is basically the same as far as drive usage goes, but I dont think it likes external/usb drives...

you can either go with a pre-built solution from them, or do the DiY thing...


I did the DiY thing, I just went with a norco 4116 case, a supermicro atom MB (7XPSE or something like that), 4GB ram (same price as 2gb... so why not do 4?), a corsair 550w power supply, and a couple of drives (most I just had laying about...) 3X2TB, 1x1TB, 2x750
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost
hey you are right... I just read the OP post as "I just want something that works", I just assumed by NMT he was referring to any sort of generic Media Stream Rendering device...

so I guess the correct answer is: No there are not any NMT branded options that are ready for prime time Unified Whole House media streaming at this time...


of course in all probability, Sage probably sourced the HD300 from Syabas, or at least someone like that... and it is based on the Sigma chipset just like the NMT's... so maybe we could consider it a long lost brother, or cousin or something to the NMT's?
just fyi, Sage developed and started selling an HD capable network player before anyone heard the name Sybas.


-Suntan
 

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not to be picky, but syabas didn't start with the PCH until 2007... no one really ever heard of them before that... at least not your average joe on the street...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syabas
Syabas launched the Popcorn Hour consumer brand in late 2007
so Suntan's before anyone heard the name Sybas. is probably technically correct...
 

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Want something that can play every file you throw at it??? and dont mind list view.. get an Asus O!player I have 4, and nothing stops it from working never froze from day one and never stutters or lags even on extremly high bitrate 1080p movies.


I'm so tired of all these fails coming out.... Popbox now also Boxee Box.... seems they simply cant get a nice interface working at the same time as playing the files.


Short of building your own HTPC i would recommend only the Asus O!play... unless you wanna fork out alot of money for a Dude which does nothing more than a 99 dollar Asus O!play.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Chance /forum/post/19525105


Want something that can play every file you throw at it??? and dont mind list view.. get an Asus O!player I have 4, and nothing stops it from working never froze from day one and never stutters or lags even on extremly high bitrate 1080p movies.


I'm so tired of all these fails coming out.... Popbox now also Boxee Box.... seems they simply cant get a nice interface working at the same time as playing the files.


Short of building your own HTPC i would recommend only the Asus O!play... unless you wanna fork out alot of money for a Dude which does nothing more than a 99 dollar Asus O!play.

I assume you mean Dune and not Dude (big difference there)


Have you ever even used a Dune? I am assuming not if you can sit there and say a Dune does nothing more then an O!Play...
 
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