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Discussion Starter #1
I have been surfing around for a couple of hours and want to get a media center extender, but do not know which is the best for my system.


I have windows XP so I will need one that will work with that. I would also like HDMI capability if possible. Is their one out there that has a good picture and works with XP?

Not too concerned about not being able to play DVDs, I know that was an issue with the Media Center Extender made by Linksys. Is the D-link or Netgear any good, or any other one, I am clueless on this.


Thanks for any help in advance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier /forum/post/14333066


I have been surfing around for a couple of hours and want to get a media center extender, but do not know which is the best for my system.


I have windows XP so I will need one that will work with that. I would also like HDMI capability if possible. Is their one out there that has a good picture and works with XP?

Not too concerned about not being able to play DVDs, I know that was an issue with the Media Center Extender made by Linksys. Is the D-link or Netgear any good, or any other one, I am clueless on this.


Thanks for any help in advance.

- SageTV HD Media Extender, requires SageTV but will work quite nicely with XP


- HP MediaSmart Connect, is not available for shipment until 7/30/08 but requires Vista Ultimate to take full advantage of its media extender capabilities.


I am assuming that you know the difference between a media extender and a networked media player so I have not suggested any networked media players.
 

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i think you are a little confused. You say you are running Windows XP and are looking for a "media extender". I believe media extenders only work with Vista. So, what you really are looking for is a networked media player. There are a number of them discussed in this forum. I suggest you look at the Netgear EVA-8000, the Dlink 510, 520 and 750, Apple TV, the TIVX products and popcorn hour for a start. That probably gives you a broad coverage of what's available.


Alan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablevy /forum/post/14334933


i think you are a little confused. You say you are running Windows XP and are looking for a "media extender". I believe media extenders only work with Vista. So, what you really are looking for is a networked media player. There are a number of them discussed in this forum. I suggest you look at the Netgear EVA-8000, the Dlink 510, 520 and 750, Apple TV, the TIVX products and popcorn hour for a start. That probably gives you a broad coverage of what's available.


Alan

SageTV HD Media Extender does NOT require Vista. It is one of the few that DOES NOT required Vista and DOES not lock a person into DRM or a specific video format.


Also, isn't Apple TV technically a cross between a networked media player and a media extender?
 

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Although I had been using an old Xbox with XBMC for this purpose, I'm now using a PS3 with TVersity running on my Windows XP system. Works and sounds/looks great. TVersity can transcode any file formats that the PS3 doesn't read and, via transcoding, it even supports subtitle files (srt and so on). Pls, you get an excellent videogame system and a Blu-ray player. With the 40GB model going for $299, it's hard to beat IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep /forum/post/14334418


- SageTV HD Media Extender, requires SageTV but will work quite nicely with XP


- HP MediaSmart Connect, is not available for shipment until 7/30/08 but requires Vista Ultimate to take full advantage of its media extender capabilities.


I am assuming that you know the difference between a media extender and a networked media player so I have not suggested any networked media players.

Looks like I have more research to do. I will look into SageTV. I don't know what a networked media player is, I will have to look into those too. I have ran a line from the router in my office to the livingroom where I have a wired switch so I will be able to hook everything up without having to go wireless.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by ablevy /forum/post/14334933


i think you are a little confused. You say you are running Windows XP and are looking for a "media extender". I believe media extenders only work with Vista. So, what you really are looking for is a networked media player. There are a number of them discussed in this forum. I suggest you look at the Netgear EVA-8000, the Dlink 510, 520 and 750, Apple TV, the TIVX products and popcorn hour for a start. That probably gives you a broad coverage of what's available.


Alan

Thanks for the reply, actually there is an earlier linksys media extender that came out for XP. I was looking into it but saw mixed reviews and came here for help. I will look into those units
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Originally Posted by boblinds /forum/post/14335640


Although I had been using an old Xbox with XBMC for this purpose, I'm now using a PS3 with TVersity running on my Windows XP system. Works and sounds/looks great. TVersity can transcode any file formats that the PS3 doesn't read and, via transcoding, it even supports subtitle files (srt and so on). Pls, you get an excellent videogame system and a Blu-ray player. With the 40GB model going for $299, it's hard to beat IMO.

Boy, thats another wrinkle. Don't have a PS3 as of yet but have been waiting to pull the triger. What is TVersity, is it free?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier /forum/post/14336112


Looks like I have more research to do. I will look into SageTV. I don't know what a networked media player is, I will have to look into those too. I have ran a line from the router in my office to the livingroom where I have a wired switch so I will be able to hook everything up without having to go wireless.

Staying away from wireless is a good plan.


Tversity is free but IMHO it is wanting. I would also not plan on using transcoding as a main feature. Newer powerfull computers can handle transcoding but it does put a lot of pressure on your computers cpu and it also requires that all of your video, even that which is stored on a server will need to go through your PC for transcoding. Again, IMO I would stay away from anything that requires real time on the fly transcoding to stream different video types.


Most network media players natively decode a wide range of video types but the PS3 does not which is why most of the more commone and useful video types will have to be transcoded on the fly or re-encoded before streaming to the PS3.


If I am not mistaken the SageTV HD Media Extender does the video decoding natively and does not rely on transcoding.
 

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To be honest, I'm not sure there is anything in this area that hasn't had some mixed reviews. That said, I believe that in general "media extenders" that work with XP are using uPnP to stream media. The EVA 8000 works a little differently, and handles a lot of codecs natively. Furthermore Netgear has a very active beta program pushing out new and improved firmware. However it is relatively expensive.


I agree with the comments about TVersity. It is free, but it's at least partially a case of getting what you pay for. The support has been almost nonexistent for the last year or so on their forums. To get it to work the way you want it to, you will probably have to play with it some. TVersity will however support the PS3, phones, and all uPnP servers.


Alan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablevy /forum/post/14339252


To be honest, I'm not sure there is anything in this area that hasn't had some mixed reviews. That said, I believe that in general "media extenders" that work with XP are using uPnP to stream media. The EVA 8000 works a little differently, and handles a lot of codecs natively. Furthermore Netgear has a very active beta program pushing out new and improved firmware. However it is relatively expensive.


I agree with the comments about TVersity. It is free, but it's at least partially a case of getting what you pay for. The support has been almost nonexistent for the last year or so on their forums. To get it to work the way you want it to, you will probably have to play with it some. TVersity will however support the PS3, phones, and all uPnP servers.


Alan

So that there is no confusion, EVA 8000 is a networked media player and not a media extender. Most media players can stream media using SMB, UPnP and NFS, so the EVA is nothing special in that regard when talking about network media players.


TVersity is also not the only UPnP software. Twonky is not free but is also not that expensive ($30). I personally like Twonky better than TVersity but if given a choice I prefer SMB or NFS because they do not require any installed and running server software on a PC or server. But again this is for networked media players.


Media extenders do require server software running on a PC. SageTV HD Extender requires SageTV, HP MediaSmart Connect requires Vista and so on.


caliskier needs to decide what he wants, media extender or networked media player. Media extenders offer a more complete GUI but require server software running on a PC (usually fairly resource needy). Network media players tend to have basic GUI functionality but can generally be operated independent of PCs or servers and they are DRM free with a larger selection of natively decoded video formats.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quickstep and Ablevy, thanks so much for the insite. Wow I appreciate the help. I worked very late tonight and have not had a chance to look into any of what you have told me about yet. I appreciate your last paragraph Quick, that helped me understand the differences between the two options. Do network media players have their own storage space? My computer is an XP OS, Pentium D 3.0Ghz with 1 Gig DDR2 Ram and a 160GB HD which is only 25% full, 256MB video (that probably does not matter).


Ablevy, I did do a quick search of the EVA 8000 at lunch today, yeah very expensive, but I was wondering, if I bought that (don't know if it is an extender or the other), will it work with XP, and in a few years when I upgrade the computer, vista and what ever comes after? I like to buy stuff that will not get out dated when my OS changes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier /forum/post/14340475


Quickstep and Ablevy, thanks so much for the insite. Wow I appreciate the help. I worked very late tonight and have not had a chance to look into any of what you have told me about yet. I appreciate your last paragraph Quick, that helped me understand the differences between the two options. Do network media players have their own storage space? My computer is an XP OS, Pentium D 3.0Ghz with 1 Gig DDR2 Ram and a 160GB HD which is only 25% full, 256MB video (that probably does not matter).


Ablevy, I did do a quick search of the EVA 8000 at lunch today, yeah very expensive, but I was wondering, if I bought that (don't know if it is an extender or the other), will it work with XP, and in a few years when I upgrade the computer, vista and what ever comes after? I like to buy stuff that will not get out dated when my OS changes.

Most networked media players have the capability for an internal HDD (CS615, Popcorn Hour, iStar, HDX-900 to name a few). What is your source of video? Will you be scheduling and recording TV? DVDs? Other? Video has a way of using a lot of HDD space. I am sure that you can easily add several HDDs to your current PC as well and there is always the option of adding USB/Firewire external drives to your PC and to the networked media player.


What exactly is it that you want to do?


There is one thing that I can recommend that you never do, never purchase anything from Tomacro!
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep /forum/post/14341446


Most networked media players have the capability for an internal HDD (CS615, Popcorn Hour, iStar, HDX-900 to name a few). What is your source of video? Will you be scheduling and recording TV? DVDs? Other? Video has a way of using a lot of HDD space. I am sure that you can easily add several HDDs to your current PC as well and there is always the option of adding USB/Firewire external drives to your PC and to the networked media player.


What exactly is it that you want to do?


There is one thing that I can recommend that you never do, never purchase anything from Tomacro!

I want to be able to stream internet radio from my computer, that is probably the number one thing I want to do. Also, when I forget to record Lost, be able to stream it off of ABCs website. I would also like to access my photos, and would like to use the PC as a DVR. That way, if I want to move the unit to the bedroom(which is close to the signal) I can run it wirelessly and watch our show. I do already have a DVR in my living room so that is not as high a priority, but I like the idea of being able to use it wirelessly in different rooms.


Thanks again.
 
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