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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for a solution to put in a few rooms at our house. While I've never tried the Roku, it seems like it has most of what we want, except the local content. Yes, I've read about Plex but I've heard some not so good comments about it, and it doesn't seem to play movies ripped in multiple VOB's, which is what I have all of my media in.


I guess I could migrate the to a new format and then use Plex on the Roku, but I think what I'd really like is XBMC.


I did read up on some of the Android players, but here I found some so-so comments also. One that stood out to me was on the Pivos player and the Netflix app. They said navagation was really difficult and basically you have a very difficult time watching anything that's not on the main screen.


That being said, is there any plans to put XBMC on Roku? Or is there another player that has good online content, plus XBMC, that's fairly family-oriented plug and play?
 

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Doesn't exist, outside of building a HTPC that is. Boxee Box came close to being that 'best of both worlds' solution (online and local content), but ultimately didn't happen. If you need both a solid local and online streamer, I'd suggest Roku and a separate local streamer. My blog post here may help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the thoughts. I did try the PopBox and Boxee several years ago, but ended up returning both.


I'd like ot think that XBMC may eventually get into a Roku private channel, but perhaps not. And I guess I could always just take my separate VOB's and re-encode them to MKV and go with Plex. Or go seperate like you said. All options with pros and cons, of course.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amheck  /t/1476628/my-ideal-streamer-roku-xbmc-does-this-exist#post_23410603


Thanks for the thoughts. I did try the PopBox and Boxee several years ago, but ended up returning both.


I'd like ot think that XBMC may eventually get into a Roku private channel, but perhaps not. And I guess I could always just take my separate VOB's and re-encode them to MKV and go with Plex. Or go seperate like you said. All options with pros and cons, of course.

The Roku is not powerful enough to run XBMC. Plex is as close as you will get.


Philip
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd  /t/1476628/my-ideal-streamer-roku-xbmc-does-this-exist#post_23416834


The Roku is not powerful enough to run XBMC. Plex is as close as you will get.


Philip

That's an incorrect statement since the Raspberry Pi can run XBMC and it uses the same CPU as the Roku...or least the Roku 2's. The problem with the Roku though is it's closed source and no one has hacked into it to install custom ROM's so there is little chance we will see XBMC on a Roku box anytime soon. That being said I would suggest looking into an Android based device which seem to be coming along quite fast. Good site to start at is http://www.xbmcandroid.com/ . I actually am using a Minix Neo G4 running XBMC and so far so good, but I only just got the device a few days ago, so I'm still in the trial phase. When I get a chance I'll try playing some movies in VOB's to see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let me know what you think of the Android device. I read up on the Pivos a bit and most seem to think the Linux version of XMBC runs ok, but the Android version isn't all that quick. And you have to turn all of the skins off or it really gets bogged down.


I think having an android based system would be neat, but I want to make sure it works. Like I mentioned before, I also read that the Netflix and other apps are really meant for touch screen control, so trying to control them with arrow keys can be a bit of a nightmare.


I'm started to realize there is no perfect solution. And I'm even wondering if there's even a good solution.
Seems everyone has good ideas but just doesn't execute on it 100%
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522  /t/1476628/my-ideal-streamer-roku-xbmc-does-this-exist#post_23419792

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd  /t/1476628/my-ideal-streamer-roku-xbmc-does-this-exist#post_23416834


The Roku is not powerful enough to run XBMC. Plex is as close as you will get.


Philip

That's an incorrect statement since the Raspberry Pi can run XBMC and it uses the same CPU as the Roku...or least the Roku 2's. The problem with the Roku though is it's closed source and no one has hacked into it to install custom ROM's so there is little chance we will see XBMC on a Roku box anytime soon. That being said I would suggest looking into an Android based device which seem to be coming along quite fast. Good site to start at is http://www.xbmcandroid.com/ . I actually am using a Minix Neo G4 running XBMC and so far so good, but I only just got the device a few days ago, so I'm still in the trial phase. When I get a chance I'll try playing some movies in VOB's to see what happens.

Well running well is really the point. I can only say that the Pivos XIOS unit ran XBMC under Android but it was painful. Much better under Linux. As it is the Roku is hardly a speed demon with support for a limited type of video.


The closed nature of the Roku is not a problem. It brings about a defined solution which people can either accept or reject. Obviously people have taken to it and that other closed unit the ATV. Just because you have a million worker bees toiling away trying to get something out doesn't mean you'll end up liking the result. It's beginning to sound like the Borg all over again.


I have yet to use XBMC on a non computer platform with any real satisfaction. The Pivos unit is really the only one that has come close and it is terrible using Android.


Philip



Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk HD
 

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I have a Roku XD in my bedroom and like it. The Minix Neo G4 I just got is for the living room when I don't feel like booting up the main HTPC with XBMC. I'm impressed with the Minix, XBMC runs just as fast on it as does on my HTPC...moving through the menus that is. The only problem I've seen is some plugins can be temperamental, for example the Pandora plugin with XAF XBMC crashes out XBMC, but being a very early user of XBMC on Linux I remember similar problems with it way back when. I know over time the XBMC devs will work out most issues on Android.
 

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While I've been waiting for the 'perfect' solution to come along myself, I've been reading a ton of good things about XBMC (Windows) + Add-ons + Plex Media Server.


I'm mostly waiting for my financials to support the expense, but I think I'll be going the Windows-based XBMC HTPC route (but I want the box for gaming as well, so I'll be building a considerably beefy HTPC). Lifehacker has some great articles on building fully featured HTPC's for under $500.


The XBMC plugins running on XBMC for Windows (like the Netflix plugin) have really high marks with the users as far as I've seen, and it's fairly simple to setup a user on the computer that launches into XBMC as it's shell, which saves time and resources and is really slick. Then you have another user setup with the traditional explorer shell to login to when you need to service the machine.


Use plex to transcode and stream your library to other devices that doesn't run XBMC. (like a xbox 360s, phones, tablets, etc).



Have you meandered through the list of streaming services that are supported in XBMC through add-ons? I'm not a huge streaming viewer myself, but they seem to have a pretty complete list.



(EDIT: Nevermind. I just saw that you mentioned that your requirements are for (what I like to call) secondary media players that are relatively cheap to go in secondary rooms. My solution doesn't really cover multiple rooms, sorry. Carry on!)
 

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I'm in the same boat as many here, hoping for that perfect combo device. I've actually started to think I need to just go back to my Boxee Box and forget about HD Audio. The funny thing is I don't even think I can tell the difference between HD audio and regular old DTS or whatever. So I have to ask myself, what did I NOT like about the Boxee Box?
  • The remote is meh
  • No Hulu Plus or Amazon VOD
  • HD Audio issues


Maybe I was just being silly retiring it to the basement for the WDTV SMP, which plays everything just fine but with a UI nowhere near as nice.
 

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I gave up and converted all my .iso to mkv


wife uses roku3 with plex, easy for her to use and everything combined


When we both watch a movie I use the HTPC
 

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I have been through all of this, many streamers, etc. I have settled to a roku, and a celeron nuc running openelec.

Full hd audio, no drivers, windows pia. I am in IT used to love the htpc thing but so burnt out on it, just want a set and forget, love openelec. No windows wanting to update, or some other service causing issues, or issues, issues, etc. I am not sensitive or it is not there to my eyes with the 24p thing, I do not notice any dropped frames on full bd mkv with hd audio, it looks and sounds great. You can also add plex through plexbmc if you need it. For around 200$ the celeron nuc is small quiet, and hd audio sweetness. there is no one box that will give you the on-line options, and local playback hd-audio, auto scraping etc.

Maybe one day?
 

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I've gone through this exercise also and decided that you need two devices; especially if you want HD Audio and streaming:


1. Movie playback with HD Audio: HTPC or one of the capable streamers (Dune, etc).

2. Streaming: Roku, Bluray player, ATV, etc.


If you can compromise on your Movie audio and video quality, you can use one box for movies and streaming. Some leading choices are:


1. Roku w/Plex (requires computer running Plex Media Server but won't handle VOBs or ISOs. Plex will transcode to suite the playback device)

2. Bluray player or other device that has a Plex app available. Bluray players are good clients because they can handle MPEG2 DVD .MKV files without Plex transcoding. (requires computer running Plex Media Server)

3. ATV (requires computer running iTunes and movies need to be in Apple friendly format - M4V. Handles up to 1080p and AC3)


The benefit of the Plex and iTunes solutions is that your content will also be available on just about any device:

Plex - anything that has a Plex app and web browsers

iTunes - Apple devices


To suit my needs, I did both. I have a HTPC in my Home Theater with full rips of my DVDs and Blurays. This gives me full resolution video and audio in my Home Theater. The HTPC also records TV and runs Plex Media Server so I can watch the recorded TV shows on other devices. In the other rooms, I have AppleTVs. I don't care about the HD audio because the speakers aren't that great and I need high WAF. iTunes runs on my Mac Mini and the M4V videos only take up about 1TB. It's not a problem for me to have two sets of media: 1. Full rips, 2. Compressed. I've been compressing all my media with Handbrake since the beginning so I can fit it on laptops, tablets, phones etc.


Think about what you want to accomplish in each room and pick the solution that meets your needs.


Add TV recording and playback into this mix and it gets much more complicated!


Tim
 

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Been kicking around that OUYA. Bought it only for XBMC and it's sort of buggy ATM. Menu is super fast but cannot play my blue ray rip folder structures (m2ts) that I have been using in my Popcorn Hour A200 (menu super slow) but HD audio stream works. My entire family is used to the Popcorn Hour Movie Wall I set up but it's a pain to add new custom content since I end up addding custom cover art and create my own nfo files to get things right.


I have been a fan of XBMC since the solderless chip mods of the original Xbox (what I used to run around the house), but I'm old now with kids...ha ha. I just want a quick XBMC box solutoin. I still think nothing can beat an XBMC solution but I do not want to babysit an HTPC anymore. Ouya looks promising and perfect for standard def content and music. May move it to my weight room. Maybe if Ouya releases faster hardware chipsets and android development improves it will be a solid solution and if they just cost $100 I'm in.


Rob
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodwad  /t/1476628/my-ideal-streamer-roku-xbmc-does-this-exist#post_23569596


Been kicking around that OUYA. Bought it only for XBMC and it's sort of buggy ATM. Menu is super fast but cannot play my blue ray rip folder structures (m2ts) that I have been using in my Popcorn Hour A200 (menu super slow) but HD audio stream works. My entire family is used to the Popcorn Hour Movie Wall I set up but it's a pain to add new custom content since I end up addding custom cover art and create my own nfo files to get things right.


I have been a fan of XBMC since the solderless chip mods of the original Xbox (what I used to run around the house), but I'm old now with kids...ha ha. I just want a quick XBMC box solutoin. I still think nothing can beat an XBMC solution but I do not want to babysit an HTPC anymore. Ouya looks promising and perfect for standard def content and music. May move it to my weight room. Maybe if Ouya releases faster hardware chipsets and android development improves it will be a solid solution and if they just cost $100 I'm in.


Rob

Good luck with that one. As far as I know all the devices that cost less than $100 dollars android or linux do not support HD sound due to licensing cost. If they were to support HD sound, they would not be selling at $100 or less. At the moment, the best set up I've found for my family and I are Dune D1 and Dune TV303D for streaming all of my ripped movies, and use PS3 / XBOX 360 for Netflix.


I tried the HTPC route, and it is just too much work trying to maintain it. My wife and kids are much happier with the Dune's and their jukebox is easy to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I tried the HTPC thing too and it was just too much work. I used to enjoy building PC's. Now with work, family and everything else, I just want something I can turn on and have everyone be able to use it.


I was hoping for ROKU with a DLNA client, but I guess the best that I can do is use another PC and have it run Plex Server. Only thing is, we don't have any wired desktops - everything is wireless and I'm not too sure how that will go. I guess I'll need a dedicated PC wired for the best of both worlds.
 

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I am in the same boat. I have an 2 HTPCs (using XBMC which works great) and a media server (ubuntu) plus older Blu-ray players being used for mostly netflix and I want to simply use one device for netflix as well as personal content. This week I install Plex on the media server and it sync'd with everything I had (mkv, mpg3, etc.). I even used my Mac as a plex client and it played everything great. Now I am going to try a couple of Roku devices to see if all this works together. If not, then maybe an ATV since there is a Plex client app for it now, or so I've heard.
 

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I use plex on my roku. And while I do not have any vob files I do have a ton of MKV's and they all play flawlessly and I get 5.1 audio too. Gives me cover art, synopsis, I love it!


I also have a couple of HTPC's. Once I got them setup correctly I haven't had any issues in years and they play everything including HD audio. Nothing to maintain on them.


Now I only use the HTPC for my bluray rips where I really want the HD audio such as action movies. For all other video i'm using the roku now.
 

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I'll always use my HTPC (XBMC) for my home projector w/120" screen - the picture is awesome and it's used only for high quality HD video and audio. For netflix and other streaming media a HTPC is overkill esp. for smaller screen playback which is my I am looking for a single box approach. I currently have two boxee boxes but they have become flaky now and really slow so I am looking for their replacement. I wish there was a blu-ray player that could play all the major networked video streams as well as local video content and do music decently - now that would be a perfect combination.
 

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Roku and an OpenELEC box, along with a well programmed Harmony remote seems to be my best solution right now. I still have hopes that an Android device will come along that can handle Netflix DRM along with XBMC & support audio needs. Then, for euphoria, add DRM support for network cable-card tuners & take Windows Media Center out of the loop.


For all my Time Warner hatred, I'll admit their Roku channel is pretty nice for that spare bedroom TV.
 
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