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I am currently using an Apple TV2 that is jailbroken as a home media player. I live in a third world country currently so before I left I ripped all my movies to a large hard drive. (WD 3TB USB 3.0) I have it plugged in to an Apple Airport Extreme router. I have a large library with a variety of file types. Most are 720p but some are 1080p. When family visited I had them smuggle me in an Epson projector that is 1080p so most of my newer movie files will be 1080p. Up to now the apple tv 2 has performed flawlessly to play any of these files but it will only output 720p. I want to replace it with something that can play 1080p. Due to several other factors the media player and the router have to be in separate rooms and can't be wired so it has to play wirelessly. When I went back to the states to visit I bought a WD TV Live Streaming player as the specs and reviews all said that it should have no problem doing what I want. Unfortunately, I have found that that is NOT the case. This thing is slow and buggy and constantly has problems playing files. If I plug the hard drive into the player's usb port it is even worse. I finally got a strong enough signal by moving the router and amp closer together but then it started giving me problems with a standard def avi file dvd rip. I am sending it back to amazon with a friend next week. Given that I want to play 95+% local network content what is a good reasonably priced alternative? I only have a 5.1 surround system so the HD audio issue isn't a big deal. I am looking at the Boxee Box, Popcorn Hour A-300, Xtreamer Prodigy and anything else anyone might recommend. I just want to be able to play files without a lot of setup and fuss. I don't mind a little tinkering to get it set up but once set up I want to be able to sit down, select something and start playing it.
 

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Any high bitrate content such as 1080p bluray movie will not player correctly via wireless. You will get a lot of stuttering, lag, etc. So you will have to hard wired your media player either by ethernet cable (cat5e / cat6) or via USB. I'm surprised you had issues with the WDTV2. I bought one for my parents, and I didn't have any issues with it.


If you want an inexpensive media player you can read this budget media players thread that I made.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1411963/budget-media-players


If you want a high end media player:

1) Dune media players

2) Popcorn Hour media players

3) Mede8er Media Players


Are the top three that come to mind. I've owned all three of them. Mede8er does support BD ISO with Java menus. I currently have a Dune D1 and a PCH-A210. The Dune media players' prices went up. I used to recommend them to everyone, but due to their price increase and older hardware, I usually advised people of the other options such as PCH and Mede8er. If you don't care much of HD sound, I would recommend the PCH-A300 with YAMJ / Eversion jukebox.


Or you can go on ebay and find a used PCH-A210. I got lucky and got one on ebay for $120.
 

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I can plug the drive into the player itself but honestly I don't think streaming is the issue. Everything streams fine to the apple tv with zero problems. With the WD TV I can stream 1080p files fine now that I have a better signal but their software is crap and totally buggy. It will stream a 10gb 1080p MKV file fine but not a 700mb .avi file. If I plug the drive directly into it it locks up the player repeatedly and it won't play the files without stuttering repeatedly. The popcorn hour A-300 looks good but then a lot of people say the software is buggy too. I can't believe that the Apple TV jailbroken with fire core's software is soooooo much better than a dedicated box from another manufacturer. It seems strange that a third party company could write software and sell it for $30 and be so much better. If they could jailbreak the new AppleTV 3 I would buy it today and not even consider one of these others.
 
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