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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been debating on possibly getting rid of the HTPC since I now have a DVR.


I have apx 1000 movies ripped to the TS folder format currently and have been deciding between the Apple TV and WD Streamer.


Advantages of Apple TV

Nice UI

Cool looking device

Can stream over a network

Boxee is easy to get working

Could rent a movie (Probably never will)


Disadvantages of Apple TV

Hours of Ripping movies with handbrake



Advantages of WD Media streamer

Can copy over TS to external harddrives

Cheaper


Disadvantages of WD Media streamer

for 3 TV's would need have to maintain 3 copies of same Harddrive




I have also played with Sage TV as the HD200 media extender looks very cool and has a big following but Sage is time consuming to configure I understand.



I even looked at keeping my HTPC and getting on of the cheap Linksys extenders for the bedroom.


Any ideas or other recommendations would be appreciated.


Thanks
 

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I have the WDTV and I love it. Here's my two cents:



I wouldn't rely on network streaming. I used to have a Archos 604 wifi and when I would stream over the network, I would get picture stutter. If you have a good home network, maybe this won't be an issue, but as files get larger it could become a problem. HD will be the standard soon.



Ripping with handbrake is a pain in the butt if you just have a few files. You have 1000 files, so you are looking at weeks of ripping. Plus when you get new files you will need to rip those too. WDTV plays standard files now and they are adding more.


Apple is greedy. They want to keep others off their Appletv just like they do with all their products. You won't be able to count on boxee. Apple will add new features in future firmware updates, but everytime they do they are going block out 3rd party vendors like boxee. Compare that to WDTV which runs on linux and has already posted their code available for 3rd party apps.


Renting videos from Apple sucks. I have a friend who has it and he said that if you want a new release you need to purchase the entire movie. Renting is for older movies. I don't know if this still the case but you better read the fine print.


I'd go with the WDTV. You won't need to maintain 3 copies of the same hard drive unless you are watching the movie in 3 places at the same time. It's easy to move the hard drive from place to place, but you may need to purchase multiple places to avoid hooking it to a different TV each time.
 

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i say you are looking at two different devices all together... the ATV is much more expensive and IMO really isn't worth it.


i would get the WDTV... but like you said the only problem is having to keep 3 copies of the same h/d... yes as a poster stated you can move the H/D but the goal in what we do is to make it as convenient as possible... i bought wdhd a few weeks ago after a long time trying to figure out how i would make it work for two TVs. my conclusion was I really didnt care about having it on two TVs... but i konw that might not work for you so here is what i was thinking about doing.... but it will take some research to figure out of it would work the way planned.



first buy an external drive case that has USB and Network.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...e=&srchInDesc=



some of these cases have the ability to RAID. which would solve your problem of having to copy harddrives... everything would just be the same syncd over the network.



but here is the issues i ran across.


1: it seems for most of these devices to work as NAS they must be FAT32.... we all know the problems of that.


2: some of these devices have to be powered down adn back up when switching from Network to USB. not a huge problems but again we try to make everything as easy as possible.


it is something to look into and let us know what you find.
 

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I find my AppleTV to be an average solution. It outputs 720p, but that is OK, give that I haven't been ripping Blu Ray disks.


If everything you have is already ripped, then you just need to Handbrake the video to the ATV format. Yes this will take time, but if you have a computer with some horsepower, once you're done things will move along fairly quickly.


As to the streaming issue, I agree that it is sometimes a problem. I use Airport Extreme and find that connection drops sometimes, requiring me to restart the ATV or the wireless device - a bit of a pain. I never experience stutter during playback, although the remote control commands are a bit slow to respond and waking the ATV up is a bit of a slow process - which is why I am trolling this forum looking for the ultimate media server solution.
 

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You indicated that you have had an HTPC setup, if that is so then setting up the SageTV HD Extender will be easy in comparison.


For streaming to (3) different TVs the WDTV is not the solution. Just think a moment about trying to keep even one large USB set of drives up to date let alone 2 or 3. Lets be clear about something the WDTV is not a streamer, it is not a network media player. Expandability will also become a problem. There are always new videos coming out and your tastes may change.


While the WDTV may make a good portable solution for occasional use it is not intended for daily high use, especially by a family of more than one individual with multiple TVs. Scenario1: you sit down to watch a video in your favorite chair at your favorite TV and ....o crud the HDD with what I want to watch is upstairs. Scenarior2: Person A wants to watch movie A but person B wants to watch movie B but movie B is on Person A's HDD. This only has to happen a few times and it will get old real fast.


If you can setup a wired network then IMHO you should go with a true streaming solution.
 

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In response to the HDD portability problem, with the price of USB thumb drives so low, I carry the video(s) that way. Odds are that a 16-32Gb stick will hold enough for a quiet evening. Example, I am visiting family with some children and I can select what to take from my NAS with the WD to keep them occupied with little intervention. Family has a new HD TV with no HD sources. If streaming is what you want, the WD solution is currently out.
 
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