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I've been thinking about getting into this media server/streamer craze, but I'm at a loss as to which product is ideal for me. Probably the most important capability I'm looking for is the ability to play back high quality high def video with at least 5.1 audio from a local (preferably networked) hard drive, including both non-compressed directly ripped from a DVD or Blu-ray, and compressed formats including h.264 (mkv container). I would also like a nice jukebox type UI when selecting titles to play.


The ability to play streaming video, including places like Hulu and Netflix is somewhat appealing, but I don't think the quality is quite there yet for that. I would be viewing on a 64" Pioneer Elite RPTV.


I'm open to the idea of a HTPC, but was hoping to not have to resort to that. I already have a file server and would prefer to have that serve up my media to some smaller simpler device.


The Boxee/Apple TV combo looks interesting, although it looks like with that I'm limited to the hard drive in the Apple TV device. The upcoming Popcorn Hour device also looks promising. I also like the idea of the WDTV device, but it appears to have too many limitations.


Any advice?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoHo /forum/post/16903530


I've been thinking about getting into this media server/streamer craze, but I'm at a loss as to which product is ideal for me. Probably the most important capability I'm looking for is the ability to play back high quality high def video with at least 5.1 audio from a local (preferably networked) hard drive, including both non-compressed directly ripped from a DVD or Blu-ray, and compressed formats including h.264 (mkv container). I would also like a nice jukebox type UI when selecting titles to play.


The ability to play streaming video, including places like Hulu and Netflix is somewhat appealing, but I don't think the quality is quite there yet for that. I would be viewing on a 64" Pioneer Elite RPTV.


I'm open to the idea of a HTPC, but was hoping to not have to resort to that. I already have a file server and would prefer to have that serve up my media to some smaller simpler device.


The Boxee/Apple TV combo looks interesting, although it looks like with that I'm limited to the hard drive in the Apple TV device. The upcoming Popcorn Hour device also looks promising. I also like the idea of the WDTV device, but it appears to have too many limitations.


Any advice?

The Popcornhour A-110 with YAMJ would be a nice solution to what you are looking for, or you can wait and see how the C-200 turns out (I am guessing it will be available in the coming month or so). AppleTV has way too many limitations and I don't like the fact that you need to hack it (i.e. Boxee) just to get more functionality out of it.


I honestly prefer HTPCs as I have complete control over, but it is not for everyone and costs can be more then some of these dedicated players.
 
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