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Discussion Starter #1
So I purchased a WD TV Live Plus a few years ago and it does most anything I want, but it is getting a bit long in the tooth. It takes a long time to boot up, frequently crashes, frequently drops network connection, and doesn't seem to be getting any sort of updates anymore.

Here is what I'm looking for in a new box:
1) Plays media files from a local media server (just a simple window's share)
2) Plays netflix, pandora, etc. (the more the better I guess?)
3) Going on a small simple bedroom TV with built in speakers, so small/low-profile/easy to use is best
4) Integrated wireless

I'm not sure what else I need. Is there anything better out there than a Roku or FireTV?
 

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I bought one of the round Quad core Android Based media players recently and it is supposed to play just about anything. I also have a early WDTV Live and a Pivos Aios media player.
The Android one directly supports Plex and XBMC/Kodi and works pretty well though sometimes the playback can get a bit wonky and you have to stop or reboot. It also supports just about anything Android so that really opens up the possibilities and there are custom made firmwares out for it that get it right to the point of only having what it needs to do it's job.
The Pivos plays just about anything somewhat recent, most very smoothly and it had a great community built around it and for it with factory support for mods. The live was the first cheap unit that could do it all and it still pretty much works but many cool features have died and WD hates the aftermarket mods.
My buddy has the top dog Roku and tried to get me to buy one but I wanted to try the newest Android based one myself so went that route. His Roku looked great and might be a great solution but I think it's more of a streaming only based solution and not so much for networked local files but I could be wrong.
All the others do streaming and networked pretty well and I'm having fun with Plex and Kodi with the cool posters and media info they get IF you setup your folders and file names the way they want. I think the Roku also works best when your paying for some of the streaming services they support and is probably great for someone that wants to cut the cord.
Wish I had more toy money as I'd have more players here to try myself and see whats best myself. My android Player is a Tronsmart Vega S89H if you want to check them out.
 

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Roku is good, but a poor choice for local media support.
That very much depends. The Plex client for Roku is very nice and there are also clients for Media Browser and Twonky if you don't like Plex. The real question is whether or not you use ISO files or want to stream uncompressed Blu-Ray rips. Roku is not a good choice for that. I generally use .mkv or .mp4 containers with H264 content, so Roku works great for me. I like it because my family can access our Tablo DVR, Plex server, Vudu library and all of our streaming subscriptions from a single easy to use device no matter where they are in the house. My NAS has a media player VM with Kodi running on it and I've got a direct HDMI run from it to the main system for playing back uncompressed rips. Everything else goes out via Plex.
 

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That very much depends. The Plex client for Roku is very nice and there are also clients for Media Browser and Twonky if you don't like Plex. The real question is whether or not you use ISO files or want to stream uncompressed Blu-Ray rips. Roku is not a good choice for that. I generally use .mkv or .mp4 containers with H264 content, so Roku works great for me. I like it because my family can access our Tablo DVR, Plex server, Vudu library and all of our streaming subscriptions from a single easy to use device no matter where they are in the house. My NAS has a media player VM with Kodi running on it and I've got a direct HDMI run from it to the main system for playing back uncompressed rips. Everything else goes out via Plex.
I use Samsung SmartHub which has 700 apps so far, one of which is a browser which I like to use with its PIP function while I can browse & watch TV at the same time. I use their free MilkMusic app which is AWESOME! I've got a a USB attached 750g minidrive with tons of stuff stored on it. I do have HULU+
I use an antenna in the Atlanta market(OTA) I own two ROKU (which are gathering dust)lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So right now all my videos are MKV/MP4 but I don't have a Plex/trans-coding client setup at all. I just play videos off of a network share.

I know it is possible with my setup to do these things, but I'm really looking for a simple, high WAF, high reliability (as in not an adroid device that crashes occasionally) to replace the WDTV.

The Roku is the clear winner with the exception of the network media playback.
 

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That very much depends. The Plex client for Roku is very nice and there are also clients for Media Browser and Twonky if you don't like Plex. The real question is whether or not you use ISO files or want to stream uncompressed Blu-Ray rips. Roku is not a good choice for that. I generally use .mkv or .mp4 containers with H264 content, so Roku works great for me. I like it because my family can access our Tablo DVR, Plex server, Vudu library and all of our streaming subscriptions from a single easy to use device no matter where they are in the house. My NAS has a media player VM with Kodi running on it and I've got a direct HDMI run from it to the main system for playing back uncompressed rips. Everything else goes out via Plex.
I agree here, I don't think you can beat a Roku especially with the Plex app. I'm about to make the move there from Windows Media center running mymovies.
 

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So right now all my videos are MKV/MP4 but I don't have a Plex/trans-coding client setup at all. I just play videos off of a network share.

I know it is possible with my setup to do these things, but I'm really looking for a simple, high WAF, high reliability (as in not an adroid device that crashes occasionally) to replace the WDTV.

The Roku is the clear winner with the exception of the network media playback.
The Plex client for Roku is very nice and very easy. Plex Media Server will run on Windows, OSX, Linux and several different NAS platforms. It is pretty easy to set up and configure. Your server should not have to do much transcoding if your stuff is all H264.
 

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So right now all my videos are MKV/MP4 but I don't have a Plex/trans-coding client setup at all. I just play videos off of a network share.
You don't really need to transcode anything unless you are working with less common formats. You just install plex and point it at the network share. The Roku can natively play the files, plex just serves them up. That being said, plex is pretty cool in it's own right if you really want to dig into it, but you don't have to. My plex setup for my wife's Roku took less than 10 minutes.
 

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If you wanted to replace the set with a Samsung Smart hub, you can do all that and only have to contend with one remote. The Smart hub has a great Plex client that is the 2nd most popular app(rated 4.5 out of 5) in their Video category & supports all those forrmats.
 

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The biggest problem I have with my (3) Roku 3s is that they don't decode some of the more complex audio formats (probably ones requiring licenses), like Dolby Digital. This is not a problem if you are connecting to a receiver, but I have one connected to a TV with an optical-out to a soundbar, and that one can't play my mkv's that have DD. Other than that I love 'em!
 

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The biggest problem I have with my (3) Roku 3s is that they don't decode some of the more complex audio formats (probably ones requiring licenses), like Dolby Digital. This is not a problem if you are connecting to a receiver, but I have one connected to a TV with an optical-out to a soundbar, and that one can't play my mkv's that have DD. Other than that I love 'em!
That's odd, because mine will play stuff I have on my Plex server with 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks without issue. I also get DD+ surround for most of what I stream from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Vudu.
 

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If you wanted to replace the set with a Samsung Smart hub, you can do all that and only have to contend with one remote. The Smart hub has a great Plex client that is the 2nd most popular app(rated 4.5 out of 5) in their Video category & supports all those forrmats.
I have a Samsung Smart TV in my kitchen. It has apps for most of the services I use on Roku, but I find the interface both slower and clunkier. It also lacks direct support for my Tablo DVR (I use the Plex Channel to get around that). The Plex client implementation on Samsung is more like the traditional Windows client. The one on Roku is more similar to the Windows 8.1 client.
 

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That's odd, because mine will play stuff I have on my Plex server with 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks without issue. I also get DD+ surround for most of what I stream from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Vudu.
I'd love to know what I'm doing differently; I'll have to poke around again as I'd given up on that TV. I'm using a Plex server too. And you're running without a receiver? Are you having Plex transcode?
 

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I have a Samsung Smart TV in my kitchen. It has apps for most of the services I use on Roku, but I find the interface both slower and clunkier. It also lacks direct support for my Tablo DVR (I use the Plex Channel to get around that). The Plex client implementation on Samsung is more like the traditional Windows client. The one on Roku is more similar to the Windows 8.1 client.
Is it a quad? 2014 or later? I don't see any performance difference between Smart Hub & my Roku stick.
As far as Windows. Hated WIN8.0, Love WIN8.1 cause I can default to the old desktop style...lol

Yes I want to consider Dune. I need to explore it though. Fee free to expand on that...Thanks
 
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