Devices for 'networking' home cinema/ hard drive media players

  • Thread starter backtothefuture
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backtothefuture

Guest
Hi ,

I'm looking for a decent 'hard drive' based media player... I specifically want it for DivX playback ..ie so I'd be storing my DivX videos on it , to access and playback on the TV on demand...it would need to have (preferably) component outputs or otherwise Scart and the usual etc...

alternatively, is there a home cinema network device that I could hook up to my TV and then it could access the files from my PC through a wireless network? How would that work? wouldn't that take ages to transfer across to the player (ie at arounf 300MB per file) or would it simply play the file off my PC? (wouldn't there be lag?)

I've already checked out the TVIX regarding the first option but it seems a bit unstable and unpolished at the minute and got average reviews.

anyone done or using anything similar to the above two options?

:smashin:
 

digisocialist

Standard Member
What about the self build HTPC route?

Think these look the business
http://www.ahanix.com/dvine5.html
http://www.digitalnorthwest.co.uk/

Bang in an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card & ati Radeon X850 XT AGP (DVI), I believe ATI do HDTV Component adapters to convert the DVI signal to Component... There are obviously many options here. Stcik in a couple of 125GB HDD's, plenty of memory, a bit of control softare like SageTV and you'll be away. Oh, and not forgetting a wireless card if you want to go that route.
 

jinky32

Novice Member
yeah, check out the KISS players. The streamium also has the potential to be a good option ~(sl400i). there are some problems but new firmware has just been released.
 
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backtothefuture

Guest
hi, thanks for all the replies!

yes I've considered the Kiss player... they have a hard-drive based DVD player as well as one with ethernet.. however they're restricted to 80gigs (the Hdd ones) and I need something bigger

The HTPC route would be what i'd ideally go for with a larger budget ...the digitalnorthwest cases are quite good but the really classy ones are like £550! add in the cost of a motherboard, processor, decent graphics card, sound card and we're looking at over a £1,000....plus this would replace my existing Yamaha Amp and DVD player, and I'm not looking to get rid of them yet...

The Pinnacle solution looks the most realistic (for me) so far...however I'm not too sure as how it would work.. as I understand it, it'd access files straight from my PC and then decode/play them? The $m question is what would quality be like..ie would there be any lag or quality loss if I use a wireless network to connect up (because that's what I'd do) , considering that each video file I play would be a minimum of 300MB... ?
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
You could use the s-video out of the pc from the graphics card, and then play DVDs and other files off of the hard drive(s). You can also play DVDs etc from another pc via a network, which is what I sometimes do. With a wired Lan, this isn't a problem, but wireless may have some issues.

I don't get any lag from the networked machine, and the playback is seemless - exactly the same as if it was coming off of the main PC. You don't have to spend a fortune for a DVD playback machine - probably £200 plus the cost of an av style case whicgh can cost less than £100 from kustompcs.co.uk for example. More hard drives is extra, and you can fit them inside the pc and add external ones or a remote pc/server for more if needed.

All you need is a graphics card that can give a decent s-video output (RGB costs more and are hard to find) and a 5.1 capable soundcard with spdif to go to your Yamaha amp for full DD and DTS (etc) surround

If you were outputting vga or DVI I would recommend a decent Radeon or better, but as the output is going to a tv, most of the graphics cards capabilities would be wasted.

Gary.
 
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backtothefuture

Guest
well i currently have a Radeon All in Wonder 9800SE and the DVD playback quality of that is not as good as my standalone DVD player ...plus the TV tuner feature sucks , due to poor picture quality even when using same signal as to what's being fed to TV

how does it all work if I connect my graphics card to the TV... ie when I boot up will the TV act like a monitor, or will it only display pictures once i'm actually in windows and playback a video file?
 

URL

Member
Kiss players - they do support bigger than 80gb.... 80 is all that kiss sell as off the shelf.

You can buy a DP500 and flash it with 508 firmware and add your own HD... just make sure that the 500 is not a rev a unit as it only supports one ide device.

Remember that the kiss is a linux box, so there are so many things you can do with them...he he...

D
 

ranar

Active Member
I'm using an xbox running xb media centre.... 120GB hard drive installed, wireless bridge connects to all media files on PC - so can watch/listen to them off the xbox HD or stream from PC.....
 
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backtothefuture

Guest
djblack said:
Kiss players - they do support bigger than 80gb.... 80 is all that kiss sell as off the shelf.

You can buy a DP500 and flash it with 508 firmware and add your own HD... just make sure that the 500 is not a rev a unit as it only supports one ide device.

Remember that the kiss is a linux box, so there are so many things you can do with them...he he...

D
Hi, could you point be with a link for the DP500 please... have the hard drives been upgraded successfully before? what do you mean by 'a rev a unit' ? ...

I found the DP558 using a kelkoo search...its about £350 (with an 80gig HDD!) .. found it on another online retailer which says that the HDD cannot be upgraded from the 80gig one ....
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Generaly, graphics cards like Radeons only really shine when outputting via VGA or DVI to something like a projector, then the image quality advantage over a standalone player is obvious. The superior deinterlacing and scaling can be performed by the PC Graphics card to full effect.

Quality over s-video or component seems a secondary consideration by the sounds of things.

Gary.
 

TheCrow

Active Member
Hi,

I just came across this Virtuoso MC-500 which sounds close to what you were looking for?

Personely I like the DVI connection to go digitaly into my plasma :clap: .

£250 @ AV-LAND

£175 @ Scan

Be careful regarding wireless as it sounds like the PCMCIA slot will only accept 11b cards which aren't fast enough to stream HQ video so a small 11g access point into the ethernet connector is a better bet.

There is a review of it here
 

URL

Member
Backtothefuture....

Check out

http://www.mpeg-playcenter.com/

and

http://www.gooddvdstuff.com/

These links will give you all you need. Dont be put off with firmware issues - you will be ok unless you want strange fonts for subtitles!! The normal stuff all works ok in my opinion (and useage patterns!)

The Rev A model only supports one IDE device - unless you find a very early one, all DP's since around 18months ago have RevB chipsets. One ide device means you cannot add a hard drive....

If you visit the first link you will find all you want to know re multimendia devices...



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