HTPC vs WD SMP vs Dune Smart D1

SmilingHeadcase

Standard Member
As with every purchase we always get a bit freaked out with the usual questions, am i buying the right thing, what if a new product is on the horizon, etc.

Here's my quandry, i want to upgrade from my current set up which is the 3 year old WD TV (doesn't play DTS). I have a basic 1TB NAS My Book World, on the network, as well as a 2TB usb HDD.

My options are

HTPC, WD SMP or Dune Smart D1.

So far....

I have a pretty good Dell at home, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40 GHz
4 gig Ram, ATI Radeon HD 2600HT, 640 gig HDD. I tried to set this up as a HTPC, using both Boxee and XMBC but i found the lack of a remote control to be a right pain. Plus the pc seemed to struggle on some of the bigger file sizes (15gig +)

Should i give up the ghost with this PC and just use something newer? Whats the best way to remote control the content?

I could swap this out for a pc with this specs

Intel Core i3-2100 Processor (3.10GHz, 3MB)
Memory : 4096MB (2x2048) DDR3 Dual Channel
Hard Drive : 500GB Serial ATA (7200RPM)
Graphics : 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6450

at no cost to me.

The WD SMP looks great, but being based in Ireland many of the online functions aren't available here, plus it doesn't support DTS-MA or Bluray menu's. I do like the fact that it downloads the artwork and description for the videos.

Dune Smart D1..... now i think this is where my heart lies. It can do everything i want, but having to use a third party product like Zappifi or MyMovies to look at cover art and descriptions is a let down. Plus, from reading around the sites, there may be a new sigma chip on the way, so should i hold off?

So, all 3 have there advantages and disadvantages, any advice?
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I personally never liked the idea of a HTPC due to the constant tweeks, software updates, boot times, power usage etc. But they do have more or less unlimited customisation and if something can't be done on it you just need to install an new program to get it working.
A remote can be used with an HTPC, such as Pulse-Eight. Motorola Nyxboard Hybrid (just found via a Google search)

Personally I use a Dune media player as the firmware does most of the hard work for you. Currently they don't have a built in movie wall but it may well be added in a future firmware update as it has been promised. However the likes of Zappiti are fairly easy to setup and once the video wall has been created there is no need to have the PC running to use it on the Dune player.
There is a new Sigma chipset that is in the new Dune TV101 & TV301 models, but it doesn't add anything much - just gigabit LAN (TV301 only) and is slightly faster. But feature wise the new chipset doesn't appear to add anything new.

Mark.
 

SmilingHeadcase

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply Mark, the Dune does seem the way to go. Looking around i can even get DuneX to run on my iMac instead of Zappiti.

Now to try and justify the nearly €180 difference in cost between the Western Digital SMP and the Dune Smart D1
 

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