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Looking for a streamer

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
Hello all,

I've recently bought a new TV and I'm looking at getting a media streamer to stream all my movies to the new TV, But I'm not sure what media streamer will be best for my needs.

I have a little Linux server box that holds all my movies/videos connected to my network (gigabit lan) so I would need a media player that will connect to my network wired and be able to stream from the Linux box.

Also most of my content is .MKV's so it would need to support almost all MKV files but also support mostly any other common format, and also be able to play-back the HD content without any stutter(lag?)

It would also need to support 3D content (Mostly side-by-side MKV) since it will be connected to a 3D TV I would like it to play 3D Content.

It doesn't need to include any HDD's etc since as I've said, It will be solely used streaming from the server box.

I've been looking at the WD TV Live and the Popcorn Hour A-300 but not sure what would be best for my needs, There maybe another media streamer that would better suit my needs that I've missed also.

I didn't want to spend over £100 really but If it's needed I can stretch.

I also want to get my mother a media streamer for her front-room, It would need to do the same as I've stated above apart from the 3D content, As she doesn't have a 3D TV. Although I've got a strict budget of £80-100 for one for my mother.

Many thanks!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Syabas Popbox V8 might be worth considering if you can stretch it (around £150) because
* All codecs supported same as Popcornhour A300 though no BD menus, internal jukebox or internal HDD but same base GUI.
* SMB/NFS browsing support
* Quick access to SMB/NFS network sources, you add individual folders as shortcut so workgroup/volume2/files/movies just has /movies/ on the network media screen.
* 3D MKV support, it will automatically tell the TV to enable 3D mode on the TV, for many others it must be manually initiated.
* Good quality backlit remote and easy enough to use.

The budget option, HiMedia 900A these are less polished players but packed with features, should probably do what you want.

WDTV Live 2011 model should be fine for your mother.
 

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
Many thanks for your reply next010,

The Syabas Popbox V8 does seem to have everything I need, But so does the HiMedia 900A tough choice!

I could probably stretch my budget to £150 so that's fine.

Since it will be solely streaming, Don't need the added extras like USB ports , internal HDD etc etc in your opinion what would be your choice (If budget is £150 max, although cheaper the better.. But my motto is buy cheap, buy twice)

Also I had a look around and the A300 did seem over budget, I'll also have to have a look what this 'internal jukebox' is all about.

* All codecs supported same as Popcornhour A300 though no BD menus, internal jukebox or internal HDD but same base GUI.

Is this the only difference between the A300 and the Popbox V8?

At the moment I'm using the built-in player in my TV using an external USB HDD and it doesn't play all MKV files and it seems to stutter and blurr hence the need for a dedicated streamer. Would save the hassle of transferring to HDD and stop this blurr(stutter)

Also regarding the WDTV Live 2011 for my mother, She also has a Linux box that stores all her movies/videos, So would this still be the best choice for her? If the budget is £80-100 max

Also, If I did go for any of the two you suggested what makes these better than the cheaper WD TV Live, If i may ask? or doesn't it support 3D hence no good for my needs.
 
Last edited:

next010

Distinguished Member
Yeah those are the only differences with the A300 and the Popbox V8. The V8 will handle anything the A300 does codec wise.

The jukebox is coverart for movies, the A300 has one built in but the Popbox V8 only has a partial one, it can scan the file name of a movie then download coverart as .jpg, fanart .jpg (background image) and info about movie as .nfo however this must be done manually for each item on the v8 or have a PC app generate it all for you (anything used with XBMC should do). The V8 only displays this info when browsing files/thumbnail mode, it has no wall of coverart like the A300 has.

There is a third party jukebox available for the V8 through it's app repository but I'm not familiar with it.

The WDTV Live should be fine, it doesn't have a media source system like the V8 it just browses the root of the network server after you select the PC from the network server menu.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Another player option that should suite both you and your mother is the Dune TV101. The big advantage of you both having the same player is that when she phones you up asking questions about it you have one in front of you to check with ;)

Mark.
 

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
Yeah those are the only differences with the A300 and the Popbox V8. The V8 will handle anything the A300 does codec wise.

The jukebox is coverart for movies, the A300 has one built in but the Popbox V8 only has a partial one, it can scan the file name of a movie then download coverart as .jpg, fanart .jpg (background image) and info about movie as .nfo however this must be done manually for each item on the v8 or have a PC app generate it all for you (anything used with XBMC should do). The V8 only displays this info when browsing files/thumbnail mode, it has no wall of coverart like the A300 has.

There is a third party jukebox available for the V8 through it's app repository but I'm not familiar with it.

The WDTV Live should be fine, it doesn't have a media source system like the V8 it just browses the root of the network server after you select the PC from the network server menu.

Oh i see, Many thanks for that detail. The V8 does seem to suit my needs I must say.

Another player option that should suite both you and your mother is the Dune TV101. The big advantage of you both having the same player is that when she phones you up asking questions about it you have one in front of you to check with ;)

Mark.

Thanks for that recommendation, I'll take a look online and try find some reviews. Also yes your right it would be better having the same since I suspect I will be getting a lot of questions lol.

I also posted this on another forum, and been suggest the Boxee box.

What do you guys think of the Boxee box for my needs compared to the other ones that have been suggested?
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Thanks for that recommendation, I'll take a look online and try find some reviews.
See here - http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...6458-review-dune-tv101.html?highlight=review+
Also yes your right it would be better having the same since I suspect I will be getting a lot of questions lol.
Tell me about it - I have several friends I've [-]bullied[/-] err I mean persuaded :blush: to get a Dune and I can't remember where everything is in the menus so need to check on my player to help them.
I also posted this on another forum, and been suggest the Boxee box.

What do you guys think of the Boxee box for my needs compared to the other ones that have been suggested?
I've never use the Boxee but there are a lot of posts on here and other forum/websites etc claiming it is buggy with many buyers sending it back.
Bugs can get fixed so this may not be an issue any more, but you should do a bit of searching for others comments - such as http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...layers/1167247-boxee-box.html?highlight=boxee

Mark.
 

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
Just read most of that read, and by the looks of things most of the issues at first launch has been fixed by firmware updates.

The Boxee Box does seem quite good!

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Boxee Box is very good although it does not have automatic 3D support so still have to manually activate 3D mode on your TV, it's something Boxee will probably address in the long run. The HD audio dropout issues are still on the table but due to be fixed in the next major firmware update.
 

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
After reading up and watching many videos about the Boxee Box, I've took the plunge and gone for that for myself.

Still debating one for my mother, Although if she likes the Boxee Box once it arrives we maybe able to up her budget and get it for her.

Should be here tomorrow, Got it for £158.99 with next-day delivery.

Will let you guys know how i get on with it and what my thoughts are on it, Going by everything I've read and watched about it, It looks to be perfect for what I need it to do.

Regarding the automatic 3D detection, Currently I'm watching videos from an external USB HDD using the built-in media player on my TV, and I have to switch to 3D mode myself anyway so I guess it's nothing major although would be nice to see an update that supports 3D detection.

Many thanks for all your replies! been a great help.

As I said, I'll let you know my thoughts when it arrives.
 

Mayfair2011

Standard Member
Hello all,

Sorry for the delay in posting been pretty busy.

It arrived Tuesday not even 15minutes(5 minutes of which I was setting up a boxee account) after getting it, I had it setup with all my movies/tv show content from my Linux server using SMB.

It is so easy and user friendly! The UI is very nice and sleek, It automatically identified my content and grabbed the cover / art work and details of the content, From around 100++ files I had to manually identify around 4 which is quite good IMO.

It has played back everything I have so far played, MKV's , AVI's etc it even lists .ISO's so I guess it will play these also! I am impressed in the amount of file types it plays!

All streaming from my Linux box using gigabit network, I have had not one bit of stutter / lag / buffering including playing 15GB MKV's, Even when you fast forward of these large files its instant as soon as you press play after forwarding there is no waiting for it to buffer and play which is very good!

I tried some 3D (SBS) content and it plays perfectly! Although I did have one slight issue with it ghosting / crosstalk? on 3D content. But after reading online I found the cause, When you first setup the box for the first time it asks you to move these 2 images in the corner of the screen and it does over-scan to get the best picture. Well with 3D content the over-scan needs to be at 0% or you will get ghosting/crosstalk after setting it to 0% it was perfectly fine!

I am that impressed with the box, I went ahead and ordered another for my mother since it is very user friendly and easy to use and it plays everything I have thrown at it so far. So that should be here in the next hour for me to go and setup for her :)
 

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