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Media centre possibilities

shaolin101

Established Member
Hi all,

I am trying to scale down the belongings such as DVDs and CDs.

I was hoping to get or create something that can do the following but have. No idea about media centres!

Store DVDs and CDs on a hard drive - but also play multi region DVDs in an old school put it in way. Allowing me to get rid of the DVD player - if it plays. Blu-ray so much the better.

Connect it to the router and use and iPhone or iPad to select a film and have it play. If it can also stream movies great too.

I don't want to use the PC and have it on all the time and have seen home theatre pcs but OT sure where to start.

The last thing I can think of is the possibility to automate tasks - again using iPod/pad if possible. E.g select 'Film/plasma' and it plays on tv - or 'film/project' and it lowers screen, lights dim, turns projector on and plays - appreciate this may be out of the realm of home cinema but if you thinks it's possible I would be grateful to hear - however I may well be totally unreasonable in my desires!

Any help appreciated but do feel free to laugh and tell me to shut up!
 

limegreenzx

Banned
That is a huge difference in budget. It sounds like you are very unsure of what what way to go. So why not build slowly. Anyway, now is not a good time to be investing in hard disks. They are artificially high due to flooding in Thailand and are double the pre-flood price.

First on my list would be a way to automate everything. Your TV, amp etc will use infrared remotes. So I would look at a Logitech Harmony remote such as the "Harmony One" at under £100. They use an activity to switch the correct device on and the correct input is set.

Next, a way to play everything. At the low end Samsung Smart bluray players will play most file types from network or USB drive and can be remote hacked to play multiregion DVDs. At the top end there is the DUNE HD MAX. All have iphone apps to act as a remote control.

Then connect the player to your router, install a DLNA server on your PC (eg serviio) and share your music and movies.

If this is how you want to go you can then look at investing in a NAS unit to store you CDs and DVDs, and hopefully the prices of disks will have come down
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I would second the Dune Max as the media player, but at around £370 is fairly expensive. There is a cheaper Smart B1 at £240 that does most of what the Max does and can have expansion modules added as your requirements grow.

If using a standard BluRay player to stream movies to then you will need to use DLNA. However this limits the media formats that can be used and the features, ie no diusc menu support. So if you go for a Dune you can just use standard network shares (SMB/Samba or NFS) or even have an internal HDD with all the media on it so the PC can be turned off while watching a film.
The Dune players can be easily made fully multi region/zone for BD & DVD with a simple software patch you run on the player.

Mark.
 

shaolin101

Established Member
Thanks for the advice - I don't mind not streaming the Blu rays - I only have a few and they can be played on the ps3. Mainly looking to clear away the DVDs and CDs

Will check out those products. Also been mentioned by someone to check out using a mac mini with extra hard drives - suppose I should take it into consideration too
 

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