Media player recommendations? (XBMC-like, 3.5" HDD, NAS)

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by Liquidream, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Liquidream

    Liquidream
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    Hi all,

    Apologies for this being another "Which media player?" thread, but if anyone has any advice or suitable recommendations, I'd really appreciate it.

    I currently run RaspBMC on a Raspberry Pi as my media centre, which is connected to a 3.5" SATA Drive (via USB Caddie) that holds all my movies & TV shows. Unfortunately, the performance of the RPi is just slow/unstable enough to become frustrating. So I'd like to purchase something that is more capable of being an everyday media centre - reliable and solid. I'd also like to consolidate my 3.5" SATA drive, so would like a new device that allows for it to be installed internally, saving space and power.

    My current media player requirements are as follows...

    REQUIRED:
    • 1080p playback via HDMI
    • Decent video file format support/compatibility
    • Dolby Digital & DTS passthough (for my amplifier)
    • Internal 3.5" HDD Bay
    • "Nice" Media Library user interface with Movie/TV scraping support
      • (e.g. like XBMC - with cover art, description, IMDB rating, runtime, etc.)

    WOULD LIKES:
    • NAS Capability (basic sharing of internal HDD would be fine)
    • BitTorrent Client
    • YouTube HD Player/App

    I've identified the following products as potential candidates...

    Lenovo Beacon (yet to be release)
    • PROS:
      • Includes XBMC (native, not Android?) which I'm already using and a fan of
      • Seems to meet all my requirements and would-likes
      • Bonus that it's pitched as a NAS/Media Center (so long as it functions well!)
    • CONS:
      • Not yet available, tested or reviewed

    Popcorn Hour A-410/A-400
    • PROS:
      • Seems to meet (if not exceed) all my requirements and would-likes
      • Popcorn Hour an established brand, though seem to have lost favour in recent years?
    • CONS:
      • Expensive
      • New product with some teething issues?

    Dune HD Smart D1
    • PROS:
      • Dune seem to get the consensus of most media player enthusiasts
    • CONS:
      • Expensive
      • No native "Media Library" (covers/info/scraping) support?
      • Discontinued product (no future firmware support?)

    Mede8er MED1000X3D
    • PROS:
      • Well-priced
    • CONS:
      • Looks like a bloody UFO!!! :zonked:

    I'm aware that there are a myriad of Android media players, some with support for a 3.5" drive, but (from what I hear), XBMC on Android still has issues, so have discounted it for now.

    As I say, any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated. It could we be that the media player I want simply doesn't exist yet, which is fine.

    Many thanks! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  2. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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  3. Liquidream

    Liquidream
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    Thanks for the recommendation bubblegum57 ;)
    I'd never heard of the Asustor before, looks very tempting (plus gets good reviews on Amazon).

    My only reservation is that it is NAS device first, and a Media player second (like the Lenovo Beacon).
    Ideally, I would prefer a device with these priorities switched, as movie playback quality is my main interest.
     
  4. bubblegum57

    bubblegum57
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  5. Liquidream

    Liquidream
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    Thanks for that.

    Yeah, I've decided an XBMC box is the way to go for me. Just need to decide whether I'm happy with a box that was not built from the ground-up to run it (but instead, is capable via add-in installation).

    Shame there isn't a product on the market with XBMC as it's main feature, but with a 3.5" HDD bay (bit like the Little Black Box + internal drive) ;)

    May just have to settle with a DIY option from a barebones kit or something.

    Thanks again!
     

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