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Need a new media player to replace cyclone & wd tv live


Standard Member
Hi I would like some help on choosing a pair of new media players. At present I have two systems one a full home cinema system with 55in samsung and oldish yamaha amp etc and the other a 40in panasonic with a panansonic all in one home cinema system.
I have been using a wd tv live (new ver) to dive the samsung running off a large windows file server running serviio & windows shares and a cyclone mkv running off a readynas nv using nfs to drive the panasonic but..
The cyclone kills dead all hdmi cec even when switched off so the wife has to use two remotes all the time one for sky/tv/cyclone and the other for the home cinema.
And the wd tv has been a real disappointment, the last firmware update late last year killed playback of mkv over dlna and now I have started to use it for 720p films I have to load them to a local hard drive otherwise it stutters. Note that both nets are gigabit and both boxes are hard wired.

Ideally I would like the same thing for both systems with the following functionality
Min 720p mkv playback with dts & dd support and ideally 1080p
Support for embedded and seperate file subtitles.
Support for streaming for network drives using Windows/NFS shares
DLNA support.
Hdmi out ideally with cec support.
We normally take one when travelling for use in hotels etc so a composite video/stereo out would also be nice. Only about 50% of places have hdmi support surprisingly.
An optical or coax out would be nice but not critical as probably upgrading non hdmi yamaha.
USB disk and thumb drive support. Would be nice if these were addressable over the network ie could write files on while attached to the network.
Don't need Iplayer etc as this is on the tv nor is wireless a big deal as both are hard wired anyway.
Would be nice if it could be controlled by an ipad app but not critical.
A remote with cec volume support would be a plus though.
Wife friendly functionality a real plus.

I have seen mention on here of both popcorn and dune are these the ones to look at? What else is there? what do people recomend and why? Can't really find any advanced reviews they all mostly think that the wd is the thing to go for.

Budget ideally under £100 each but could stretch to 200 if there were compelling reasons.
Don't know if it makes any diff but am probably about to upgrade the yamaha to a denon 3313

Many thanks in advance for you guidance.


Distinguished Member
DuneTV 303 might fit the bill, you can get one here.
* compact
* A/V output
* optical output

No idea if it supports HDMI-CEC, one of the guys more familiar with Dune might be able to say. HDMI-CEC is a tricky one to nail down as there's a lot of divergence among the various implementations. Realtek players like the Cyclone/Mede8er in particular have problems with it, the Dune is Sigma based like the WDTV.

Some Android TV boxes have HDMI-CEC but how well it works I couldn't say and it would also need to work with XBMC too but all of that stuff is pretty cutting edge and not exactly wife friendly.


The Dune does support HDMI-CEC but I leave it disabled so have no idea how well it works.

They all output over HDMI and most if not have a composite output as well.
They all handle upto 1080p
They have excellent subtitle support
They stream from SMB, NFS & DLNA shares
Optical output on most models
They all read media off any USB attached drives
When storage is attached it can be seen over the network as the Dune works as a basic NAS
Some of the players have WiFi built-in and iPlayer has been promised in a future firmware update for a while now - even though you say it is unimportant to you.
There are free apps for control via Android & iOS devices.
If you add a video wall program then the new TV303D can boot directly into this, so no need to use the standard Dune UI which is not really wife friendly although not too bad



Distinguished Member
if its Realtek who dont get on with hdmi-CEC then it excludes Mede8er. Both Dune and Popcorn use Sigma chips.

The popbox may be what you need - thats going to be around the £100 mark. I brought a few cases back from Gadget Show Live but I havent had chance to put them on the website yet so I cant link you to the specs, but here is a link to the Mfrs Popbox : Popbox V8 - CloudMedia is the new name for Syabas


Standard Member
Thanks for all your advice.
Have gone a bit left field and am going to try a raspberry pi running xbmc.
See Raspbmc » About
A pi with a case, card and psi is around £40 and is potentially much more configurable than standard media players. Almost a full media PC in a tiny box!

Supposedly a pi can stream 1080p ov e r the network - we will see and if doesn't work I have a couple of other potential uses for it.

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