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Network Media Player help (No streaming required)

Mackaa

Novice Member
Hi All,

I've been recommended to sign up here and put my question to you.

In my lounge, I have a HDTV and wireless router sitting right next to it.

In my office, I have my laptop which is wirelesslly connected to my router.

I have many large MKV files (>4GB) on my laptop and would like to be able to play them on my HDTV when my laptop is turned off.

Therefore, I would like to send them to a harddrive which is wired to my wireless router.

I had a look into NAS, and found that as my files are greater than 4GB, I would not be able to use them with a NAS. This is because NAS drives can only be formatted in fat32 (NTFS is required for files greater than 4GB)

So is there such thing as a media player which contains a NTFS HDD, which can be wired to a router and have large MKV files sent to it over the network?


If I've not been clear with my requirements, just say so and I'll try to explain more clearly.

All help much appreciated.

Andy
 
Last edited:

Rom

Well-known Member
Not sure where you found out that a NAS can only be formatted to FAT32, most NAS drives are Linux based and as such do not suffer from the limitations of the FAT32 filesystem. My Synology NAS is 15TB and I have a large number of video files well above 20GB.

However, a NAS and a media player are different beasts. Do you want just networked storage (which your TV can play directly if DLNA is present on it) or do you want a media player with its own storage which can play on your TV?
 

Mackaa

Novice Member
Ahh, I have a NAS which is the 1TB version of this:

Freecom Network Drive XS 500GB NAS Drive with Gigabit.. | Ebuyer.com

And I can't for the life of me work out how to continue using it as a NAS when it's formatted in NTFS (It looses all network functionality when formatted in NTFS)

Could you advise how I could get around this problem?


No, I don't just want networked storage (which my TV can directly play) as my TV's media interface is terrible.
Ideally, I'd be looking for a media player with its own storage or USB port (for my exising NAS, if i can get the network functionality to work correctly with a file system other than FAT32)

Thanks for the help

Andy
 

Rom

Well-known Member
A quick search in the interweb indicated that the drive you have loses it's NAS functionality when formatted as NTFS (which is pretty crap!). So, you need either a mediaplayer which can take a HDD (some of the Dunes, all of the Popcorn hours and some of the WDTV players), or a mediaplayer that you can plug your 'NAS' drive into via USB - which whould be just about any media player on the market.

Depending on your requirements and budget would indicate which would be the best for you. Do you need to play full blu-ray rips. Do you want to play BD rips but not bothered about the menus? Do you want HD audio or standard 5.1 DD/DTS? Do you want to play ISO files (disc images of DVDs/BDs) etc etc.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Network media players range in price from under £50 to well over £300 - and they obviously range in the features they offer. So what features do you want, ie access to DVD (and BluRay) menu for a full disc rip? What connections are you after, just HDMI or analogue video and/or audio outputs etc? And what price are you willing to pay?
The more info you can give us the better advice we can give you.

I am a big fan of the HDI Dune media players and if you do want internal HDD then the likes of a Smart D1 or Smart H1 should do what you want.
If you can do without the HDD space then the cheaper TV101 is a good buy, but this player does not have the full BluRay license that the Smart players do have.

Mark.
 

Mackaa

Novice Member
Yeah, its a massive shortfall in my 'NAS' drive.

So, I could format my 'NAS' drive as NTFS. I'd therefore have a NTFS USB external HDD.

And I could plug this NTFS USB HDD into a media player with ethernet port.

Then connect the media player directly to my router using an ethernet cable.

And finally send files from my wireless laptop to my NTFS USB HDD, as if it were a proper NAS.

Does this sound correct, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 

Rom

Well-known Member
You are almost there :)

Yeah, its a massive shortfall in my 'NAS' drive.
So, I could format my 'NAS' drive as NTFS. I'd therefore have a NTFS USB external HDD.

Yes

And I could plug this NTFS USB HDD into a media player with ethernet port.

Yes.

Then connect the media player directly to my router using an ethernet cable.

Yes

And finally send files from my wireless laptop to my NTFS USB HDD, as if it were a proper NAS.

Yes, the media player would have it as a local drive and share it out so you media player would do the writing to the drive. Essentially you would send to your player.

This would be a lot slower than unplugging the drive from the player, plugging the drive into your laptop, copying the files over then re-plugging the drive into your player.
 

Rom

Well-known Member
Forgot to mention, not all media players have ethernet connection.
 

Mackaa

Novice Member
Would the WD TV Live be a good choice for me?

Basically I need a network media player which can play full 1080p MKV files, and must have a nice GUI.

I'm not really interested in advanced features, so the cheaper network media players might suit me best?
 

Rom

Well-known Member
The WDTV Live does support up to 1080P on certain formats (up to L4.1), it also supports MKV. 'Nice GUI' is subjective, I would recommend going to a store to have a demonstration as what is fine for one person is awful to another. But it seems to do everything you seem to want if the majority of your library is MKV.
 

Mackaa

Novice Member
The WDTV Live doesn't have a great GUI (in my opinion). Boxee Box, with its automatic scraping looks much nicer to me!
 

Rom

Well-known Member
The boxee also has its problems too, eg problems with some audio files.
 

awink1

Distinguished Member
The WDTV Live doesn't have a great GUI (in my opinion). Boxee Box, with its automatic scraping looks much nicer to me!

The WDTV Live SMP also has automatic scraping and the GUI is very decent. Not quite as nice as th Boxee, but nice and you can change the skins!
 

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