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Network Media Players

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Crispy5449, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    I'm looking to purchase one of these in the near future.

    I have a PC in my home office with all of my MP3, AVI's etc on and would like to:

    a) be able to listen to MP3's via the TV downstairs (mainly for the missus)
    b) be able to watch video stored on my PC on the TV downstairs and (via a tv sender) on my TV in the bedroom.

    My initial thoughts were wavering between the Pinnacle Showcenter 1000g, theD-Link DSM-320, the Phillips Streamium 300i and converting an X-box to run XBMC.

    However, there seem to be some new boxes being released / recently released eg the Pinnacle Showcenter 200 and the Buffalo LinkTheatre which look interesting as well.

    Has anyone got any experience of any of these boxes?

    I'm looking for something that will be reasonably reliable and easy to use, but don't mind "getting my hands dirty" if the end result justifies it.
     
  2. lisag

    lisag
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    If you want to get into the Windows Media Center 2005 stuff, media center extenders will be available in the UK this summer (wired and wireless) which will do what you want plus enable you to share live and recorded tv.

    lisa
     
  3. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    Media Centre PC's are a bit steep at the moment, although I am looking at them as a longer term solution - I currently have a TIVO providing PVR functionality in the lounge, and this is sent to the bedroom with a TV sender.

    Obviously the TIVO is going to need to replaced at some point in the future and in the absence of a viable alternative I will likely go down the MCE route, but in the meanwhile I'm looking for a cheapish (sub £200) way of distributing the content I already have on my home / office PC.
     
  4. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    I have the pinnacle showcenter and its very good. It can be a little on the slow side.

    If youre happy with a wired solution the Hauppauge MVP (£49) is a bargain - I have that as well.

    My favourite solution was an old PC (Celery500, 192mb RAM, XP Pro) with an Xcard and the Tvedia sofware, it was fast, could playback more media types than all of teh above. Obviously it was an old pc and a little noisy and wasnt easy to hide in the lounge.
     
  5. stuartmc

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  6. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    Thanks for the responses.

    DrummerJohn, can you give me some more details about the Showcenter

    - Is it simple to use?
    - When you say it's slow, do you mean navigating the UI or something else?
    - Have you had any problems playing any types of files etc

    Tvedia looks interesting, I've not seen this before - could be time to dig that old PC out of the attic!

    Anyone used / using any of the other devices (Streamium, DSM-320 etc)?
     
  7. SimonO

    SimonO
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  8. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    The photobridge is the sort of thing I'm looking for but the video support seems limited in comparison to the DSM-320 or the showcenter.
     
  9. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Showcenter - yes, the GUI is slow. Ive played MPG2 and ripped DVDs (VOB form). The problem with VOB form is that as each VOB starts the VOB title appears.

    The Rokulabs photobridge looks like an impressive bit of kit - but its currently only NTSC capable.
     
  10. MikeFish

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    Does anybody know weather the Showcenter 200 wll have the same problem as the 1000g in respect to igonring the .IFO file and not able to skip chapters?
     
  11. SimonO

    SimonO
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    The Roku does 576i @ 50Hz over composite and S-Video now and will support all the current formats (720p, 1080i and 1024 x 768) @ 50Hz in a future firmware release... I haven't tried any of the others mentioned, but the Roku is awesome...
     
  12. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    The Showcenter 200 and the Buffalo LinkTheatre both support HD (or will when they are released over here next month). I'm not sure of the cost of the Buffalo product but the Showcenter 200 can be pre-ordered for around £170 vs £240 for the Roku product - is it worth the extra £70?

    More importantly to me though is the fact that i don't currently have a HD TV (and to be honest don't expect to have one for quite a while) so HD support is not high on my "want" list :D .

    My main criteria are broad video format support and ease of use (responsiveness of the UI / ease of navigation mainly).

    I'm interested in the showcenter 200 as it looks like a great box at a good price and I'm hoping that Pinnacle have resolved some of the issues that apparently plague the 1000g, but until someone actually gets their hands on one and tests it I'm just left hoping!
     
  13. SimonInd

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    I've got a Hauppauge MVP for listening to music and watching videos on a TV in a second lounge. For the money ( £40 + P&P from dabs ) it's pretty good and apparently it will work wirelessly if you connect a wireless bridge - although you're probably better off buying something else if it needs to be wireless. The only problem I have with it is the fact that you can't play videos with Dolby Digital soundtracks (ie. DVDs on HDD) as it doesn't have the necessary decoding software/hardware but it will happily play recordings from my Nebula freeview card. There's also quite a good online community ( www.shspvr.com )

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  14. Crispy5449

    Crispy5449
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    I must admit that the MVP is tempting at £40 - is there anything available that will automatically convert video files to MPEG-2, to keep the work on the PC side to a minimum?
     

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