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Network Video File Playback Advice


Novice Member
All I have been reading is very discouraging.

I have been living with my Samsung TV for playback for quite a while (it has quirks that drive me crazy). I went through a number of the old players and solutions, including Divco, etc. in years past. I am really wanting to get going with something new, but I am having trouble deciding what to go with. It seems like every one I research I am turned away from.

I was just about set on getting the WD TV Live, but after reading some of the latest comments on it --- made me think again. Same with Android devices. Here's what is most important to me:

* I want access to my network files front and center. I don't want to have to go through launching different apps to get going as much as possible (see the end for a little bit more on that).

* Wifi capability

* Reasonably fast folder navigation (I have read bad things about this for WD TV Live, but I was hoping it's old news that has been addressed with firmware or the later generation players)

* Layout that is fast and easy to scroll through (listview) but with the option to press a button or some other way to view info on a movie or TV episode. I *think* WD TV Live has this. The main thing is I don't want huge video thumbnails all the time where it is harder to see what you're looking for, especially if you have a folder with a large number of files in it (and have vision issues like myself). Seems like BMC has this, which is used in a lot of products, although I am not very familiar with it from experience.

* My main concern is playing files from a networked PC. I don't really care at all about streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, etc. If I do need one of those, my TV has that. I would prefer to navigate my folders rather than the server trying to categorize them for me because I keep files in a download folder until I have watched them.

* I would like for their to be some indication of the last file I left off on. Sometimes I go on a spree of watching a long series, and it would be good to quickly navigate to the correct episode. Just a * in front of the episodes would be fine to indicate it has been played.

* Media format support - I want it to play whatever I throw at it.

* It should be able to update with new files (downloads) as soon as they come in to the network location.

I'm not stuck on pricing. I would be willing to pay as much as $350 if I can get a really good solution. What do you all think? Is there anything that would meet my needs? I am so frustrated with trying to find something that will go well. I started thinking about HTPC, but then again I would probably be stuck with the giant thumbnails instead of a listview for files, and probably have to deal with running apps on the TV. As long as it's big enough to see from a distance and can be controlled with the remote, that last bit might be okay if there really is a good HTPC setup these days that would meet my needs (I am not up-to-date on that).


In memoriam
Only a device like a computer that can easily have video and audio codecs added easily could possibly do what you want. The CPU in a computer is fully programable and has little inbuilt intelligence, it is capable of following machine language instructions stored externally depending on the internal chip, being general purpose it can do anything that it is told to do. The CPU could easily cost many times that used in a dedicated media server.

Devices like the WD Live TV are built around a dedicated chip that has a limited number of video and audio functions. Outside these limits you cannot easily add them.

Simple example the chip used in the WD TV Live does not support 1080P video at 50/60 fps. It never will because the internal dedicated processor does not have support for the required video codecs.

Any new Media Player you buy will never support new advancements, for example I doubt you will find one yet that supports any 4K content especially the latest 4K codec required to stream 4K from Netflix.

Not sure where you are, the dollar sign suggest the US.


In memoriam
Yes, US.

Is there HTPC software that would work the way mentioned, do you know?

All PC software relies on support from video and audio codecs. Some will be installed with the software. When new formats appear, often simply installing a new codec pack will work.

Here's an example.

Download K-Lite Codec Pack Full v10.4.5 (freeware) - AfterDawn: Software downloads

Bit early for 4K codecs on a PC but here's some info.

New H.265 codec on test – ProRes 4444 quality for 1% of the file size | EOSHD.com


Novice Member
Sorry for not explaining better. I know about the codecs (if it's with Windows). I mean is there software for the HTPC that will jive well with the other things I mentioned above, such as layout and giving an already played indicator? Of course, it needs to work well playing from the network location.

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