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Recommendations for "jack of all trades" player

mellow8th

Standard Member
Hi All,

I'm after some recommendations for a box.
Requirements are:

1) Hard Drive (doesn't have to be large) & half decent EPG, with the ability to scedule "all series" recording.
2) Preferably Upscaling DVD playback
3) DVD recorder for archiving of hard drive material
4) Freeview (I've got one freeview tuner built into my Toshiba HDTV already, so don't need two)
5) Preferably HDMI out to TV (as I've got three spare HDMI ports)
6) Either a USB port, ethernet or wireless to play back media over the network, or transferred from the USB
7) Ability to play Divx, Avi, Xvid, Mpeg, mp4 etc.

Budget is negotiable (!) but was thinking around the £200 mark.

Am I dreaming, or does such a device exist? most of the ones I've seen do 2 or 3 of the above, but not all. I'm really looking for the "one box to rule them all" type affair.

Many thanks in advance!
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Hi All,

I'm after some recommendations for a box.
Requirements are:

1) Hard Drive (doesn't have to be large) & half decent EPG, with the ability to scedule "all series" recording.
2) Preferably Upscaling DVD playback
3) DVD recorder for archiving of hard drive material
4) Freeview (I've got one freeview tuner built into my Toshiba HDTV already, so don't need two)
5) Preferably HDMI out to TV (as I've got three spare HDMI ports)
6) Either a USB port, ethernet or wireless to play back media over the network, or transferred from the USB
7) Ability to play Divx, Avi, Xvid, Mpeg, mp4 etc.


Budget is negotiable (!) but was thinking around the £200 mark.

Am I dreaming, or does such a device exist? most of the ones I've seen do 2 or 3 of the above, but not all. I'm really looking for the "one box to rule them all" type affair.

Many thanks in advance!
1 to 5 are almost universal in DVDR's. [ You've said player in the heading - but you mean recorder]

6 is almost unknown. Only the Pioneers do anything across a network but they do so so restrictively slowly and inadequately that you may as well forget it.

Some makes will play DivX from USB [Panasonic] and some makes will let you transfer DivX files to the hard disk and play from there [ Pioneer]

Each maker grudgingly provides facilities which vaguely lean towards the things you want in 6 and 7... but they deliberately half cripple them and you 'll find a lot of frustration down that road.
 

keyap

Established Member
My 560 has so far played every DivX file I've tried.

If you are OK for a couple of days I will try encoding some files using different codecs ie. DivX, Xvid & AVI and post you the results.

I could also post the results from something like GSpot to give you an idea of the exact formats if that would help.

You also mentioned MP4 which I really don't think it will play but again i'll give it a try.

You should also be aware that it WILL NOT play raw Mpeg1 or 2 videos. These must be either authored to DVD or burnt as (S)VCDs.

One word of warning, the machine will recognise DivX files on an external hard drive, I use an 80G device formatted in Fat32 which draws power from the Pioneer's USB. This has caused no problems however, it will not play tham unless they are transferred to the hard drive which seems to take an eternity - roughly a quarter of the length of the video!! It will play them from disc immediately.

It will also connect direct to a PC and you can transfer files that way but again it is fairly slow.

Once the files are on the HDD I don' think they can be sent back to the external hard drive. HDD recordings can be sent to disc but I am not sure if the DivX files can. If this is important to you I can give it a try.

Hope this helps
 

mellow8th

Standard Member
This is really helpful - many thanks;

Looking at my collection, 90% are XVid formatted AVIs - so I think this should work;

I was going to transfer as you suggest, using an external USB Fat32 formatted drive

Re:"Once the files are on the HDD I don' think they can be sent back to the external hard drive. HDD recordings can be sent to disc but I am not sure if the DivX files can. If this is important to you I can give it a try."

- That's ok thanks; only need it "one way" ! :)

The more I look at it, the more I think this player should do what I want !!
 

Gavtech

Administrator
According to the specs the 560 will only recognise the DivX and AVI video file extensions.

It treats all AVI Files as MPEG4 but unless of the DivX type they will probably not be playable.
 

keyap

Established Member
Hi mellow8th,

I've now had the chance to test a few different AVI files and it looks like the XVids should be OK.

I originally captured some video using huffyuv lossles codec with PCM audio - this would not play. It was then converted using the following video codecs all with AC3 audio:-

DivX - 4.x, 5.x & 6.x - plays
XviD - 1.1.2 - plays
XviD - ISO Mpeg4 - plays

Sony - DVC/DV Video - does not play
H264 - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC - does not play

Hope this helps - if your Xvids are not either of the above two let me have the details and I will give one a try.


Edit - I have also just tried the new DivX 7 bundle which includes a DivX converter and uses Codec 6.8.5. The included converter creates a file with .divx estension instead of .avi using mp3 audio. The extension can be changed manually to .avi without changing the file however both the .divx or .avi file can be imported to the 560 and both play.
 
Last edited:

keyap

Established Member
Can I check that these had the .avi extension? or did you use the .divx extension?

DivX - 4.x, 5.x & 6.x - plays
XviD - 1.1.2 - plays
XviD - ISO Mpeg4 - plays

Sony - DVC/DV Video - does not play
H264 - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC - does not play
used .avi extension.

Edit - I have also just tried the new DivX 7 bundle which includes a DivX converter and uses Codec 6.8.5. The included converter creates a file with .divx estension instead of .avi using mp3 audio. The extension can be changed manually to .avi without changing the file however both the .divx or .avi file can be imported to the 560 and both play.
used both .avi and .divx extension.
 

mellow8th

Standard Member
Many thanks for your time & effort; it's basically sold the player to me, as I can get it for about £230 which I think is a bargain considering it ticks all the boxes!!

Thanks again all!
 

mellow8th

Standard Member

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