Streamer or Nettop?

GiganticDays

Active Member
I'm looking to replace my Istar Mini HD. I'll be moving my AC Ryan PlayOn! Mini up to the bedroom and replacing it with.... what?

I mainly watch DVD/BR ISOs, MKV and AVI movies/TV Shows from a media server (currently a PC but soon to be a ReadtNAS NV+). Wired connection through gigabit switch so Gb ethernet connection would be good.

I would like to be able to browse the web, YouTube, iPlayer C4OD etc. Not interested in Spotify.

I am a bit hacked off with the UI on both the Istar and the PlayOn! so would like the replacement to be attractive (moviewall for both films and TV shows), but also fast and smooth (xbmc?).

I've been trawling this and other forums for inspiration (Dune players look nice).

I'm torn between a Dune (can't even decide which one yet) and maybe a nettop (Acer Revo RV3700).

Budget is around £200 but could strech that a bit for the right machine.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sorry, should also have mentioned I want SPDIF for audio to my Yamaha.
 
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next010

Distinguished Member
I am a bit hacked off with the UI on both the Istar and the PlayOn! so would like the replacement to be attractive (moviewall for both films and TV shows), but also fast and smooth (xbmc?).

Only one player on the market with as fast a UI as XBMC and that is Boxee Box (itself a fork of XBMC). However Boxee is very restricted in it's layout you cannot change it at all for the jukebox on movies and tv shows. Boxee is one of the few players with extensive online media support although not all catch up TV services are officially supported. It also has a usable web browser with Flash/HTML5 support, bookmarks and works with USB wireless keyboard/mice.

However Boxee does not do BD menus and never will until open source reverse engineering of BD menus happens.

Next year we might see XBMC powered players from Sigma Designs (software/hardware provider to Dune, WD, Syabas etc) but you'd be waiting quite a while for that to happen.

The Dune's are very well regarded but don't have much in the way of online media support from what I understand.
 

GiganticDays

Active Member
Thanks for that. I've read here and elsewhere that the Boxee Box is "buggy". The again which streamer isn't?

I could run XMBC on the Revo though couldn't I? But will it have enough to handle the online media and BR ISOs?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Yeah they all are to a degree though Boxee have been slowly knocking down the bugs, it's been pretty much rock solid for me.

Revo would be fine, thats what Boxee Box chipset inside it is a custom Intel Atom. It could be faster but it works well enough for the very low cost and Revo's should have faster Atom's in them.

Another option is the Pulse Box from Pulse Eight who are part of XBMC team, they have their own custom remote built especially for XBMC.
 

GiganticDays

Active Member
The Pulse Box looks nice, but to get optical out I'd need to splash out almost £300 (inc.remote) - although I do already have an old MCE remote - I assume that would also work.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
There is now a YouTube app for the Dune players running the latest Beta firmware. BBC iPlayer has been promised and could be made available any time, once it is then other catch-up TV services could also be added.

Mark.
 

GiganticDays

Active Member
I can get a refurbed Dune BD Prime 3.0 for £200. Is that a good deal (subject to warranty of course).
I understand that Dune firmware updates can be applied to their entire range so any GUI upgrades will be applicable yes?
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I can get a refurbed Dune BD Prime 3.0 for £200. Is that a good deal (subject to warranty of course).
Well I paid £375 for mine in March 2010 - so based on that I would say it is a very good deal. The replacement model for the Prime 3.0 is the HD Max and that costs around £360, but has very few additional hardware features.
I understand that Dune firmware updates can be applied to their entire range so any GUI upgrades will be applicable yes?
The latest firmware is available for the Prime 3.0 - however the older Prime & Base 2.0 do not have the latest update, but this could be down to the hardware not being capable of running newer features. The current Duo, Max & Smart players all use the same Sigma chipset as the older Prime 3.0 so I would expect support to continue for a while yet.

Mark.
 

GiganticDays

Active Member
The refurb only has a 6 month warranty so I'm dubious.

Also the AC Ryan Veolo has entered the picture.

Dunno what to do now.
 

limegreenzx

Banned
I picked a Zotac with Atom D510 and ION2 for £75 a couple of weeks ago. Scan were selling an eMachines AMD E350 (yet another Acer brand) for £120 last week. You shouldn't have any trouble picking up a sub £150 nettop in January.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
The refurb only has a 6 month warranty so I'm dubious.
IMO the Dune players have very little to go wrong in them, so a 6 month warrenty should be fine. But you obviously have to feel comfortable with it and £200 is still a lot of money if it should break.

Mark.
 

GiganticDays

Active Member
Thanks for all the input. I've decided to give the Netgear NeoTV 550 a go. At £84 from Pixmania it's worth a punt.

If it's not up to scratch I'll consider something else.
 

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