Upgrading my EVA8000 to something more capable

Phillbot

Standard Member
Hi, i have not dipped into media streamers (2008 was last time) for quite a while as i have been relatively content with my EVA8000.

Now though i think it is time for an upgrade. My EVA is ethernet connected to a WHS setup but have always been a bit crashy and could not pull down 1080p with any degree of consistency. I worked a lot on that to get it to the point my family could live with it but it still lets me down a lot

Looking around there seems to be a ton of new machines. eg:

A-210
Boxee
NTV550
Mede8er

What i really want is somthing that:

1. can play a ton of codecs (i use iso, VOB, mkv, avi mostly)
2. is only really for streaming movies (Iplayer would be a bonus) from the server
3. Has a really good looking, fast interface
4. I can take a bit of tinkering on IP stuff and can run any software on my server as that is always on (thinking yamj needs something like this) but not too much (the EVA tag tool was pretty rubbish and was completely maunual)
5. Has a nice big buffer so i dont have to worry about drop outs
6. £200 max

All the boxes i looked at have pros and cons but i would value the opinions of the forum as to which they think is suitable for me.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
The PCH A210 is probably the best choice there given it's maturity or Mede8er too, you wont get iPlayer but should do the rest.

The Boxee Box is new and has the fastest UI but is buggy at the moment with buffering issues, the Netgear NTV550 is also new but seems to have a good beta process going on & due for release soon although you may want a change from Netgear.
 

Phillbot

Standard Member
Thaks for the reply. Sounds like the Boxee is in the same state as the EVA was when i went for it. It took ages for those bugs to be ironed out and i felt like i was basically part of a beta test for the 9150 etc.

The comment on going with netgear is quite true. I am not sure i want to retread those steps but maybe it is better the devil you know.

Out of the a210 and the 550, which do you think has the best UI and responsiveness in terms of speed and design?

Or is it more a case of setting up something with the A210 that you like as that one seems a lot more customisable?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
The NeoTV550 hasn't been properly reviewed (there is one out there but that was a beta tester so doesn't count) the UI last I heard is not that different in layout from current Netgear EVA line but looks prettier. Some beta testers on avsforums might have more up to date details other than that you'd have to wait for reviews.

The A210 is the same as the A200 just with a newer fanless case, so any reviews about the A200 apply to the A210 also, there is a new review on C-Net of the A210. They do state that the UI is not as fast as the Boxee Box or the WDTV Live Hub (which also may be worth considering).
 

Phillbot

Standard Member
They do state that the UI is not as fast as the Boxee Box or the WDTV Live Hub (which also may be worth considering).
Was just having a look at the WDTV. Looks like quite a family friendly interface compared to the A120 for sure although no nice "video wall". Does anyone have any good/bad experiences of this model? For some reason i have a bad feeling about it

This is not going to be a very easy decision i can tell. Every box has some good and some bad points. I will have to order my asks in some sort of priority i guess and would again appreciate any pointers to models to go research

1. Stability and drop outs
2. Formats (VOB, ISO, AVI, MKV)
3. Speed of navigation
4. Pretty interface

Right now my preference is

1. A210 - purely because it seems more bullet proof than anything else but i can see the video jukebox setup looks like a bit of a task
2. Mede8er (looks like it needs V4 for a video wall, anyone know when that is released?)
3. WDTV Live - just coz it looks quite nice
4. NTV550 - coz i recognize it's interface from my eva
 

next010

Distinguished Member
This video offers a good run through of the WDTV Live Hub UI, theres no movie jukebox but it does have a movie wall of sorts.
YouTube - Western Digital WD TV Live Hub

Both the PCH A210 and the WDTV Live hub use similar Sigma Designs chipsets so the media compatibility between both is near identical.

The Live Hub is a bit more user friendly with a faster UI, the PCH A210 has more options and a movie jukebox that takes a bit of work to setup.

The Mede8er is more or less equivalent to the PCH A210, the latest firmware with the movie wall is available I believe.
 

Phillbot

Standard Member

Phillbot

Standard Member
I have taken the plunge and ordered the ntv 550. Got it from Pixmania (i know they are a bit difficult) but they said "in stock" and also are selling it for £124+freight. With a bit of quidco this was a lot lower than everywhere else.

Think it is a euro version so will be with an adapter but i cant see what the difference will be with the internals

Fingers crossed that it actually turns up this year;)

I also have an external BD-ROM so will report back on how it goes vs the eva8000

Thanks for all the advice
 

Phillbot

Standard Member
In hindsight i probably would not buy it from Pixmania, looks like netgear may not honour the warranty if it comes to the UK and is not the UK model.

I have gone too far down the road to cancel it now but just wanted to call that out if anyone else was unaware
 

Phillbot

Standard Member
My NTV550 turned up today so here are my first impressions:

My wife left me alone in the front room thinking it would take an hour and a half of pain to get it going based on past experience. Actually it was up and running in less than 20 mins. With no tweaking i was streaming an HD version of avatar with no issues.

So far i am impressed. It is much faster and seems more robust as well than the eva8000. The remote is more intuitive and you can access a lot of things like audio track and screen resolution without having to stop the film

On the blue ray external drive, i have one connected but it looks like the licence for that was revoked after looking at the netgear forums. On the forums there is a tweak you can do to get it working but you need an SD card to do it so trying that next. So far it does not work.

Lastly i wanted a nicer video wall. It is not great tbh but i am retagging everything using media center master as we speak so hopefully that will give a nicer look. The scrolling around the covers is still a bit clunky
 
On the blue ray external drive, i have one connected but it looks like the licence for that was revoked after looking at the netgear forums. On the forums there is a tweak you can do to get it working but you need an SD card to do it so trying that next. So far it does not work.
Using the bdallow files on an SD card works for playing Blu-Rays, but not for DVD's. I've tried a few basic things to try and get it working with DVD's, but no luck so far. I'm pretty sure that the person who hacked it and created the files to allow playback of Blu-Rays could probably do the same for DVD's, but I don't know where it originated from.
 

Wylde Bill

Standard Member
Hi Phill - Have just come across your post and wondered how you had got on with the NTV550 over the last couple of weeks. I have the same set up as you at the moment (WHS, EVA800) which I have been relatively content with for that last 3 years.

I have just started to look around primarily as we have just got a HD camcorder and the EVA won’t play the mp4 files without the dreaded "network performance insufficient" message. Like you I was also unsure I wanted to replace it with another Netgear model so would be very interested to hear your experiences.

Thanks
 

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