• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Question What Is The Best Digital Media Player

MrRobot

Active Member
Hi all,

I currently have a £20 player from Amazon but would like to upgrade to something of better quality and spec, only looking to playback from various sources such as USB etc.
I noticed there was something by WD but everywhere i look it comes up as no longer available and the only one i can now find incorporates TV which i don't need.

If anybody could recommend something that would be very help full.

Thank you in advance
 

Jon Read

Active Member
This is a bit of a minefield as there are 100's of boxes out there. You can get a cheap Kodi box for about £25 which might do all you need. Do you need 4K ? Do you know your way around networking and SMB and so on ?
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Calling this 'a bit of a minefield' is an understatement :confused:

To give any real help we need a lot more information
what are you trying to play:
4k, HD, SD video - all of these or....?
DVD/BD ISO rips with menu support or MKV rips etc.
Camcorder footage, if so what file formats etc.
Is any internet streaming (Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc.) required

And I guess the most important question - how much do you want to spend?

With a media player you really do get what you pay for (in most cases) so a low budget often gets you a player that fails to deliver on some aspects of what you are after unless what you want is very basic. But as you are upgrading from a cheap player I guess you have found this out already and that is why you are looking to upgrade.

Mark.
 

MrRobot

Active Member
Thanks guys for the replies,

To answer your questions looking to play back most 1080 MKV files, not interested in streaming anything, i do know my way around networking and as for budget i would say the £100-150 mark.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Well just about any media player will do what you want, so not a lot to go on so far :)

So what is it about your current player you want to improve on?
User interface, ie easier to use, cover art for movies etc.
Picture quality
Better audio support such as Atmos, HD audio etc.

Any other missing features that you would like to have such as the Shield does gaming?

Mark.
 

MrRobot

Active Member
Thanks Mark,

My current player is only a cheap one from Amazon and does not have a optical out to take into my Yamaha soundbar, it is also very buggy on play back as sometimes you get a stutter in the picture playback, the user interface is very basic and the handset is not user friendly, sometimes i feel the picture quality is not as good as it should be but that could just be me but i guess you get what you pay for.
 

Jon Read

Active Member
Do you need drive bays ? Would it matter if it was an older model that could only do 1080p ? The Dune Smart D1 for instance does 1080p, MKV, Blu-Ray and DVD ISO's. I am going to sell mine soon (it has optical out), although I would be selling mine with a HE external caddy too which you probably wouldn't need. But that would be going for about £120, although GUI is pretty basic on it, I hear though you can add different skins, just never done it.

The need of optical does limit things slightly though for newer units, but still, at £150 you should be okay. The Egreat A5, MINIX NEO X8-H and Zidoo x9s all around £150 have optical out.
 

MrRobot

Active Member
Do you need drive bays ? Would it matter if it was an older model that could only do 1080p ? The Dune Smart D1 for instance does 1080p, MKV, Blu-Ray and DVD ISO's. I am going to sell mine soon (it has optical out), although I would be selling mine with a HE external caddy too which you probably wouldn't need. But that would be going for about £120, although GUI is pretty basic on it, I hear though you can add different skins, just never done it.

The need of optical does limit things slightly though for newer units, but still, at £150 you should be okay. The Egreat A5, MINIX NEO X8-H and Zidoo x9s all around £150 have optical out.

Possible interest there Jon as a drive bay would be useful, never thought of that to be honest, if you can put some info up and any pics that would be a great help.
 

MarkE19

Moderator

MarkE19

Moderator
Good choice, for anybody not after the latest bells & whistles they are great players. I have the slightly older Dune Prime 3 which is basically the same so I do know how good they are.

Mark.
 

DotNetter

Active Member
Hi all,

I have the same question as the OP but with different requirements - so not sure if it's appropriate to high-jack this thread or post a new question...I'll stick it here and let a mod decide?

I've gone through my fair share of devices - Fire TV stick (1st gen), Fire TV box (1st gen), a couple of generic Android boxes (s905 & s912 SoC based "cheap" boxes), Fire TV 4K box, an Nvidia Shield (2nd gen) and I'm now on to a Xiaomi Mi Box. None have seemed to do everything and I'm starting to wonder if such a device exists...here's why.

I'm a bit OCD about media and my library and just how I use the device. I like a single remote, a single interface, I don't even really like having to switch between apps (plex/kodi/bbc iplayer etc).

I've got a 4k HDR tv (cheap-but-capable Hisense tv) and I've just purchased a budget surround sound system (Logitech Z906) - while far from being top of the range it suits for my needs atm.

I'll give some history to the previous devices I used and why I felt the need to move on and hopefully this will help explain why I'm still not happy.

  • Fire Stick - basically bought as a temporary device and generally to slow
  • Fire TV - Loved this device (including the very nice Bluetooth remote) however it didn't offer 4k.
  • Generic Android boxes - hated the interface, plagued with various problems, felt cheap - learnt my lesson and went back to the Fire TV
  • Fire TV 4K - I had this prior to getting surround sound but quickly realised the 4k limitations (30fps) and with the missing optical port I decided I wasn't much better off than I was witht he 1st gen box...so I went back to using the old box and returned this.
  • Nvidia Shield - I needed to upgrade my Plex server at the time and so opted for the Nvidia Shield. 80% for the reason for the purchase was to use it as a Plex Server - it failed at this (kept having problems with my NAS) - I didn't keep it long enough to really use it as a media client so no idea what it was like...so it got returned and instead I reconsidered what I needed from a Plex server - I realised most of the time I was using direct stream so no transcoding was needed so I just bought a small NUC-type PC which has worked well....I went back to using the Fire TV.
  • Xiaomi Mi Mox - currently using this...it's a good box. It plays everything I've thrown at it, has Digital Out for my new 5.1 system...However...It doesn't have Amazon Video and also lacks most (all?) of the UK catch up service apps. Also, Netflix app doesn't support HDR (I'm running the Nougat beta and it's still not working). Iv'e also had a few glitches and crashes - possibly heat related (streaming UHD 4k off of my NAS).

What I need is a device that supports the following...

Hardware
  • 4k - proper 4k (so 60fps)
  • HDR
  • Optical Out (I could suffice with HDMI pass-through and rig something myself)
  • non-directional remote (bluetooth or wifi - hate IR remotes)

Apps
  • kodi
  • plex (not essential as I can use Kodi)
  • Netflix (4k UHD support or at least future support - ie software upgrade not hardware)
  • Amazon Video (same 4k UHD requirements as for netflix)
  • UK catch up apps (BBC, ITV, C4, Five)
I'm tempted to wait and see if Amazon announce a 3rd gen Fire TV simply as I've found it to be one of the best I've used so far albeit without the 4k.

Can anyone tell me if the Xbox One S will meet the above criteria????

Anyhow, if anyone can tell me what to buy - I'm loosing the will to live and I'm sure Amazon will blacklist me at some point for all of the returns!!! :)

Cheers,

Wayne
 

The latest video from AVForums

Guardians of the Galaxy Xmas Special, Strange World, Bones and All, and Cabinet of Dr Caligari in 4K
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom