What player do I need.


Novice Member
Hope I am in the right place, I am not a techinical guy but I am reliably informed you are the guys to ask.

The plan is to copy my substantial collection of DVD/Blue-rays to some form of hard drive player I can hook up to my TV.

I need a player that comes with internal storage installed and does not require data to be streamed from a PC or for me to install a hard drive and has the software included.

I want the player that connects directly to the TV via HDMI and plays blue-ray quality.

Ideally with a good library interface ie not just file names.

I think basically what I am looking for is the TV equivalent of an IPOD

I would also appreciate any advice on the best way of getting the film from the disc to the hard drive.

I appreciate this might be basic stuff but any advise gratefully received.


The only media player I know of that is made with a preinstalled HDD is the WDTV Live Hub, but that is now a fairly old player and with only a 1Tb HDD will soon get full if ripping BluRay discs.
Many other players will be able to hold a HDD and installing it is a simple matter of slotting it into the bay in most cases. This has the advantage of you getting the biggest HDD's you need. Some of the players will take the new 3Tb HDD's so give you a lot more room for your rips. Another option is to connect external USB HDD's to the media player.
There are also many players that have a video jukebox that shows DVD/BD covers rather than a list of file names. Some of these players do it all onboard, and others require you to create the jukebox on a PC or Mac. The new Popcorn Hour C-300/A-300 players do it onboard, as does the Boxee Box and a few others.

For advice on ripping your discs have a look at the thread at the top of this section of the forum that should tell you all you need to know - http://www.avforums.com/forums/stre...hd-dvd-dvd-ripping-guide-media-streamers.html



Novice Member
Thanks Mark,

I had a look at the popcorn and the boxee on amazon.co.uk both had very mixed reviews, although the interface appears to be exactly what I'm after.

There also seems to be a lot of features that I wouldn't use, which would obviously add to the price.

Can you recommend a basic player which I can intsall a 2 or 3TB internal drive (without specialised knowledge) in. It is important that the drive is internal as one extra box in the livingroom is going to be a hard enough sell to my partner, two is a non starter. I am looking to keep the price of the unit reasonable to accomodate the purchase of the hard drive but would also like the jukebox type interface (onboard if possible but not essential.

I appreciate I am asking a lot but any advice appreciated




I'm not sure which media players support >2.2Tb HDD's as this is a fairly new feature. The only ones I do know that support this are the HDI Dune players, but as you want a 2-3Tb internal HDD that means you would need the Smart H1 at £179. This player has no internal video jukebox in the firmware (but it has been promised) so you would need to create it on the PC with the likes of Zappiti - which is what I use, but there are many other options.
If you are looking for something cheaper then it will most likely be a Realtek chipset player (the Dune's use Sigma Designs chipsets) of which there are many options, but not all players have the jukebox option - iboum.com : Future Entertainment Technology : HD Media Player Comparison Grid



Distinguished Member
I have used an AC Ryan Playon! HD mini for the past few years for similar use.

It doesn't have an internal drive, but is a fanless desgin and runs silent.

I used the mede8er hacked firmware on it to make it a mede8er as it's the same chipset, and I use a program called thumbgen to create the custom thumbs and artwork for movie's, tv serie's etc....

I have ordered a player for the living room, a proper mede8er this time, I chose this due to the video wall feature I have been used to. It's brilliant imh.

I have just ordered:
Mede8er MED400X2 product page - £120 delivered

Which is an updated version of the same thing, but it's big brother the 500X2:
Mede8er MED500X2 product page - £180 delivered. (HDD NOT included, either use one you have or buy one and install it. There is the option to have one with a 2TB drive already installed, and even a 1TB/3TB, but that bumps the price up again.)

Support's an internal drive up to 3TB.

Both player's support external drives up to 3Tb.

They are good quality player's with good upscaling of ripped dvd's etc.... Not by far the best, but you'd be paying a fair bit more for that >£200

I wanted the one I have just ordered for blu ray rips via my amp to the tv as I wanted HD audio (both dts MA and dolby tru hd), you have stated that you'll only be connecting it up to a tv, so your options may be broarder.

I'm not sure what the WD TV Live support's up to now drive wise, but I think it supports up to 2TB. It also has a smartphone app for use as an advanced remote control.

The WD TV Live has a 2 year warrenty with WD and the Mede8er a 5 year.

Both player's are pretty good, both have a 'video wall' type feature and fantastic support from the manufacturers and especially the community's.

I'm sure someone can fill you in more on the WD TV Live as I haven't used one for a long tim.

I would personally go for the cheaper player 400X2 WD TV Live and use external HDD's as ripping blu's as well as dvds and possibly tv series, your going to fill them up pretty quick as your collection grows.

This is the sort of GUI you can expect from the WD TV Live, and a similar thing on the Mede8er's videowall (The video wall is what I prefer)
Lstar337's 'Split-Sheet' v3.0 Movie Sheets!!

The community is really helpful, and although it take's a bit of time getting used to, customising it all your self and modding the templates availble can come up with some beautiful results :)

The choice is yours.

I'm very biased towards the mede8er, but the WD TV Live has a great customisable interface too.

There are automatic options with the Y2J software for Mede8er, and of course within thumbgen (which is way more customisable), but after customising it myself for one movie, I ended up doing the same for all my movies and tv episodes (for about 28+ of my tv series, roughly 60+ seasons that sit happy on my shelf when I'm not using the discs watching them through my mediaplayer without haveing to switch discs)



Standard Member
This media player looks identical to the dreaded bug ridden AC Ryan PlayOn! HD2. The case is identical with all inputs/outputs identical, even the remote has the same key layout and the GUI font looks the same. This is one player I for one will keep away from.

I would hope that the entire functionality and software resemble nothing of the AC Ryan and that it is not based on the AC Ryan or you will be greatly disappointed.



Active Member
I use an ACRyan Mini with the latest official software and it works beautifully. Streams anything and everything. I also use Thumbgen with it:D


Distinguished Member

Sound's like you may have had a nasty one.

I have an AC Ryan HDMini 1 in the bedroom, it was fine with the official firmware and I flashed it with the hacked mede8er frimware and been even better.
Much better reliability, a lot faster and the video wall is great.

I now have a proper Mede8er 400X2 (500X2 without the internal drive support). Got that mostly sorted now and is absolutly fine, much better than any other player I have played around with and I have been through a fair few now for myself and friends and family (they were the test subjects)

It's got a good solid build, plays everything I have thrown at it, and the customisation is brilliant with thumbgen.

Mede8er's are one of the best budget player's on the market at the moment and have a heck of a lot more support than the AC Ryan.

The chipset's are more or less the same, I really find the mede8er firmware a lot better and far better support from the developer and community are available.

Just my opinion and expierance of course :)


The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom