What simple mediaplayer?

dropadrop

Standard Member
I currently have a playon!hd and my family hates it. I'm thinking if there would be something which would serve us better.

I only use the device for playback of videofiles or dvd-iso's, nothing fancy. Connected to our tv via hdmi, no separate amplifier.

My wife and kid (5 years old) find the remote complicated with bad reception, and also hate the work flow of browsing files. Somehow my wife also get's the device to crash 70% of the time she browses files with it (requiring taking off the power cable). They would also like to have the ability to add cover art with videos so it's visible when browsing. I have set up a hierarchy of files and would like to keep it on the device. It would also be beneficial if it would be possible to somehow easily get a list of folders (favorites?) with a single button of the remote.

Any ideas? My wife would prefer that I return to my old set up of having a DLNA server on my NAS and her being able to browse the files directly with the tv's remote. Unfortunately the tv only supports mpeg2 files (without subtitles) so I would prefer something more advanced (more support for codecs and formats).
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I also have a POHD so I understand the frustration and yeah the UI sucks though supposedly there are working on a newer version which has cover art support.

The best way to get to get your favorites + metadata/coverart for movies/tv shows & more is XBMC, its quite easy to use but a fair degree of work to initially setup.

XBMC has a shortcuts system so under videos you can add any media location from UPnP-DLNA/SMB network shares/internal HD locations etc. Also has an automated metadata scraper for movies, tv shows which grabs everything for you without you having to go searching. You can install XBMC on your PC under Windows to see if it works the way you want it to.

The only fly in the ointment is that you cant buy a box with XBMC pre-loaded, however thats sort of going to change, the AppleTV can have XBMC installed on it and when combined with the Crystal HD mini-PCI decoder it can just about handle any HD format. You can get more details about this here.

The processing power on the AppleTV is limited it can handle SD stuff and some HD videos up to 720p under XBMC without the Crystal HD card. The ATV also comes with a very simplistic remote.

The next version of XBMC will support this combination however its not out yet though it shouldn't be too long as they've frozen the name selection for the next release now but still could be another month or two.

The other option which is possible right now is get a mini PC like the Asrock Ion 330 and turn it into a media player using XBMC Live but its actually more software work than going the ATV route (plus you really need a good programmable remote like logitech harmony for the PC as other remotes have buttons mapped to various things which dont match up). I have an Asrock 330 as my main media player so if you've any questions ask away.

Lastly you could buy a popcornhour you can use the YAMJ mod for movies which gives you a jukebox interface, not sure about TV shows. Or wait it out and see if AC Ryan can deliver a better GUI, a favorites/shortcuts was asked for in their forums but I dont know if it will ever happen instead that "media library" did which only works on files in the internal HD so its pretty useless to anyone doing network streaming.

One last option that you could consider waiting for is the WDTV Live which comes with network support, the original WDTV has cover art support for movies and is pretty easy to use hopefully they've improved the remote responsiveness on the WDTV Live as well but again its not out yet so that another wait.
 
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dropadrop

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply!

I was looking a bit closer at pop-corn and skinning. Did I understand correctly that I could basically design the front page as I wish (if I had the patience)?

For example I could take a ready simple "skin" and change the links to point to folders I want? Almost all media players seem to start out with "video", "music", "pictures" etc. I would prefer it to start with "childrens movies", "parents movies", "tv-series" and maybe a link containing options for more rarely used options.

I was looking at the Apple TV. My main concern (as is), is how it would work with images. My kid has a few dvd's with very short clips. Until now the only way I've found to get them ripped in one piece is by making an image out of them.
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
Yes you can reskin a PCH as you suggest, In fact if you use the kdoske skin generator, you don't have to do any programming as it will generate links for you.
 

dropadrop

Standard Member
Yes you can reskin a PCH as you suggest, In fact if you use the kdoske skin generator, you don't have to do any programming as it will generate links for you.

That looks perfect. One quick question which I could not find a direct answer for: It seems like there is a ready set of icons, and some custom icons available (reading the related thread at networkmediatank forums). However if I like a ready icon, can I just change the text above it (or is it part of the icon itself)? Browsing through the pictures it seemed like the text is part of the icon?
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
Only had a quick play myself, and can't remember (I think you can add your own text).

Why not download it yourself, its a windows app, you don't need a PCH to run it. You create it using the PC app then upload it to the PCH.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I was looking at the Apple TV. My main concern (as is), is how it would work with images. My kid has a few dvd's with very short clips. Until now the only way I've found to get them ripped in one piece is by making an image out of them.

You mean an ISO image of a DVD (TV Shows) both XBMC and Popcornhour will play those. You can pull out the individual episodes with the right stream extractor app but I'm not familiar with OSX ones.

(There is also an OSX & Linux version of XBMC if your still interested)
 
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dropadrop

Standard Member
Yeah, thing is that I don't want the individual episodes (can easily get them with handbrake), I want the whole menu so my son can use the "dvd" like he always did. :)
 

dwhite

Distinguished Member
As next010 said the Popcorn can handle full iso's of DVD's (not blurays unless its the c200) with the full menus and everything.
 

Member 351202

Active Member
my wife hates me swapping media players all the time but going by her feedback the A110 has so far been the easiest to use. But she did love the c200 remote as it lights up (she dosnt get out much)
 

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