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Best Media Server?

Old 12-17-11, 02:35 PM
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Best Media Server?

I'm looking for something that will allow me to play/stream any file format to my HDTV from either my laptop or an external hard drive, and also give me true 5.1 sound if the file is encoded that way. I was looking at the Logitech Revue, but I was unsure if this was the best option, and in my cursory look was unsure about the sound decoding. That's very important to me.

I am not looking to buy or build an HTPC for this purpose. I want something I can spend $100-$200 on, and it will be ready to go.

What's my best bet?
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Old 12-17-11, 03:38 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

WD TV Live
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Old 12-17-11, 08:39 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

I am not sure much out there really compares 1 for 1 to the logitech revue

Do you want/need google tv? If yes, then get this device.

If no, then there are many you can look at, go feature by feature and see what is going to meet your specific needs the best.

The WD live as mentioned above is one
Asus O'play is another
Popcorn hour is another (this is a little higher end, more focused on picture quality)
Sony n200
netgear neo tv
encore x211
Diamond HD media
the higher model Roku
Iomega screen play
Patriot box office

probably a dozen other lesser knowns

I have yet to find a spreadsheet/chart/review that really compares all the features/details in depth.
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Old 12-17-11, 09:55 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Boxee Box all the way. Saw them for $100 somewhere the other day
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Old 12-17-11, 10:04 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Boxee box if you can deal with the ridiculous form factor.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:16 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
I'm looking for something that will allow me to play/stream any file format to my HDTV from either my laptop or an external hard drive, and also give me true 5.1 sound if the file is encoded that way. I was looking at the Logitech Revue, but I was unsure if this was the best option, and in my cursory look was unsure about the sound decoding. That's very important to me.

I am not looking to buy or build an HTPC for this purpose. I want something I can spend $100-$200 on, and it will be ready to go.

What's my best bet?
I bought a Uebo M400 last when they were (are? Says through 12/17 which ended 2 hours ago) on sale for $114 (jr.com). It's Gigabit wired, Wireless N, USB3.0 (x1) and 2.0 (x2), and has room in it for an internal 2tb 3.5" hdd. It's also DLNA compatible.

It also supports TrueHD/DTS-MA through 7.1 which seems to be missing on a lot of the media players (most tend to do the 5.1 core only). It doesn't have Netflix or any other streaming service, but if it's your own content, it works very well so far.

http://www.jr.com/uebo/pe/UEB_M400/

If you just need 5.1, the WDTV Live should do just fine.
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Old 12-18-11, 08:33 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

i wouldnt trade my jailbroken atv2 with xbmc loaded (and tons of great plugins)
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Old 12-18-11, 11:17 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Perhaps these are newbish questions, but let's say I don't have a main PC, just my laptop. How do I get external drives hooked up to a network where they can be read by whichever option I choose here?

I don't think I really need Google TV, but my friend had the Logitech, and I thought it had some cool features.

However, my main priority is being able to decode basically any file format, at a high picture quality, and decode whatever sound options are encoded in the file.

Netflix is not a requirement, but it would be a nice bonus since my Xbox doesn't play the 5.1 files from Netflix which has been annoying for me. However my TV has Netflix built in. I just need to pick up an optical cable to run to my receiver. However if the box has Netflix built in, that's one less thing to worry about.

Which of these options do people anticipate being the most supported, either by the manufacturer, or by their community?

A lot of these look like they could take care of my needs so I guess it's just a matter of picking one as none of them seem too pricey.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:29 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
Perhaps these are newbish questions, but let's say I don't have a main PC, just my laptop. How do I get external drives hooked up to a network where they can be read by whichever option I choose here?

I don't think I really need Google TV, but my friend had the Logitech, and I thought it had some cool features.

However, my main priority is being able to decode basically any file format, at a high picture quality, and decode whatever sound options are encoded in the file.

Netflix is not a requirement, but it would be a nice bonus since my Xbox doesn't play the 5.1 files from Netflix which has been annoying for me. However my TV has Netflix built in. I just need to pick up an optical cable to run to my receiver. However if the box has Netflix built in, that's one less thing to worry about.

Which of these options do people anticipate being the most supported, either by the manufacturer, or by their community?

A lot of these look like they could take care of my needs so I guess it's just a matter of picking one as none of them seem too pricey.
Basically anything that supports DLNA should be able to do that, my WDTV Live (old version) does it with the WDLXTV Firmware (community) but I'm not sure if it does it by default.
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Old 12-19-11, 09:35 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

In my opinion, your best bet is a device connected to the TV that does DLNA (there are tons of options) and good media server software on your existing laptop (my recommendation would be PS3 Media Server if you want to go the free route - you don't actually need a PS3 to use it). This generally will give you maximum file format flexibility, because the media server software can transcode to whatever format the DLNA client can play.

I use my PS3 as the DLNA client, but there are many other Blu-ray players and streaming set-top boxes that support DLNA. You may even have one already.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:51 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

The Boxee Box will allow you to hook usb external drives to it (currently have to be 2tb or less). You can then move the files from your laptop to the external drives or just stream from your laptop.

i have a roku, jailbroken AppleTV 2 with xbmc, and a Boxee Box and so far the Boxee Box has been the best. Its played formats that xbmc on the ATV2 couldnt and it outputs at 1080p whereas the ATV2 only does 720p. I mainly just use it for local content and netflix but i've also used it for youtube and have used its built in web browser to stream video from websites (blizzcon).
I think people have trouble with the boxee box since it screws up True HD audio or something like that. I'm still back on 5.1 so i'm not trying to play 45gig Bluray rips through it (though it worked fine with a 25 gig 1080p blueray rip; i guess it wasnt TrueHD audio)
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Old 12-19-11, 12:57 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

The two I'm leaning towards are the Boxee Box or the Uebo M400. I don't know if I would play anything with True HD audio, but that does give me pause.
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Old 12-19-11, 02:11 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

The Boxee Box software is free. Download it, install it on your computer and try it out.
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Old 12-19-11, 05:24 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

can you run xbmc and plugins on boxee?
there are some plugins i cant live without.. which is my main reason for sticking with my atv2 jailbroken
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Old 12-19-11, 05:54 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Uh, what?
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Old 12-19-11, 08:34 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Ill take that as a no :P
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Old 12-19-11, 11:20 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

The boxee box is just a turnkey solution. It's just a Linux box with the boxee box software.
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Old 12-20-11, 11:41 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Originally Posted by twikoff View Post
can you run xbmc and plugins on boxee?
there are some plugins i cant live without.. which is my main reason for sticking with my atv2 jailbroken
there are pluging for the boxee box. I cant remember any from ATV that arent on boxee. ATV had icefilms but boxee has Navi-x, neither which i use but they seem like the same thing to me.

boxee box is on sale at amazon today, like $170 and you get a $30 amazon card with it
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Old 12-20-11, 12:38 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

After reading more reviews I'm still suck. I was leaning towards the Boxee, but it uses an RF remote. That means I won't be able to use my Harmony with it. I was hoping to avoid the multiple remote problem. However Uebo seems to have interface issues. I love shopping for electronics, but I really hate pulling the plug.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:43 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

I am now leaning towards the WD TV.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:02 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

I like my WDTV Live Plus better than my Uebo M400, though the M400 is definitely more capable (got it for the 7.1). The WDTV will also allow Samba-style access to whatever Hard Drive is plugged into it (ie: \\WDTVLIVE\USB\Movies from your laptop), essentially turning it into a NAS as well.

The big deciding factor is if you'll be watching your own content or streaming web content (Netflix, MLB.TV, etc; )

For maximum benefit, I'd recommend the older WDTV Live / Live Plus, the new version (with the new interface and Spotify) apparently has a locked down firmware so modified flash updates are unlikely.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:14 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

I was thinking of picking up the Hub version of it.

Does it allow 5.1 streaming through Netflix? I ask because I can't through my 360.

I would use it for most likely an equal mix of my own content and Netflix.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:44 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

I'm pretty happy with the WD TV Live Hub, though I don't know about the 5.1 not being quite upgraded to the 21st century yet. Plays both hard drive and Netflix content very well.
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Old 12-21-11, 11:40 AM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
After reading more reviews I'm still suck. I was leaning towards the Boxee, but it uses an RF remote. That means I won't be able to use my Harmony with it. I was hoping to avoid the multiple remote problem. However Uebo seems to have interface issues. I love shopping for electronics, but I really hate pulling the plug.
i use a harmony remote with the boxee box. there is a cheap pc remote you can get on amazon for like 7 bucks that comes with a little USB-IR sensor. you then set the harmony to HP pc or something and it works. it was really easy. the directions and link are on the boxee box forums. search for "harmony remote"
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Old 12-21-11, 12:49 PM
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Re: Best Media Server?

Originally Posted by DaveNinja View Post
there are pluging for the boxee box. I cant remember any from ATV that arent on boxee. ATV had icefilms but boxee has Navi-x, neither which i use but they seem like the same thing to me.

boxee box is on sale at amazon today, like $170 and you get a $30 amazon card with it
ive used both icefilms and navi-x (neither of which can really be discussed here)
but navi-x is completely useless compared to icefilms.. its menus are way too much of a headache...
icefilms is the greatest thing since sliced bread
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