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What's the best device for streaming lately?

Old 11-02-18, 09:59 PM
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What's the best device for streaming lately?

Back in the day I used a WDTV (Western Digital TV) to watch video from a USB stick / portable hard drive etc but have been using a dedicated HTPC running Kodi for many years now so I'm out of the loop. I don't think WDTV's are produced anymore so I'm looking for something similar to it for my pops. The more basic the better as he has trouble even controlling the remote for his TV. Thanks!
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Old 11-02-18, 10:02 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

A Roku or Amazon Fire stick are probably your best bets. Relatively inexpensive and clean/user friendly interfaces.
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Old 11-02-18, 10:39 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
A Roku or Amazon Fire stick are probably your best bets. Relatively inexpensive and clean/user friendly interfaces.
Thanks for the advice but I need something that you can plug a USB stick or portable HDD into & I don't think you can do that with either if those.

Anyone think it would be worth just buying a used WDTV on eBay?

Last edited by JZ1276; 11-02-18 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-03-18, 01:19 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

I still have both Gen 1 & 2 of the WDTV. But both don't play H265 files. So I been looking for a new media player.

I'm going to pick up a Roku Ultra Streaming Stick (4661r). Will be $49.99 on BF. I'm also going to pick up a 2018 Fire TV Stick 4K, which will be $34.99 on Black Friday. The fire stick does not have USb but I can use Plex to stream media from my hard drives.
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Old 11-03-18, 01:30 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

I went from WDTV to Roku w/ Plex
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Old 11-03-18, 01:39 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

I was originally using a Boxee for local streaming. But last year I switched to Roku + Plex.
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Old 11-03-18, 02:27 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
Thanks for the advice but I need something that you can plug a USB stick or portable HDD into & I don't think you can do that with either if those.
First check if the TV has a USB port, so you can plug directly to the TV instead of going through a streaming device.

If your TV doesn't have USB and you want to go with Roku, they do make an Ultra model ($99) that has a USB port.

You can go cheap and get a used or refurbished Roku 3, which is now discontinued, but that model did come with a USB port. Keep in mind that the Roku 3 has not been updated in a while, so the remote commands are a bit buggy, but it works.
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Old 11-03-18, 03:34 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
Thanks for the advice but I need something that you can plug a USB stick or portable HDD into & I don't think you can do that with either if those.

Anyone think it would be worth just buying a used WDTV on eBay?
Nvidia Shield. There will be a bit of a learning curve though.

The Roku Ultra is also an option but some portable hard drives will not work because it can not provide enough power. Thumb drives should be fine though.

Last edited by Kdogg; 11-03-18 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 11-03-18, 05:50 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
First check if the TV has a USB port, so you can plug directly to the TV instead of going through a streaming device.

If your TV doesn't have USB and you want to go with Roku, they do make an Ultra model ($99) that has a USB port.

You can go cheap and get a used or refurbished Roku 3, which is now discontinued, but that model did come with a USB port. Keep in mind that the Roku 3 has not been updated in a while, so the remote commands are a bit buggy, but it works.
This is for my dad. His TV is old, no USB for watching movies. Looks like its between a used WDTV or Roku box. Never used a Roku box, which one is the cheapest/easiest to use?
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Old 11-04-18, 01:21 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
This is for my dad. His TV is old, no USB for watching movies. Looks like its between a used WDTV or Roku box. Never used a Roku box, which one is the cheapest/easiest to use?
You need the new Ultra which is the only one with USB. It’s $100 now but $50 on Black Friday at Target.

Does his TV have HDMI?
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Old 11-05-18, 01:49 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by Kdogg View Post
You need the new Ultra which is the only one with USB. It’s $100 now but $50 on Black Friday at Target.

Does his TV have HDMI?
Yes, it has HDMI.
Could you post a link to the 'Ultra' please?
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Old 11-05-18, 03:26 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
Yes, it has HDMI.
Could you post a link to the 'Ultra' please?
https://weeklyad.target.com/promotio...reviewtheBlack
Page 6
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Old 11-05-18, 09:05 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Wow. Roku Ultra at $50 is a very good price. One thing about Roku is that it's easy and simple to set up and use, so that might work well for your father.
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Old 11-06-18, 12:02 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by Kdogg View Post
Thanks, gonna go with that
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Old 11-06-18, 01:51 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Does the thread title make sense? I don’t usually consider “streaming” as playing media from a local source.
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Old 11-06-18, 01:56 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Does the thread title make sense? I don’t usually consider “streaming” as playing media from a local source.
Well excuuuuse me. Do you have a better way of wording it? Thanks for your helpful input btw!
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Old 11-06-18, 03:08 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Well, you would normally call what you want to do "standalone media playback," but who's mincing words?

Also, remember that the Roku can only "officially" play back h.264 and h.265. It only officially supports .mp4, but unofficially it plays back .m2ts and .ts container files as well.

It does support mpeg1, mpeg2, and DIVX as codecs inside the .mkv container only, though. So, if you have any old .vob files (mpeg2) or 1080p encoded mpeg2 content, you'll need to convert them (losslessly) into an .mkv file using MKVToolNix or similar on the demuxed video and audio streams from your source files.
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Old 11-06-18, 05:29 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Yeah, Roku is by far the superior option. Planning on picking up two of the Ultras at Target Black Friday for Christmas gifts. Keep in mind that the Roku is app based. So you need to download an app to playback files from the USB port. Several are available, but the basic one is "Roku Media Player".
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Old 11-06-18, 08:17 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
Yeah, Roku is by far the superior option. Planning on picking up two of the Ultras at Target Black Friday for Christmas gifts. Keep in mind that the Roku is app based. So you need to download an app to playback files from the USB port. Several are available, but the basic one is "Roku Media Player".
That could be a problem. You're saying it won't play files off a USB stick out of the box? My dad doesnt own a cell phone so would this be a problem?

This will also recognize files off a Windows PC with shared folders right?
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Old 11-06-18, 08:36 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
That could be a problem. You're saying it won't play files off a USB stick out of the box? My dad doesnt own a cell phone so would this be a problem?

This will also recognize files off a Windows PC with shared folders right?
This is a Roku app that you download with the Roku, not a cell phone app. No need for a cell phone to use the Roku.
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Old 11-07-18, 10:29 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Think of the "App" as a "Channel" like adding Hulu or Netflix, etc. Be sure to add the Media Player, don't think it's pre installed, before giving it to your father. Especially if he doesn't have Internet and can do it afterward.
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Old 11-07-18, 12:37 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
Well excuuuuse me. Do you have a better way of wording it? Thanks for your helpful input btw!
Sorry, I knew you'd take offense at that comment. I just think that the thread title is why the first response didn't really answer your question. "Playing local media files" would be one option.
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Old 11-09-18, 11:05 AM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

If anyone is looking for the Roku Ultra mentioned above, I see WalMart is having it for $48 on BF so $2 cheaper than Target. For me, the Target surcharge might be worth it.
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Old 11-24-18, 10:02 PM
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Re: What's the best device for streaming lately?

So I ended up getting my dad a Roku stick & with plans of using his Windows PC to store the files to stream from that. I set the stick up on my TV first and was able to stream all files from my computer. When I set the stick up on his TV however, those same files would show video but no audio. After doing some troubleshooting, basically, any file with 5.1 DD or DTS needs to be re-encoded to 2 ch AC3 for the audio to work. Makes no sense to me at all.
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