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  #1  
Old 04-15-2012, 9:02 AM
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Default Best media box around 100-150?

So the old WD live TV we have been dealing with the last couple years is just getting to be a piece of crap. Movies stutter and freeze, no support for netflix, always dropping connection. We need new ones damnit, sick of having to come all the way to the computer to watch my por....er....movies?

Any recommendations?

Must be wireless N
HDMI 720, 1080 preferred
Netflix capable
support ISO, MKV, along with all the other common formats.


We have been looking at the Asus O Play live, but reviews seem to suck pretty bad on it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 9:57 AM
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Well ... it's a little more than what you were thinking ... but a PS3 will do what you want, and very well. It supports Netflix, and you can stream video to it from Windows Media Player. I think XBOX 360 can do most of the same, but it's a little cheaper.


If you're looking for something independent of a computer, you can check out the MVix Ultio Pro 880HD. Comes without a hard drive, but has a bay for a SATA drive. (I put a 1TB in mine.) It's a pain in the *** to set up, and the wireless N dongle is sold separately, but the picture quality is fantastic, and you can use it as a NAS too. It doesn't support Netflix, though.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:15 AM
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Yea not looking to spend that much, since we need 2 of them. When did PS3 add ISO support? It needs to be independent of WMP, since the harddrives are hooked up directly to the router.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by zfields View Post
Yea not looking to spend that much, since we need 2 of them. When did PS3 add ISO support? It needs to be independent of WMP, since the harddrives are hooked up directly to the router.

The ISO support would be through WMP or whatever media server you were using, so that wouldn't work for you.
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2012, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter.Steele View Post
The ISO support would be through WMP or whatever media server you were using, so that wouldn't work for you.
Ah figures. That was a major selling point of the WD Live. If it wasnt for the crappy wireless streaming, I wouldnt even consider replacing it. Huge format support, and lots of custom cooked software for it. I can deal without netflix, but the girlfriend can't.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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What about a cheap home theater PC? Pick up a used Core 2 system for cheap, get a low-end AMD 5xxx series card with HDMI out?
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2012, 1:08 PM
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Again, would need two of them. Along with power usage brings up the cost hugely. The Asus O play has all the options, but has bad reviews.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2012, 1:19 PM
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What about a newer WD Live? You can get a couple refurbs for cheap and they seem to have no problem with whatever a throw at them.
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Old 04-15-2012, 1:21 PM
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What about a newer WD Live? You can get a couple refurbs for cheap and they seem to have no problem with whatever a throw at them.
If they fixed the BS issue with streaming even low def via wireless, I'd look at them. Honestly I haven't even looked at them due to past issues.
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Old 04-15-2012, 1:30 PM
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OIC. I haven't tried using it wirelessly and I would be pissed myself if it couldn't even stream low res videos.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2012, 7:44 AM
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Ended up with the new WD box. Works really good so far with netflix and reading network shares. Havent found a format it doesnt like yet, including ISO.
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2012, 9:50 AM
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I've been thinking of picking up a Boxee. They recently stopped their support for Linux/Windows/Mac software distributions to concentrate on their dedicated box, but you can still get support on the various forums if you wanted to build your own system.

Personally, I'm just going to buy the D-Link Boxee.
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Old 04-22-2012, 1:00 PM
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I have an old WD live that has always worked fine. I recently pickup up the newest version of the WD live HD for my retreat. The new one is significantly better than the old one. I am going to replace the old one with another new WD.
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Old 04-22-2012, 1:37 PM
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A current model AppleTV is actually a great little device if you're willing to jailbreak it and install XBMC. It'll play just about anything.

It does cost more, but I've found a Mac Mini to be an excellent little HTPC. Install all the codecs you want, no issues with network shares, etc.

I find that streaming video over wifi sucks giant horse-balls under most circumstances though, regardless of device or configuration.

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Old 04-22-2012, 1:39 PM
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Well looks like I'm a bit late but try a reset of the older WD media player. Just use a toothpick or a nail and push a reset switch through a hole I think on the back of the box.

I've been using my WD player for years, plays everything, looks great, no issues.

Brian
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Old 04-22-2012, 6:26 PM
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Originally Posted by the_natterjack View Post
Well looks like I'm a bit late but try a reset of the older WD media player. Just use a toothpick or a nail and push a reset switch through a hole I think on the back of the box.

I've been using my WD player for years, plays everything, looks great, no issues.

Brian
I did that, along with trying multiple custom firmwares. We also wanted something that supported Netflix.

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Old 04-22-2012, 9:35 PM
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I'd look hard at the newest WDTV Live. I used the OG WDTV Live for a few years before moving to a Roku XS for Netflix and HTPC for music and stored video but the new WDTV Live will do what you want. The only limitations on the WDTV Live is no native playback of 24bit FLACs and no support for DTS-HD MA from BD rips.

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita.../dp/B005KOZNBW
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Old 04-23-2012, 8:40 AM
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I have these in every room:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...5198981&sr=1-2

Its a little older but I haven't found anything better. I rip my DVDs to ISOs I keep on my server and play them from there. Each one acts as its own file server so you can hang a USB drive off it and stream from another device if you want. I also have a Roku 2 XS I bought because people said it was so great but it pretty much sucks compared to the WDTV Live Plus.

The only thing that sucks about the WDTV is its lack of Amazon Prime. Netflix works perfect. ISOs, WKV, whatever all work fine for me.
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Old 04-23-2012, 1:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ibanezfoo View Post
I have these in every room:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...5198981&sr=1-2

Its a little older but I haven't found anything better. I rip my DVDs to ISOs I keep on my server and play them from there. Each one acts as its own file server so you can hang a USB drive off it and stream from another device if you want. I also have a Roku 2 XS I bought because people said it was so great but it pretty much sucks compared to the WDTV Live Plus.

The only thing that sucks about the WDTV is its lack of Amazon Prime. Netflix works perfect. ISOs, WKV, whatever all work fine for me.
The Roku and WDTV Live just excel at different things. The old WDTV Live+ will play Netflix pretty well but I found it less than ideal for other online content and the Roku supports Netflix in 1080P and 5.1 DD+ sound - for the few Netflix movies in 1080P and 5.1 DD+, but the Roku sucks at playing local content.

The best solution that I've found so far is a two-box solution with a Roku 2 combined with a Netgear NeoTV 550 because the 550 is better at playing Blu-Ray rips than the WD (the NTV550 supports DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD passthrough) and supports 24bit lossless audio but the 550 does not play Netflix or any online media.

The sad thing is that any new boxes that come out will be locked down with a Cinavia chip preventing them from playing newer Blu-Ray rips in any format.
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Old 04-24-2012, 4:18 PM
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I use a mac mini too. The bonus is that our second TV is a google tv so I use Plex on the mac mini and can run the plex app on the google tv so I can stream to either TV. There is even a handy mac mini form factor USB HD you can use for more space.
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Old 04-24-2012, 6:09 PM
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The new WD live is working out great so far. We dont' have surround sound, so the lack of some of the higher end high def audio codecs isnt a big deal.

ordering the second one for the other room since the first is working out so well.
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Old 04-24-2012, 6:30 PM
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I'm sort of hoping that someone will hack a way to run Netflix on Linux. If that happens, I'm buying a couple of Raspberry Pi's and making my own media players.
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Old 04-24-2012, 6:44 PM
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I'm sort of hoping that someone will hack a way to run Netflix on Linux. If that happens, I'm buying a couple of Raspberry Pi's and making my own media players.
Are those Rasberrys available yet? everywhere I have seen is still preorder.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by zfields View Post
So the old WD live TV we have been dealing with the last couple years is just getting to be a piece of crap. Movies stutter and freeze, no support for netflix, always dropping connection. We need new ones damnit, sick of having to come all the way to the computer to watch my por....er....movies?

Any recommendations?

Must be wireless N
HDMI 720, 1080 preferred
Netflix capable
support ISO, MKV, along with all the other common formats.


We have been looking at the Asus O Play live, but reviews seem to suck pretty bad on it.
I have had a hard time finding something to better the WD Live box that I just got. I have not hooked it up but supposedly it does netflix and all that crap, plus I LOVE that it does MKV and BLURRAY and all that other stuff. How old was your box? Maybe you just need a new one? They also have the hub but I dunno about it being wireless. THAT would be nice. LEt me know if you find a better alternative because I am fired up about hooking up my WD Live box and I HATE WD stuff...
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:24 PM
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ROKU is the best ever made. The company started with commercial type boxes and started making ones for residential.

http://www.roku.com/roku-products?gc...FQ4zhwodfzxUCw
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:29 PM
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I have had a hard time finding something to better the WD Live box that I just got. I have not hooked it up but supposedly it does netflix and all that crap, plus I LOVE that it does MKV and BLURRAY and all that other stuff. How old was your box? Maybe you just need a new one? They also have the hub but I dunno about it being wireless. THAT would be nice. LEt me know if you find a better alternative because I am fired up about hooking up my WD Live box and I HATE WD stuff...
If you're going to try to play full quality Blu-Ray rips across the network I'd run cables. Even 802.11n struggles when trying to stream 12-25GB/hour.
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Old 05-01-2012, 7:13 AM
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ROKU is the best ever made. The company started with commercial type boxes and started making ones for residential.

http://www.roku.com/roku-products?gc...FQ4zhwodfzxUCw
Uhm, no. I have Ruku 2 XS and the WDTVLive+ and the WDTV kicks its *** in just about everything except its lack of Amazon. The Roku is slow and annoying and doesn't play any local media types (except one type of file and only from a USB drive). The WD does way more plus there some custom community made OSs you can throw on it if you want.
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Old 05-01-2012, 9:56 AM
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I have had a hard time finding something to better the WD Live box that I just got. I have not hooked it up but supposedly it does netflix and all that crap, plus I LOVE that it does MKV and BLURRAY and all that other stuff. How old was your box? Maybe you just need a new one? They also have the hub but I dunno about it being wireless. THAT would be nice. LEt me know if you find a better alternative because I am fired up about hooking up my WD Live box and I HATE WD stuff...

I ended up with the newest WD box, it works GREAT. I've been using it contently since I got it, both netflix and local hi-rez media. MKV, ISO, everything I have needed, all via wireless N.


Only complaint is that it "loses" authorization from netflix pretty often, so I have to re-enter the username and password.
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