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davidmmac
27-12-2009, 04:35 PM
I'm thinking of getting a media streamer for the TV, however there seem to be quite a few devices on the market which are all similar(ish).

Has anyone had any experience with these devices? I've read a few reviews on the WDTV device and it does seem quite good but I'm considering all of my options at the moment and I'm after other peoples opinions and ideas :).

Agent_24
27-12-2009, 05:07 PM
Get something that can play or can be upgraded to play just about any format you throw at it.

If you have to re-encode everything to some crappy proprietary format then don't bother.

davidmmac
27-12-2009, 10:13 PM
Yeah, thats why I was looking at the WDTV because it plays most files, I've gotten sick of re-encoding files just to watch them on another device.

Just looked at a review of the Asus O Play but the menu system isn't to my liking... but perhaps I'm just being too picky.

Anyone got any other ideas/opinions?

nedkelly
27-12-2009, 10:19 PM
i just use a mini pc

plod
27-12-2009, 10:20 PM
PS3

Agent_24
27-12-2009, 11:10 PM
Does your PS3 play FLAC? or MKV? Love to hear how if you managed to do it...

plod
28-12-2009, 07:17 AM
No flac, and mkv without converting on the fly, and who knows sony might enable that in a software upgrade, I play mkv all the time and conveting on the fly isn't a problem. But it does play most. Plays BD, New features are being added all the time. It now streams music video's off the internet without subscription, pirating or youtube free as long as your bandwidth can handle it. The list goes on. Pretty sure a ps3 will compare well above any other media streamer out there. But none are perfect.

davidmmac
28-12-2009, 08:57 AM
I would get a PS3, but my wallet doesn't stretch that far :(.

plod
28-12-2009, 09:00 AM
I would get a PS3, but my wallet doesn't stretch that far :(.

Bummer. wait and save

Blam
28-12-2009, 05:29 PM
WDTV can easily handle 99% of video formats and does the job well too.

PS3 is overkill for streaming media.

However, it is excellent value for what you are getting if you plan to use the other functions as well.

If you get a PS3 use TVersity to stream your stuff over. MKV is supported with a bit of tweaking, and FLAC works.

You'll lose quality due to the transcoding on the fly, but yeah.

If you don't have much HD content you could get a second hand original xbox and load XBMC onto it, stream movies through that(extremely flexible)

Blam

plod
28-12-2009, 05:46 PM
WDTV can easily handle 99% of video formats and does the job well too.

PS3 is overkill for streaming media.

However, it is excellent value for what you are getting if you plan to use the other functions as well.

If you get a PS3 use TVersity to stream your stuff over. MKV is supported with a bit of tweaking, and FLAC works.

You'll lose quality due to the transcoding on the fly, but yeah.

If you don't have much HD content you could get a second hand original xbox and load XBMC onto it, stream movies through that(extremely flexible)

Blam
I use PS3 media server, multi platform, no tweaking needed. although transcoding will loose quality, not enough to worry about, especially since the ps3 upscales

davidmmac
28-12-2009, 06:04 PM
WDTV can easily handle 99% of video formats and does the job well too.

PS3 is overkill for streaming media.

However, it is excellent value for what you are getting if you plan to use the other functions as well.

If you get a PS3 use TVersity to stream your stuff over. MKV is supported with a bit of tweaking, and FLAC works.

You'll lose quality due to the transcoding on the fly, but yeah.

If you don't have much HD content you could get a second hand original xbox and load XBMC onto it, stream movies through that(extremely flexible)

Blam

Thanks for the ideas Blam, will consider the Xbox idea.

davidmmac
29-12-2009, 04:35 PM
OK, decided to purchase the WDTV from Playtech (http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=7011) :).

Thanks to everyone who has posted there ideas/opinions :thanks.

Chilling_Silence
29-12-2009, 04:49 PM
http://chillingsilence.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/my-thoughts-on-the-wdtv-live/

My thoughts on the WDTV Live. Would be keen to hear yours on the WDTV HD if you can spare a few mins to post them :)

davidmmac
29-12-2009, 04:59 PM
Thats a nice blog Chill, very informative :).

Will post my thoughts on the WDTV HD after it arrives and I've given it a good test :).

linw
30-12-2009, 10:10 PM
Yes, thanks for the info, Chill. The WDTV Live device sounds interesting, especially when the W7 problem gets sorted.

As an aside, I use GBPVR with an NMT to stream to the TV and do TV recording but it can be a bit daunting for non-techs to maintain. But with MySky to do recordings/playback, and, say, WDTV to show movies, photos and play music, we probably have a better solution for most people.

Interested in comments on this.

Chilling_Silence
01-01-2010, 07:49 AM
I use TiVo instead of MySky ;) but yes, definitely a fan of the WDTV!

robjg63
01-01-2010, 11:33 AM
The xtreamer device sounds pretty good - Pretty much plays everything - Active development team - international user base and user community. See:
xtreamer.net xtreamer.com.au etc. They do only sell via the internet - seems to be the cost cutting business model they chose for this product - but if you buy ex Australia (or the European website) you dont pay GST (Go through the order process and choose NZ) and the price suddenly drops the local sales tax.

Mind you - just saw a link on the NZ Herald website which has the WDTV box for $180 and free delivery
See http://shopping.nzherald.co.nz/western-digital-tv-mini-media-player-usb-hdd-tv.aspx?prod=84291&placementId=1104

That has to be a pretty good price as far as I can see - but as with most of these devices you would need to add a hard disk (USB HDD) and while it has an RJ45 ethernet port I dont think it supports wifi networking...

KarameaDave
01-01-2010, 11:54 AM
Don't have a WDTV Live myself so can't see if this works.
This guy shows how to network it with Win7
http://www.start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4094&Itemid=128

davidmmac
01-01-2010, 12:02 PM
Mine arrived in the post yesterday and my first impressions are good I have to say. The menu is excellent and it has played most of the files I've thrown at it :).

Will post a longer review later :).

Chilling_Silence
01-01-2010, 12:41 PM
Choice!! Even supports NTFS formatted drives which is nice. How many USB ports on the WDTV HD?

davidmmac
01-01-2010, 02:15 PM
How many USB ports on the WDTV HD?

2 USB Ports :).

Jayess64
01-01-2010, 05:46 PM
This is a timely thread! Half an hour ago I was complaining to my wife that our WDTV HD won't do exactly what I want. She seemed very unsympathetic...

Originally I wanted to transfer my CD collection to a hard drive and play it through a media player. The Seagate Theatre does that, but its UI is too crude to be useful and it doesn't have HDMI, so I tried the WDTV HD. That's fine for music (with a few minor niggles), but now I want to move on to storing & playing video. I want to be able to dump my DVDs onto the drive and play them from there, but the WDTV HD can't handle the DVD structure. It can play .VOB files, but it can't handle menus or sub-titles. Funnily enough, the Seagate Theatre, for all its faults, can play DVDs correctly.

Question: can the WDTV Live or the Seagate Theatre + play DVDs correctly? Is one noticeably better than the other?

davidmmac
03-01-2010, 11:04 PM
Ok, after a few days use I think I've used the WDTV enough to post a basic review, so here goes :):

As I said mentioned earlier, the device has a very easy to navigate and use menu, through which the device categorizes your media into 3 libraries: pictures, music, and video. If it doesn't recognize a file it doesn't show it in the libraries it creates when it scans the storage device. Scanning doesn't take long (although I've only used a couple of flash drives so far).

As far as outputting is concerned, there are composite and HDMI connections (although there isn't an HDMI cable included). I've only used the composite so far as we don't (yet) have a HDTV.

The remote is small but still comfortable in hand. The buttons are reasonably responsive and fairly well layed out. If you lose the remote there is no way to control the device unless you have a universal remote (apparently the Logitech Harmony works) or alternatively you can buy a replacement from WD (don't know whether they ship to NZ though).

When I played some video, it passed with flying colours all the files I through at it on the first attempt, there was no issues to do with stuttering or breakup which I commonly find when playing 1080i&p files on my PC. I loaded some different files onto a flash drive and this time I had some problems. It wouldn't play .flv's (but upon consulting the box they aren't supported anyway) and HD videos I had downloaded off Youtube with Youtube downloader HD wouldn't play either, but as far as I'm concerned this isn't much of an issue. Other than that, the device works a treat for playing videos :). The only issue I have with video playing is that you can't skip forward say 10 minutes with the skip button, it just takes you to the next track. So if you want to start watching a file halfway through your stuck fast forwarding at x16, which can potentially take a while.

Updating firmware was sooooo easy. The file was around 12MB and only required loading it onto a flash drive and inserting it into the device. From there the device picks it up and asks you if you would like to update firmware. It took about 5 minutes for the drvice to update itself.

Music wise, the device will play DRM free songs from iTunes (much to my surprise) and even loaded album art and song details from the .m4a.

Overall, I highly recommend this device if you want something that will play your multimedia files on yours (or a friends) TV. It plays most files and has a great menu, and the remote isn't half bad either :). I'm very happy with it, all I need now is a HDTV :blush:.

Chilling_Silence
04-01-2010, 07:03 AM
Excellent, good to hear :)