Media streamer question.
I figure this should be posted here...
I know zlitch about media stuff, codecs and all that fun.
I have a Patriot Box Office, I torrent movies and tv shows and I watch them on TV.
Worked fine until recently when most of the 720p stuff i'm getting is not playing anymore and after some research it would be due to the MKV file being L5 instead of L4. New format not yet supported properly by players. No update scheduled on the PBO to fix this.
I want a trouble free solution, I dont feel like having to run the stuff I download through a re-coder software to watch them.
Is there a decent solution out there that work better then others? Boxee? WDTV?
I was starting to look into a media PC instead, I should be able to build something under 300$ if i'm lucky, a little more then I want to spend on this and i'd rather avoid this option for now.
Depends on how quickly you need it. I just ordered and its shipped out the door today the Pivos AIOS (HTPC) that claims to play back all file formats, including mkv (why I want it). I can let you know how well it does/doesn't work out streaming from my windows home server whenever I get it (hopefully later next week). It's 100$ on sale right now with free shipping at NCIX. There is currently nothing that comes close to the wide assortment of file formats it can play especially for the price.
Please do give back comments when you have a chance :)
Any updates? It's now available at Canada Computers near my place for 99.
Well looks like I had forgotten about this thread, but I'm back now and here are my thoughts about it. It's slightly larger then an external hard drive case, seeing as it can actually hose one inside of it. It does not seem to use a lot of power, it has its own external power brick which converts the 120V from the wall to about only 12V to the unit. I can't remember what it claims for amperage, but this thing definitely uses around/less then 100W, which beats out custom htpc for power consumption (unless you go with an atom or equivalent board/set up).
The interface is relatively straight forward, with the ability to change several things with respect to the video, audio and other settings. It has been able to playback literally anything I can throw at it, this includes 1080p mkv movies without as much as a hick up. The only downside I'd have to say with it with respect to that is the fact it does take a few/several seconds when you select a movie (from the network) to start it up, whereas I was used to xbmc loading it essentially once you clicked it (with the audio not starting until about .05-1 sec in but not lagged).
Another downfall of the unit right now, but I've accepted it due to how I organize my media, is the fact that it cannot archive any media that is stored on the network. This means you have to manually navigate your folder directories to get to what you want to play. This may or may not be a big deal to you, they claim it'll be fixed/added in a later firmware update, but who knows when that'll come. It will however archive media that is stored locally, meaning external or internal hard drive.
It also has quite a few different applications/plugins included with it as well such as youtube and a bit torrent client. You can also set it up as a NAS as well as a media player if you didn't have one. I believe it runs a version of Samba for that.
Another great/good thing about it is the fact it seems their support forums/team are rather active and genuinely want to help out those with issues/problems. They also seem to be relatively open to it being modded, however I believe thats just on the software side rather then the hardware (aka you screw around with the hardware warranty may be gone). You even have the ability to turn it on and off if you want to save power when not using it. It takes maybe 10 seconds to boot up, maybe less, I've never timed it as its never seemed that long at all. When it is not playing back any media it will display on its little LCD display the set local time (in military) and when you are playing back media, it will tell you how long into you are.
Ultimately I am rather happy with the unit, its 100$ htpc that can do essentially everything a full scale htpc can do, and a bit more without any comprise to its media playback what so ever. It comes with a remote (like a TV one) which I've only been using to navigate it, though it has 3 USB ports and I did have a htpc keyboard hooked up to it when I was initially setting it up just to speed up typing. If you can live without the network storage media archiving (if its even a concern to you at all) this is truely a winner in my book. Like I said for 100$ it can literally do everything you need an htpc to do, along with keeping power consumption down.
Thanks for the details.
100$ less in my pockets then...
No problem, like I said I ultimately love the little thing, just am waiting patiently for their media browser to work on network storage as all my media is stored on my server (8TB max, about half of that is used right now)
Yeah, not an issue for me, I already have a NAS with all my stuff on it properly setup and stored. My wife/kids DONT have write access on it and cant move or copy stuff around so it's always at the right place and easy to find :D
Well you should enjoy it, like I said it is a nice little unit that plays literally everything (at least that I had from downloading).
This unit was mentioned to me in another thread. I am now seriously considering it for bedroom television use. The price is hard to pass up on and if it stays in active development it should turn out to be a nice unit. The only issue I see is that probably most of the media will be stored on a FreeNas box I've setup so we'll see how that goes. I'll leave the pc based HTPC for the Basement big screen.
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