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  • Network Player Suggestions?

    Running my home HTPC, I've been wanting to spread out the viewing capabilities to other rooms.

    Mostly because my wife enjoys watching terrible Rom Coms and I definitely do not.

    I want to find something that isn't enormous (not another PC, Xbox or PS3), works well either in a cabled or wifi setup (I have ethernet wiring throughout my house, but placement isn't perfect in every room), can play a huge variety of files, even though MKV has certainly become the most popular, and is simple enough to pass the 'Wife Test'. I love her, but if it isn't easy to use, I'll be doing more time teaching and re-teaching, rather then just letting her watch Marley and Me for the 6th time.

    I've heard, of course, of Roku, Raspberry Pi, and WDTV...what's the big difference? I live in Canada if that makes any difference either...I seem to recall the RaspPi was only available in the UK?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Personally, I like full functioning pcs that would run a standard OS. I would recommend a ASUS eeeBox. The other device are very cool and all, but their functionality is limited when compared to a mini form factor PC. The Raspberry Pi would also run a fedora based OS but it obviously isnt as powerful and has limited features.

    If you are worried about it passing the "Wife Test" you can always have it boot into a media center app like XBMC. That way your wife can use it to watch her stuff, then you could use it for actual power user computing and such.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

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    • #3
      In your particular case, I would go with Roku or WDTV. I personally own a WDTV, and while it lacks some features and the playback quality is far from perfect, it's simple and small, and surely will suit your needs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by petotas1978 View Post
        In your particular case, I would go with Roku or WDTV. I personally own a WDTV, and while it lacks some features and the playback quality is far from perfect, it's simple and small, and surely will suit your needs.
        Awesome, thanks, I appreciate the input. I know I've heard good things about the Roku, and I definitely know it has passed the "Wife Test" for a few other families! It's funny you mention the WDTV too, since I had come within a hairs breadth of buying one this past winter, but stepped away when I heard Roku was expanding their lineup in a few months time, hah!


        [MENTION=238433]Brasky_Boxer[/MENTION] my main server is an HTPC with XBMC as the main interface, but I was looking for something as a single-purpose satellite unit in this case. Otherwise, I certainly agree with you that XBMC passes the test with flying colours.

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        • #5
          I would have to agree and suggest the Roku for sharing to multiple TVs.

          In the meantime, I would suggest checking out StreamToMe/ServeToMe if you have any Apple devices. It is extremely simple and works with iOS devices as well. You just install serve to me on your HTPC (Windows & Mac), then stream to me on your viewing device, and you are pretty much ready to go. You can also receive video on a Mac, I don't think the windows version has come out yet. I use this personally and it's pretty fantastic. The UI is a little lacking, but it works well and I have yet to come across a format it didn't like. The iOS app is $3, but it's worth it in my opinion.

          Also, if you're thinking about buying a new TV anytime soon, most Samsung Smart TVs are ready to receive media out of the box. All you have to do is install a Servio console on your HTPC. It's extremely HQ as well. And it's a great time to buy, they are all plummeting in price right now. I just got a 40" for $350 and a 55" for $800

          Hope this helps :)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FriskyDingo View Post
            I would have to agree and suggest the Roku for sharing to multiple TVs.

            In the meantime, I would suggest checking out StreamToMe/ServeToMe if you have any Apple devices. It is extremely simple and works with iOS devices as well. You just install serve to me on your HTPC (Windows & Mac), then stream to me on your viewing device, and you are pretty much ready to go. You can also receive video on a Mac, I don't think the windows version has come out yet. I use this personally and it's pretty fantastic. The UI is a little lacking, but it works well and I have yet to come across a format it didn't like. The iOS app is $3, but it's worth it in my opinion.

            Also, if you're thinking about buying a new TV anytime soon, most Samsung Smart TVs are ready to receive media out of the box. All you have to do is install a Servio console on your HTPC. It's extremely HQ as well. And it's a great time to buy, they are all plummeting in price right now. I just got a 40" for $350 and a 55" for $800

            Hope this helps :)

            Nice, good to know. I hadn't even thought of going the route of a Smart TV, but that's an excellent alternative. I may be waiting a while for that one though! No plans on buying a new TV anytime soon...although getting rid of the space heater that is my plasma TV would be a nice thing get done...

            ...maybe by the time I'm buying a new set they'll have smart HD projectors! Now that'd be sweet! Samsung needs to get on top of that product line...

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