Best/Cheapest way to stream video/audio media from PC that also acts as HD backup?
September 14, 2009 5:38 PM Subscribe
Best/Cheapest way to stream video/audio from PC that also acts as HD backup? (wants: Codec support, cheap, netflix support)
posted by bmilner to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My 1TB external HD crashed and since I'll need a replacement, I figured why not finally add the ability to stream content to my TV in the next room. There are so many confusing options out there. Here are my wants & what I know. Any opinions?
1. 1TB or more storage space. I will use this as a backup drive for my Vista PC
2. Ability to play many codecs. I get videos from many places H264, Divx, WMV, Mp4 etc and I'd love to avoid having to convert them.
3. Play Mp3s from a library or folder structure
4. Wi-Fi support. I don't have ethernet by my TV
NICE TO HAVE:
1. Netflix/YouTube support.
2. Ability to handle large music collections I have 100GB of music so poor interfaces that scroll slowly will suck.
3. Variety of outputs so even though my TV is standard DEF component video now, I'll likely go HD in next year or two. (HDMI?)
4. No dependency on iTunes or Windows Media Player running on my PC. I hate those apps. I use Media Monkey.
NOT NEEDED (if adds to cost):
2. Blu-Ray support
3. DVR functions (I have a TiVo series 2)
WHAT I'VE CONSIDERED:
1) Popcorn Hour A-110: Could put a 1TB drive in it. It would appear on network so I could use it as backup drive and media player. Cons: confusing, poor UI, netflix support is unofficial via $40 3rd party program
2) XBox 360: Plays games as a bonus. Means I have to run Windows Media Player on PC, yuck. Has Netflix. Also, limited codec support? Doesn't solve drive backup issue. Would need to buy separate USB drive for PC
3) XBOX w/ XBMC: I don't know how up to date this software is. Does it support netflix? Wifi? Needs seperate drive for PC backup
4) Mvix Ultio Media Player (http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/home-entertainment/bd4f/): Seems like Popcorn hour. Don't know which is better/easier.
5) Ps3 Slim: I've heard codec support's better than Xbox360. NO dependency on Windows Media Player? Netflix Support? Still needs an external drive for main backup
SO, any recommendations? Thanks!