Best Media Streamer for Playing Back Ripped DVDs?
February 14, 2011 2:15 PM Subscribe
What is the best choice currently for a media streamer to play back ripped DVDs and other content on your network?
posted by willnot to Technology (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I know this question comes up here a lot, but it seems like things are changing pretty quickly with new firmware updates, and it's hard to sort out the recommendations that are no longer relevant.
Here's what I want to do:
Priority 1 - Rip my hundreds of DVDs (and maybe Blue-ray one day) to a hard drive, and play them back form that hard drive on my home theater with full menuing and commentary tracks/other features.
Priority 2 - Automatically download or stream video podcasts
Priority 3 - Play Hulu free content (not the paid version)
Priority 4 - Other services like Netflix/Amazon/Pandora that I don't really use now, but may use one day.
Priority 5 - Play back music stored on my computer through the stereo.
I know everybody loves Roku, but they seem to love it for my priority 4, and it seems to suck at my priority 1. Is that still true or is that likely to remain true in the immediate future?
I've heard that WD Live Plus can now play back DVDs with full menuing, but I read some comments to suggest that the implementation is kind of sucky. I wasn't sure if that was the state of the art on their firmware or if things are actually working pretty well there. I'm also not sure if the WD Live Hub has the same capabilities. It seemed like maybe they'd just updated Live Plus, but that seems strange to me.
I know the Boxee box got panned when it came out, but I'd heard some of their later updates had improved it. How is it working currently, and can it do what I want?
Then there are other things like the Popcorn Hour. I was excited for that a few months ago, but it seems like the early reviews moved me off of that one too for some reason. Anybody have recent experience with that one that could speak to whether it meets my needs?
I don't have any game consoles and wouldn't be likely to play games, so I'm not sure about getting them only for media streamers. I've heard that recommended, but friends have not had great luck with that.
I don't really want to deal with a full HTPC. I'm mostly a Mac house. I will at times plug my Macbook Pro into my TV and stereo, but that makes it harder for me to surf and watch at the same time, so that's not entirely desirable for me.