Best "works-out-of-the-box" "all format" video player?
September 21, 2004 1:32 PM   Subscribe

What's the best "works-out-of-the-box" player for watching DivX/XviD/MPEG-4/etc. videos on my living room TV?
posted by PinkStainlessTail to Shopping (12 answers total)
A premodded/preconfigured Xbox with XBMC installed. Seriously. It beats the hell out of every other TV interface I've used.
posted by Jairus at 1:41 PM on September 21, 2004

Honestly? The Gateway Connected DVD player is awesome. I have a ton of media that resides on my server downstairs, and it streams wirelessly to the player. I have a few wish list items for it, but you can also upgrade the firmware when/if Gateway releases them.

Seriously. It's my entertainment center's MVP. After the widescreen.

Here's Matt's review.
posted by adampsyche at 1:58 PM on September 21, 2004

Philips Progressive-Scan DVD Player with DivX, MPEG-4 and DVD+R/+RW Playback

$70, available at Target (but not at Best Buy Stores, only online).

Plays DVDs, Video CDs, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW media. Plays mpeg, mp3, avi (dvix and xvid), etc, formats. Firmware upgradable. Works *really* well.

You'll need a DVD burner. They're available now for about $70 also. Try to get one that does DVD+R or DVD-R (they're just 2 competing formats). The 8x ones are pretty damn cheap now.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:05 PM on September 21, 2004

FYI you can fit about 8-10 hours of AVI movies onto a single regular DVD and play it on the Phillips player. Which is really nice for, say, putting 2-3 seasons of your favorite show on one disk.

It will also play avis, mp3s, etc, from CDs, which is handy for when you just want to burn a show or two and watch it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:16 PM on September 21, 2004

Pre-modded X-BOX with XBMC simply cannot be beat. It's like a TiVO on steriods, with plugins, and 'Net. Just check out that second link's screenshots. No Windows-Based PC can do that, not for that price.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:47 PM on September 21, 2004

If you have a PS2 on a home network, I love the Gameshark Media Player. You don't need anything else if you have a PC and a network.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:06 PM on September 21, 2004

I second Rusty's recommendation. Out-of-the-box experience is truly plugin and forget -- no futizing with file formats, etc. Just burn a UDF formatted DVD and pop it in.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:33 PM on September 21, 2004

One thing, Civil_Disobedient -- that store is smart and doesn't flash the XBOX with the Pirate software or BIOS, therefore, it won't do XBMC without downloading stuff form the net. You know. Stuff. From places. :-)
posted by shepd at 6:15 PM on September 21, 2004

I think Rusty has my answer, from a price and simplicity standpoint, though I like everything I've seen here. The Gateway networked player is tasty, but probably more than I can justify (to myself or th' wife) at the moment.

Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:04 PM on September 21, 2004

shepd -- I hear ya, man.

And Pink - With the XBOX with the mods (which are already done for you) and a bit of software that's very easy to find, you can play just about every single game ever made for every platform ever made except the PS2. Atari? Of course. Stand-up arcade? Naturally. Caleco-Vision? If that's your fancy.

And it has a built-in weather plugin. And you can hook it up right to your network and access movies from a server. And it's easy to set up.

Though it looks like you've already made up your mind...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:05 PM on September 21, 2004

This thread might be helpful to you. There is some info/reviews on the Philips player around halfway through.
posted by Otis at 6:40 AM on September 22, 2004

If anyone else is interested in the Gateway Connected DVD, Gateway has it for $120 right now, and I found a 10% off coupon and a free shipping coupon (search google for "gateway coupon code") that brings the price down to $108 shipped.
posted by amarynth at 7:45 AM on September 22, 2004

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