Which 1080p HDMI media streamer should I purchase?
September 3, 2009 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Which 1080p HDMI media streamer should I purchase?

My Xbox with XBMC is starting to show its age. Which device should I consider as its replacement?

Requirements: Adequate processor for 720P, ideally for 1080P. Ethernet port for streaming MP3s and various video formats from a media server (Windows Vista/Windows7). Intuitive menus. Multi-format support. Should be under $200. (I'm not sure a Roku or AppleTV will meet my needs.)

These are on my comparison list:

WD Live TV Media Player (WDTV-2)
Brite-view Cinematube
Mvix Ultio

Have I missed anything, and what would you recommend?
posted by Perplexer to Technology (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If you are ever planning on buying a blu-ray player in the future, I would go with the PS3 slim. Even though it costs $299, the value proposition with games/streaming/blu-ray might be worth it. I use it with TwonkyMedia Server on my NAS for media streaming, and it works really well. You could also go with the XBOX 360 at $199 which, in my experience, works better as a media server (and integrates nicely with Windows MCE), but obviously lacks the blu-ray functionality.
posted by theDrizzle at 3:51 PM on September 3, 2009

I replaced my xBox w/ XBMC with a Popcorn Hour A-110. It works great. It plays everything I throw at it except for Blu-Ray .iso files.

Skip the PS3 and 360 if you want a good media player. I used my girlfriend's 360 for that between the time I got my new tv and when my Popcorn Hour came in and my old roommates use a PS3. The Popcorn Hour is a much better set up.

I really want to upgrade to the Popcorn Hour C-200. It has the option of dropping a Blu-Ray drive and more RAM for faster unrarring of files.

The only issue I have with my A-110 is is there is a problem with Casgle iDVR, that causes the HDD to spin up when the machine is idle. The solution is just to turn off Casgle. Other than that it works perfect.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 4:20 PM on September 3, 2009

There's speculation that Apple will launch a new version of the AppleTV on the 9th of September (at some convention or other?).

It'll still be gimped and expensive, but now you know.
posted by flippant at 4:34 PM on September 3, 2009

I have to second the PS3/TwonkyMedia combo: The PS3 does blu-ray, upscales regular DVDs, plays games, and streams the heck out of nearly whatever it can see on the twonky server.

I have a headless MSI-Wind box ( atom powered ), running Fedora and Twonky, and it serves the whole house's media needs without complaint and reliably.

Setting up streaming always seems to be a dizzying descent into connectivity, codecs, and google. Every person who's got it set up will swear by their setup because they've worked hard to get it right, and they're less than eager to repeat it.

On the dedicated hardware widget angle, I hear that the WD TV works well in its current form, and there is revised model about to be released that has network/streaming capability. I may pick up one of those for another set in the house.
posted by HannoverFist at 5:53 PM on September 3, 2009

Personally I just built a small low powered HTPC to sit under my massive plasma. This combined with a wireless keyboard with a built in trackpad, and a logitech harmony remote gives me the flexibility I want. Not only will it play any video I throw at it (using XBMC natch ;)) but if I want to surf the web or do photo slideshows on it its only a click away.
posted by gergtreble at 5:36 AM on September 5, 2009

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