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Best Network Media Share player: Popcorn Hour, MediaMVP-HD, PS3, Blu-Ray, Roku???

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by junzi, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. junzi

    junzi Cool Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    I am at the stage where I need to choose a networked mediashare extender to play archived TV programming from a Networked Attached Storage (NAS) system to TV. I prefer a dedicated media share box rather than the HTPC route because I need a solution that won't require lots of tweaking. There are MANY choices out there.

    Note: I get my programming from D* HR23-700, encoded through the Hauppauger Colossus PCI-E card.

    Some prominent posters (eg 1948GG) highly recommend Popcorn Hour. Others found PS3 Blu-Ray and Hauppauge to work well for their needs. Other posters list a bunch of boxes with no mention of their performance. However, many of the posts are over a year old and there are a lot of new, viable solutions available...I just need help choosing one.

    I am considering a $99 Hauppauge MediaMVP-HD system to work in conjunction with the Colossus PCI-E card, but this is a new product and the reviews have been lackluster. The $300 PS3 looks like a good option as well b/c it has a lot of software support w/ free upgrades, online media stream perks and proven performance, other components to bundle with it (Base Station, PSP), and can be used as a Blu-Ray player, but I am not a gamer and have not used one before and many people report the blue-ray player breaking after a year.

    Amazon ranks the Roku as the best selling and highest rated media share player, but there is not much chatter about its reliability and usefulness with a NAS system in this forum. Some people HATE the Roku system, but then why is it the best selling mediashare extender? Apple and WD are also highly ranked.

    Here are a few constraints:
    • Separate, dedicated box to work with PC, NAS (RAID6), TV network, etc.
    • Plays most file formats
    • Reliability
    • Able to quickly organize and edit files into folders on the PC and display choices on TV screen in an intelligent format
    • FAST TV screen use: fast forward, pause, rewind, etc. I hate my clunky HR23 interface. I want speed!
    • Budget upto $300 (but will consider upto $500 if there is awesome added value)
    • 1080p/blu-ray capable a plus

    I like to reference my archive of DIY shows (This Old House, American Woodshop, etc.) and need quick access to them. Most shows are recorded in SD, but some are HD. Of course I would also like to access some movies/documentaries recorded in 1080i and to media stream, but that is not my main objective.

    Here is a list of device Brands culled from Amazon's electrical devices/media share category. If anyone can suggest the best for me, let me know! Any dogs? All-stars? The list is not exhaustive and not all are applicable, but most are:

    * Alfa (2)
    * Altaz (1)
    * Apple (4)
    * Archos (1)
    * Argosy (5)
    * Asus (14)
    * AverMedia (2)
    * Brainydeal (3)
    * brite-View (5)
    * Buffalo Technology (11)
    * cirago (7)
    * Cisco (20)
    * Diamond Multimedia (2)
    * D-Link (21)
    * DViCO (4)
    * Grace Digital (7)
    * Hauppauge (3)
    * HDI Dune (1)
    * Hornettek (3)
    * HP (8)
    * Iomega (12)
    * LaCie (9)
    * LG (14)
    * Lorex (3)
    * Micca (7)
    * Monsoon (3)
    * Moxi (2)
    * NBOX (1)
    * Netgear (17)
    * Nixeus Technology (3)
    * Noah Company (4)
    * OPPO Digital (3)
    * Patriot (4)
    * Philips (5)
    * Popcorn Hour (3)
    * Prime (1)
    * Prodigi PD-100N (1)
    * RCA (2)
    * Replay Tv (4)
    * Roku (8)
    * Samsung (13)
    * Satechi (1)
    * Seagate (15)
    * Sezmi (1)
    * Sling Media (10)
    * Sonos (12)
    * Sony (48)
    * TiVo (19)
    * Verbatim (3)
    * ViewSonic (11)
    * VisionTek (1)
    * Western Digital (19)
    * Xtreamer (5)
  2. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    I don't know if it is the best, but I have the WD TV Plus HD Media Player.
    Works well for my needs. It sees my WD NAS as well as my PCs.
  3. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2009
    Good question.

    I don't really have the answer but playon may be something to consider if you go with one of the compatible boxes. They just added Roku which may expand the usefulness of that box. PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Moxi and Google TV are included as well many others.
  4. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member DBSTalk Club

    Feb 5, 2009
    I have a WD TV LIVE HUB (the new model with the built in 1TB hard drive) and everything I throw at it works flawlessly. Basically the same as the WD TV LIVE which doesn't have the HD and a couple other minor features. I had a Popcorn Hour and it had all kinds of problems. Also had a Brite-View which was great when it first came out then there was some internal problems within their company and support has virtually faded away. PlayON works fine with the WD which also has it's own native Netflix app and a few others as well.
  5. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    What's your budget?
  6. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2009
    TS post says up to $300.
  7. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I'm a dope and totally missed that. :lol:

    I suggest a PS3.
  8. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2009
    I was thinking PS3 but haven't used one; just heard some things about them. Be aware that according to some folks (Google and AVS Forum), the PS3 is no substitute for the newer 3D BluRay players if to be used with latest home theater with TrueHD and DTS-Master audio formats while displaying 3D video. Only standard DTS is available when playing 3D video. Also, the pop-up menu will defeat 3D mode while displayed.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20017116-1.html That post is also linked to a PS3 3D BluRay FAQ/thread at AVS Forum...

    Maybe the player combos are best for streaming options but looks like the recent 3D-BDPs are better for audiophiles that watch 3D. I'm thinking 3D is a relevant term to consider when buying new hardware. Sony made it available as a free f/w upgrade to most PS3 players but not without some compromises.
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I bought three Rokus and I'm sorry I did. I like the BD players much better. They upscale the NetFlix content really well. I also bought three Panny BD65s, which I thought were superb until I bought a Sammy sound system (I'm not a big Sammy fan, but I was looking for a sound system for the master bedroom that didn't cost a fortune and bought the Sammy HT-C5500). The sound system is very good and the integrated BD player simply blows the Panny BD65s away. I also bought a Sammy BD 5500 and it's as good as the sound system's BD player. So, now I've got three Rokus and use one and three Panny BD65s and use one. I really gotta be more careful and try more devices before I jump in and buy a bunch.....:nono2:

  10. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    NeoTV 550
  11. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I think Roku's are good for what they are, but no substitute for a good blu player. I have a PS3 that I use for discs and PC/Netflix streaming, but the Roku is great for Amazon VOD, and Internet shows like Revision 3 and TWIT as well as Pandora.
  12. junzi

    junzi Cool Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    How is the automatic browsing feature for the NeoTV 550? Do you use a NAS system? Is the live browsing of a large storage of media fast and reliable? Any hangups? The Amazon description of the Neo550 ($170) is pretty much what I am looking for.
  13. junzi

    junzi Cool Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    The Western Digital WD TV Live Plus 1080p HD Media Player on Amazon ($98) looks like a great option. How is the browsing feature?...I need it to be fast and easily organizble so I can rifle through 100's of shows for DIY reference when working around the house or researching something. Does it work with subfolders? Automatic updating of NAS folders and subfolders? My D* HR23 has always been slow in searching for programming.
  14. junzi

    junzi Cool Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Do you think there is added value in the PS3 for media streaming Netflix and other providers due to the PS3 massive customer base? It is a billion dollar product geared towards gamers who like to media stream games online, so it would seem that the PS3 architecture and support (automatic firmware updates) would oust most of the media streaming competition. However, that does not mean it is a better media extender to organize and interface 1000's of TV files stored on a NAS.

    Can you easily make folders and subfolders for your NAS and quickly access all of them via the PS3 interface? Does the PS3 browse and auto-update available media from the NAS? I am assuming you are using a PS3 remote.
  15. rajeshh

    rajeshh Godfather

    Sep 11, 2007
    I have PS3 and by itself afaik, the PS3 cannot stream content on a NAS. I run a very popular PS3 media server ( hosted on google code) that you run on a PC, which the PS3 then uses to stream content that the PS3 media server sees..

    I have a small Windows Server ( HP Server LX 195) that I keep running all the time, and have the Ps3 media server running on this. I also have PlayOn running on this machine ( though I dont think the processor is sufficient for PlayOn). The main issue with this solution is that FF, REW wont work all the time reliably or fast enough
  16. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2009
    Here's a Media solution I came across today. They're taking pre-orders on the second-generation PlayON!HD (Playon!HD2): http://www.gizmodaddy.com/networked-home-theater-media-players/a.c.-ryan-playonhd2-media-player.html

    Thoughts? Should there be any consideration on this one? I'm looking for a good streaming solution for the bedroom. This one may even centralize HD streams to the whole house via the ETHERNET from the bedroom since I have DLNA and other compatible devices everywhere else but there.
  17. djousma

    djousma Legend

    Jan 22, 2007
    Logitech Revue. Was $229 at Costco. My experience with using DVD players for streaming apps is that the apps to do so are way to slow.... Plus you get full keyboard, and web surfing too. Integrated with DTV STB, TV and AVR if you have one.

    I also use this to stream sports from ESPN3.com.
  18. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    AppleTV! It's $99, you plug it in and it just works. Nothing to fool around with, no muss no fuss.
  19. jacmyoung

    jacmyoung Hall Of Fame

    Sep 8, 2006
    Can any of those media players play back recordings from the DirecTV HR24s? Also other than Sling products, are there any other products that can playback HR24 recordings on the road?
  20. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Any PC that meets the hardware requirements can play from your HDDVR's. You use the Direct2pc application. Only a device that works similar to a sling device can playback recordings on the road. IP related playback can only happen on a single subnet.....I suspect due to D*'s implementation of DRM.

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