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Need Help Deciding


texasPI
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Hi guys, I'm a long time lurker and listen to the podcasts and I appreciate all the knowledge forum members on here have so I think you all can help me out.

 

I'm looking to build or buy a streaming client. I had an old PC running Ubuntu that I tried to run XBMC on but I just couldn't get it to work right. The motherboard recently died on that and I'm trying to come up with a new solution. I was looking at a WDTV Live Plus, Boxee Box, or just building a new bare bones PC and running a lightweight XBMC solution like OpenELEC. The latter appeals to me because I can reuse some of the parts off the old PC to keep my costs down. I primarily want to stream my ripped DVDs (Video_TS) from my WHS v1 since I already have a Roku for online content. I have been using a laptop (VGA) recently with XBMC to stream to my TV but I want a dedicated solution that I can leave connected to my TV with an HDMI connection. I just can't decide what to go with, there are so many routes I can go.

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Hi guys, I'm a long time lurker and listen to the podcasts and I appreciate all the knowledge forum members on here have so I think you all can help me out.

 

I'm looking to build or buy a streaming client. I had an old PC running Ubuntu that I tried to run XBMC on but I just couldn't get it to work right. The motherboard recently died on that and I'm trying to come up with a new solution. I was looking at a WDTV Live Plus, Boxee Box, or just building a new bare bones PC and running a lightweight XBMC solution like OpenELEC. The latter appeals to me because I can reuse some of the parts off the old PC to keep my costs down. I primarily want to stream my ripped DVDs (Video_TS) from my WHS v1 since I already have a Roku for online content. I have been using a laptop (VGA) recently with XBMC to stream to my TV but I want a dedicated solution that I can leave connected to my TV with an HDMI connection. I just can't decide what to go with, there are so many routes I can go.

My experience with canned streamers is not good. It always seems to turn out that they can't stream at least 1 of the formats I want to stream. I've tried a WD Live Plus and a PS3. After those disappointments I just bit the bullet and installed a WMC HTPC. It has the added advantage that I can use my MS 6000 wireless KB to type properly when doing searches on YouTube and other sites, instead of having to use those frustrating on-screen keyboards :angry:

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Hi guys, I'm a long time lurker and listen to the podcasts and I appreciate all the knowledge forum members on here have so I think you all can help me out.

 

I'm looking to build or buy a streaming client. I had an old PC running Ubuntu that I tried to run XBMC on but I just couldn't get it to work right. The motherboard recently died on that and I'm trying to come up with a new solution. I was looking at a WDTV Live Plus, Boxee Box, or just building a new bare bones PC and running a lightweight XBMC solution like OpenELEC. The latter appeals to me because I can reuse some of the parts off the old PC to keep my costs down. I primarily want to stream my ripped DVDs (Video_TS) from my WHS v1 since I already have a Roku for online content. I have been using a laptop (VGA) recently with XBMC to stream to my TV but I want a dedicated solution that I can leave connected to my TV with an HDMI connection. I just can't decide what to go with, there are so many routes I can go.

 

There are not easy answers as it depends on your ultimate goal. If you go the HTPC it will cost you more but you will also gain some additional capabilities. If you go with something like Boxee or the Popcorn, it should handle most of what you want to do. I personally prefer HTPC's but based on what you are describing, I would suggest the Popcorn or Boxee. Dave could better address the Boxee use case than I could but I know the popcorn will handle what you are describing and will be a lower cost and lower power solution. I look at this way, a desktop unit like boxee and Popcorn will handle 95% of what you can do with an HPTC for a bout 1/3 of the cost but with little to know opportunities ot expand or enhance. From a pure cost perspective it is the only way to go. As Icon stated there are some trade offs but the current gen has come along way. That said and believing in the adivcce I just gave is the best choice, you could not pry the HTPC's from my hands as I like the extra opportunities to build on and expand them as well as experiment with software and other soltuions but that is just me. Good luck and let us know what your decide.

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I can tell you I have a MS HTPC - WD Live - popcornhour and POPBOX. I use the popbox in the bedroom, it does a great job and has a simcard to hold all the metadata / cover art

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This is something I have thought about a lot also. I have tried the HTPC route, I have a WD Live Plus and have tried to use the Xbox360 and my Tivo's. All of them are good at something, but none meet all my needs. What I would like is something that meets the following:

 

  • Cost low enough I can have it at every TV (ie, under $150)
  • Play all my local DVD & BR rips
  • Stream Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Pandora

 

I had high hopes for the popbox, but it turned out to be lacking with it's online offerings (ie, Pandora, Hulu, etc). The Boxee Box looks interesting, but I am not really interested in the shape of the device.

 

Things keep getting better, but it seems building a HTPC for each TV ($$) is the only solution that will meet the most of my needs/wants, the pre-made devices are not quit there yet.

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This is something I have thought about a lot also. I have tried the HTPC route, I have a WD Live Plus and have tried to use the Xbox360 and my Tivo's. All of them are good at something, but none meet all my needs. What I would like is something that meets the following:

 

  • Cost low enough I can have it at every TV (ie, under $150)
  • Play all my local DVD & BR rips
  • Stream Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Pandora

 

I had high hopes for the popbox, but it turned out to be lacking with it's online offerings (ie, Pandora, Hulu, etc). The Boxee Box looks interesting, but I am not really interested in the shape of the device.

 

Things keep getting better, but it seems building a HTPC for each TV ($$) is the only solution that will meet the most of my needs/wants, the pre-made devices are not quit there yet.

 

I agree on all points which is why I'm stumped. The Boxee Box design is really off putting for me. I've had my eye on this bare bones system to play around with and see if it would meet my needs.

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I agree on all points which is why I'm stumped. The Boxee Box design is really off putting for me. I've had my eye on this bare bones system to play around with and see if it would meet my needs.

 

Try the popcorn, it will play BD, MKV, and DVD and is less than $200

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For those of you that have them, how is the WD TV Live Plus in terms of NetFlix and Pandora capabilities? It looks like the unit supports PlayTo, so could that plus a laptop in my livingroom get me there?

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This is something I have thought about a lot also. I have tried the HTPC route, I have a WD Live Plus and have tried to use the Xbox360 and my Tivo's. All of them are good at something, but none meet all my needs. What I would like is something that meets the following:

 

  • Cost low enough I can have it at every TV (ie, under $150)
  • Play all my local DVD & BR rips
  • Stream Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus and Pandora

 

I had high hopes for the popbox, but it turned out to be lacking with it's online offerings (ie, Pandora, Hulu, etc). The Boxee Box looks interesting, but I am not really interested in the shape of the device.

 

Things keep getting better, but it seems building a HTPC for each TV ($) is the only solution that will meet the most of my needs/wants, the pre-made devices are not quit there yet.

 

 

 

Your correct, even with the latest firmware you still will not have the promised Netflix - though things like revision 3 is included

 

 

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