Help choosing Media streamer

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by Hostility, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    Well this weekend coming up i was thinking of picking up the WD live media streamer. Ive been trying to do as much research of them as i could but figured id ask if anyone can think of a better option.

    What i need and what i want it to do: Stream music from my pc to my HT. I want to be able to stream off of Hypem.com (music website). Stream Flac files, and dvd,BD rips.

    More so i want it for music as right now i just use an external hard drive to watch movies off of. Would also be nice to not have to have my tv on to stream music.
  2. Greg Campbell Audiophyte

    Greg Campbell
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    Before trying this, I would audition XBMC and JRiver Media Center (do a Google search and download them from the net). XBMC is free and JRiver has a 30 day trial and is relatively inexpensive after that. I use JRiver and it does everything a media streamer does off your PC at a very high quality. You just run an hdmi or PCM line to your receiver (I use a DAC between).
  3. adwilk Audioholic Ninja

    adwilk
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    The WD device works great in my opinion. I like XBMC A LOT as well, but the WD is dummy proof to set up. XBMC is a little geekier IMO and requires a little hardware knowhow and some configuration. You can use the "play to" function from Windows for most music or set up appropriate shares. WD handles this easily. Theres also a fantastic smartphone app available for the newest Live Media Streamer (not live or live plus) and media hub. It would allow you to browse media and play it using your phone or tablet as a remote. Great feature. I have had multiple WD media players. The newest easily being the best.

    If you want something inexpensive and super nerdy- check out XBMC on Raspberry Pi. Took me a while to get configured (DVD/BR folders also require additional MPEG2 license) but now I love it. I like the XBMC remote apps a little better and I leave the Pi in my main system on all the time- with a WOL packet to my receiver (still testing- its not always right) and it reads and plays my mediamonkey playlists. For music- I honestly can't imagine a better setup for me.. can control from every smart device very intuitively.
  4. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    i tried Jriver and didnt notice any diffrence in quality against winamp. I will check out what xbmc is all about, thanks (also i dont want to run a cable from my pc)
  5. joeschmoe18 Audiophyte

    joeschmoe18
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    Look into Synology DS412+...It is awesome and does so much more than just stream music!!
  6. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    after doing a bit more reading i might even still just go my old school route and buy a very small slim external hard drive and manually transfer and just plug into my tv to send to my receiver. My internet gets choppy and laggy at times so still unsure how a media streamer would work in my situation. I really like the apple tv but hate how it wont place flac, and feeling a tad lazy to transfer to aac. Im also only really looking to spend around $100 but would stretch it to $150.
  7. adwilk Audioholic Ninja

    adwilk
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    Is your internet choppy because of the service or because of your local network? Will your Anthem do any streaming? Will the potential stream to device be wired or wireless?

    What do you use to play the music locally on your PC? Whatever program you use might have some determination on the best device to stream to. Am I understanding right that you're thinking of just plugging a hard drive into your tv to play through your receiver? Will your TV play or pass through FLAC?
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  8. ousooner2 Full Audioholic

    ousooner2
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    I purchased the WDTV-LIVE for those exact reasons. I didn't know anything about streaming devices and did a little research for a week or so. I picked up the Roku2 XS and it was just meh. Felt cheap, didn't play all the formats I thought it did, etc. All my music is in FLAC/WAV and my movies are .mkv or other blu-ray rips. I needed something that would play basically every file out there without hiccups and not have to worry if I got the right file type, etc. The WDTV Live has been great so far! It's played everything perfectly with no lagging or buffering. I'm using a wireless connection with my PC/router being roughly 30-40' away and a through 4-5 walls (cox internet w/ around 30-35 download and 4-5 upload)

    The unit looks nice also. Very sleek with gloss and matte black. The small LED on the front is super bright if you were to leave it on or visible while watching something. I believe you can turn it off at all times or have it come on when the unit is off (don't quote me on this). Anyways, just figured I'd chime in a say I like mine a lot. Best $100 I've spent in awhile!
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  9. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    I believe my internet is choppy because we have so many users. I have my computer, landlords, 4 cell phones, and possibly a 3rd pc. Plus im in the other end of a bungalow in the basement on wifi. I would be using the streamer on wifi. I wish i could plug in as it would help so much with my connection. Im just unsure of my tv passing flac through. That just may be something i have to live with at the time being. My anthem wont stream.

    I would like to try the WD live but if it wont work that great that i dont want to be stuck with it. Plus i dont want my movies to be buffering all the time.

    I did a pc speed test and this is what i got.

    Ping - 79 ms
    Download - 3.14 mbps
    upload - .47 mbps
  10. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    Those numbers are completely irreverent for streaming files from your PC, but that down speed is really pushing the edge of getting a good video from the internet.
  11. ousooner2 Full Audioholic

    ousooner2
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    I meant to say "isn't super bright".
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  12. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    well the only thing i would stream is from a website for music. But the wd live wont do that. So if i did purchase the wd live, it would only stream from my PC (music and videos). When you say those numbers are irrelevant, do you mean that streaming from the net then from the pc is 2 different things?
  13. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    Yes, very different things. When you're streaming from your PC you're not using the internet. The thing limiting your speed would be your wireless network connection. Streaming from a website the speed would be limited by your internet connection.

    When you ran that speed test you measured your internet connection, which is far in a way fast enough to stream music.
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  14. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    hmm, I wonder if they would let me return it if i didnt like it. I think its now my only route as i just tried my external hard drive i use to back up my pc and my tv wont even see the FLAC files. Well i guess ill try that out saturday. I thought it used internet when streaming from pc, but i guess it makes more sense now that it only uses your wifi to transfer. thanks!

    *also, does it matter if the wifi is built into the internet box?*
  15. adwilk Audioholic Ninja

    adwilk
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    Yeah, if you grab the wdtv device from Best Buy, Wallyworld, or other retailer, they will definitely allow you to return it. I think its a great option for ya. It handles flac files with no trouble.. You can share them from a PC for access or just plug into the WD box. Based on the speed that your PC is getting internet, I'm guessing you won't have trouble streaming locally if your WD can connect similarly. The router will handle all the wired, wireless connections. I think you'll be surprised how easy it is to use. WORST case... you plug the hard drive into the WD and upgrade your network later for streaming... At least you can play your stuff.
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  16. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    this is true, i could add an external hard drive to it later and always update my hard drive and just use the streamer to play my stuff to my receiver. Well ill have to give it a shot Saturday!
  17. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    well i ended up getting the WD live today, set up was quick, but i cant access my network shares. Its really starting to bother me how accessing something would be so hard. It just keeps asking for my username and password. Ive tried everything i can think of and did some research and still cant get this thing to work.
  18. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    What OS are you using on the shares?

    Keep in mind on this that none of the blame is on the WD live, and you can only half blame the OS since they're only trying to protect your data.
  19. Hostility Full Audioholic

    Hostility
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    im using win 7. I just wish they would make it easier to share, i have went through all the settings to turn off passwords just to test it, and my homegroup see's the wd live. Ive tried my home group password also and it doesnt work.
  20. ousooner2 Full Audioholic

    ousooner2
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    Haha I feel ya. I set up mine too long ago to remember what I did, but I couldn't get it to work after a few hours. Started getting frustrated, but once I figured it out.....it was DEFINITELY worth it. Just take your time, read up on things about people having the same issue as you. (remember your PC needs to be on while you're using this!) There are guides out there of what to do, turn on/off on PC settings, etc. Like someone said, that's a good thing its a little difficult to access your files. If it was easy....I'd be a little worried about my security.

    Anyways, relax...take a deep breathe and realize you'll get it soon lol. After that it's just a matter of turning it on and you're ready to go everytime you want to use it

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