WDTV Replacement?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC (HTPC) & Media Servers' started by mblanco2000, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. mblanco2000 Audioholic Intern

    mblanco2000
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    I have an older WD TV Live. It had been acting a bit flakey as of late and it no longer works. Looks like I need to go ahead and replace it, and I thought I would ask for suggestions here.

    I host all of our movies and music on a Windows 7 machine. I have wired ethernet in the living room and wireless throughout the house. We really liked watching movies that are hosted on the Windows 7 machine through the WDTV. Most of the movies we have are AVI or another format that is not supported by Apple TV so I think that one might be a no go for us. I would also like something with Netflix capablity.

    You guys have any recommendations for me? Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. mblanco2000 Audioholic Intern

    mblanco2000
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    Bump...........
  3. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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    Roku 2 XS or the newer Roku 3.
  4. pg_rider Audioholic

    pg_rider
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    I'm interested in replacing my WDTV as well. Love the looks of the Roku but from what I've read it's not very capable at playing locally-stored media. In other words, it's mainly a streaming box. Curious to see what folks know of that does as good a job as the WDTV at playing local media...
  5. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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  6. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    A small form factor pc would be my choice for local media (openelec, xbmc, plex, etc). Roku 3 is great for streaming, but local playback could be better. The Plex plugin works well, but it transcodes everything so if you are big on video quality that may not fly.
  7. GFOViedo Audioholic

    GFOViedo
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    Well, first of all, what is your budget? Are you looking for 2D only or 2D and 3D playback? At the moment the top 3 media players are Dune, Mede8er and PCH. Dune Smart Series media player (this is what I use in my living room HT) are possibly the best 2D media player, which support BD ISO with full menus. Mede8er is probably the best 3D media player, and the PCH is somewhere in between, but it also support Plex.

    In my master bedroom, I use a Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV media player, which support Plex. I use Plex because is an awesome program that is supported by many devices, and it gives you a nice looking jukebox with awesome transcoding power.
  8. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    The WDTV2 is available. Streaming devices and local media players are very different products, so I would consider the Roku player for Internet streaming and the WDTV2 or a similar media player for in-house playback.

    Other players have a long list!

    Dune HD
    Popcorn Hour
    Mede8er
    Boxee
    Sony
    etc., etc., etc.

    Most are pretty bad, and (while I hate to say it) AVS has a pretty good forum to discuss the players in more detail. At least worth a look.
    I have a Dune player, and I'm okay with it but it lacks a great deal of what I would expect in a decent player.

    Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming

    I feel that the future may be tied into something like XBMC with a solid hardware player to run it. AppleTV is great, but phenomenally limited. The nice thing about Apple is that you get fast hardware to run the show.

    The real goal for a lot of people (myself included) is to get the player that you can direct to just look at certain folders on your network, pull cover art automatically, or pull a frame from the video and add a generic title. It's not there yet for any out of the box player that I'm aware of.
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  9. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Isn't XBMC just a program that runs on your PC? If so, don't you find the fan noise distracting when watching movies or listening to audio?
    3db,
  10. AbyssalLoris Audioholic

    AbyssalLoris
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    pg_rider: Why do you want to replace your WDTV? Is it also broken? Does the WDTV2 not have the features you want?

    BoredSysAdmin: What hardware are you running this on? A PC? If so, (and also panteragstk) I have the same question as 3db: aren't you bothered by noise, heat, etc? I myself have a PC as part of my setup but hate that it runs off of its 800W power supply or whatever (at low efficiency probably, as it is usually not running a high load of programs). All of this just to stream some local media seems a waste. Besides, it bothers me to keep that beast up all the time vs. a dedicated streaming box that I would feel ok leaving on.
  11. ellisr63 Junior Audioholic

    ellisr63
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    I have a i3 NUC and a Celeron NUC for media servers running Openelec. I have WDTV units that are just sitting on the shelf not being used. I grew tired of the interface and how long it took to display my movies on my NAS. I thought the WDTV was a nice unit and even tried the different interfaces for it but in the end I just didn't want it. The NUCs are wonderful... They are bone quiet and stream 1080p flawlessly. I even replaced my HTPC with one. I run HDHomerun dual tuner boxes on another i3 NUC which also does my Photoshop, internet, and Home Automation. All 3 NUCs and my NAS consume less electricity than just the HTPC did and it is much quieter than the Zalman HTPC was. I am glad I made the switch.
  12. pg_rider Audioholic

    pg_rider
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    A couple of reasons:

    - I'm looking for better capabilities as a jukebox music player, like being able to play all songs from a particular genre. The original WDTV Live doesn't do that.
    - My particular WDTV Live won't work with my TV through an HDMI switch. I know the switch is good, as my cable box and XBox 360 work just fine. The WDTV won't show a picture when connected through the switch, requiring me to make a direct connection to the TV.
    - I'd like a media player that supports DTS-MA audio. The WDTV Live doesn't; it only strips out and sends the basic DTS core.
    - I want better remote control functionality via iPhone app. The WDTV app doesn't work very well at all.
  13. itschris Moderator

    itschris
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    I'm back on my HTPC kick again. What do you suggest for something hardwired into the network? My router is right next to my TV and equipment. Right now, I'm using PLEX and Apple TV. It's very convenient, but it's stream to stream and quality suffers. I just want a small PC box running PLEX hooked direct to my system so that I can have better quality and the HD Codecs.

    I'm fine buidling it. I have a bare Mozart HTPC box that I was going to use but never did.
  14. panteragstk Audioholic Chief

    panteragstk
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    I got the previous gen of this little pc. It works very well and you can use OpenElec on it without much trouble.

    I use Plex as well and it should have no trouble with that either. I use it for a client for SageTV and it works well with that too. I haven't really found much it can't do. All you need to buy is a hard drive and memory for it.

    It all depends on the size you are looking for. If you don't mind it being larger you can get a more powerful machine that will have a bit better video quality. That unit will be a pretty big step up from the apple TV though.
  15. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    OpenElec is a special build of Linux with XBMC - it has very low hardware requirements and could run on very very small and very quiet and/or silent boxes
    Supported Hardware - OpenELEC

    I am running it on a similar box to this one - Amazon.com: ASUS EB1030-B003L Desktop: Computers & Accessories
    it does has a fan, but its pretty quiet one (basically silent from 8-10')

    I was hunting specifically for highly functional, yet silent and power efficient media client and I believe I found it (or as close as possible)
    Xbmc does great skins (I use very popular Aeon Nox) and an amazing scrapping plugins (getting media artwork and info from internet)
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  16. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    See my answer to 3db above :)

    My ASUS EB1030 has only 65W power supply :) - much less noise, heat and most important smaller electric bill.

    I know I will get forks and pitches from angry mobs, but I hate using powerful HTPCs just for watching/streaming movies :)
    It does NOT take much computing power at all to do it.
    In my htpc, the gpu (nvidia chip) does all the heavy lifting
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  17. itschris Moderator

    itschris
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    With this stream DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD? I'm trying to better understand what this does. Where does the source come from? Do you have a server with all your movies which this pull from?
  18. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Yes, starting with XBMC 12 there is a full support for HD audio passthru (with hdmi). I have tested it and it works great with both BD ISOs and MKV files with HD audio tracks

    XBMC for me is just the frontend and a scrapper - i prefer to have the storage of media separated. In future I might go with much louder server but place it possibly in basement (which I don't have in rented nyc apartment :) )

    My content source is my nas (it could be any pc with file sharing enabled)
    In my case I went overboard with crazy and geeky (I call it an learning project) fully custom built linux running box, but there are TONS of ways of getting nas much easier - streaming 1080p HD with HD audio doesn't even need a gig network - 100mbps is sufficient - that means - a steady rate of 12MB/s read - this easy number to reach with essentially any modern hard-drive (singular or array) including the green drives as well

    Besides learning of linux, my other important goals were low power usage (due to 24 hour operation) and low (or no) noise and I got both of these adjectives
  19. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Western Digital just released a firmware patch that will will now allow DTS-MA pass through. It already does the HD side of Dolby Digital. Its the only player on the market at the moment with DTS-MA pass through capability. The only thing WD needs to do is to make it more responsive to command inputs from the remote and throw more APPs on it and this thing would me the media streamer device to rule them all. :p
    3db,
  20. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I doubt that... Even my now archived Netgear NeoTV 550 (btw: $50 if anyone wants it) could do dts-ma pass-through
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