Sign In

HD Media Player

Author
Time

Thinking about getting one. I'm assuming some of you must have them since lots of members ask for (and release) projects in .mkv format...unless they all use home theatre PCs.

I've been looking at the Western Digital ones, and my co-worker swears by his Patriot Box Office (heavily modded).

Does anyone have any recommendations/horror stories?

Author
Time

My cheap HP Blu-ray player can play them. I imagine that if they can play AVCHD discs, they should be able to play the MKV.

To be fair, I only tried a sample of ESBR in the format, and it was a long time ago.

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

Star Wars Visual Comparisons WordPress / Twitter

Author
Time

To be honest, I haven't ever tried burning an mkv to my player. Looks like I have more homework to do. I have a Panasonic DMPBD60 that supports AVCHD.

Author
Time

My buddy has a Western Digital WDTV and he's got mixed feelings about it. It worked alright for a long time, but will not play MKVs muxed with the new mkvmerge, which has lately become a hassle, as such a file crashes the whole player. It won't play DTS with his Panasonic surround system (there's some sort of known conflict between the two), but apparently it's supposed to do bitstream passthrough of DTS to a capable receiver. It works pretty good for a $100 player though. His main beef is that Western Digital stops supporting their older models once they come out with a new one, which is a problem with a lot of mainstream products.

I have the original Popcorn Hour A-100 and it still has firmware updates that keep it supporting every new codec I throw at it. You could probably find one of those online for cheap. They have newer models that are a little pricier, but they really are a great, small company owned and operated by true geeks who know their stuff.

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/index.php

Author
Time

canadianbs101 said:


To be honest, I haven't ever tried burning an mkv to my player. Looks like I have more homework to do. I have a Panasonic DMPBD60 that supports AVCHD.
Find a sample and throw it on a flash drive for testing.

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

Star Wars Visual Comparisons WordPress / Twitter

Author
Time

Just checked online, no mkv support on the Panny :(

I'll definitely be looking into the Popcorn Hour though. Thanks for the tips guys!

Author
Time

canadianbs101 said:

To be honest, I haven't ever tried burning an mkv to my player. Looks like I have more homework to do. I have a Panasonic DMPBD60 that supports AVCHD.

If the MKV is in AVCHD format then I think you can just remux the file into a blu-ray disc using tsmuxer and burn it using imgburn.

Spaced Out - A Stoner Odyssey (five minute sneak peek)

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I have the Sumvision Cyclone MKV 2 media enclosure and this seems to play anything i throw at it (apart from files that have used the newer mkvmerge with its compression header, but running it though an older version first, which only takes a few seconds and everything plays fine). It outputs DTS fine. You can either stick  a drive into the enclosure, use an external hard drive , or both. transferring files is easy as you just plug it into the PC or use it over a network.

ANH:REVISITED
ESB:REVISITED

DONATIONS TOWARDS MATERIALS FOR THE REVISITED SAGA

Author
Time

I quite like the Seagate FreeAgent Theater+.  It has its drawbacks, but it handles almost everything I put in  it.  The main reason I chose it was for its ability to output DTS audio as analog stereo, and the fact that it can read Mac (HFS+) formatted hard drives.

a trolling bantha

Author
Time

canadianbs101 said:

Does anyone have any recommendations/horror stories?

It was a dark and stormy night, and a very healthy & wealthy husband and father of two had just purchased an HD media player. Little did he know he was about to fall victim to a depraved junkie low on cash and high on meth ...

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

Author
Time

 

I have a Popcorn Hour C-200 that I purchased as part of a grand scheme to rip all my Blu-rays to a media server and put the discs in storage, mostly because I hate all the forced trailers, warnings, menus, and other garbage I have to sit through just to watch a movie. The time it takes to remux a movie-only version has me questioning whether it's really worth it or not, but that's beside the point.

The most recent firmware update cleared up the last issue I had with the C-200, which had to do with Blu-ray subtitles embedded in MKVs. Whether it's an ISO, BDMV structure, or MKV, everything plays well on the C-200. It properly bitstreams HD audio (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, and multichannel PCM) in any of these structures as well, so if you're not concerned about storage space and you don't reencode, you lose no A/V quality at all. You can also install a Blu-ray drive so it can double as a full Blu-ray player. It does a decent job at this, but is noticeably slower in loading movies and responding to playback operations than current standalone Blu-ray players like my Oppo BDP-93. If Oppo weren't so stubborn and would support HD audio in MKV containers, I'd have no need for a separate media player, really.

If I'd been one of the early adopters of the C-200, I probably wouldn't be singing it's praises because it was very buggy for a very long time, but in its current state, it's a pretty decent piece of hardware.

The other media player I'd look at is the Dune HD series. They tend to get good reviews. 

 

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

MTFBWY…A

Author
Time
 (Edited)

i have a modded wdtv hd gen 2. and i have to say it was worth it for the ability of the mods. the factory firmware is garbage. i have been a wdtvforum member for a while and most wdtv owners will tell you that pch has no chance holding up to the modded wdtv. dont worry about wd factory updates because they do not matter. the wdtv modders update constantly and make vast improvements. i have only had 1 mkv file cause a problem which was easy to fix by remuxing with an older version of mkvmerge. i have modded my wdtv to do everything i want. and the moviesheet features alone are epic. i have never had a problem with dts though it will not play ogm and that is the only file type i ever saw it not play. i would recommend getting the wdtv live version because it has even more functionality then the gen 2 model i have. once you know how to do the mods and make moviesheets you will be glad you did not blow $300.00 on a popcornhour. but dont buy it if your not going to mod it. the mods are easy to do once you understand them. i have my own personal backgrounds and screensavers. but i intend to get a live soon because there is a new mod being developed for the live player that is going to make the interface look amazing. also the live can be modded to support dvd menu,s. here is what a moviesheet looks like. i have moviesheets for every 1 of my 2000 movies. next i have to make them for my tv shows:) there are endless variations of moviesheets to choose from this is just 1 version. and with thumbgen designer you can design your own from scratch. bottom line wdtv modded kicks popcornhour,s lilly ass.  

believe in the ball and throw yourself!

Author
Time

hope i caught you before you bought a pch. but the best thing to do is plan on the mods before buying the wdtv. to learn about the mods and what can be done with wdtv go to http://wdtvforum.com/main/   and start reading. all you need to do the mods is the wdtv and a 2 gb usb stick. all the custom firmware and osd mods are free. so is thumbgen and thumbgen designer for creating moviesheet,s. i spent a little over $100.00 on my gen 2 wdtv and live is not much more. worth every penny spent and time invested. not to mention portability. i can scoop up my player and a hardrive of choice and carry it to any friends house and hook it up in 2 minutes. when i turn on the player i give my friends the remote and let them scroll through movies. each moviesheet lists a film cover,synopsis,and video/audio specs. and then when they decide on a flick and go into the folder you see a final fullscreen screenshot of my choice for the kicker. also note the pic above of the moviesheet does not show you the movie cover thumbs at the bottom of the sheet like the player does. in addition to seeing the sheet you see 7 thumbnails of movie covers which fill in the blank space at the bottom of the sheet. and then you just scroll left or right through the movie cover thumbs. buy a wdtv mod it and thank me later.

believe in the ball and throw yourself!

Author
Time

Thanks for the input. I probably won't be getting one until Boxing Day rolls around, but I figured I would get started on my research ;)

Author
Time

I'm going to have to tell my friend about the wdtv modding, ibleedspeed. I didn't know there was such a possibility, and he's just about had it with the stock firmware on his first gen box. I'm checking it out too because I'm about ready to upgrade myself. Thanks!

Author
Time

asterisk8 said:

I have the original Popcorn Hour A-100 and it still has firmware updates that keep it supporting every new codec I throw at it. You could probably find one of those online for cheap. They have newer models that are a little pricier, but they really are a great, small company owned and operated by true geeks who know their stuff.

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/index.php

 Asterisk8 would you recommend the Popcorn Hour ?, i have been offered a Popcorn Hour A110 and im seriously thinking about buying it. Is there ever any problems with playback does it ever suffer from lag, is it easy to load the movies onto the onboard hdd?.

Author
Time

Murry Sparkles said:

asterisk8 said:

I have the original Popcorn Hour A-100 and it still has firmware updates that keep it supporting every new codec I throw at it. You could probably find one of those online for cheap. They have newer models that are a little pricier, but they really are a great, small company owned and operated by true geeks who know their stuff.

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/index.php

 Asterisk8 would you recommend the Popcorn Hour ?, i have been offered a Popcorn Hour A110 and im seriously thinking about buying it. Is there ever any problems with playback does it ever suffer from lag, is it easy to load the movies onto the onboard hdd?.

I would definitely recommend the Popcorn Hour, but I can only speak from personal experience which has been entirely without issue. I've read people who've had problems, but most if not all were resolved with firmware updates. I have the A100, which was their first model, got on pre-order right when they launched the website, so I was an early adopter and can't really comment on later models. Firmware updates have kept my A100 playing every codec I throw at it, which impresses me a lot considering I've had it since 2007. Depending on the file, I might get a second or two of a loading screen before the movie starts, and then perfect playback. I installed a drive, but opted to remove it and use external usb drives because they offered me more flexibility, and I felt the internal hdd heated up the box too much for my cabinet. I've never tried the streaming features, so I can't really comment on that aspect.

Popcorn Hours aren't the cheapest option, because they're a small operation and manufacture their devices on site instead of a third world country (at least they did a couple years ago, I guess I can't say that for certain now). If the WDTV can really be significantly improved by modding as ibleedspeed says, I wouldn't hesitate to try one should my A100 ever crap out on me, because they are much more affordable.

Sorry for the long windedness. :-)

 

Author
Time

Currently, I just hook a laptop up to the TV - I know I'm a little behind the times.

I have a cheap TV in the bedroom that can play media off a USB hard drive/memory stick, it can read AVI and MKV, the manual says it can play HD content, but it can actually only decode Xvid/DivX (no h264 - so, really, it's useless for HD).

Considered getting a WDTV and modding it with a firmware to allow it to play disc-based media off a compatible USB optical drive. However, the price is comparable to a standalone BD player with MKV support, which would also have the advantage of being able to play original DVDs and BDs without having to rip/decrypt first.

Anyone use XBMC on a jailbroken Apple TV?

Guidelines for post content and general behaviour: read announcement here

Max. allowable image sizes in signatures: reminder here

Author
Time

I'd love to use a program like XBMC, but there's too much about it that just pisses me off.

Can anyone recommend a program similar to XBMC that lets you customize sorting and actually change the metadata yourself instead of forcing you to stick with specific file names and metadata that it pulls off the Internet?

a trolling bantha

Author
Time
 (Edited)

ChainsawAsh said:

I'd love to use a program like XBMC, but there's too much about it that just pisses me off.

Can anyone recommend a program similar to XBMC that lets you customize sorting and actually change the metadata yourself instead of forcing you to stick with specific file names and metadata that it pulls off the Internet?

hey ash thumbgen does that. it can create metadata and nfo that you type in. here are some snaps i just made a sheet real quick for the whole bloody affair. 1 main thumbgen page, 2 moviesheet creation page, 3 metadata creation window, 4 the sheet i made.

believe in the ball and throw yourself!

Author
Time
 (Edited)

thumbgen is the best metadata/moviesheet program hands down. i use it for creating moviesheets for all of my movies and tv shows for presentation on my wdtv. very easy to use and very flexible on the options. that was a rough quick sheet i made just to show you guys. not actually the 1 i will use on my wdtv. but you can see how powerful thumbgen is in metadata creation as well as nfo.

believe in the ball and throw yourself!

Author
Time

Moth3r said:


Considered getting a WDTV and modding it with a firmware to allow it to play disc-based media off a compatible USB optical drive. However, the price is comparable to a standalone BD player with MKV support, which would also have the advantage of being able to play original DVDs and BDs without having to rip/decrypt first.

 

sadly you wont have menu support for bd discs. but dvd menus will work. the wdtv modders are always improving who knows maybe 1 day. a modded wdtv is the cheapest best alternative to an htpc running a media center. from organizing playlists to moviesheet presentation. but i am a little confused what you meant moth3r. if you are playing a disc from an external optical drive there is no need to rip first.  you would rip the disc for storing and playback from an external hard drive. though i see little need for an external optical drive when using a wdtv. most people would own a dvd or bd player already for playing discs. the grand purpose of a wdtv is for media playback from an external hard drive. rip your dvd/bd collection to a hard drive organize by genre or alphabetic folders however you prefer. now there are a few ways to use your hard drive with the wdtv. you can hook up 2 hard drives direct to the player. or more with the usb hub support that comes with the wdlxtv custom firmware. or you can hook all your drives up to your computer and stream media to the player through the use of a wireless router. this is cool feature because you can have a wdtv in every room of the house and stream media to any room in the house from your computer. also i dont know much about the wireless side of the wdtv but it does have support for apps like facebook and others. also the wdtv can be a separate torrent downloader. there are so many functions for wireless networking a wdtv live i dont even know what all it can do. there may be some newer media players that have these functions but i wouldnt know because i have never needed anything more then my wdtv. im starting to feel like a wdtv commercial but i just hate to see people go out and spend way more money for players that can not even compare to a modded wdtv. good luck guys.

believe in the ball and throw yourself!

Author
Time

noted another wdtv feature. movie trailers embedded in the moviesheet. i have not done this because i would have to download 2000+ trailers but it is something that is very tempting. you can have a trailer button in the sheet now but the new osd mod that is coming out will have the trailer embedded in the sheet. simply awesome! no more explaining the plot to your girlfriend because not only is the synopsis in the sheet but the trailer too.

believe in the ball and throw yourself!