: Which media player should I get

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2011-07-16, 07:53 PM
I have read through this forum quite a bit and my head is spinning. I have just recently learned how to get some movies and TV shows off the internet. We are OTA and right now watch Netflix and other things on the PC. Netflix we can also stream to one of our TV's via Wii in crappy SD.

I would like to be able to download shows that I may miss OTA from the internet and watch them on the TV.

I looked at a Boxee Box today, the salesguy said it was the best but it costs a bit more.

I have heard I could buy an AppleTV for less, and "jailbreak" it easily with a program like FireCore or XboxMC and add things like IceFilms etc.

Would welcome opinions on what my best bang for the buck option is.


I am a total newb with this computer media extender stuff.

2011-07-16, 09:22 PM
I think you should set a price or else you will get every suggestion under the sun. I would also think a straight forward system is best. One that plays most types of content, does not require customization and is stable. I am not a fan of the transcoding aspector having to maintain a backend system. The last thing you want is a box that freezes up or requires frequent reboots or tweaking. I would stick to the mainstream too. Which I think are,

Apple TV 2
WD TV Live or Hub
Boxee Box

I know the WD TV products. I have two. For $100 you can't go wrong. The Hub version is more expensive because it includes an internal drive. But if you have a USB stick or eHDD then you are good to go with the less expensive one.

2011-07-16, 11:32 PM
I think you should set a price or else you will get every suggestion under the sun.

the cheaper the better. Let's say $70-$170. The Boxee Box is on sale right now for $170, which I am willing to pay if there is real clear justification for it. I would rather spend less of course, closer to $100. I was also thinking of the main brands you mentioned, although I hadn't considered the Roku.

2011-07-17, 12:39 AM
To see if you like the Boxee Box just download the Boxee software on your PC and see if that does what you need.

2011-07-17, 08:12 AM
Your requirements are pretty basic so it is hard to recommend one over another. Look at the connections you might need (HDMI, component, optical etc) and also if you want extra apps.

For example on the WD TV Live Plus you get,


I don't use all of these. I am pretty sure Pandora is geo-blocked in Canada.

Here is a good place to start comparing.

2011-07-17, 09:19 AM
I have narrowed it down to: WD LIve plus , AppleTV (jailbreaked), or Boxee Box

I think they would all do what I am expecting. I found a WD Live Plus for $90 plus $11 shipping. I was ready to order it but I noticed it doesn't have WiFi built in. You have to add a WiFi USB stick apparently, so that would add another $20 to the overall price as there is not a reliable ethernet jack near the TV.

The AppleTv and Boxee are both ready to go with built in WiFi but are more money- especially the Boxee

The AppleTv seems to get good reviews for ease of set up and use. The cons seem to be a max of 720p and I'm not sure of the difficulty level of "jailbreaking" for someone like me. Price is good.

The WD Live Plus seems to get generally good reviews and plays 1080p. It seems to be able to play nearly everything. Price is lowest. Not sure if it is as easy to set up and use as AppleTV. THe negative is that I would have to add a WiFi USB stick, bringing the price inline with the AppleTv2.

Boxee Box seems to be more robust in it's capabilities. It has a keyboard on the remote and can webbrowse on the TV. It can handle seemingly every app and file type out there. The cons are the cost ($50+ more than the others) and it may be more complicated to set up and use, I'm not sure.

This may be a case where everyone has an opinion on which one is best and they are all good. I may just have to take the plunge and blindly pick one. I have never used one of these devices before and probably don't fully understand their capabilities. It's tough to know which will be best for me.

Thanks for the feedback.

2011-07-17, 11:44 AM
If the difference is only $50 over the Live Plus after a wifi stick then perhaps the Dlink is for you. You seem to have a pretty good handle on the tech so I don't think the interface or hardware will be that hard to master. I admit the remote on the Dlink is attractive as typing text is a real pain on both the Apple and WD boxes.

2011-07-17, 11:50 AM
Personally, between the devices you are considering, I'd get a Boxee box.

2011-07-17, 01:12 PM
+1 on the Boxee Box, look into the Nav-X app not available on the other units... this alone set's it above the rest.

2011-07-17, 01:12 PM
I've had all three device. The Boxee Box is the one I would recommend (I recently bought a 2nd Boxee).

I think the Boxee Box has a better interface. I also like the remote on the Boxee with the full keyboard and RF so you don't need line of sight with the remote to control the Boxee. Boxee also has built in support for VPN to access all the US content if you subscribe to a VPN provider (I use witopia)

You wont find a better price on the Boxee than $179

2011-07-17, 06:13 PM
OK I just bought a Boxee Box. It was actually on sale for 180 bucks, so after tax it was about $65 more than WD Live Plus/WiFi USB or AppleTV, so i was off on my $50 figure.

So now, I am off to install and see if I can figure out how to use this thing. Thanks to everyone for their advice.

2011-07-17, 06:35 PM
Don't forget this one either.

It's down to $50 on sale right now at Memory Express after in-store and mail-in rebates.

I have an early one and have upgraded the F.W. Love it. Plays just about everything I can throw at it.

Even added a small 3.5" HD from a failing laptop for some local storage.
Content comes over WiFi or Ethernet form a 12TB Media WHS.

I got the matching WiFi Dongle on sale for $15 as well on a seperate occasion.
I stil prefer hard wire of local drive, but it will nicely do 1080 over Wifi.

Actually thinking of buy a second one unless someone who has had the Asus and WD can make a compelling pitch to try theirs.
As in superior user interface and feature set.
I don't have any format related issues like I did with an old MVIX 780HD that was pretty much xVid and Divx only.

2011-07-18, 07:19 PM
You won't regret the boxee box. Firmware upgrades are easy and the box gets updated. Netflix works well.

2011-07-19, 08:14 AM
I have the Asus O!Play HD2 and put in a 2tb hdd for good measure. I like it and it plays everything I can throw at it, but it was a little expensive after I put the hard drive in, and if I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with a Boxee - it just seems more flexible. But aesthetically, the Boxee is kind of too out there.

2011-07-30, 01:16 AM
Looking for some advice that I think fits this thread, but maybe not exactly, so please move it if it's too off topic.

I'm close to buying a Sony Bravia 60" NX 720. Part of what I want to do with it is to stream a wide range of video files (MOV, DIVX, MP4, MPEG2, TS, AVI etc) from an Alienware Aurora Windows 7 PC in my home office to the Bravia in my living room (can't hook the Alienware up via HDMI in the living room - aesthetics, not my own BTW).

The NX 720 is advertised as having its own WI FI internally, but I wonder what the extent of this is.

Specifically, after much research, I still haven't been able to get a definitive answer to:

1. will the NX 720 accept streaming video from the Alienware directly? If yes, which video file types are stream-able and what media player is stream-able (I'd like to use VLC) to the Bravia?

2. if the NX 720 will not accept streaming video directly from the Alienware, what box do I need to put between the Alienware and the Bravia to make this work? (AppleTV, Boxee, WD...) Presently I'm using an iPad 1 and the Air Video app to do this with the Alienware and my old Sony, but it's kludgy and no HD.

I haven't been able to hunt down the answers online and the sales reps at the retailers look at me like I'm an out of work physicist when I ask this.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. I know this is very specific to the NX 720, but I'm not getting anywhere after a lot of web hunting.

2011-07-30, 01:37 AM
Google this: "KDL-60NX720 Supported File Formats for DLNA and USB Compatible Sony TVs"

2011-07-30, 01:44 AM
Thanks Flavoie, so fast! Very, very, useful list.

So it sounds to me that if the Bravia is DNLA enabled - and the NX 720 is - then I should be able to use the Alienware to find the NX 720 on my home network and then stream the allowed video file types to the Bravia directly, without adding a box as an intermediary ?

2011-07-30, 09:04 AM
Yes, just some things to setup on the PC. Either you will need to setup a dlna shared folder under windows media player, or install a dlna server software. The windows media player option is free...

2011-07-30, 09:31 AM
thegiffer, One disadvantage I see is no multi-channnel audio with that setup. Usually people doing this don't care for MC audio but realize you will only have stereo. If you have an AVR you are still out of luck because the TV cannot output MC audio to the AVR (it is very rare). Now if you have a streaming media player in the middle then it will have the option to send MC via HDMI or optical.

I just thought you might want to consider that gotcha.

2011-07-30, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the great advice. Jake, I hadn't thought about the multi-channel audio angle, that's a real consideration. Really appreciate the insights.