Cheapest stand alone device for Media Playback - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Cheapest stand alone device for Media Playback

Hey folks... lots of threads on specific devices.. but looking for maybe a comparison discussion.

Went out this weekend, and broke the bank, getting a new, small, camper trailer (16ft + fold down tent sides).
We are looking to put a small TV in it.. 19-22 inches likely.. it already has a digital antenna.

But we are looking at MEDIA PLAYBACK options.

At home, I have an extensive collection of movies, TV, etc, running through a PLEX server, with PHT and other devices with apps for playback for it.

That wont help me in the trailer.

So really I am looking for an INEXPENSIVE device... WD, roku, etc.. that does well with LOCAL playback, from a memory key or HDD.
Needs to be able to play divx, mp4 and MKVs fairly well.
HDMI out.

Will consider other options.. like a chromecast, etc.. but that would require bringing something like a laptop... I will have my iPhone/ipad with me.. BUT then also requires filling the memory on it, with the movies, etc.

GDKitty
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 09:36 AM
 
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as much as I hate to admit it I've been known to take my WDTV with some movies on a USB thumb drive camping. Nice is it has composite out so still can use the old TV.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 10:22 AM
 
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Don't forget your smartphone or tablet could be a media player. With the right cable, you can connect them right to a television.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 10:47 AM
 
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The best device in this category I ever owned was the Patriot Box Office.
Has space for a 2.5" hard drive inside. Network. HDMI. USB host and client.
Can be flashed with (better) ACRyan firmware.

I don't think it is sold anymore. But if you can find it - go for it.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 10:49 AM
 
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I use a wifi hard drive for this purpose, the Seagate Wireless Plus. Put all my content on it, turn on the wifi, all devices in range now have access to the content.

For "odd" formats I use the app Infuse, which can playback pretty much anything on iOS and can also browse the Seagate Wireless Plus. This is actually my setup primarily for the kids on long road trips, but also works on the campsite for those rain days.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civuck View Post
Don't forget your smartphone or tablet could be a media player. With the right cable, you can connect them right to a television.
Yeah, was already thinking that.. there is the lightning to hdmi cable...

BUT.. again forces all media to be on my ipad/iPhone.

GDKitty
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 01:57 PM
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Don't overlook TVs that have built-in USB ports - just plug in a USB memory stick or hard drive into your TV to watch movies. Here's one that sells for about $200.

http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/t...AFXZC-features
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 02:01 PM
 
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Armada Mach 8? It's Android KitKat and XBMC 13.1. Plays those formats with no worries. It's a nice small unit to store and hide away. Does HDMI and optical audio if required. 2 USB slots. 1 SD card slot. I paid just over $120 CDN delivered to my USA parcel box (I cross border to get my items, saves a ton on shipping).
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 02:21 PM
 
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A RaspberryPi running Raspbmc + a USB drive full of content would work. You'll need a local WIFI network to control XBMC via an app on your phone.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 905shmick View Post
A RaspberryPi running Raspbmc...
Probably the cheapest and best long-term solution (e.g. changes in MKV encoding).
Will require some "leg work" upfront...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Dave View Post
Don't overlook TVs that have built-in USB ports ...
I've seen LG's webOS running TVs doing a good job with MKV...
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 03:17 PM
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what about plugging a cromecast dongle in an unused hdmi port on your tv? they are cheap/inexpensive and its a media play back device.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Paolo View Post
what about plugging a cromecast dongle in an unused hdmi port on your tv? they are cheap/inexpensive and its a media play back device.
hoping to avoid brining a 2nd device to cast from (laptop) that the media is on.. not necessarily wanting to load my phone/tablet with all the media either..

GDKitty
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by four View Post
Probably the cheapest and best long-term solution (e.g. changes in MKV encoding).
Will require some "leg work" upfront...
I've seen LG's webOS running TVs doing a good job with MKV...
I have an LG smart TV I know handles it well directly.. but its a 47" a little big :P

never thought of a smaller one.. I know they are not FULL smart TVs.. but if some of them have something like the Samsung connectshare which might do it.. it just might work.

GDKitty
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-18, 10:59 PM
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The Samsung model I posted earlier seems to meet all your criteria. You can download the user manual which lists all the compatible formats, including DivX, mp4 and MKVs.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 2014-08-19, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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The Samsung model I posted earlier seems to meet all your criteria. You can download the user manual which lists all the compatible formats, including DivX, mp4 and MKVs.
Thanks Dr Dave

Though I may have to go down to the 19".. once I get the trailer in hand, I need to measure what my HEIGHT is. (will just suck as the 19" is not full 1080p )

GDKitty
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