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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #12
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..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #15
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 :( )
 

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Since you are running Plex at home already I would suggest using another Plex device and syncing your media to it , that way when you get home and allow it to sync again it should mark all that you watched and keep your library up to date. I di this with my Android phone but I could not se why this would not work with a Roku with thumb drive or micro SD slot
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since you are running Plex at home already I would suggest using another Plex device and syncing your media to it , that way when you get home and allow it to sync again it should mark all that you watched and keep your library up to date. I di this with my Android phone but I could not se why this would not work with a Roku with thumb drive or micro SD slot
Hmm.. that is true..

Though, would require paying the subscription fee for Plexpass though :p

(trying to keep costs as MINIMAL as possible... sort of broke the bank buying the trailer as it is :p)
 

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I don't know about MKV's .

But I have a couple DVD players [Philips] that do CD, DVD, MP3, and one does DivX.

One Philips DVD player has a USB port input - to play from a memory stick.

Another Philips DVD player is dedicated to the stereo system cabinet.

Me? Copied bunch of MP3's to a CD recordable and made a printout of song lists.

Those DVD players can be found at most discount electronics stores for maybe 40 bucks or so.

I hooked up a small portable LCD screen tv to the yellow RCA video out, to work the menus and navigate the DVD controls at the audio system, independent of any TV or computer.

... and you get the remote with the DVD player to control things remotely.

Pretty cheap for the functionality you get. Widely available.
If it fails ... just replace with another similar, pretty inexpensively.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, I thought of that.. but its adding SIZE really with something like that.

With this being in the trailer.. space is a PREMIUM.. with something like a smaller media box, at least I could Velcro it to the back of the TV.

(IF I need DVDs.. I have a video out from the portable DVD player for the car)
(Yeah.. MKV's are an odd one out format wise :p.... not overly used in the REGULAR video circles... but HEAVILLY used in Anime rips.)
 

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In addition to Chromecast, there are lots of Miracast devices. They work the same but are not Google branded. As already mentioned, the media does not need to fit on the phone or tablet. It can be on a WiFi connected NAS and Plex supports a number of NAS devices. The media can also reside on USB flash drives or SD drives. Don't know if iPhones accept SD cards but a lot of phones and tablets do.

Android media players are one of the newest popular devices but my experience is mixed. They seem to do well with H.264 video files but not well with MPEG2 files. (The same goes for Chromecast.) That's because they usually have hardware H.264 decoding but only software decoding for MPEG2. Finding a good, versatile Android video play is a chore as well. XBMC is available but it tends to get bogged down on lightweight hardware. Provided the CPU is fast enough, XBMC seems to do OK with MKVs.
 
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