Skip to comments.Which Media Player Is Best For You? (Slide Show)
Posted on 07/28/2013 10:29:31 AM PDT by Kid Shelleen
The market for streaming media players may no longer be a two-horse race between Apple and Roku. The introduction of Google's Chromecast has given the category a jolt -- but there were always more fish in the sea than the big two. Now that Google has gotten people talking about streaming media players in earnest, we've canvassed the competition, including some models you may have missed, to gage the strengthes and weaknesses of each.
VLC, I’ll second that.
I use Push2TV through WiDi.
It’s wireless, connected to my surround system, anything on my computer is displayed and played right on the flat screen.
It’s also capable of 5.1 surround as well as high def.....for a purchase price of less than a $100.00, you can’t beat it!
For some reason I don’t trust any wireless feed for video/audio to my TV.
I got the impression that “ChromeCast” serves more like a alternative to your cable box, but can be controlled with another device.
If so, and for $35, it seems like a really big deal.
Just curious, why?
Everything that get fed to it comes from my laptop, my lap top is secure, what could be a problem?
I'd like to know if I'm missing something??
It’s not a question of security, it’s a question of quality.
It seems that if you are getting your internet access from your cable provider and have to take that wired connection, make a wireless connection and feed it back to your TV wirelessly, there can be issues of quality.
Media Player Classic - Home Cinema.
Ah, I thought you were more concerned from a security or intrusion stand point.
There is no doubt that there is a quality issue of wired vs wireless, but when watching Neflix or old YT music vids, it is negligible (of course it depends completely on the content source quality).
I also have a wired connection to the surround amp/receiver so I can play stored (high quality) music through the system and yes, I can detect a difference vs wireless, but playing a DVD on the laptop and putting it through wirelessly, well same thing. But you really have to have a critical ear and eye to detect the difference.
But for being able to put anything that is on the computer through the system, for me this works really great.
TY for your reply!
VLC for video. Winamp for audio.
My daughter has the Roku 2, which she really likes, because it can stream Netflix very well;. but, for my money, I’ll take the Western Digital TV Live Media Player anytime..why?
The WD TV Live media player will play ANY audio and video format thrown at it. The Roku 2 is limited to Mp4 video format with AAC or Mp3 audio.
Sure, the Roku 2 specs say that it can handle Mkv format; but in my own experience, uh...not very well. The Roku 2 DOES “pass-through” dolby digital AC3 or DTS audio signals, BUT only IF your tv set decodes Dolby Digital or DTS signals on it’s own, or if the Roku is hooked up via HDMI to an audio reciever that has the ability to decode these formats.
The WD TV Live media player can handle H.264, Mpeg, Avi, FLV,as well as M2TS files (from Blu Ray), Mkv and Mp4 files..but also DTS Core, AC3, AAC, TRUE HD formats, Flac audio, as well as WAV, Mp3, WMA, Lpcm,and E-AC3 audio formats..in other words, this media player can play almost anything, in any format.
I’ve ripped my own extensive collection of Blu Rays to an external hard drive, which is attached via HDMI to the WD TV Live Media Player, which then, is attached in turn to my Yamaha 5.1 surround receiver via HDMI..I can play either High Def or standard videos, and also my album collection, all from the external hard drive.
The WD TV Live also streams NETFLIX, in 5.1 “Dolby Digital Plus” surround audio as well, and has Pandora, VUDU, HULU PLUS..and any number of streaming radio stations as well~
The Roku, or the WD TV Live Media Player? Both cost about the same..BUT there is a VAST difference in the ability of each media player~
Playing audio-video files is truly easier and better through the WD TV Live media player, than playing A/V media through a blu ray player, or dvd player or cd player..everything is there, available at the touch of a button!
This little box is better than anything I’ve seen so far, the video and audio is superb!~ One of the best electronic gadgets to be invented so far, in my opinion.. ~ :>)
To do wireless, you probably have a router. The router is password protected.
I also run the Windows firewall.
That is the direction home peripherals are going.
I recently added a 3TB NAS portable drive to my setup. Now, I can process (cut out commercials, etc.) recorded TV shows on the desktop computer in my computer room, save them to the NAS drive, and watch the results via the WDTV box on my main TV in the living room.
I recently added PLEX to my ROKU box. PLEX actually allows me to connect my desktop and laptop and play video on the hard drives on the TV.
More and more we are getting to the point that the computer world is talking to the video/TV world.
Apple TV for me. It is an outstanding device and has perfect seamless integration with iTunes. Fast setup, AirPlay, beautiful UI, outstanding video encoding by Apple for content in their iTunes library, extremely easy purchases of content and downloading. I was filling the hard drive on my MacBook Pro, so bought a cheap external 1 TB drive and use TuneSpan to seamlessly split the content between the internal drive and external drive. I’m going to add an Apple Mac Mini as a dedicated media server in my wiring closet real soon to avoid the nuisance of having to turn on the MBP for video or audio and split the files between the MBP and the external drive. I also use Logitech’s Squeezebox Duet (which I bought long before Logitech bought the company) for streaming audio to the sound system.
That is similar to my setup:
ROKU and WDTV and 3TB NAS so I can watch on my TV.
Add in the PLEX software to ROKU, and I can view media on the desktop and laptop hard drives.
The only “streaming” I do, is through YouTube, or through the SLOOH space telescopes.
I listen to Live365 Internet radio, but they have their own little player that needs Adobe Air.
When NASA had the Transit of Venus, I went through their website.
Before you buy, you might want to read this review at c/net.
It does less than you think.
Sure, I understand..the WD TV Live Media Player can also stream directly from a desktop or another server as well. But, I’ve no need to do so, because I’ve got everything on my external hard drive.
Of course, if anyone makes backups of their own Blu Rays or DVDs; they might run into the possibility that their dvd or blu ray player won’t play the audio; because of the “Cinavia” problem.
This is a copyright protection scheme that really does work (no one has hacked or broken it yet, it’s doubtful that they ever will.) When a disc is played on a blu ray or dvd player, within 20 minutes, the audio will mute, with a pop up on screen saying this disc is a copy, and cannot be played.
As of February 2012, all dvd and blu ray players sold after that date have been required to have this “preventive” Cinavia software in them. This means that no backups can be played on these machines.
So, one of the additional benefits of these media players is that no “Cinavia” software is required, as they are NOT required to be licensed to play audio..so..there really is no need to have a blu ray or dvd players anymore~! These players are just the thing to avoid this “Cinavia” problem..they will play anything that can be ripped to most digital formats...:>)