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  1. #1

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    Default Looking for a good media streamer

    I'm on the hunt for a media streamer with good video playback and upscaling, not sure if what I want even exists.

    Right now I have a couple Apple TVs and and WDTV Live. The Apple TVs work great but are basically only used for Netflix and streaming stuff from my iTunes library. I have my entire DVD library ripped as ISO and obviously the Apple TV won't handle that. I bought the WDTV Live box just for that purpose, to play back the DVD ISO files. It does a decent enough job but is underpowered and is somewhat unstable and sometimes won't find my network drives, stutters when playing files, etc.

    So, I"d like to replace that WD box with a better solution if one exists, here are my requirements:

    1 - Must be able to play either DVD ISO files or properly handle DVDs stored in the Video_TS folder structure, would prefer ISO but can convert my collection to the other if needed.
    2 - Needs to be a stable device
    3 - Needs to have a good video scaler or the ability to pass unscaled video over HDMI so that the scaler in my AVR can do the work.
    4 - Needs to have a good UI, doesn't have to be on par with the Apple TV but needs to be something my wife can use and navigate.
    5 - Needs to have network capability with SMB, the files are on a network drive with SMB.

    I don't care about online streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, I've got those covered elsewhere. Basically all I need is a device that will stream my DVD collection from my network drive with the highest fidelity possible.

    Any suggestions?
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  2. #2

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    I've been looking at the Netgear NeoTV 550, seems to be exactly what I need but has mixed reviews.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  3. #3

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    I'm kind of surprised the WDTV Live isn't working for you. Is it up to date? Which model is it?

    Anyway I am running a NeoTV and I really like it. I won it from Netgear on Facebook. It's only the NTV200 model, which means it only streams stuff from the Internet, so I can't comment on the rest of your requirements, but it is very fast, smooth and stable. I've though of selling my NTV200 to get the 550 for it's DLNA video capabilities.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  4. #4

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    Default

    It's up to date, not sure which model it is exactly. It technically does what I need but is finicky.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  5. #5

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    Default

    Which one does it look like:

    http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=320

    or

    http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=330


    I have both. I believe the second one is the latest. I have used the first one hardwired and it never stutters. I have only intermittently used the second one with WIFI and it seems to work fine. I use it mainly in the car with a USB stick though. Neither have given me any issues, but I like the second one's GUI and remote better.
    Last edited by maximillian; 05-25-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #6

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    Well the newest model WD TV Live and the NTV550 are both about the same price on Amazon, and they both have 3.5 star reviews. I'm pretty sure they both run off the Flingo platform so they should work about the same under the hood. I'd probably go with the 550 just for its eSATA port. Not that I'd ever use it, but better to have the option than not. Both have their fair share of nightmarish 1-star reviews, but then all streamers do.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  7. #7

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    Default

    Min is the one in the first link
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  8. #8

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    Have you looked at the Dune HD Smart Series? I have the D1 and LOVE it! The video quality is superb, and it has some 3rd party interfaces that are really slick. It takes a little work, but not much and there are great guides out there for it.

    http://dune-hd.com/hd_players/curren...-smart-d1.html

    Don
    Living Room: Adcom GFP-750 (Upgraded), Squeezebox Touch, Oppo BDP-83, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Parasound HCA-3500 (Upgraded), SDA SRS 2 P/B (Gimpod, Sonicaps, & Mills)

    Theater: Denon 4311ci, Oppo BDP-93, Parasound HCA-2205+HCA-2200II, Polk LSi9, LSiC, LSiFX, LSi7, Custom 18" TC Sounds sub with 2 18" PR, Sharp XV-Z12000, Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M (isf Enabled)

    Bedroom: HK AVR354, Pioneer DV-47a, Parasound HCA-1500a, Polk LSi9

  9. #9

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    Not sure Dune is something I would recommend. It's great for tinkerers, and it was one of the few options available when it first came out (why it was created in the first place) but compared to the dedicated streaming devices on the market today it is far too expensive and lacks key features. It's expensive because it's essentially a tiny HTPC, but as far as the interface and features it is extremely handicapped compared to the NeoTV or the WDTV Live. There are no Internet streaming apps included out of the box--no Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.

    Dune is to home streaming what Empeg was to in-car MP3. Early to market with a clever solution--and still with some die-hard fans--but largely irrelevant compared to what's currently available. Those die-hard fans will tout it's quality, and they are not wrong. It's great for bringing high-quality video from local sources to your TV, with excellent video chipsets and support for the latest lossless audio codecs like DTS:MA and DolbyTrueHD. So if you have a ton of BD rips on a NAS somewhere, might be worth the investment. But compared to devices like the NeoTV or WDTV live, it's much more expensive, the UI is clunky, and Internet streaming support is comparatively non-existent. I wouldn't even compare it to a NeoTV or a WDTV; it's a different type of device with a different intended purpose.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  10. #10

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    Well maybe it's what I need then. I don't care about the internet streaming, all I need is something that can handle DVD ISO files and good video quality.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  11. #11

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    Default

    You just highlighted all the reasons I love it! I have a Roku for basic streaming. I keep all my bluray and DVD rips on a Synology NAS. I create the menu with YaDIS and it is anything but clunky. It is very smooth and clean and works extremely well IMHO. Popcorn Hour was another option, but it proved to be too clunky. The Dune has been the sweet spot for me because I wanted full HD video with HD audio and it fits the bill very well for that. Combine it with YaDIS and you have a very high quality network media player. I would not classify it as a streamer at all. That's not its target audience.

    Don

  12. #12

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    Oh. In that case, it may be exactly what you want!

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  13. #13

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    I'm going to check out jailbreaking my Apple TV 2. Apparently I can install XBMC on that and apparently that will play DVD ISOs. I"m not sure how stable it is, but I can always revert back to the plain iOS if it doesn't work.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  14. #14

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    I use the NeoTV for the same purposes you describe (Bluray + DVD ISO) and have been very happy with it for 2-years (early adopter). It also handles FLAC very well.I love the "movie wall" which makes it very user friendly. I've used it with a NAS, PC-based files, and direct attach with both USB and E-SATA. Zero issues so far but always looking for the next "upgrade" since the NEO is getting a little older in its life-cycle.

    I'm also following the Pivos AIOS HD Media Center products (the new one coming out now) but the NEO has been great.
    Sony 60'' SXRD 1080p
    Amp = Carver AV-705THX 5-Channel
    Processor = NAD T747
    Panasonic BD35 Blu-Ray
    Main = SDA-1C Studio with RD0s, spikes, XO rebuild, rings, I/C upgrade
    Center=Polk CS10, Surround = Athena Dipoles, Sub= Boston 12HO
    Music/Video Streaming = Netgear NEO550
    TT = Audio Technica

  15. #15

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    So, I spent a couple hours last night researching and jailbreaking my Apple TV (2nd Gen) and I have to say that right now I'm a very happy camper. I now have the capability to play DVD folders and DVD ISO files with full menu support.

    I found a piece of software called aTV Flash and it's superb. This is software that you install on a jailbroken apple tv that basically has two purposes. It has a built in media player that will play basically anything you throw at it, and it has pre configured installers for several other popular programs. One of these is XBMC, a popular and powerful media player that will also play anything out there. I went in with the expectation of installing and using XBMC, but actually the built in media player with aTV Flash is very good and I prefer it over XBMC.

    I have everything on my wish list and then some. I've got a very stable device with a great UI that's incredibly easy to use, has good video quality, and can now play anything I throw at it. Add to that the fact that it also handles Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime and I've now got one device that can do it all.

    So for anyone looking for an all in one solution that has my same requirements and doesn't mind spending an hour or so getting things set up I'd highly recommend this solution.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  16. #16

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    To be honest it sounds like your hours of effort allowed you to create more expensive NeoTV 550, and one that isn't supported by its manufacturer. I'm going to stick with recommending the NeoTV 550 instead of jailbreaking an AppleTV. If you've already got an AppleTV, go for it, but no reason to buy one over the Netgear. The UI on the NeoTV is superb, and it's super easy to set up. Plug it in and done, basically.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  17. #17

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    Well as I said I already had an Apple TV, so this was cheaper for me (free). The NeoTV 550 has very mixed reviews, both on Amazon and from sites like AnandTech. It had about the same mix of reviews as the WD Live box that I have and as I've said I've not been very happy with that box.

    Also, the NeoTV does NOT have streaming support for things like Netflix, the Amazon reviews and reviews elsewhere all mention this. The NeoTV also isn't very attractive, looks more like a router and with the white USB port on the front it doesn't quite fit in with my audio cabinet as well, not that this was a deciding factor.

    Now as far as my original post the NeoTV will likely have met those requirements (assuming that it is in fact stable and has a good UI), but the Apple TV does all that and more. I get all the functionality of the NeoTV plus the ability to stream Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (and probably any other service that I could find), integration with my iTunes library, Airplay, and iDevice mirroring are just pure bonuses.

    Honestly, for $90 and an hour of work, I can't think of a better alternative than the Apple TV.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  18. #18

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    Wow that's news to me. I assumed since my NeoTV 200 had Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, HBO on-demand, Pandora and about a gazillion other streaming services that the NeoTV 550 would as well. Apparently not! Truly a shocker. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. Guess I will be holding on to my NeoTV 200 instead of "upgrading" to the 550. I don't really care about local streaming--it's the online services I need.

    Still though, not going to recommend the Apple TV. The (current model) WD TV Live and devices like the Roku HD w/ Plex support are still a better alternative IMO. More features and more channels without jailbreaking. YMMV.

    Plex is very cool. Check it out if you haven't already. There is an official Plex app for the ReadyNAS as well, so if all your media is stored on a ReadyNAS, pair it up with a Roku and you're done.

    RT-12, CS350-LS, PSW-300, Infinity Overture 1, Monoprice RC-65i
    Adcom GFA-545II, GFA-6000, Outlaw Audio 990, Netgear NeoTV
    Denon DCM-460, DMD-1000, Sony BDP-360, Bravia KDL-40Z4100/S
    Monster AVL-300, HTS-2500 MKII

  19. #19

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    My Onkyo TX-NR709 does this Get a good DLNA client and it transmits via my WiFi network to what ever device is set up to receive it. Plus it has vTuner, Pandora, Rhapsody internet radio, SirusXM internet radio, Last.FM internet radio, Slacker Personal Radio, Mediafly, Spotify, and Aupeo! Personal Radio, vTuner by its self has just under 20,000 stations from all over the world to chose from.
    Last edited by transmaster; 05-27-2012 at 04:56 PM.

  20. #20

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    I have been using a Popcorn Hour C-200 for the last 2 years. I really enjoy it. The newest models are supposed to be better with the 'jukebox' portion. I don't use this as I've gone with yamj from the very beginning. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.
    AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-67
    Mains: Polk LSiM707
    Center: Polk LSiM706c
    Rear: Polk LSiM702F/X
    Sub: SVS PC12 Ultra
    TV: Panasonic VIERA TC-P60GT50
    DVD: Xbox 360
    NMT: Popcorn Hour C-200

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