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'[OT] Cheap HD media streaming options for small li'
2008\11\02@062200 by Xiaofan Chen

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I am still thinking of a solution for media streaming to the
LCD TV on the small living room we have. Here are some
options. Cheap means below the price of a 60GB PS3
(US$400?). The cheaper, the better. :-)

1. Dedicated device
gizmodo.com/5073693/western-digital-wd-tv-hd-media-player-streams-from-hard-drives-on-the-cheap
This is cheap but not real streaming as you need to plug in the
external USB HDD to play.

Maybe there are other device like this. Preferably one
with WiFi.

2. Apple TV: looks nice. But the 160GB version
is a bit too expensive.
http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

2. A Netbook with WiFi and HDMI output
Any recommendations?

3. A small desktop (something the size of a Wii)
with HDMI option using Linux or Windows

4. Xbox 360 or PS3
Nice but both consume quite some power
PS3 has wireless built-in.
Xbox is more integrated to Windows Vista.

And I have a Wii. So both may not be an option...

5. Networked DVD recorder with WiFi, any such thing?

What is your solution for this problem?

Xiaofan

2008\11\02@071125 by Picbits Sales

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I don't have HD but we use old softmodded Xboxes  (original ones) running
XBMC here along with Mythtv running on a Linux server for all our
entertainment needs.

I can pick up an Xbox for around £10 and it makes a fine front end. We have
around 6 Xboxes here all wirelessly networked.

Dom
{Original Message removed}

2008\11\02@075356 by Justin Richards

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>
>
> 2. A Netbook with WiFi and HDMI output
> Any recommendations?
>
> 3. A small desktop (something the size of a Wii)
> with HDMI option using Linux or Windows
>
> I have an old laptop in the bedroom connected to a TV and a shuttle in the
lounge and an old PC in the closet that does a fantastic job as a
movie/music/download server.  It works great, most of these items have been
given to me over time as they did not work nicely for their owners.

The laptop lcd controller was damaged by wine so was given to me and I
simply removed the screen and connected to a TV.  It is very slimline and
can be hidden as I do not need access as a wireless mouse does it all.

I have found very low spec'd machines work very well for Standard Definition
TV, xvid, server etc.

The only option that really seems to need the power is High Definition which
I cant seem to run on any of the 5 media pc's i have setup around the house.

I just did a quick count and to my surprise there are 9 pcs networked in
this house and only three of them I purchased.  The rest were given to me.

I have a shuttle in the lounge (also given to me because some of the ports
have failed and needs a reset everytime it is initially turned on) about the
size of a large shoe box with a logitech bluetooth mx mouse.  They are not
cheap, but it is the best remote I have every used.  Quick access to vol
up/dn, channel up/down, 1 click takes me to the movies on the server etc
etc.  With all the power of a mouse.  It tracks very well on virtually any
surface so my jeans, couch and coffee table work flawlessly.

For what it is worth I use Zoomplayer (awesome frontend) , Winamp, (vlc for
anything the other players wont play) and the TV tuner front end that came
with the hardware.

PVR works well but I never seem to use it.

People are always throwing out useable hardware which could be an option.

Cheers Justin.

2008\11\02@125221 by Peter Loron

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On Nov 2, 2008, at 3:21 AM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

What are you streaming the media from? Another computer?

My recommendation would be a base AppleTV, and then use a patch stick  
to install either XBMC, or a full linux install and use XBMC or MythTV  
there.

-Pete

2008\11\02@181215 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 1:51 AM, Peter Loron <spam_OUTpeterlTakeThisOuTspamstandingwave.org> wrote:
> What are you streaming the media from? Another computer?

First choice is directly from the cheap NAS (Western Digital Mybook
World 500GB) which runs Linux. The 2nd choice is from computers
running XP/Vista/Linux which access the media from the NAS.

I do not need real HD though so wireless is ok.

> My recommendation would be a base AppleTV, and then use a patch stick
> to install either XBMC, or a full linux install and use XBMC or MythTV
> there.

Apple TV looks nice. The original XBOX is a bit ugly. For a computer,
I need to find something small yet looks not ugly as a normal PC
(those Shuttle XPC or similar).

Xiaofan

2008\11\02@222928 by Shawn Tan

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On Monday 03 November 2008 07:11:54 Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Apple TV looks nice. The original XBOX is a bit ugly. For a computer,
> I need to find something small yet looks not ugly as a normal PC
>  (those Shuttle XPC or similar).

There seems to be a whole slew of small PCs from different brands. Some LCD
TVs can take in DVI and VGA directly. In which case, you may want to consider
something like the EEEBox or similar.

Cheers.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2008\11\02@235437 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 11:28 AM, Shawn Tan <.....shawn.tanKILLspamspam@spam@aeste.net> wrote:
> There seems to be a whole slew of small PCs from different brands.
> Some LCD TVs can take in DVI and VGA directly. In which case,
> you may want to consider something like the EEEBox or similar.
>

Yes my LCD TV comes with VGA connection and I have
tested it with the Compaq notebook. It works quite nicely.
But I am looking at a permanent setup.

Yes I was considering EEEbox before. But now it seems the
best price/performance ratio option seem to be Xbox 360 and
Sony PS3.

Xiaofan

2008\11\03@082321 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Xiaofan Chen
> Sent: 03 November 2008 04:55
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] Cheap HD media streaming options for small living
room
>
> On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 11:28 AM, Shawn Tan <EraseMEshawn.tanspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTaeste.net>
wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Check out the Popcorn Hour A-110 at
http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/

It will play media from an internal SATA hard drive, an external USB
drive (or flash stick) or over Ethernet (you can also plug in a USB wifi
dongle).  It also operates as quite a reasonable NAS device or as an
external USB drive. It supports stand-alone torrent downloading and a
bunch of other features.

I have one with the Western Digital "GreenPower" 5400RPM 1TB drive
(WD10EACS) and it's almost inaudible and runs very cool.

Regards

Mike

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2008\11\03@091642 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Michael Rigby-Jones
<Michael.Rigby-Jonesspamspam_OUTbookham.com> wrote:
> Check out the Popcorn Hour A-110 at
> http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/
>
> It will play media from an internal SATA hard drive, an external USB
> drive (or flash stick) or over Ethernet (you can also plug in a USB wifi
> dongle).

Ah this looks quite nice. Thanks. Not so sure if this is
available in Singapore.

Xiaofan

2008\11\03@093410 by Shawn Tan

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On Monday 03 November 2008 12:54:36 Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Yes my LCD TV comes with VGA connection and I have
> tested it with the Compaq notebook. It works quite nicely.
> But I am looking at a permanent setup.

Oh, what do you mean by permanent?

I'm interested to know because I have also been thinking of building a HTPC on
my own for a while now. I have been toying around with some random ideas too.

http://blog.sybreon.com/index.php/tags/htpc/

> Yes I was considering EEEbox before. But now it seems the
> best price/performance ratio option seem to be Xbox 360 and
> Sony PS3.

I guess it ultimately boils down to what your criteria are. I'm not familiar
with either of the consoles. Do they have software that allows playback of
streaming video?

The PS3 certainly has the necessary hardware to playback multiple HD streams
but the Xbox360, less so. Not so sure about any future formats. My personal
preference is to use a miniaturised PC simply for flexibility.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2008\11\03@095134 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 10:34 PM, Shawn Tan <@spam@shawn.tanKILLspamspamaeste.net> wrote:
> On Monday 03 November 2008 12:54:36 Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> Yes my LCD TV comes with VGA connection and I have
>> tested it with the Compaq notebook. It works quite nicely.
>> But I am looking at a permanent setup.
>
> Oh, what do you mean by permanent?

I mean I would put that device to be attached to
the LCD TV in the living room. I would not want to
bring the laptop PC (no HDMI) from the other room
(the study room with Cable modem and router, desktop
PC, a laptop PC and the NAS) to play video.

Currently, the Wii console and a DVD player are
attached to the LCD TV through AV connection.
The DVD player is basically useless. I played
DVD less times than the times I went to cinema.

Unfortunately my old laptop (Dell Inspiron 600M
with WiFi) suffers a big problem with the keyboard
controller (random key output). If not, I may make
use of it.

> I'm interested to know because I have also been thinking
> of building a HTPC on my own for a while now. I have been
> toying around with some random ideas too.
>
> http://blog.sybreon.com/index.php/tags/htpc/
>

Yeah, that was my thinking as well. A small PC
with a HDMI enabled graphic card can be a
good option. But now I feel that PCs are too
troublesome compared to dedicated device.
Dedicated device has less flexibility but in general
consume less power and boots faster.

Xiaofan

2008\11\03@112518 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Xiaofan Chen
> Sent: 03 November 2008 14:16
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] Cheap HD media streaming options for small living
room
>
> On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Michael Rigby-Jones
> <spamBeGoneMichael.Rigby-JonesspamBeGonespambookham.com> wrote:
> > Check out the Popcorn Hour A-110 at
> > http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/
> >
> > It will play media from an internal SATA hard drive, an external USB
> > drive (or flash stick) or over Ethernet (you can also plug in a USB
wifi
> > dongle).
>
> Ah this looks quite nice. Thanks. Not so sure if this is
> available in Singapore.
>

The Popcorn Hour is one of several products based on the "Network Media
Tank" device. Lots of support available at
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/ and there is a Wiki with lots of
information at
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

You may be able to source one of the alternative products more easily in
Singapore, but I ordered my A-110 directly from the US via the Popcorn
hour web site.  Demand is quite high though, mine took several weeks to
reach me but delivery info is available on the forum.

The B-110 might be of interest as well, it's a mini ITX form factor
board with some extra functionality (e.g. 2xSATA and 1xIDE interfaces,
more USB ports and a mini PCI slot for a wifi card) that you can use to
make your own customised media player.

Regards

Mike

=======================================================================
This e-mail is intended for the person it is addressed to only. The
information contained in it may be confidential and/or protected by
law. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you must
not make any use of this information, or copy or show it to any
person. Please contact us immediately to tell us that you have
received this e-mail, and return the original to us. Any use,
forwarding, printing or copying of this message is strictly prohibited.
No part of this message can be considered a request for goods or
services.
=======================================================================

2008\11\03@115411 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2008-11-03 at 16:19 +0000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> You may be able to source one of the alternative products more easily in
> Singapore, but I ordered my A-110 directly from the US via the Popcorn
> hour web site.  Demand is quite high though, mine took several weeks to
> reach me but delivery info is available on the forum.
>
> The B-110 might be of interest as well, it's a mini ITX form factor
> board with some extra functionality (e.g. 2xSATA and 1xIDE interfaces,
> more USB ports and a mini PCI slot for a wifi card) that you can use to
> make your own customised media player.

Any recommendations for real HD media players?

I've got a X360 and for HD it's crap (it's great for SD content). It
doesn't support modern HD codecs (H.264 in mkv), and has file size
limitations (nothing over 4GB).

Since HD takes a bit of horsepower it automatically rules out many lower
end CPUs, so an EEEBox or equivalent is out.

I've been considering just getting a slim dell with a core 2 CPU, but if
there was anything more elegant I'd love to know.

Thanks, TTYL

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