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Old 2010-12-30, 13:36   Link #1
Ardent
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Media Player for the Television

Hey guys,

These days I have been looking into ways to watch anime on my tv. I've done a little research into dedicated media players like WD TV Live Plus, Asus O!Play, and Boxee Box. So I was wondering if anyone here has any recommendations or experience with these products. How is the playback with 1080p, mkv files?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 2010-12-31, 04:27   Link #2
GHDpro
Administrator
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Netherlands
Age: 35
My vote goes to MediaPortal, which technically is not a dedicated media player. But such an HTPC solution is guaranteed to have the fewest issues with codecs. And fansubbers like to put exotic codecs like FLAC in their releases, which not all media players will support.

Anyway, for more useful help try one of the following site:
http://www.newegg.com/ (customer reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/ (customer reviews)
http://www.avforums.com/

Last edited by GHDpro; 2010-12-31 at 14:21.
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Old 2010-12-31, 12:56   Link #3
Ardent
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Join Date: Jan 2008
I've tried hooking up laptops to the television via HDMI, but it always had a lag problem. The screen would flicker every few seconds, even with a new laptop. However, I noticed players like the ps3 and media players don't have this problem. So I decided to look into those options instead.
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Old 2010-12-31, 13:49   Link #4
Sides
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Age: 32
That is odd, did you try swapping the primary display, from laptop screen to TV? As for lag problem, try switching to PC mode/input on your TV. Some TVs have only one hdmi port that supports this mode, so you need to look at you manual.
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Old 2011-01-01, 11:35   Link #5
SeijiSensei
AS Oji-kun
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yamabuki Art High School
Age: 65
As far as I can tell, most "media players" are basically PCs with Linux installed and a proprietary interface.

Laptops often have weak video cards that don't handle high-definition content well. A PC with a modern NVIDIA card can play HD content at full speed because the decoding of the material is handled by the graphics hardware not the main CPU.

An especially nice platform for a media PC are these newish "ION" machines like this one.

I recommend visiting AVSForum if you'd like more information on HTPCs or media players like the WDTV.
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Old 2011-01-02, 02:21   Link #6
namaiki
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Try hook up your laptop via VGA/D-sub if necessary to get a 1:1 pixel picture.
I would have to recommend CCCP+madVR.
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Old 2011-01-03, 17:03   Link #7
tyranuus
Team Spice and Wolf UK
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: England
Age: 27
Most of the better media players are usually a little different, they tend to be built around ARM/SIGMA chipsets for example, so they're not quite 'just PCs with linux on'.

I used to have a WDTV Live, it was actually very good at what it did, which was play back most media well; the main issue was occasionally slightly more 'out there' files would play wierdly, not to mention sub support is a lot more limited. (I also dumped a Revo which had initially seemed perfect as the hardware limitations of having such low end kit became a PITA, although the wireless keyboard was one of the nicest I've used, and the popularity means theres a fair bit of feedback)

They tend to be limited to your DVD style basic subs, so multiline/karaoke/styled etc are all out. Whilst this isn't a killer for most, given you're posting here I'd imagine subs are of more concern to you than average, in which case a PC is probably going to be your best bet.

HTPC's are unfortunately hard to get perfect, and aren't so All-In-One; there are usually little niggles, they're more work and they're not so 'integrated' in general, but then simply they're the best player of media, because you have ultimate control over whats being played and what you're using to play it, media players offer both price and simplicity (and being passive in some cases, although this can also be done with PCs) as a bonus

PS. Although not discussed, or even an issue most of the time, many of the media streamers DO have hardware limitations when it comes to very high quality files. Your average 1080p anime rip will be fine; but they can only handle so much in terms of pure bitrate. Most files wont go ANYWHERE near this, but in the future this will become more of an issue, especially as people begin to do things like rip very high bitrate files directly from Blu-Ray.
IIRC this bitrate limit tends to be the 20mbps region. Obviously WAY over most files, but there are rips out there from sub groups approaching 20mbps already, so in the future this will become more of an issue, until the core chipsets themselves behind the players are uprated, this is another area where HTPC's will always have a lead, as quite simply the hardware can be upgraded!
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Old 2011-01-11, 17:26   Link #8
Last_Hope
System/Web developer
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
I recommend a small HTPC over a media player. In Sweden atleast the prices are the same even if you buy one with a blu-ray player and you get something that offers a lot more possibilites.
Something to be wary of if you´re watching anime is the point which tyranuus also notes. Media players do not give the same kind of support for subtitles. My old player had serious problems knowing which went where when it was time for karaoke (OP/ED) and styling was out of the question. The latter isn´t that mportant but the first is. Also I noticed if those info boxes that some subbers used were a little bit more styled than necessary the player would do horrible things with it...

I do have one example of a good priced HTPC aswell, see link below.

ASRock ION 330HT-BD
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Old 2011-05-06, 13:11   Link #9
RedSwirl
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
This is why my next desktop will probably just be hooked up to my TV.
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