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Best current Hardware/Software Media Player
#1
Hey guys,

I know it may come across as lazy asking this but I think it would be trojan work on myself seen as I havent been on this forum in a few months.

Basically I'm looking for a reliable media player to work with CQC. Basically just looking to play media files with pretty good level of control. I don't require internet streaming or the like, just HDMI output to projector and CQC able to manipulate avi/mpeg files etc and pull them off the NAS if possible. If there is a hardware solution I'm all ears. ;-)

If I do go down the software side, I'm looking at running a m-itx unit with HDMI output and installing XBMC or similar I'm guessing. I did see lately XBMC installed on a linux beagle board which was quite interesting!

Basically, I'm wondering what is the best current option for reliability, that would give a decent level of control with CQC, keeping the above specs in mind.

Any advice would be appreciated as I'm pretty yellow on the media side of things.

Cheers,

Jim
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#2
I gave up on software players, so can't help you there... but I did play with an openELEC (or something like that) XBMC installed on a little atom/ION, seemed to work mostly fine most of the time...
did have a couple lock ups playing an HD DVD.mkv or two...

as for hardware players, I have, and really like Sage, but there are obvious issues with recommending that :-(

I always heard excellent things about Dune though, and they even have models with built in disk players... but they tend to be a bit pricey...
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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#3
I went down this road a couple of years ago. My requirements were a little more extreme than yours, I wanted Bluray support both disc and unencrypted. If you read the various forums there is not really a single player out there that doesn't have issues, there are just too many variables.

I landed on XBMC and Boxee. And they're about 75% reliable. Boxee was more reliable until they pushed an update, XBMC is getting better feature-wise. They both lock up occassionally, and sometimes won't play a file or movie and studder. And theres is some maintenance required to get them going. XBMC has no HD Audio, and with the current version I have to switch to Full Screen (non-windowed) mode for it to play high def movies, which means it can't launch TMT on top of itself when I need it to. And I can't RDP into that box without it locking up while XBMC is running.

Boxee studders every 10mins or so when playing a high bitrate bluray. And that's with AFP, SMB and NFS studder constantly. It locks up occasionally, and people are reporting audio dropouts (I run stereo on that box so I don't see issues. And websites have moved on to newer flash versions so a lot of websites don't work with Boxee (or a lot of set top boxes) anymore. Apparently Adobe decided to stop compiling flash for a lot of CPUs used in set top boxes, probably due to media company pressure. So you can watch shows on your PC via the internet, but not on Boxee, GoogleTV, etc.

I still use TMT5 with XBMC but even it locked up my PC tight last week. Turned out to be a software update, had to back off to an older version. Nothing is more fun than having to stop a movie to spend an hour to troubleshoot, luckily I didn't have any guests.

Right now I am waiting on them to jailbreak and make a version of XBMC for AppleTV3, I think that may be the way to go to replace my Boxee. ATV3 supports 1080P, older versions only support 720P.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#4
For music we now support Sonos as a hardware audio player. Someone has a Dune player on the way to me so that I can get a driver going for that. This one is wired LAN and no local drive, so I think it's the least expensive version of it.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#5
i have been using xbmc for many many years now. it is reliable - as reliable as anything can be. it will lock up, but i have not seen that happen for a long time now. My PVR wil lock up more than xbmc will on my Zotac MAG IOb based media center.

I use the openelec version of xbmc because it boots real fast (faster than the TV and receiver can pwoer up and become ready) and its been rock solid for me. My kids use it all the time so it has to be solid for them.

The only drwback is finding a remote. you can use a Windows MC remote, but they are all ugly and so far I hve not found one I like for xbmc apart from the original XBOX DVD remote which does not work.

openelec does not run on windows, it make the PC an appliance (the way it should be) so the issues covered above mostly dont exist.

I play 1080p mkv's all the time and dont have any trouble with them at all. yes there is no HD audio, i have to down convert it all to 5.1 DTS or DD, but I only have 5 speakers so thats no big deal.

There is lots of support out there as well for xbmc so you can get it to do a lot of trick things that you would not be able to do with a hardware based of the shelf player.

Most importantly, CQC works with xbmc.

Mick
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#6
I couldn't get XBMC to work with MythTV on Linux and ended up with Media Browser WMC on a Windows 7 box using Assassin's HTPC guide and my old SageServer is just a file server.

Still very unhappy with the PVR function on WMC and may give MythTV another shot.
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#7
Thanks guys,

Gives me a far better idea so as not to venture down roads already trodden! Very good info. I have been doing a good bit of research on this over the past couple of days. I'm very impressed and tempted by this gadget to give it a go. Im just wondering would CQC be capable of controlling XBMC on this device over ethernet? (It can be loaded with XBMC over linux and hence could be refined by our linux experts ;-) )


http://www.raspberrypi.org/

and playing hd video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGUIePe32...re=related

running xbmc (not showing video playback however)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKhnoQMwj...creen&NR=1

$15 or so they say. Could it be possible? I see this as a possible game changer.
Can't get my hands on one for a while however :-(


Jim
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#8
If it can run XBMC11/Eden it should be controllable via the driver. That is awesome, much cheaper than an ATV and probably better since I think Linux is a higher priority than IOS versions of XBMC...

EDIT: Actually a quick search on the XBMC forum and it looks like RaspberryPi is running a fork of XBMC, not XBMCBuntu. So I would do a little more research on that, YMMV with the driver, it depends on how up to date they are with the main XBMC branch.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#9
Ill take a further look into it wuench.

Thanks for the overview and opinion.

Jim
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#10
Dean Roddey Wrote:For music we now support Sonos as a hardware audio player. Someone has a Dune player on the way to me so that I can get a driver going for that. This one is wired LAN and no local drive, so I think it's the least expensive version of it.
Will the Dune Player be able to play from our repository when the driver is done or will it just be transport controls?
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