[mythtv-users] Advice on media players

Tom Lichti redpepperracing at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 15:03:00 UTC 2009

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:54 AM, Michael Tiller <michael.tiller at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a MythTV system (MythBuntu 9.10) that is the hub of my media
> network.  My in-laws live with us and they currently use a MediaMVP to
> access their programs.  However, we are getting them an HDTV and so we want
> to have an HD capable media player to go with it
> My wife and I have a Popcorn Hour in our room and it basically works.  Not
> exactly the most polished piece of hardware but at least it has the
> necessary codecs, etc.  By the way, in case anybody is interested I wrote my
> own custom web app to provide a crude MythTV interface to the Popcorn Hour.
> Only supports playback and deletion, but that is all we needed.  You can
> find the source code here.
> Back to the topic at hand.  I'm not exactly doing backflips over the popcorn
> hour so I'm open to other possibilities.  My requirements are:
> HD output (their TV is going to be 720p).
> Must be able to handle playback of both MPEG2 and whatever format the HD-PVR
> spits out (H.264 I assume).
> Must be able to connect and playback MythTV recordings on the network.
> Must be consumer friendly.  The more "out of the box" the better.  Although
> a "hacker" solution is fine for me, it has to be push button simple for them
> (and reliable).
> I'm not looking for high end.  Just whatever can do these things and is
> reasonably cheap but reliable.
> The PCH fits the bill on all of the above.  I'm just wondering if there is
> anything else I should be looking at.  For example, Newegg has this
> combination Blu-ray/DLNA player for $169.99.  I doubt my in-laws would use
> the Blu-ray much and I'd be concerned that the DLNA support wouldn't provide
> seamless MythTV integration but nevertheless it is interesting because of
> the range of capabilities.
> So is the PCH the best HD MythTV player out there or is there something
> better (and by that I mean mostly cheaper :-).
> Thanks.
> P.S. - Just noticed that A-110's are out of stock at popcornhour.com.  Doh!
> Anybody know where else they can be had?

I've heard good things about the WD HD-TV Live, I think they are
around $149? I had a CinemaTube, and it worked well, I bought it at
the intro price of $99, I think they are $129 now. Seems like the same
thing as a PCH, from what I could tell, and it played everything I had
through uPnP, although I didn't try any HD-PVR recordings. My biggest
gripe with all of these units is the lack of a MythTV compatible skip
feature (I realize it is a function of the uPnP, not the device
itself) which kills the whole experience, which is why I got rid of it
and went with another Zotac ION frontend. If you really want to give
them the MythTV experience, get them an Acer Aspire Revo, I think it
is priced the same as the PCH, but way more capable as a frontend. If
they don't care about skipping forward, and will just play videos
straight through, then one of the networked media players would be


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