[mythtv-users] Advice on media players

Jay Foster jayf0ster at sbcglobal.net
Thu Dec 3 18:48:00 UTC 2009

On 12/3/2009 7:48 AM, mythtv-users-request at mythtv.org wrote:
> On Thursday 03 December 2009 07:54:03 am Michael Tiller 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<http://github.com/mtiller/MythPCH>.
>> >
>> >  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:
>> >
>> >      1. HD output (their TV is going to be 720p).
>> >      2. Must be able to handle playback of both MPEG2 and whatever format
> the
>> >      HD-PVR spits out (H.264 I assume).
>> >      3. Must be able to connect and playback MythTV recordings on the
>> >    network. 4. 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<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16882005044>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:-).
> I'd consider the Acer Revo. It will run a full frontend, and can use VDPAU
> with the ION video chipset. Not a bad complete frontend for $200.
> Pricier than a PCH, but a lot more flexible.
> There has been talk of using the Roku Netflix device ($99), but I don't think
> anyone has got that working yet.
> I use a Myka unit, also pricier than a PCH, and also a "Networked Media
> Tank".
> XBox-360s, PS3s and Wiis can be used with the UPnP server in a Myth
> backend. Also the D-Link DSM-520, and similar devices.
> So nothing really cheaper then the $100 price point, yet.
I've used an Xbox 360 and a Myka, but would not recommend either.  The 
Xbox has support for very few codecs.  I can only get my Myka to stream 
low bitrate .avi and .mkv files.  It won't play DVD .iso files or stream 
my HDHR .mpg files.  If I first copy my HDHR files to the Myka hard 
drive, it will play them fine.  The Myka FF and REW functions don't work 
well (at least not with HDHR files).  Each time you press FF, it changes 
FF speed (x2, x4, x8) on the OSD, but still only fast forwards at about 
2x.  Then when you press play again, it jumps to a random spot (either 
forward or backwards).  Makes the FF and REW functions useless.  I like 
the Myka's feature of adjusting the zoom to remove all overscan, but it 
lacks an audio/video synchronization feature that MythTV and mplayer have.

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