[mythtv-users] Recommendation for WD Live/similar player for not-tech-savvy sister?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sun Dec 12 21:01:27 UTC 2010

On Sunday, December 12, 2010 12:52:15 pm Bobby Gill wrote:
> Hey folks just curious what y'all might recommend is a solid player
> that can play video files (.avi, .mkv, etc.) hooked up to a TV,
> voila that is all. Is intended for my sister who knows how to use
> Facebook and it stops there.
> All I need is for example she will come over to my place every few
> weeks and I plug it into my box, pop over a boatload of files, she
> takes it home, plugs it in and can watch (gotta be that simple for
> her lol). I have been checking out the WD Live on Amazon and it
> looks great and great reviews, curious what the experts here may
> know of.

Based on your requirements, if it were me I'd get a Myka:


The Original Myka (now $89) uses a Sigma Designs (or similar) SOC chip 
to handle the decoding and playback. The more expensive Myka ION uses an 
ION (obviously) VDPAU-capable GPU.

I'd suggest the $89 unit. I have two of them and they can play anything 
I have thrown at them, including MKV, VOB, and even ISOs of DVD,s, MPEG 
Transport streams, VIDEO_TS directories and anything else I have tried.

The only thing it does seem to have trouble with is DTS audio, you'll 
have to transcode that or use an alternate AC3 track, most sources I 
have tried have that.

It can browse your network and find any media on NFS or Samba (Windows) 
shares. It runs Linux, and has a telnet interface so you can play with 
it if you wish. It can find and use any UPnP source on your network.

You can install your own hard drive, or plug in a USB flash drive, or 
play files from the network. You can even connect a USB type external DVD 
drive. You can use a USB WiFi adapter, but I would suggest using a hard 
wire ethernet.

It has composite, component and HDMI outputs, and has line (RCA jack) 
and SPDIF audio outputs.

The base unit, without the Myka special software, is essentially an 
"NMT" (Networked Media Tank), similar to the Popcorn Hour.

The Myka is far more flexible than the WD unit, comes with a remote and 
has a user interface that any Facebook user should be able to cope with.

Obviously I would not have bought the second one if I was not very happy 
with the first.

Just my $0.02.

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