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

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Mon Dec 13 18:22:03 UTC 2010

On Monday, December 13, 2010 10:53:06 am Bobby Gill wrote:
> > So either answer would solve his stated problem (and a few other
> > players would too), but I suspect his sister *does* want Netflix,
> > even if she doesn't realize it yet :-)
> You guys have been *extremely* helpful, I graciously thank you for
> all the info and excellent points!
> However, I'm a canuck and Netflix just opened up in our zone, but
> there is a complicated issue with regard to our major ISP (Rogers)
> throttling Netflix heavily, as well as the brutal bandwidth usage
> caps that render Netflix rather unfeasible unless one has the
> higher-end accounts (and my sister barely uses her net, she has some
> lame 15gb/month cap and would need to triple her account cost to get
> the 95gb/month one that I have).

I hadn't realized you were in Canada (I used to live in Peterborough, 

Bandwidth caps are a problem, but I suspect they are the wave of the 
future in the USA. Funny how they always seem to have enough bandwidth 
for their own VOD services.

> Netflix is *definitely* a consideration and a likelihood once it has
> established itself for some months and the complaints with bandwidth
> caps get the attention they inevitably will, but really, I can get
> any show/movie she needs in HD .mkv, and it's just a nuisance having
> to convert the doggone file to a DVD .iso and burn it heh. So it's
> basically going to be a .avi/.mkv file-playing situation here, as
> she lives in an apartment and just has a laptop, 

MKV files sound like they may from that source we do not talk about :-)

Myka can definitely play MKVs, and I know the upper two WD choices will, 
not certain about the lowest end one.

But you might as well get a Netflix-capable device, which means the WD is 
probably better in your case.

> however, what's the
> deal with Flash playing on these things? For example if she wants to
> cancel her cable TV bill and just turn on the WD Live/Myka/other
> player and load cnn.com or something to stream the live feed, is
> that doable on these??

Neither Myka nor the WD can handle decoding Flash AFAIK.

I can watch CNN live with my Myka, only by using PlayOn and a third-
party (but free) lua script. The quality is not that great, but it's 
certainly watchable.

I can do the same with BBC News, which seems to be more news and less 
"Infotainment" than CNN (who I used to work for, so I can say that).

PlayOn works by receiving Flash using IE, then transcoding on the fly to 
whatever your playback device can handle ( MPEG2 for an Xbox 360 for 
example), then exporting it via a UPnP server. This requires a fairly 
beefy Windows machine, especially for HD, and may be more complex than 
what you want.

> And I hear ya on the WD dead drives, I just got a 750 back from RMA
> (which makes the timing pretty good to get my sis this player as I
> can give her the 320 I was using plugged into the player so she's
> set!).

Yeah, but I have run out of vendors to be mad at, so I guess I have to 
start at the beginning again, and as I said, things like that can and do 
happen to all vendors.

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