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Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Old Jul 5th 2008, 9:55 pm
  #1  
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Default Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Seems to be all the craze to have threads about this at the moment, so I'll chuck something into the melting pot...

Popcorn Hour

Is seriously good...

We were tired of downloading stuff and then watching it on the computer or burning to disc, etc etc... buggering about with different formats, you get the drift... and then I came across this little sucker while reading through the Whirlpool forums a couple of weeks back...

Basically it's a network streaming device that has a fast graphics processor that is capable of delivering full HD video via an HDMI cable to your TV... And it seems to be able to read just about every format you can think of...

At the moment we have it plugged in to our wireless router via a CAT5 cable and setup was a breeze; it instantly recognised the OH's iMac and gained access to all the files on the external USB hard drive. Now the iMac is connect to the router via WiFi but so far we have only noticed a tiny glitch in the picture twice, in several hours of viewing. And the picture is simply brilliant, much better than when we burnt to disc and played through our DivX compatible DVD player - and so much easier to just select whatever you want with a couple of clicks on the remote...!

You can update the firmware online with just a few clicks of the remote control, and the latest firmware supports WiFi via a USB stick. Now I've heard that trying to play full HD over WiFi isn't going to work too well but we'll be having a look when the WiFi USB stick arrives next week. There's 2 USB ports so you can plug in an external USB drive and then copy stuff off your network, or there's an ability to fit a SATA hard drive inside the box - it comes with a connection to do this and I've ordered a 160GB 2.5" drive to fit inside, although I believe 3.5" drives will fit as well.

It also has it's own BitTorrent client which I haven't played with yet, but you are supposed to be able to set it up to download your stuff without having to do it via your computer... There's also a couple of programs out there that work with it to organise your media files, etc etc

The cost...? A$241 delivered... worth every cent IMHO...
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
Seems to be all the craze to have threads about this at the moment, so I'll chuck something into the melting pot...

Popcorn Hour

Is seriously good...

We were tired of downloading stuff and then watching it on the computer or burning to disc, etc etc... buggering about with different formats, you get the drift... and then I came across this little sucker while reading through the Whirlpool forums a couple of weeks back...

Basically it's a network streaming device that has a fast graphics processor that is capable of delivering full HD video via an HDMI cable to your TV... And it seems to be able to read just about every format you can think of...

At the moment we have it plugged in to our wireless router via a CAT5 cable and setup was a breeze; it instantly recognised the OH's iMac and gained access to all the files on the external USB hard drive. Now the iMac is connect to the router via WiFi but so far we have only noticed a tiny glitch in the picture twice, in several hours of viewing. And the picture is simply brilliant, much better than when we burnt to disc and played through our DivX compatible DVD player - and so much easier to just select whatever you want with a couple of clicks on the remote...!

You can update the firmware online with just a few clicks of the remote control, and the latest firmware supports WiFi via a USB stick. Now I've heard that trying to play full HD over WiFi isn't going to work too well but we'll be having a look when the WiFi USB stick arrives next week. There's 2 USB ports so you can plug in an external USB drive and then copy stuff off your network, or there's an ability to fit a SATA hard drive inside the box - it comes with a connection to do this and I've ordered a 160GB 2.5" drive to fit inside, although I believe 3.5" drives will fit as well.

It also has it's own BitTorrent client which I haven't played with yet, but you are supposed to be able to set it up to download your stuff without having to do it via your computer... There's also a couple of programs out there that work with it to organise your media files, etc etc

The cost...? A$241 delivered... worth every cent IMHO...

I just got my hands on a MVIX 780HD with similar features + 1TB hard drive. it's superb.
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 3:36 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
Seems to be all the craze to have threads about this at the moment, so I'll chuck something into the melting pot...

Popcorn Hour

Is seriously good...

We were tired of downloading stuff and then watching it on the computer or burning to disc, etc etc... buggering about with different formats, you get the drift... and then I came across this little sucker while reading through the Whirlpool forums a couple of weeks back...

Basically it's a network streaming device that has a fast graphics processor that is capable of delivering full HD video via an HDMI cable to your TV... And it seems to be able to read just about every format you can think of...

At the moment we have it plugged in to our wireless router via a CAT5 cable and setup was a breeze; it instantly recognised the OH's iMac and gained access to all the files on the external USB hard drive. Now the iMac is connect to the router via WiFi but so far we have only noticed a tiny glitch in the picture twice, in several hours of viewing. And the picture is simply brilliant, much better than when we burnt to disc and played through our DivX compatible DVD player - and so much easier to just select whatever you want with a couple of clicks on the remote...!

You can update the firmware online with just a few clicks of the remote control, and the latest firmware supports WiFi via a USB stick. Now I've heard that trying to play full HD over WiFi isn't going to work too well but we'll be having a look when the WiFi USB stick arrives next week. There's 2 USB ports so you can plug in an external USB drive and then copy stuff off your network, or there's an ability to fit a SATA hard drive inside the box - it comes with a connection to do this and I've ordered a 160GB 2.5" drive to fit inside, although I believe 3.5" drives will fit as well.

It also has it's own BitTorrent client which I haven't played with yet, but you are supposed to be able to set it up to download your stuff without having to do it via your computer... There's also a couple of programs out there that work with it to organise your media files, etc etc

The cost...? A$241 delivered... worth every cent IMHO...
Thanks for that, sounds good. I have been using Movie Forumz and Fanpop both of which can be really frustrating.
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
At the moment we have it plugged in to our wireless router via a CAT5 cable...
Looks like a very cool unit - but no wi-fi means no-go for me. I currently have an old Dell running Vista Media Centre next to the TV - not ideal, but it works.
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Why not go with Apple TV, especially as you already have an iMac, you know how good their products are??!!

Apple TV is wireless, and you can now buy or rent movies direct from itunes as well as play streaming videos you may have downloaded. Works fine on a big tv as well as having HD format too.

Karen
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
Looks like a very cool unit - but no wi-fi means no-go for me. I currently have an old Dell running Vista Media Centre next to the TV - not ideal, but it works.
WiFi USB stick arrives tomorrow... I'll let you know how it goes...
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by Darren_Karen View Post
Why not go with Apple TV, especially as you already have an iMac, you know how good their products are??!!

Apple TV is wireless, and you can now buy or rent movies direct from itunes as well as play streaming videos you may have downloaded. Works fine on a big tv as well as having HD format too.

Karen
We did look at this before, but as far as I could tell the Apple TV doesn't play a lot of the video formats; and seems very hung up on doing everything with iTunes...
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Old Jul 6th 2008, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by Darren_Karen View Post
Why not go with Apple TV, especially as you already have an iMac, you know how good their products are??!!

Apple TV is wireless, and you can now buy or rent movies direct from itunes as well as play streaming videos you may have downloaded. Works fine on a big tv as well as having HD format too.
Works great as long as it's QuickTime/H.264 MPEG4. Apple TV is very limited in the formats that it can playback by design to force you to use iTunes as much as possible and to continue their domination of the "isn't it pretty though" consumer majority. It's pretty much another example of Apple trying to push their "cool shiny apple logo" brand into the front room.

90% of the video out there is in DivX/XVid format and will not work. It will work however on pretty much everything else out there.

I just got my hands on a MVIX 780HD with similar features + 1TB hard drive. it's superb.
If you happen to have an XBox 360 or Playstation 3 in the house that will do the same job as the machines streaming media devices in this Thread and both have HD's, both have WiFi (add-on for 360), both HDMI (XBox 360 only recently) and both of them (now) have full DivX/XVid support with Subtitles (recently). They can both listen for UPnP Media Servers like Windows Media Player and a heap of Torrent Clients (like Azureus) to stream the downloaded files directly.

As for the HD downloads out there, I personally find that I don't need them. The quality difference (for me anyway) isn't that different when you take DivX essence that has been transcoded and uploaded from an HD source by a decent group like EZTV @ 350MB and compare it to the HD DivX essence by some of the other groups our there at 700MB. For me double the size of file can't be justified by the marginal difference in quality

Personally I use a combination of a dirt cheap (<$150) Philips DVP-5960 Divx/VXid compatible DVD player with forn USB port and a selection of cheap (<$50) 8GB USB Sticks. I also occasionally use the PS3 and XBox 360 to serve the files direct from the Torrent client, but that depends on if I can't be arsed to wait the 1-2 mins for the file to copy to the USB stick.

Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
WiFi USB stick arrives tomorrow... I'll let you know how it goes...
Good luck with that, I'm a little suprised that they didn't include N series WiFi by default though.

It also has it's own BitTorrent client which I haven't played with yet, but you are supposed to be able to set it up to download your stuff without having to do it via your computer... There's also a couple of programs out there that work with it to organise your media files, etc etc
Now that would be good! Sadly, I'm on a metered upload cable service so I tend to leech from public torrents instead of being a good boy and keeping my ration at 1:1 To do this I use the Azureus Speed Scheduler plug-in to pause the downloaded torrents pre-seed (a neat side-effect feature of the plug-on) so that they stop the second they finish downloading. Then when the seasons all finish and my monthly download are almost nill I seed some public files for a few weeks and my ration climbs back up again.

Last edited by bigAPE; Jul 6th 2008 at 10:35 pm.
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Old Jul 7th 2008, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

A modded (old) xbox with XBMC running on it does the lot. Can be networked for FTP access, streams from your own network, streams from the internet, stores stuff on the internal HD, plays every single format of video, displays your photo albums, can run music videos like a jukebox.
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Old Jul 8th 2008, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
Looks like a very cool unit - but no wi-fi means no-go for me. I currently have an old Dell running Vista Media Centre next to the TV - not ideal, but it works.
This is the one I want to upgrade to: http://www.cnet.com.au/wireless/stre...9286811,00.htm. However, money is the impasse.

We currently use an old Dell laptop as the media server, over 54G, which sits in our study (though I do use a Belkin N-1 Vision router) and it transmits to a Pinnacle ShowCenter 200, which is housed under the LCD tv.

As long as I encode (xVid) to about 66% of the original quality (using Auto GK) we never ever get dropouts. It also seems that I need to transmit on channel 13 as other channels degrade the signal quality.

As for torrents.....it's a lot quicker to "rent" them from Blockbuster.
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Old Jul 8th 2008, 3:58 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

got an xbox 360 - very noisy fan though!

bought a popcorn hour last month - havent taken it out the box yet - will have a look tonight
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Old Jul 8th 2008, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by dedicate2 View Post
A modded (old) xbox with XBMC running on it does the lot. Can be networked for FTP access, streams from your own network, streams from the internet, stores stuff on the internal HD, plays every single format of video, displays your photo albums, can run music videos like a jukebox.
Does it do 720 and 1080 stuff?
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Old Jul 8th 2008, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by markallwood View Post
Does it do 720 and 1080 stuff?
yup - apparently
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Old Jul 8th 2008, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Downloading and watching TV/Films, etc...

Originally Posted by chmaiden View Post
yup - apparently
How ? XBox doesn't have Component RCA or HDMI ?
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