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Media Player help- AppleTV2 (XBMC) vs WD live

Hi all-

  I have been researching what media player to use with my soon-to-be-delivered new Sony 46EX520 LED tv and have come up with a few ideas but only really 2 workable ones right now...


The basic setup:

  TVSony 46EX520 LED (46" duh) (previously a 26" Samsung LCD without functional HDMI so a big step up)

  Speakers- Very non-hifi Harman Kardon Soundsticks, but they are perfectly good for the moment.

  Mediastorage- 2TB IcyBox NAS attatched to my WIFI router, but it will be directly wired to the mediaplayer.

              -The router needs upgrading to hopefully a gigabit router/300-wifi thingy but that's a later step.

  Existing Mediaplayer: Astone AP-110D  - It does full HD and has so far been performing very well for a S$100 (50 quid) little box.  

There is no receiver or anything complicated.  I may get a separate bluray player in the future...



1- Apple TV 2 - This must be jailbroken to run XBMC and to access my NAS-based media files.

  It's difficult to get here (Singapore) and I won't be able to use online rentals but I don't care- I'm only after a LAN-based mediaplayer.  Everything else is a bonus that I may never use.

    I know it doesn't output proper 1080 video (sniff) but most of my media files max out at 720p.  Contrary to comments in a few reviews, it does play 1080 files, it just downscales them to 720 for output.  

   I am worried about the performance of this little box with HD content though... The reviews tend to comment on jerkiness though it isn't clear if this is a streaming issue or a processor grunt performance issue.


2 - WD Live TV hub or whatever blah model is around

  I'm not too fussed about the built-in hard drive- it'll just add to the cost.  I'd rather a non-hard drive version.

 It plays a good range of media including ISO, MKV with h.264 etc. without fuss, though I understand the menus are 'clunky'.  I like this option for the ease of use and lack of setup trouble compared with the apple TV.  


Needless to say, I don't know how these two fare against each other as ETHERNET-based (not wifi) media players.  I'm afraid to say that my sound setup will probably never be good enough to hear a difference between the two, I just need something that will produce good images with as little jerkiness as possible- network traffic allowing.


Does anyone have experience with XBMC on the apple?

Does anyone know a reason to stay away from either solution?

I'm leaning towards the WD 'cos it's easier but I do like the apple tv idea... Shame it's limited to 720 output only.

Any and all comments would be appreciated!


My discarded options-

 PS3- The bluray would be good, but the mediaplayer options the PS3 provides are too restrictive.

 XBOX- it has XBMC [equivalent] options, but no bluray.  Gears of war is also another good reason.


 wow- long first post!



smuggs's picture
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 19/02/2009 - 15:42
Posts: 1087
RE: Media Player help- AppleTV2 (XBMC) vs WD live

i think that the new wd tv live streaming for £90 looks very good and handles full 1080p mkv files really well as long as the nas is plugged into a gigabit switch and the media players is as well that seems to be what most reviews are saying. i have around 110 of 480 and 576 4-6gb mkv movies so im looking to start making 720p and 1080p back ups so i have ruled the apple tv out.

i have a ps3 and its not that great an ok blu ray player but a bit dated now.

i have an xbox 360 while its the best games unit i would not want it to be a media hub.

let us know if you go for anything nothing is better that whathifi forum users reviews rather than amazon

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