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Are these kinds of streamers worth the effort?

  • mrbill Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:02 AM Reply
    I'm guessing there is zero support for them after you have bought them. Any bugs, or new codecs come out, you are out of luck.

    Or am I wrong?
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  • dart16 Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:13 AM Reply
    You are probably right...not much chance of support from the manufacturer, sometimes a keen amateur may release a hack... However all is not lost, there will always be transcoder software coming out everytime a new codec becomes popular, although I have never had to use one.... I have an xbox running xbmc that has been going for years with the same codec package... never had a problem yet as every .avi I download still seems to be either xvid or DivX.
    I do also have a chinese media player and that does fail to play anything .mp4 though, so I usually watch those files on my laptop.
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  • mrbill Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:20 AM Reply
    This is the problem - small annoying bugs which will never get fixed, and when a new format, or container comes out - it will never be supported. This will render the box pretty useless as I will probably want something newer to support the new format.

    For me at least, i'd rather spend $300 and get something that has a future - like an Atom based fanless PC which I can run XBMC on.

    Just my opinion of course.

    I would love it if these boxes were "open" - running linux with an XBMC port and enough publish specifications for the community to hack it and develop for it. Sadly the Chinese do not seem to think this way - everything has to be proprietary and closed to "protect" their market.
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  • dart16 Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:28 AM Reply
    I agree 100% with you...xbmc & old xbox is fully networked into my home. it never falls over, it always works, and the firmware is very, very good. Something that most, if not all, Chinese 'no-name' products suffer from is poor, quirky firmware.
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  • mrbill Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:32 AM Reply
    I too have an old Xbox and XBMC - but it is a bit slow, doesn't handle HD well, and doesn't have HDMI output. I'm considering an Xtreamer Ultra. I also want to integrate mame and other emulators - plus Skype (with video) into an HTPC.
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  • drsquirrel Friday, December 2, 2011 3:36 AM Reply
    I think x264 and mkv are going to be around for a bit longer than codecs usually are.

    If you are really hardcore into these things, get a HTPC (loads of all in ones around, like the ASUS) and run XBMC on it.

    Support for "branded" units can be just as poor btw...
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  • astroberi Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:39 PM Reply
    I agree with the poor support, even on branded, expencive players.
    I payed 400 Euro for a Linksys KISS 1600 media player in 2008, and at the time, the unit was out of this world. Webradio stopped working a year after (all they had to do is run a online database), no firmware whatsoever, although the box is perfectly capable of reproducing 1080i resolution, even 1080p if the bitrate is moderate... no support for the mkv container or FLAC codec was ever added.
    Still, due to the neglect by Linksys, the box now sits in my workshop and plays mp3-s via Wifi from my pc.
    I said to myself NEVER to buy an expecive, branded player or simmilar device ever again (nor anything that has Linksys written on it, no matter how good their networking gear is)
    Buy a cheap player that plays files you use now, has the connectors you need now, and thats it. In a year or two at most, buy a new one and thats it.
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  • mrbill Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:02 PM Reply
    The answer is to use an HTPC.
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