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Old 05-31-2005, 12:45 PM   #1 (Print)
xxxx
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Is it just too much?

Fed up with trying (and failing) to get my excellent Pioneer 470 DVD/MPEG4 player to play all XVIDs thrust at it I've been looking for something different on the lines of a networked media player of the ShowCenter ilk. MY PC happily plays every DIVX, XVID, DVD etc. known to man so this would appear to be a reasonable option.

However: all the ones I've looked at either are made for a US market and so don't have RGB, or don't have scart (hence no W/S switching) or don't play XVIDS or don't play high bit rates or don't play this or don't play that, or crash, or don't work, or don't start, or can't be upgraded, or can't be downgraded, or can't be made multiregion etc. .......

So I need the following:

ethernet data transmission from the PC, full support for standard european PAL 720i W/S TVs, RGB scart output with full auto W/S switching, optical or coax digital audio output that works at all bitrates including DTS, full support for DIVX 3, 4, 5 and beyond, full support for XVID 1, 1.1 and beyond (including custom matrices which my Pioneer can't support), full support for BIVX, full support for the DVD standard with no region issues, full support for all bitrates in MPEG4.

I don't need:
wireless support, fancy media players that don't work, HDTV support, DVI or component (I'll just buy another network player when I get a TV that supports any of those), the ability to play any sort of disk in the unit.

I can't find such a beast, yet on the surface it would seem like the simplest and cheapest of things to make as the PC does 99% of the work.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:49 PM   #2 (Print)
sanderton
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I can't remember the details, but would one of the KISS networked DVD players do it?

http://www.kiss-technology.com/?p=dp1500&v=users

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Old 06-01-2005, 03:40 AM   #3 (Print)
AMc
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I can't say that they wil definitely do all you ask but Philips Streamium products may be able to meet you needs - for example http://en.streamium.com/products/sl400i/faqs.cfm

Ask questions here and Philips people answer and other knowledgeable (and less so) users will also post...http://www.streamiumcafe.com

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:41 AM   #4 (Print)
noel-pilot
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what about a chipped xbox?
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:25 AM   #5 (Print)
xxxx
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All good suggestions and thanks for them but:

Kiss: players have decidedly dodgy firmware that doesn't always do what it says on the tin. This is still probably the best unhacked standalone suggestion as they have pretty good MPEG4 support from disk. Streaming support via ethernet is very dodgy it seems.

Streamium: looks good on paper but amazingly they can't stream MPEG4 files with anything more than mp3 audio (what were Philips thinking of?) and the entire product line seems to be on the chopping board. Apart from that the scart support is good.

X-Box: probably the best solution currently. Bit of a drag though. Not sure whether the scart has W/S support.

I had high hopes of the new Pinnacle ShowCenter 200 but it has no W/S support and the firmware looks very flakey. The Pinnacle online support rep said that the 200 does have full hardware support for scart W/S switching and that all they need to do is write the firmware. Which begs a rather obvious question along the lines of "So why the !!!! don't you write it in then?".
It's a very new box though and presumably will get a lot better within a couple of months.

There are some promises of good equipment coming from Australia but no firm dates.

I'm amazed that someone can't get such an apparently simple device to the market.

Last edited by xxxx : 06-01-2005 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:53 AM   #6 (Print)
manolan
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You may want to wait for the Buffalo LinkTheater (http://www.buffalotech.co.uk/produc...6&categoryid=18). I understand it may only be a month or two away now.

(I should have added that you may not want wireless or HD content, but this does seem to be a fairly competent unit and has had good reviews).
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:03 AM   #7 (Print)
Fatbloke
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Odd, my pinnacle showcenter, not the 200 mind, just the notmal 54g one, can widescreen switch fine. It also has a scart and has so far played everything I've thrown at it with two exceptions. 1 - high res xvids, (the 720i types) and .MOVs (no surprise really).

Been very happy with it.

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Old 06-04-2005, 07:21 AM   #8 (Print)
xxxx
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manolan: You may want to wait for the Buffalo LinkTheater

Yes, I've had my eye on that one also. It does indeed seem like a good contender. Can't say I'm bothered today by the wifi or HD, but why not have it anyway?

Fatbloke: my pinnacle showcenter, not the 200 mind, just the notmal 54g one, can widescreen switch fine.

Indeed. The old model can, the new one can't. Bit daft really. I dare say they'll sort it at some point.

Does your 1000 play XVIDs created using custom matrices? This is where my Pioneer falls over. Mpeg4Modifier will tell you if they do or not.
How about multiple and/or DTS soundtracks?

I've spent quite a while trawling the various user forums but you have to take everything there with a pinch of salt. How many times have I found what seems to be a perfect product according to user comments, ordered one and promptly sent it back because it doesn't do something totally banal and obvious. Subsequently, on searching the forums, I then find some sort of throwaway comment like "wonderful piece of kit: shame the remote doesn't work more that a foot from the unit but who sits further away than that?".

Users. Gaah.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:09 AM   #9 (Print)
Fatbloke
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Not sure about the custom matrices, but it can certainly do DTS and multiple soundtracks (I assume you're talking about movie soundtracks and directors comments etc. form the same VOB file).

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FB

120G TiVo 6023 Airnet enabled. NTL PACE 1000 Cable Box. Sony KV32FX60 Tv. Pinnacle Showcenter. Netgem Iplayer DTV
See my UK TiVo upgrade diary - LARGE disk upgrades, Cachecard install, Airnet install, Tivoweb and Mobile Tivo
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:56 AM   #10 (Print)
xxxx
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Thanks for that.
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