From the Apple TV to D-Link's Media Lounge and Netgear's Wireless Digital Media Player there is currently no shortage of ways of getting PC-held content onto a TV screen and home audio system without wires. As with most things in life, while some of these products are of a truly fine vintage others prove to be merely vin …
I've been playing around trying to find a decent media extender for my NAS array and all the dedicated boxes I've tried are complete pants, especially for the price.
I'd heard about the xbmc and was about to delve into the mod-chip world for xbox when I discovered someone was already doing it on ebay pre-modded with xbmc installed for less then £60.
Using it has been fantastic, it plays everything I need and I can play games on it too. If you stick a larger hdd in it use can dispense with the NAs as well if you haven't got too much data (my NAS is 4 Tb so not an option for me).
Do yourself a favour, until these boxes get a decent o/s you can go wrong with an xbox :)
I would have expected review highlighting so many failings to garner a much lower score. Are half the marks just for the unit turning up and spelling its name correctly?
How about this approach...
You run a little program on your PC/Mac/Linux.
You drop one or more media file from your PC onto that program, they are sent across the Wifi to a box, and appear on the TV screen. i.e. the little program simply transmits the files to the predefined device and it plays them to screen, no menus, no fuss no complexity, just drop and play.
It could even be a USB plug in thumb 'drive' (well it could look like a thumb drive to the PC anyway), you drop on the media files and it plays them. Cheaply and simply as possible.
I'll tell you what, how about if the TV box in question is a Wii since that already has WiFi and video/audio and a remote.
Nintendo could make a USB plug in thingy that looks like a thumb drive to the Mac/PC/Linux box, that could send the files via WiFi to the Wii for playback.
360 for the win
The XBMC is absolutely wonderful if you only want to play standard-def media. But now I've gone HD I use my 360, Windows Media Centre and Transcode360 for any formats the 360 won't do natively. It's surprisingly good.
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