27 January 2010

Media player v. Computers

I have to admit a bit of annoyance at the fact that most media players don't have the wherewithal to handle many of the services that I would like to access (Amazon unbox, Netflix, iPlayer, and so forth). So, you need either a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and (or?) Something from the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) that allows you to access this content on your media player. That needs to be run through a computer.

The Brite-View CinemaTube is called a "UPnP media render hardware" which means it gives you a method of connecting to the UPnP source.

The real issue is finding the UPnP media software which allows you access to the services that you want. That should be an easy feat since all this is determined by one standard, which means the emphasis is on should. It seems that there are quite a few programmes out there that are UPnP Media Software, but not all of them can "receive" the same services.

Again, the word "should" comes to mind here especially since most mediaplayers are based upon the Realtek Chipset. You'd think that something would work on pretty much all of these things.

Anyway, I am a bit wary about plonking down money on one of these programmes since it seems there will be a shakedown in the amount of programmes out there.

Additionally, there must be one of these programmes that's easy enough for the technologically challenged to use out of the box. You shouldn't have to be a technogeek to be able to use one of these things.

Although, I am seeing that one's needs can dictate what one may end up wanting to buy.

Are you going to want something for Netflix and Amazon unbox?--the Roku player will do you for now. Roku was set up to be Netflix's streaming server.
Want to watch other media (iPlayer, ripped DVDs, files on USB drive and so on): get a realtek based media player.
Otherwise, it seems that a media PC is your best bet. You don't need to plonk down loads of money on something like the CybertronPC when a small minipc, such as the Zotac or the Acer AspireRevo AR3610-U9022, can do the trick.

Although, one drawback to actual PCs is that they do not have the remote, which can be a headache. You have to go to the keyboard/mouse to control your video.

Enough rambling for now. I have some time to change my mind about the Brite-View cinema tube. I may not do that since it does allow for firmware upgrades (which computers don't). Besides, my real interest is playing material from a USB drive and iPlayer downloads.