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HTPC or Media Streaming Player

crisscross

Golden Member
Apr 29, 2001
1,598
0
71
I am trying to decide between building a HTPC and buying a media streaming player like Roku.

I have no interest in 3D as my TV does not support it and I won't be changing my TV for the next couple of years at least.

I live in India so Netflix, Hulu etc are not an option for me so all my content is likely to be just the ripped movies I have.

Current hardware
WHS 2011 Server with all my movies
Emotiva UMC-1 Processor
Logitech SB Touch

The Roku 3 seems excellent low power consumption, plays 1080p but no Youtube and I have no use for the other Internet streaming services like Netflix, spotify etc.

I also can't seem to get a decent low power HTPC for less than $150 and the power consumption is also a lot higher than a Roku.

What would you guys recommend?
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,387
22
81
I am trying to decide between building a HTPC and buying a media streaming player like Roku.

I have no interest in 3D as my TV does not support it and I won't be changing my TV for the next couple of years at least.

I live in India so Netflix, Hulu etc are not an option for me so all my content is likely to be just the ripped movies I have.

Current hardware
WHS 2011 Server with all my movies
Emotiva UMC-1 Processor
Logitech SB Touch

The Roku 3 seems excellent low power consumption, plays 1080p but no Youtube and I have no use for the other Internet streaming services like Netflix, spotify etc.
I also can't seem to get a decent low power HTPC for less than $150 and the power consumption is also a lot higher than a Roku.

What would you guys recommend?
If internet streaming service isn't something that is going to be important, get a WDTV Live for less than $100. There's nothing better for local and network playback for less than $100.
 
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crashtestdummy

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2010
2,894
0
0
If internet streaming service isn't something that is going to be important, get a WDTV Live for less than $100. There's nothing better for local and network playback for less than $100.
This. The WD TV Live supports a lot more in the way of file formats than the Roku.

Another option is a Raspberry Pi running OpenElec, though be warned that it won't handle the menus very well if you've ripped to ISO files.
 

crisscross

Golden Member
Apr 29, 2001
1,598
0
71
Thanks guy. How is the interface of the WD Live? I read that the UI leaves a lot to be desired when compared to Openelec/Roku 3 etc.

I don't have any ISO files but fairly large 1080p rips 15-18GB. Can Raspberry Pi handle those?
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
The HTPC is always more trouble, but more potential. You have to choose simple and cheap and less interesting, or complicated and more expensive and more work but more [everything].

If you're a natural tinkerer and a few hundred more isn't a problem, go HTPC. If you want simple without hassle and the extra doo-dads don't interest you, go media streamer. If you're in the middle, you're screwed. :)

WDTV interface isn't bad
https://www.google.com/search?q=wdtv+interface&aq=f&oq=wdtv+interface&aqs=chrome.0.57j62.2769&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

But it's not up to the level of media browser (HTPC)
http://www.mediabrowser.tv/store/details/33
 

crisscross

Golden Member
Apr 29, 2001
1,598
0
71
Well more than the price i am concerned about power usage with HTPC isn't there something better than the Raspberry Pi which is powerful enough to play 1080p and flexible enough to run XBMC or Plex? and yet around 10-15 watts of power usage?
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,387
22
81
Thanks guy. How is the interface of the WD Live? I read that the UI leaves a lot to be desired when compared to Openelec/Roku 3 etc.

I don't have any ISO files but fairly large 1080p rips 15-18GB. Can Raspberry Pi handle those?
The old WDTV Live interface wasn't so hot, but the Mochi interface they've been using for the last couple of years is pretty straighforward and easy to use. My 7 year old grasped it pretty easily. It can be a little choppy and sluggish at times, but not to the point of frustration. I can't compare it to the Roku devices since I haven't used them but I have heard they are very user friendly.

As a general rule, Roku is great for online streaming and the occasional local stream. The WDTV Live (not the Play) is unbeatable for local playback (under $200) but leaves something to be desired for online streaming.
 

colonelciller

Senior member
Sep 29, 2012
916
0
0
Well more than the price i am concerned about power usage with HTPC isn't there something better than the Raspberry Pi which is powerful enough to play 1080p and flexible enough to run XBMC or Plex? and yet around 10-15 watts of power usage?
a tiny fanless HTPC with integrated only graphics can do anything a computer does (no file-type limitations) and the power draw is totally irrelevant.

1 use of a hair dryer consumes more electricity than that HTPC would in its entire lifetime...
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
81
You could always get a VPN and then you can use Netflix and those other services.
 

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