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Need something to play movies with no codec limitations

BigfootsMonk

Senior member
May 2, 2005
203
0
0
Hi,

I have a TV in my living room, a laptop in my working room, and an Xbox 360 next to the TV. Currently I use my TV's USB plug as well as the Xbox sometimes to stream movies. However, these two methods presents a lot of codec problems. I have even tried TVersity and PS3 Media Server for the Xbox but it just doesn't work, probably codec issues with decoding.

I am looking for an alternative that would allow me to watch movies in HD, without codec limitations, and without requiring much time from me to set it up (no building of PC's). Roku3 seems like a good alternative but I am not sure if it supports all the different codecs that I will be playing. This is why I think a HTPC would be better since I can always download or update codecs to it.

Any advice? Thanks
 

sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
60
91
If you want to try streaming again, Plex and Serviio are worth a look.

If you're okay waiting a couple weeks, the Chromecast hack-a-thon will be happening this weekend. If the SDK is actually released then, it may be a cheaper solution.

If a Plex app is released for Chromecast, I will basically stop all streaming to my consoles.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,646
378
126
The Roku box with Plex app would probably be a good idea for you. The downside is that you'll have to keep the plex server software running on a PC that has your media files on it. It'll then stream to the Roku box via your network, and transcode anything it can't play natively.

The Roku box is not a great solution if that's the only machine you want to run... like if you planned on just plugging in a USB drive into the Roku and going then you'll be disappointed. You need a separate computer storing your media and running the Plex software to work properly.
 

SaurusX

Senior member
Nov 13, 2012
993
0
41
The Roku box with Plex app would probably be a good idea for you. The downside is that you'll have to keep the plex server software running on a PC that has your media files on it. It'll then stream to the Roku box via your network, and transcode anything it can't play natively.

The Roku box is not a great solution if that's the only machine you want to run... like if you planned on just plugging in a USB drive into the Roku and going then you'll be disappointed. You need a separate computer storing your media and running the Plex software to work properly.
Could you have the files shared on one computer and then the Plex server running on a different computer? I plan on getting a Roku for Christmas and using that kind of setup.
 

BigfootsMonk

Senior member
May 2, 2005
203
0
0
Is Plex doing the transcoding or is it Roku? Will it work if I have Plex server running and the Xbox 360 streaming from it? Or will I run into issues with codecs?
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
3
81
Is Plex doing the transcoding or is it Roku? Will it work if I have Plex server running and the Xbox 360 streaming from it? Or will I run into issues with codecs?
Plex does all the transcoding on whatever machine Server is running on. It will stream video/audio into whatever format the target machine is capable of (Roku/PS3 etc.) without you having to specify what format you want.
 

birthdaymonkey

Golden Member
Oct 4, 2010
1,176
3
81
WDTV Live Streaming is a good choice for an inexpensive, competent player. I've been using one for years and it's never failed to play a file. You can access your files on a USB drive, DLNA, or through SMB or NFS file shares.

The only major problem, which they have failed to address even though it's been a known issue since the player released, is that playback stutters occasionally on some MKV files when you are playing them back at 24Hz. For most people, however, this is a non-issue, as they're perfectly happy with 60Hz output.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
WDTV Live Streaming is a good choice for an inexpensive, competent player. I've been using one for years and it's never failed to play a file. You can access your files on a USB drive, DLNA, or through SMB or NFS file shares.

The only major problem, which they have failed to address even though it's been a known issue since the player released, is that playback stutters occasionally on some MKV files when you are playing them back at 24Hz. For most people, however, this is a non-issue, as they're perfectly happy with 60Hz output.
For the most trouble-free streaming of local media the WDTV Live (not the Play) version is your best bet. Is it truly something without codec limitations? No, but I don't know of anything that is.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,646
378
126
Could you have the files shared on one computer and then the Plex server running on a different computer? I plan on getting a Roku for Christmas and using that kind of setup.
As long as you can get to the files in windows explorer, than you can point Plex to that folder from another computer.


Is Plex doing the transcoding or is it Roku? Will it work if I have Plex server running and the Xbox 360 streaming from it? Or will I run into issues with codecs?
I'm not positive, but I don't think there's a plex app available on the 360. If you go the Plex route your 360 won't be involved... you'll need the Roku box.
 

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