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Please Help Me Decide

bv1

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2014
3
0
0
Hi Guys,
I have been doing a TON of research. I did not even know what XMBC was, but my GOD…what’s the use of having DirecTV? I want to find a device that I can connect to my flat screen TV (Sony KDS60A3000) to make it a smart TV. Long story short, I have considered the amazon Fire, Roku 3, building a HTPC running XBMC, raspberry pi, Google Chromecast, Asus Chromebox… I am new to this smart TV thing and my only experience to a smart TV is using a Comcast xfinity device which made my parents ask me to find or build a device that allows them to use YouTube and the flat screen TV we have. Anyways, here is what I want to use the device for:

MAIN USE:
- USE YOUTUBE!
- Viewing pictures that I take with my camera
- Movies that I download
- Browse the internet every now and then
- Wireless keypad with built in track pad (mouse pad)

OPTIONS that I like:
- Steam videos from online
- Watch videos on other sites like LiveLeak and things
- Watch golf and golf related things (for my dad)
- Maybe very low end gaming (that doesn’t require a dedicated video card)

Now I already have my desktop which I use to transfer photos and such, I have Wi-Fi and will upgrade the speed to allow me to stream/use YouTube, I also already have my own laptops and such too. I have built many desktops and my brother in law owns a computer shop if I needed to build a HTPC. I also have an extra external HDD that I can connect to a device if needed for pictures and downloaded movies. At the moment, we have DirecTV.

The budget would be great if kept low. Basically, the budget is the lowest option that allows me to do the things I listed above. I will be checking up on this regularly as feel free to ask me anything for more clarifications if needed.
On another note, XBMC is freaken awesome! Being able to watching live TV, all the channels and stuff available through one device is amazing. Is golf regularly available on XBMC? My dad is a HUGE fan and if it is, that might be the winner.

Thanks in advance for any input!
BV
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Hi Guys,
I have been doing a TON of research. I did not even know what XMBC was, but my GOD…what’s the use of having DirecTV? I want to find a device that I can connect to my flat screen TV (Sony KDS60A3000) to make it a smart TV. Long story short, I have considered the amazon Fire, Roku 3, building a HTPC running XBMC, raspberry pi, Google Chromecast, Asus Chromebox… I am new to this smart TV thing and my only experience to a smart TV is using a Comcast xfinity device which made my parents ask me to find or build a device that allows them to use YouTube and the flat screen TV we have. Anyways, here is what I want to use the device for:

MAIN USE:
- USE YOUTUBE!
- Viewing pictures that I take with my camera
- Movies that I download
- Browse the internet every now and then
- Wireless keypad with built in track pad (mouse pad)

OPTIONS that I like:
- Steam videos from online
- Watch videos on other sites like LiveLeak and things
- Watch golf and golf related things (for my dad)
- Maybe very low end gaming (that doesn’t require a dedicated video card)

Now I already have my desktop which I use to transfer photos and such, I have Wi-Fi and will upgrade the speed to allow me to stream/use YouTube, I also already have my own laptops and such too. I have built many desktops and my brother in law owns a computer shop if I needed to build a HTPC. I also have an extra external HDD that I can connect to a device if needed for pictures and downloaded movies. At the moment, we have DirecTV.

The budget would be great if kept low. Basically, the budget is the lowest option that allows me to do the things I listed above. I will be checking up on this regularly as feel free to ask me anything for more clarifications if needed.
On another note, XBMC is freaken awesome! Being able to watching live TV, all the channels and stuff available through one device is amazing. Is golf regularly available on XBMC? My dad is a HUGE fan and if it is, that might be the winner.

Thanks in advance for any input!
BV
Asus Chromebox... in a landslide.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=194362

There are less expensive options but none that I would recommend for primary media consumption

I have a RaspPi running OpenELEC, but it lacks the horsepower and it's just not as smooth as the Chromebox. It is fine as an HTPC in the bedroom to watch some streaming media on occasion, but you won't want it as your main HTPC.

My next choice would probably be the Amazon FireTV loaded with XBMC. If you are primarily going to consume streaming content through the internet, this may be the way to go instead.
 
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poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
I second the Chromebox. It is an easy winner here. Wouldn't even consider the FireTV given how pluggins are important.

I am pretty sure the Supersports plugin includes the Golf Channel feed.
 

bv1

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2014
3
0
0
Asus Chromebox... in a landslide.

My next choice would probably be the Amazon FireTV loaded with XBMC.
I like the Amazon Fire TV because of the 30 day trial period. But would only one USB port become troublesome in the future?

:hmm:

I second the Chromebox. It is an easy winner here. Wouldn't even consider the FireTV given how pluggins are important.
By pluggings...do you mean USB cables for the external drive? If so...you are CORRECT! I just double checked right now and it only has ONE usb port. I wonder if there is any other reason as to why I would need the USB port other than the external drive for photos (jpgs)?
Thank you both for your input. I am HIGHLY considering the Asus Chromebox, but the Amazon Fire TV free 30 day trial is kind of making me consider it too! Can you both provide me anymore of your opinions? Like pros and cons of both.
So far, I have seen a YouTube video where the Fire TV plays games! I don't know if the Asus Chromebox can do the same. I looked for a video and didn't see any videos. The Fire TV can also use a PS3 controller too! I'm a noob to this, so please correct me if these things can be done on the Chromebox also.

UPDATE:
- NO WEB BROWSER on Fire TV! That's crazy!
(edit it seems you can through XBMC?)

Thanks.
 
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poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
By pluggings...do you mean USB cables for the external drive?
No, not really. By plugins I mean third party plugins for the XBMC that allow you to watch streaming stuff like golf, Youtube, etc. The XBMC that you would install on a FireTV can basically be considered an inferior version of what can be installed on a Chromebox. Not all XBMC platforms are the same, and any x86 version will be better than an ARM version.

Pros and cons of each:

FireTV Pros:
-Can use XBMC, and can probably play 85% of my library
-Can easily use popular sources of content like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. if you have accounts to that stuff
-Has access to a large app store of content (including web browsers yes)
-Comes with a real controller and eco-system with some basic games that can be easily accessed
-Overall is an easier path to get at all that capability (like a 2 out of 10)

FireTV Cons:
-Many of the best XBMC plugins won't work so you will have less content and many of the best XBMC skins will run poorly
-Is built around Amazon and you giving Amazon more money
-Remote is bluetooth (can be a Pro but is a con to me)

Chromebox Pros:
-Can use XBMC within 95% of the best setup possible (and play ALL of my content) and can use ANY XBMC skin or plugins
-Can use ANY plugin designed for XBMC, meaning maximum "streaming" content
-Can be used to run XBMCbuntu or Openelec which gives you full Linux
-Full Linux means a whole army of games and emulators you can use (with a six axis)

Chromebox Cons:
-Basically is a dedicated XBMC appliance after completion, which means not nearly the ecosystem the FireTV has (but yes it can have a browser)
-Setup is kinda hard (I would say a 7 out of 10)
-You need to know a little about Linux to get maximum benefit.



Honestly I am going back on my Chromebox recommendation, because you need to hack an OS onto it nerd-style:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=ASUS_Chromebox#Installing_XBMC

Maybe I am misjudging you and you can do that with ease, but if that makes you feel queasy what-so-ever I would say try the FireTV for 30 days and if it doesn't do enough then save up until you can throw a whole Windows PC in the livingroom. I bet a Fire TV can play all your files, and will be a quick setup:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Amazon_Fire_TV
 
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bv1

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2014
3
0
0
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=ASUS_Chromebox#Installing_XBMC

Maybe I am misjudging you and you can do that with ease, but if that makes you feel queasy what-so-ever I would say try the FireTV for 30 days and if it doesn't do enough then save up until you can throw a whole Windows PC in the livingroom. I bet a Fire TV can play all your files, and will be a quick setup:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Amazon_Fire_TV
Thanks for all your help! I will give the Chromebox a try. I am pretty tech savvy. Just COMPLETELY new to this XBMC world and I can't imagine NOT using a keyboard/mouse. The Amazon Fire TV is not able too do so.

I am ordering it NOW as it is on SALE: at Newegg for $169-$10+USD $20 promotional gift card w/ purchase, limited offer!

:)

Sounds like a DEAL since people are reporting that is the low ever so far!
 
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poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
Thanks for all your help! I will give the Chromebox a try. I am pretty tech savvy. Just COMPLETELY new to this XBMC world and I can't imagine NOT using a keyboard/mouse. The Amazon Fire TV is not able too do so.

I am ordering it NOW as it is on SALE: at Newegg for $169-$10+USD $20 promotional gift card w/ purchase, limited offer!

:)

Sounds like a DEAL since people are reporting that is the low ever so far!
Good to hear. It really is amazing. Ask for any advice here. Just in general be sure to add the superepo after install to get it all:

http://superrepo.org/get-started/install-superrepo-using-only-a-keyboard/
 

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