What do you use to watch downloaded DivX movies on your TV?

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
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Okay, so for like the last few years I have used my Philips DVD player that has a USB 1.1 port on the front to watch downloaded DivX movies (Free Non-Copyright protected movies only of course) which are usually around 700Mb to 1.4Gb in size. Here are the steps I take every time:

1. I download the movie.
2. Then transfer it to my 160GB FAT32 formatted USB hard drive, because the USB 1.1 port on the Philips DVD player doesn't read NTFS file systems.
3. Plug in the USB hard drive to the USB 1.1 port on the Philips DVD player, but because the Philips USB port doesn't provide enough power to the hard drive, I have to plug it in to a powered USB hub then to the Philips USB port.
4. The menu on the Philips DVD player only shows the first couple characters of the file names on the USB drive so it's always a pain to find your movie.
5. To top it off, depending on the movie, the audio will sometimes get out of sync, and you have to pause the movie then hit play to sync it.

Is there an easier/better way to watch downloaded movies off the internet on your TV? Before I got this DVD player I always use to burn the DivX movies to CD or DVD then play them in the DVD player, this DVD player has saved me alot of time since I can just hook up my hard drive without having to burn anything, but it's still not the ideal solution as you can see from the steps I wrote above.

I know there are devices that can stream movies directly to your TV from your PC, but I wonder how well they work? I just have a LCD TV hooked up to my DVD player, no receiver or anything else so I don't even know how a streaming device would connect to it. What do you guys use or recommend?
 

magomago

Lifer
Sep 28, 2002
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I have a cheap pc i built that I can send over the videos wirelessly and watch them that way
 

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
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Originally posted by: Slick5150
If you're just doing Divx/xvid then there's probably no better choice than an Xbox w/ XBMC installed.

If you want HD content, then something like an iStarHD or Popcorn Hour will work well too

http://istarhd.com/
http://popcornhour.com

Alright thanks for the information, XBMC requires you to mod your X-Box and I don't have one either so that would be an expensive option just for watching movies. I checked out the websites and read about the IStarHD and Popcorn Hour, it seems like you just plug these into your TV using component video cables and then hook up a hard drive or connect to the internet and stream videos from there.

Which one of these would you recommend? I just want something that I can put movies I download off the internet on and then be able to play them back easily on my TV. Streaming them or whatever, it doesn't matter. Right now I have all my movies stored on a 500Gb USB 2.0/eSATA Western Digital external Hard Drive, so if I could just plug that into a device that is connected to my TV and browse them easily and play them that would be awesome. Streaming would probably be easier, that way when I download the movie on my computer, I can just stream it straight to the device without having to transfer it to an external hard drive first, if that's possible with these? How would you stream a video to let's say the Popcorn Hour from your PC? Does it have a WiFi chip built into it?
 

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
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Okay, after doing some reading it seems like the Popcorn Hour is the one to get. This excellent video review covered everything that it does and explains everything

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/..._hour_a100_review_179/

This one is by the same guy and he mentions a few things he didn't in the video above while he unboxes it

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/...g_review_to_follow_fr/


According to the guy that made the video review, the Popcorn Hour is very close to getting Wireless N support. Once it gets that I think I'm going to buy it, I do not want to run a Cat 5 cable into my living room just to network this thing. *Edit* Guess this was posted a month or so ago and now it has wireless support through a USB stick.

http://eugovector.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=337690

I would say that the Syabas players, of which there are a few including iStar the the Popcorn Hour, are certainly the best on the market for video (music still leaves a lot to be desired. But...to sweeten the deal, Popcorn Hour is very close to finalizing Wireless N support:

check out the story at realht.info/blog

That certainly puts them ahead of the pack in my book.

 

Slick5150

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2001
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I have the iStarHD, but used to have the Popcorn Hour. They're essentially the exact same thing (both use the Syabas software to run them), just with some different features.

 

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
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Originally posted by: Slick5150
I have the iStarHD, but used to have the Popcorn Hour. They're essentially the exact same thing (both use the Syabas software to run them), just with some different features.

Why did you switch? And what interface is better?

Also I just read that the all the NMT players will get wireless functionality here soon so it's not just confined to the Popcorn Hour.

"The USB Wireless N stick will fit all NMT players including eGreat, iStar MINI, HDX-900 and of course PoPCorn and any upcoming NMT devices."

http://www.mpcclub.com/modules...s&file=article&sid=571
 

Slick5150

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2001
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I mainly switched because I got in early on the Popcorn Hours and sold it for nearly twice what I paid for it as they were still really hard to get. So I took the proceeds and bought the iStar. So, I didn't switch for any reason other than the iStar's became available at MSRP.

I use a wireless bridge to stream from my PC upstairs and haven't had any problem doing that. Mostly DVDs backed up as ISO files, but some other stuff as well.

I'll run into something glitchy once in awhile, but all in all its worked pretty well.
 

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
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Originally posted by: Slick5150
I mainly switched because I got in early on the Popcorn Hours and sold it for nearly twice what I paid for it as they were still really hard to get. So I took the proceeds and bought the iStar. So, I didn't switch for any reason other than the iStar's became available at MSRP.

I use a wireless bridge to stream from my PC upstairs and haven't had any problem doing that. Mostly DVDs backed up as ISO files, but some other stuff as well.

I'll run into something glitchy once in awhile, but all in all its worked pretty well.

What wireless bridge do you use? A wireless bridge essentially turns the iStar's wired ethernet connection into a wireless connection, correct? So you're able to access it without running any Cat 5 cables? (except the Cat 5 cable that connects your iStar to your wireless bridge)

So your setup would essentially look like this right? Just replace the X-Box in the picture with your iStar

http://www.xbox365.com/gdb/ima...Accessories_10_500.jpg


Right now I have a Comcast cable modem connected to my Linksys WRT54GS router that connects my desktop to the internet and provides wireless throughout my apartment for my laptop. So would I just need to buy a wireless ethernet bridge like the one shown in the picture above, and connect that to either the ethernet port of the Popcorn Hour or iStar to get wireless access without have to run Cat 5 cables from my router to the iStar?
 

Slick5150

Diamond Member
Nov 10, 2001
8,760
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Right. I just used a Linksys WRTG54 router and loaded the DD-WRT firmware on it, then set it to Client Bridged mode and that turns the router into a wireless bridge (at a cheaper price than most wireless bridges cost). Any router than can use the DD-WRT firmware will work fine as a bridge.
 

Shawn

Lifer
Apr 20, 2003
32,237
53
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My PC is hooked directly up to my TV so I don't use anything extra.
 

gigahertz20

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2007
1,118
2
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Originally posted by: Slick5150
Right. I just used a Linksys WRTG54 router and loaded the DD-WRT firmware on it, then set it to Client Bridged mode and that turns the router into a wireless bridge (at a cheaper price than most wireless bridges cost). Any router than can use the DD-WRT firmware will work fine as a bridge.

Is it possible to plug in a wireless dongle and get wireless access to it that way instead of having to use a wireless bridge?