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Thread: Recommend me a media device

  1. #1
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    Recommend me a media device

    hi,

    I'm looking for a device from which i can acheive the following:-

    record tv programs
    store and watch .divx movies (should be able to update the codec if possible!)
    store and listen to music
    HDMI would be an extra bonus

    I can't afford much and i'm looking for a good reviewed device such as a basic media centre???

    price range, including hard drive = £70 - £130.

    Just as an example, this is similar to what i'm looking for:-

    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Elect...roductId=25387

    Thank You for helping
    Last edited by ripperuk; 31-05-2007 at 12:41 PM.

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  2. #2
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    Freecom Wireless MediaPlayer 350 Kit
    http://www.cclonline.com/product-inf...id=0&tid=28552

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    thanks s_kinton mate...i only live around the corner from cclcomputers. I can't find any mention of .divx movies being playable, if they can, then what version is this compatible with and what about if there are future updates?

    I could be wrong, but this does't seem to have the capability to record TV programs?

    Also how does this wireless capability workout if it needs a hard drive?

    Lastly, this might sound a bit cheeky, but is there any chance of speaking to an expert like you via phone, msn etc?

    Thank You
    Last edited by ripperuk; 31-05-2007 at 01:28 PM.

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    At the bottom of the page it says:

    Supported Video Formats
    AVI: MS-MPEG4v3/DivX/Xvid (except GMC/QPEL option)
    WMV: WMV9,
    MP4: MPEG4 Video
    DAT: MPEG1
    VOB:MPEG2
    MPG/MPEG: MPEG1/MPEG2
    Audio: MP3, OGG Vorbis
    Photo: JPG/JPEG

    Doesnt state which version of divx, but could probably find out by checking the firmware updates for this model.

    This doesnt record TV or contain a HDD, but you can add one. I personally record tv on my main poc and stream it across, but it depends what other pcs you've got in the house

    Unfortunately, I am most definately not an expert! Im just looking for a similar thing right now.
    Last edited by s_kinton; 31-05-2007 at 02:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Ha ha, told you i wasnt an expert. Post edited.

    That one you linked to above ripperuk can be had for £41 from here:

    http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Product...roductID=14940

    I suggest spending more though as this has very mixed reviews and limited connections.
    Last edited by s_kinton; 31-05-2007 at 02:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    I've got the Freecom unit mentioned above, only i got mine from Australia so it's got a different branding. I'm very pleased with it. It definately does play DivX, I've been using it for that for ages. If you get the firmware upgrades you get internet radio as well now. Mine didn't come with a hard drive, but I just bought a 250gb one off scan for about £40. Just make sure you buy an IDE one, that's the connector inside. I would recommend getting a 320gb HD now, seeing as they're about the price I paid for a 250 one six months ago...

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    thanks guys...i've just confirmed with freecom, who have said that it DEFINATELY is compatible with divx-version 6.

    The only real issue here is that i need something to allow me to record TV programs, so that i can watch them later if necessary.

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks

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    Its tough to a single find box that will record tv and be a mediaplayer like you're looking for. I dont know any that exist, but that doesnt mean they dont.

    Thats why people have HTPC's. They can record and playback content no problem using many different programs.

    I was looking at getting a mediaplayer, just to stream recorded tv from my main PC to, but ended up going for a full HTPC setup

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    s kinton mate, what kind of size is a HTPC? is it a big box like a standard pc tower and how much approx does it cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperuk View Post
    s kinton mate, what kind of size is a HTPC? is it a big box like a standard pc tower and how much approx does it cost?
    Theres many many different forms of HTPC. Some come in mini towers, some are the size of 2 dvd players on top of each other, some come in shuttle form. Most use micro ATX (uATX) motherboards to save space, rather than the full ATX boards we use in our towers.

    You could fashion a HTPC out of anything really. Type HTPC into google and you'll find loads of reviews and info

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    thanks mate.

    I've spoken to another friend...he says that it'll be much better if i simply built my own media centre pc...what do you think? Please note that there isn't a problem with me hiding the pc case if it does be ugly, although a nice looking case would be a bonus.

    If you think its a good idea, then i'd be grateful if you guys could recommend me a cheap, but good/adaptable setup and parts.

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperuk View Post
    thanks mate.

    I've spoken to another friend...he says that it'll be much better if i simply built my own media centre pc...what do you think? Please note that there isn't a problem with me hiding the pc case if it does be ugly, although a nice looking case would be a bonus.

    If you think its a good idea, then i'd be grateful if you guys could recommend me a cheap, but good/adaptable setup and parts.
    The cheapest case I've seen of late that looked the part was the Antec nsk2400 (about £45 at scan? ...good price). Otherwise Silverstone make some nice metal cases suited to looking the part. Only issue with an HTPC is you'll probably go over budget. I think my HTPC-y case cost more than your £130 budget ...though it did come with psu/remote/VFD ...was an impulse "I want that" buy.

    You can get away with pretty meagre/old components if you're careful though. Loads of info out there. Avforums might be a good place to start?

    http://www.linuxis.us/linux/media/ho...our_needs.html

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    thanks jamena...like i said mate, i'm not too worried about the type of case, but i'm more concerned as to how i can record tv programs and then be able to transfer/watch them in another room.

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  15. #15
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    I dont know of anything that can do all this in one box I'm also the opposite of an expert on this stuff

    What I do know though, is that this looks cool.

    I am going to buy one for myself soon. (Maybe not that specific one though - There are a couple of cheaper ones, and a couple of better more expensive ones too). I like the fact that its wireless, and I plan to keep my stuff on a "network attached storage device" with my huge hard disk in it. This thing will take stuff off that (wirelessly), and play it on my big telly in my lounge.

    The only thing I can't do with that set up... is record stuff on to my PC. But you can do that with another device. I don't really need one, but I know you can get them fairly cheap. I think they start about &#163;30 or even less, for the cheap ones, and will accept a TV signal from cable/sky/etc, and can record stuff onto your PC. You can even schedule stuff to record...

    So it might be worth thinking about doing it with two seperate devices if you can't find one that does everything. Once its on your PC, that thing I linked above looks like it would do a good job of getting it off and on to your telly wirelessly.

    The only other thing I need to research, is that it offers zoom features and different aspect ratios and stuff. Because I have a couple of things on my PC which play in a narrow wide screen. I can stretch them to be full screen using VLC Media Player and stuff, but my fancy DVD player I use by the telly, doesn't do that So if I burn something to DVD, I have to re-encode it to a different size. So I would need to check that the thing I linked above, could let me stretch and fit movies that aren't full screen.

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    @ acrobat - My advise to you mate would be to do what i plan to do...i.e. build your own media pc setup. The problem with buying a ready built media player is that:-

    THEY ARE LIMITED TO EXPANDIBILITY, SUCH AS ADDING NEW HARDWARE TO ENHANCE THE FEATURES AVAILABLE

    SOME ARE ALSO LIMITED TO WHAT THEY CAN PLAY TOO, SUCH AS SOME WILL ONLY PLAY DIVX.5 or below and some will play DIVX6.

    With a pc setup, although a little more expensive you are guaranteed to have a very adaptable setup. For example, if the pc becomes a bit slow, then get replace with a new cpu/mobo. If later you want to record programs from your tv, then simply add a TV Card. If you wanna play top 3D games, add a state-of-the-art Gfx card...See what i mean?

    The possibilities are endless with a pc and it will be well worth your money for many years, whereas the media player you've chosen will have a very limited life.

    ****************************************************************************************************
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