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View Full Version : Apple TV, Buffalo LinkTheater HD??




richard99uk
Jul 22, 2010, 09:15 AM
Hi everyone, I'm hoping someone with experience of all the different home theater systems out there can shed some light on which home theater system would suit my needs best.

I'm currently living in Japan right now, and I'm moving to Tokyo with my girlfriend next year. I have a lot of DVDs and a few blu rays, and they take up way too much space in my apartment. I want to shove them all into the attic, when we move in and replace them all with a nice media center.

I'm currently considering Apple TV and putting boxee on it. Or a solution I've seen called Buffalo MediaLink Theater HD.

My needs are:


Subtitles support.

My girlfriend needs the Japanese subtitles to watch most movies, so that is an absolute must.

Play 1080p HD content.

A solution that doesn't require a wired network, or require streaming over a network.


Because of my subtitles requirement, that limits me pretty much exclusively to .mkv files, and means .mp4 or whatever is totally out. And that's how I've encoded all my files.

I have no preference as to whether the storage is inside the unit or attachable. I own MacBook Pro 17", and so my storage is formatted with HFS+. Converting to NTFS or whatever would be a pain but not the end of the world as long as I can still add files from my computer.

Apple TV as far as I can see:

It runs Boxee, which both my girlfriend and I can use.:)
It reads OSX-formatted HDDs for sure.;)
It can stream YouTube, which we like to do sometimes (quality issues aside).:)
It uses a lot of graphics, and organizes everything well, which makes it easy for us to use.:cool:
The remote control is really fiddley, and sometimes unresponsive.:mad:
I have to hack it to do what I want.:mad:
It doesn't record TV.:mad:


Advantages of LinkTheater HD:

It works with my TV's Activa Link, so it can all be controlled through the TV.:cool:
It can record TV, so would save us another box.:)
I don't know enough about it.:(
It's probably not as expandable and as adaptable as Apple TV (hacked or otherwise).:mad:


I really don't know enough about the advantages and disadvantages of these products. So I would really appreciate if someone could tell me what I'm likely to come up against with these solutions. Other suggestions and solutions would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.



roidy
Jul 22, 2010, 10:27 AM
I can't comment on the LinkTheater HD as I've never even heard of it let alone use one. But here are a few observations about the AppleTV:-

Because of my subtitles requirement, that limits me pretty much exclusively to .mkv files, and means .mp4 or whatever is totally out. And that's how I've encoded all my files.

mp4 supports subtitles fine.

My girlfriend needs the Japanese subtitles to watch most movies, so that is an absolute must.
•Play 1080p HD content.

The only way the ATV is gonna play 1080p content is by installing one of the broadcom decoder cards in place of the ATV's wireless card and running XBMC.

Apple TV as far as I can see:
•It runs Boxee, which both my girlfriend and I can use.

Yes it runs Boxee, but it's slow to the point of being almost unusable and not worth the effort.

The remote control is really fiddley, and sometimes unresponsive.
How can it be fiddly it's only 6 buttons:( and mine has never been unresponsive.

If you really want to run Boxee I suggest running it on a real computer and not the ATV or wait until the Boxee Box is released.

Now I'll leave it to the next few posters to bang on about the Mac Mini and how it's the holy grail of media centers:rolleyes:

richard99uk
Jul 22, 2010, 07:25 PM
Thanks very much. Very useful info.

.mp4 plays subtitles? But I guess they'd have to be burned in right?

roidy
Jul 23, 2010, 02:45 AM
Nope, mp4 supports both timed text(srt) and Vobsubs(dvd), no need to burn them in. However as far as I know Apple products ie QuickTime and ATV only support the timed text format and you'd need to change the mp4 extension to m4v. Where as a media player like VLC will play both timed text and vobsubs from an mp4.

Both XBMC and Boxee don't support timed text subs from a mp4 but will display vobsubs from an mp4, all be it with incorrect colors.

So it boils down to weather or not your player of choice supports them or not.