Apple TV Alternatives

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kevindosi, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. kevindosi macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2006
    I'm looking into getting something to play all of my multimedia on my TV. I've got a hard drive full of avi movies that I'd like to play, as well as all of my music and perhaps view photos too. I don't really care about streaming, but would like to be able to either plug in my external hard drive or have something that has a large internal hard drive already (1tb+). So, I think that through some hacks I can plug my hard drive into the Apple TV and play the avi files on it, which would do everything that I want. I'm just wondering, though, if there are any better alternatives you might suggest and why. A nice interface is important to me, can I install front row\boxee on other devices?
    Thanks for your help!
  2. runplaysleeprun macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I have a PS3, and it works great.

    Plus, then i have a PS3!
  3. themanfromvlad macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2006
    PS3 + MediaLink is what you need. A hard drive full of AVI movies sucks with TV. I just sold my TV after a year of owning it. The PS3 had quickly supplanted it after I got it for christmas. Much better entertainment machine all-around, especially with what you've told us.
  4. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2007
    If you don't want a PS3 the nyou could try WDTV or Popcorn Hour.

    WDTV is dirt cheap and you can just plug in an ext. drive and off you go.
  5. Malcster macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    This is what im looking at possibly replacing my AppleTV with...

    LaCie LaCinema Max

    500 gig or 1TB options built in, but you can connect extra Disks via USB
    TV Tuner + TV Recording (Digital TV.. so iffy for the US but fine here in UK)
    Plays pretty much all music/video formats, inc. HD, upscales SD content
    Wifi (n)
    uPnP so will also see external network storage / PC / Macs

    Not cheap but a decent all in one solution, its not out for a couple of weeks, waiting on first reviews to see how it performs....
  6. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    The LaCie that is linked to above looks like a decent solution except for most people the DVR would be useless as it cannot control a cable box which is needed for digital cable.

    I am curious how it will compare to the Western Digital device mentioned above when playing various random video files from around the internet that might not fully follow implemented standards.
  7. kevindosi thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2006
    Thanks for your help everyone,
    The WDTV looks pretty nice. Is there any way to install front row on it, or Boxee? I'm using DVDPedia with a front row extension, so I can play all of my movies from front row and the interface is amazing (all of my movies along with their covers and descriptions), so front row capability would be a big win for me.

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