Most comprehensive mkv streamer

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by TechNut315, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. TechNut315 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #1
    Im currently updating my computer setup and im in the market for a HTPC solution. I have a windows media centre based HTPC which is great but I really want to buy an apple TV as I want a more simple and elegant solution but I fear its functionality is far too limited.

    The most important features for me, is a great looking UI and comprehensive mkv playback. I have been ripping my blu rays for years now and have about 2TBs of HD mkv material, but my methods have changed thoughout the years so whats in the mkv container is quite variable.

    I have tried the wd tv live but its performance with mkvs was substandard, not even playing about 20% of the material.

    I have heard good things about the apple TV if hacked with plex or xbmc. I have tried both these programs on my desktop, several years ago now and while not as good as media centre (in my opinion) I think they would do the job if they can reliably playback mkv files over a network.

    Has anyone knowingly got a variety of different mkv types (i.e. different audios, different ref levels) working well on a apple TV. Do they have acceptable WAF? If not can anyone recommend a solid mkv player?

    Cheers
     
  2. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Not here
    #2
    I have a 1st gen ATV, but I never used it for streaming movies, though. I tried Boxee, but it seemed like the hardware just wasn't up to the task.

    That said, I've been using Popcorn Hour boxes from within the first few months of the first one's release. I currently have a C-200 w/BD drive and an A-110 in service and unless the MKV is just plain broken, they've played everything I've thrown at them. The C-200 is also pretty good at streaming BD ISOs. I've been doing my rips in that manner for a while.

    John
     
  3. TechNut315 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #3
    Popcorn

    Yeah the popcorns look interesting. A lot of my old stuff was encoded at L5.1 with high reference frames, didn't really appreciate at the time that L4.1 would have been fine. It looks like popcorn unofficially supports L5.1 but the C200 is pretty expensive, here in the UK at least. At £300 its getting into HTPC prices, might look at the a100 series models. Problem is, if you google every device theres always people who can't get stuff to work. Might just have to buy one to see how well it copes with my stuff.
     
  4. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Not here
    #4
    Wow.. 2007 is pretty early in the BD product cycle. :) I started mine in 2008. My first media rig was and HTPC that I built and I did everything locally on it, ie ripping and playback of various files. It worked pretty well, but it took effort to keep it up and man, what a pain in the ass to get all the remote mappings set up right. It was kind of loud, too.

    When I wired my house up with ethernet, it enabled me to move the storage down to the basement and I used one of those HP Mediasmart servers with maxed out storage. I ran that for about a year and then built a WHS server with 16 1.5TB drives. I do my BD ripping and mkv-a-fying on that machine.

    Yeah, the C200 was expensive but it enabled me to get rid of my standalone BD player, which I donated to a friend. It has its ups and downs like all this stuff, but the ability to play back BD images with HD audio streams intact is pretty cool. It also supports 1080p/24 which was important to me and my beloved Pioneer Elite tv. A lot of the other devices I've investigated fail on that.

    They do make a similar A-200 which doesn't have the drive bay, but I think it does all the other stuff. Don't quote me on that, though.

    Back to your original point about using an ATV as a streamlined solution, I was wishing for the same thing when the new one was announced. But, when I was hoping for a more robust hardware platform, but Apple went the other way on it and made it very lean. I think that the iTunes movie and TV rentais are just too expensive, especially at the rate in which I consume media. If they had a flat rate monthly program I might do it, but not as it is now.

    John
     

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