Philips DVP5990 DVD/divxPlayer/media center

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by slothrob, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    I just discovered the existence of this Philips DVD Player that has a usb 2.0 port and the ability to play .avi's from a connected hard disk.

    I've become tired of waiting for the aTV to allow the direct connection of a usb hard disk or direct streaming from a network drive, and this seems like it might be a cheap solution. $70 for the player, <$100 for a 500 GB drive and I have a media solution that doesn't require me to have a computer running all the time with iTunes up.

    It seems too good to be true. Has anyone tried this machine?
  2. NightGeometry macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2004
    Not really answering your question, but why not put XBMC on your ATV?

    I have used a different brand of network media player, and i was quite peeved about the lack of support for some formats. In general these things tend to support what is available when they are released and, in my experience, don't really get significant updates to support the evolution of formats. A software hack to the ATV means that format growth is more likely to be supported, in my opinion.

    If you already have an ATV putting XBMC (or Boxee, or both) on is a no-brainer. If you don't have one, then the device you are looking at is probably cheaper, I would argue less capable, but cheaper...
  3. slothrob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Yes, both cheaper and less capable.
    It's limited to .avi's and 2GB ones at that, I've learned.
    It's also not going to have the elegant aTV interface and iTunes integration.

    I just don't want to get into the cycle of having to maintain a hack through each aTV update. I've been through that before and it can become time consuming and always runs the risk of bricking the device.

    The aTV would be my ideal solution, if it supported an external drive or streaming from a Time Capsule, but I don't have a spare computer recent enough to act as a media server and both of our iBooks are used too much for actual work to play the role.
  4. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    I have one of the Philips DVD players- I bought it precisely because I watch mostly AVI files and would have to convert them each time to use an Apple TV (without hacking it/adding new software).

    And it's cheaper than an Apple TV (a lot cheaper).

    I simply put whatever I want to watch on a thumb drive (or burn it on a DVD as data if I'm going to keep it) and it works perfectly. The picture looks great and you can make it region free too.

    I've never hooked up a hard drive so not sure how well that would work- the interface is very limited.

    But for simple playing of avi files, it's perfect- and cheap.
  5. slothrob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Thanks Paul, glad to hear it works.

    It's such a cheap experiment I think I'll get one and give it a try. I could use an HDMI DVD player anyway. I have an older Philips player for region-free and divx discs, but I'd really like to get that pile of DVDs out of my living room.
  6. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    If I remember rightly I bought mine from the Philips online store- I think they have an employee section but you don't have to be an employee to register... something like that... anyway it was cheaper than Amazon. But either way it's not that expensive at full price.
  7. topher5 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2007
    I recently got the Western Digital HD TV device for much the same purpose. Setting up the AppleTV for my Mom was going to be too much of a pain for me to maintain so I went with the western digital. Plays videos off any usb device and seems to support every codec under the sun (mkv anyone?). For $100 it's been great. I?m thinking about picking one up for when we go on travel to compliment my two AppleTVs at home.
  8. slothrob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Thanks for the buying advice guys.

    I'll have to look into the WD TV. I skipped over that because the price was too close to the bottom end aTV. But perhaps that's the slickest way to circumvent streaming from a fixed computer. The Philips DVD player/media center is really appealing due to the price, but the codec limitations are somewhat limiting and the klugey interface would probably be a hassle for my wife.
  9. topher5 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2007
    For what it's worth I highly recommend the western digital. It's not getting much press right now but every review I've found is highly complimentary. She's had hers for two weeks now and already fell in love with it.

    Really wish I could have given her an AppleTV but there was no way I was going to stand up a Mini as an iTunes "server" for her to store and sync the content (her only computer is a work laptop). The USB drive seems to work well. Every week I just stop by, connect my laptop the the USB drive I have attached to the WD and copy over whatever new recordings I have.

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