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Media Centre options

dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎05-03-2008

Media Centre options

I've been looking into setting up a 'mdeia centre' of some sorts, at home to work through my 42" Plasma.
I've considered several options and some of the things I want to be able to do are:
Watch .avi files and other formats directly through the TV (not wirelessly streamed)
view jpegs etc on TV
Surf the internet.
As well as other things.
It was suggested to me that the PS 3 is well worth buying as it has a number of  features that would enable it to work as a very capable media centre.
Is this true? Can I play .avi files etc through the PS 3.
Can I attach an external drive to it.
Can I surf the net with it.
Can anyone help me in my quest to create a versatile & stable media centre.
Thanks
11 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Media Centre options

What's your budget?
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Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 19,286
Thanks: 2,165
Fixes: 348
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Media Centre options

Quote from: dgreen007
It was suggested to me that the PS 3 is well worth buying as it has a number of  features that would enable it to work as a very capable media centre.
Is this true? Can I play .avi files etc through the PS 3.

Yes, we do. Though there is no out of the box MKV support yet.
Quote from: dgreen007
Can I attach an external drive to it.

You can attached thumbdrives for sure, mine has a card reader so I haven't bothered trying it - but I think you can.
Quote from: dgreen007
Can I surf the net with it.

Yes it come with a browser, though not as advanced as FF etc
You can also get PlayTV, which is a simplistic but usable freeview tuner / pvr.
Also you can get BBC iPlayer on it now which works well, plus of course Blu Ray and upscaled DVD playback.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎05-03-2008

Re: Media Centre options

I have decided against the PS3 option and would now like to buy a dedicated machine that could connect to the TV via HDMI.
My budget is limited but I would be interested to see what is out there.
Can anyone recommend a suitable machine.
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Media Centre options

Surprisingly my setup is a ittle basic, but rock solid and what is more, whilst you don't get end to end control through a simple remote with an OSD, why do you need it when this is near future proof and adapts with the times due to my (well house mates) gaming.
My LCD TV has a HDMI hookup to our  Sony AV receiver.
On the Sony the 3x HDMI passthrough hookups are for our Sky HD, XBox 360 and PC via a DVI out.
The PC uses RCA audio hookups to the Sony, but other two are Optical.
I also watch iPlayer through the Wii, but use the component in on the TV for that. I could get better quality iPlayer by using the PC, exspecially BBC HD content, but don't bother as it's quicker and more room friendly with the OSD.
The XBox streams most of our video, with HD content shared from the PC. I use the built in video player, but some content does always work, so I occasionally resort the the Media Player extender (but try to avoid it, as the video controls are not as good).
We very rarely revert to the PC unless we are streaming video from friends (they work as content editors for extreme sports outlets).
All of this was bourne out of what we already had, the rest such as AV receiver because we wanted kick ass suround sound. It does the job and doesn't mean too many controlers, because of the very unique nature of the controler for each unit.
It does look funny thought when watching iPlayer and you can't be bothered to remove the Mario Kart stearing wheel to control it (suppose it won't missing though).
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,366
Thanks: 15
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Media Centre options

To the OP, get a small Atom based device like the Asrock ION and run Boxee on it ...
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎05-03-2008

Re: Media Centre options

I've got an ACER laptop with a Pentium M 730 processor 1.6GHz.
It has 512mb DDR.
I was wondering whether this would be good enough to hook directly to the Plasma ?
What would be the best way to connect the Audio?
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Media Centre options

Quote from: dgreen007
I was wondering whether this would be good enough to hook directly to the Plasma ?

Provided it has a display out, yes - though on a laptop of that age it'll probably be either VGA (better) or s-video (nowhere near as good). You'll probably also find it won't be able to play any HD content as the processor isn't powerful enough.
Quote from: dgreen007
What would be the best way to connect the Audio?

You'll only get stereo, but a 2.5mm headphone jack to two phono plugs into either the amp or the TV would be best.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 247
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: Media Centre options

Quote from: godsell4
To the OP, get a small Atom based device like the Asrock ION and run Boxee on it ...

Agreed..
I've got my parents using an Acer Revo 3600 with xbmc (live) installed, Boxee is a fork of xbmc i think?
Revo - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167153 ;
Xbmc - http://www.xbmc.org
It has almost (still ripping!) all their music stored on it and will shortly have their photos and other files all controlled by a nice Windows MC remote, they love it!
You can get scripts to access the iPlayer (as long as you're in the UK) and various other video websites too.
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: ‎05-03-2008

Re: Media Centre options

Does the remote come with the REVO, if not, which one did you get?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 247
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: Media Centre options

Sorry I didn't see this reply until now.
It's this one:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00123UGWQ/ref=ox_ya_oh_product
Under xbmc it worked as soon as I plugged it in Smiley
bakerbloke
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎25-04-2010

Re: Media Centre options