I am currently working to put in a technology to play my digital movie files. I have a variety of formats pulled from camcorders, training seminars and .avi .mkv and .mp4 formats. I have tested xmbc and plex and been pleasantly surprised by the capabilities; however, there is just too much management on each. I also had a few challenges with plex and my monitor / televisions. xmbc on an xbox is good but no HD. So, I tried a commercial solution – the Western Digital TV device. It is very basic – an HDMI port, 2 usb, and composite. Here are my initial results:
It works very simply. I have played all of the above file formats with good success. I have 2 files that have not played correctly and I am working to discover the encoding I used to see if that is the cause of the problem. I was even able to play the video_ts folder without problem.
Quality – all depends on the video – DivX came out grainy and avi showed artifacts
It is quiet and perfect for a home entertainment environment. Remote is cheap but gets the job done.
Most important of all – It is WIFE APPROVED. She was navigating in seconds and content.
Also, you can pause a movie and return to it later on.
Bottom line: Buy it – it is worth the cash. Careful though the device is cheap but the HDMI cable will cost at least $50 (I bought the cheapest / shortest and it works great – I have a high grade hdmi cable that I will double check, but I expect similar results and will post update).