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comparison between different kinds of TV Box

Home Theatre Systems

hamhifi

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I find some comparison between different kinds of TV Box. Anyone can give any suggestions on how to choose the best one?
 

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musicbee

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A PC will do all that and more... so if you have an old PC then simply convert it into a HTPC and you can stream pretty much anything via WiFi.

Roku is the best for streaming online content, it has lots of free channels and also paid channels including the big ones like Netflix. Go with Roku if you want to stream online content.

Chromecast is the best for streaming content on your local network like your PC, smartphone, etc. Its not so great for streaming online content. Go with Chromecast if you want to stream local content.

WDTV is another excellent option for streaming local content, I simply find Chromecast much cheaper.

Fire TV is also great, but tied into the Amazon ecosystem so not much use unless you are willing to pay for Amazon Prime (costs $97 each year). Also, its best for streaming online content.

My recommendation is a HTPC and a router or a smart router with an external HDD. Any home media server software will convert your PC into a streamer, both local and online (you can access your content anywhere).

Otherwise go with Roku or Chromecast depending on what you are looking to stream.

PS - None of them stream 4K content, while a PC will.

Rippl looks good, but not sure how much it will continue to be updated. Don't go by specs or apps (most will be useless).
 

avink

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Go with Chromecast if you want to stream local content.
How are you streaming local content to Chromecast? In my personal experience I found that Chromecast is not suited nor designed to play local content. There are workarounds like installing pluggins and Apps, but nothing from google that makes it seamless..atleast few months ago when I checked.

Here is my experience with few devices that I have used for local content over the years:

Xtreamer Pro - Had excellent support playing various formats. Interface is good but not great. Their media management Jukebox never worked for me. Can bitstream HD audio. It stopped working few months ago. I didn't have good experience with its support. It almost non-present in India. You are pretty much on your own. You have to search their forums which has some really rude admins. So you better behave :)

HTPC: I put together one myself. Has the most options in terms of installing XBMC or anything that you liked. However had issues with detecting my Optoma PJ directly(without AVR). In case form factor(usually bulkier) is not a concern then this is the best option.

Chromecast : Excellent for online content like YouTube, Netflix etc. But as I mentioned above didn't find it great for local content ..esp from media management perspective.

Recently I switched to an android based Minix NEO X8 device. It has XBMC pre-installed, supports 4K and is very responsive interface. Its an excellent box.
 

musicbee

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How are you streaming local content to Chromecast? In my personal experience I found that Chromecast is not suited nor designed to play local content. There are workarounds like installing pluggins and Apps, but nothing from google that makes it seamless..atleast few months ago when I checked.

Chromecast + BubbleUPnP (app from Google Play) will let you stream any content from a DLNA server or a home media server.

Optionally you can set up BubbleUPnP server (not required) or you can setup a home media server like Plex, Subsonic, etc.

I have a HTPC and a smart router so pretty much everything is streamed wirelessly. I do have Chromecast but don't use it much, I prefer to use Subsonic and its Android app, much better experience especially for audio.
 

rahuln

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Yes, I extensive use plex for streaming media to various devices even when I am away from home as well.

It also helps me track the tv shows that I have watched already.

For TV I use chromecast with plex app on phone. Nothing can bit this combo.
 

eoupions

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good,Otherwise go with Roku or Chromecast depending on what you are looking to stream.
 

sandeeprawat

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I have a fire tv and other than YouTube (paired with Mobile/Laptop) and sideloaded XBMC which can stream content from Serviio on my laptop, I dont' find it much useful, though those two apps are enough for my needs. There are paid subscriptions to netflix/hbo etc which I believe don't serve India. Haven't tried connecting usb hdd to it so can't comment on that aspect.
Chromecast has an additional capability of casting browser windows which could prove useful.
 
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