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Topic: Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player? (Read 13599 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • ngc1967
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
I want to get a Hard Disc Multi-media Player mainly to play my MP3s through the TV but also to play videos and DVDs that I have converted.

I want to find one that can have a 3.5" IDE/SATA hard drive of about 500GB (no more). I am capable of installing it myself or I can get one already installed.

When I search on Google it often comes up with PMPs or 2GB and 4GB media players - not the kind that I have to install an actual hard drive myself.

I am aware of makes such as Sumvision (Aqua and Zengo), Lifebox, MediaLAN, IAMM, DVICO (TVIX) and Rhapsody but I can't find many reviews on which models are better than others and how the software and onscreen menus are displayed (ie. whether the music files are stored in one long directory or under separate artists and albums etc.)

The few reviews I have actually seen all tend to say that 'audio' isn't very well supported!

These seem to be quite new on the market but can anyone point me in the right direction?

  • hlloyge
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #1
Well, why don't you make one yourself? MicroATX motherboard and case, with some VIA CPU which doesn't need boeing jet motor to cool down would be excellent choice. And you can play whatever you want.
Code: [Select]
http://www.directron.com/cases---case-fans-micro-atx-cases.html

  • ngc1967
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #2
Making one is a bit too ambitious for me - I can change a Hard drive but thats about it.

I've seen the following models:-

TViX M3100U by DViCO
RSH-300 by Rapsody

Does anyone know if these are any good and which one is better?

  • Latexxx
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #3
Making one is a bit too ambitious for me - I can change a Hard drive but thats about it.


It ain't that hard. If you have enough money I'd go that route. You could even learn something.

  • Hengest
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #4
The Western Digital TV products may also be worth looking at, and seem to be well supported too.

[a href="http://www.wdtvlive.com/" target="_blank"]http://www.wdtvlive.com/[/a]
"Lifting Shadows Off a Dream"

Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #5
Making one is a bit too ambitious for me - I can change a Hard drive but thats about it.


It ain't that hard. If you have enough money I'd go that route. You could even learn something.



+1

Assembling PC's can be only a little more work than swapping a drive.
Insert the CPU and RAM into the motherboard or have the supplier do it for you
Mount the motherboard,
Plug it to the power supply and the case
Mount the drives
Plug them to the power supply and the motherboard.
Plug in the external peripherals
Add power plug and turn on.

  • Notat
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #6
And then there's the simple matter of operating system and software installation

  • probedb
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #7
The Western Digital TV products may also be worth looking at, and seem to be well supported too.

<a href="http://www.wdtvlive.com/" target="_blank">http://www.wdtvlive.com/</a>

Quite happy with mine, but if you just want to plugin a drive you can get the cheaper non-live one.

No idea what it's like with music as I use a Squeezebox for that but they're great for movies.

Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #8
And then there's the simple matter of operating system and software installation


Operating system is easy. If you have a complete set of drivers, or if they are already in XP, then slam dunk!

  • Porcus
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #9
And then there's the simple matter of operating system and software installation


Operating system is easy. If you have a complete set of drivers, or if they are already in XP, then slam dunk!


Yeah right

Let's see:
Laptop #1. Came with XP MCE pre-installed and on OEM CD. Re-install from the CD which followed? Does not find my wireless card.
Laptop #2. Came with XP. Does not have CD player. Screws up the network, and now it refuses to boot off my USB CD player.
Computer #3. Works with XP, though objects on part of the hardware (although Windows thinks it has the drivers). Actually the CD is not the one which followed ...
Computer #3 again: Works with OpenSolaris. A bit slow though.
Computer #4. Works with XP! Motherboard is from 2001, so of course the "slam dunk" took hours and hours of building and then a couple of days of rebooting and more rebooting -- a bit more than the 5 minutes to get a Linux live-CD up and running with complete office suite, but hey, you cannot have it all.

  • maggior
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #10
The few reviews I have actually seen all tend to say that 'audio' isn't very well supported!


At this point, I think that will be the case for any device that does video.  Devices that do video have that as their primary focus and audio appears to be an add-on.  There are plenty of devices out there that do audio well (I use a squeezebox which has been mentioned here) and that do video well, but I'm unaware of any that does both well.

I think your best bet would be a htpc (home theater PC) running XBMC (http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMC_Online_Manual).  I've run XBMC on my laptop to see what it was about and I was very impressed.  I liked the way it handled audio (it was gapless!!) as well as my pictures and video.

Loading it up on a Vista machine was a piece of cake.  I'm not sure how easy it would be to set up on Linux.

There is also a software product called Media Center from J.River.  It's costs about $50 and is highly regarded.

Rather than build the PC yourself, you could look into low cost options.  If it has the OS installed already, then all you have to worry about is installing the media software.

In short, your options will be much better and offer more flexability if you go the PC route.

  • Notat
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #11
In short, your options will be much better and offer more flexability if you go the PC route.

Options and flexibility are not what mainstream users are looking for in a media player. What they're looking for is something that does what they want and nothing more. Although not all mainstream users want the same thing, there exists a whole class of mainstream users that want whatever Apple puts in front of them

  • maggior
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Is There A Good 3.5" IDE/SATA Hard Disc Media Player?
Reply #12
In short, your options will be much better and offer more flexability if you go the PC route.

Options and flexibility are not what mainstream users are looking for in a media player. What they're looking for is something that does what they want and nothing more. Although not all mainstream users want the same thing, there exists a whole class of mainstream users that want whatever Apple puts in front of them


True.  Complexity usually comes with flexibility, and most mainstream user's don't care much for complexity :-).

It wasn't clear to me if the OP was mainstream or not.  Rereading the posting, they may very well be.

My other suggestion to the OP would be to download the user's guides to any devices you are interested in.  Many manufacturers offer their owner's manuals for download from their support sites.  Sometimes they will include screen shots of features in operation, which can give you an indication if it will suffice for your needs.