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Topic # 86184 2-Jul-2011 13:05
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Hey guys,
The media centre I set up for my dad is due for an upgrade so I've been trying to find an all in one type receiver.

Ideally, it needs to be able to receive freeview satellite, be able to play xvid and mkv movies, have hdmi and if possible play dvds.

I found one on the dish tv site but didn't look like it had hdmi output. Also was looking at the cyclone hd2 but its only dvb-t.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. The reason why I'm switching from media centre is because if after something more robust since my dad finds computers hard to use. Also willing to pay for quality if recommended.

Thanks a heap!

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  Reply # 488651 2-Jul-2011 18:10
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Ive been searching all day and just can't find anything :S.

The main reason I was searching for an all in one is because the screen only has 1 hdmi connector, but have now found that you can buy a switch.

With that in mind, now looking for recommended sat receiver and a bluray player, with one being able to have my hdd plugged into it (filled with mkv and xvid movies).

Thanks :) 

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  Reply # 488715 2-Jul-2011 23:52
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Vu+ Duo may do what you want. MKV playback is said to be pretty good. AVI (divx/xvid) is OK. MP4 is hit and miss. I think some have had success with USB DVD players but don't quote me on that.

I suspect that there isn't a perfect unit out there, and it may come down to the compromises you are prepared to make.

You can attach an external disc to the Vu+ Duo using either eSATA or USB.

Sorry I cant be definite on this: it's not the direction I took. I went with a bunch of 2TB drives on my Mac being accessed across my LAN from my Vu Duo, and almost without exception I use the native .TS format. There are several Vuplus support forums running - seek a couple out and maybe ask there.

I just got a cheapy Philips 2700 BDP from DSE ($129) - it has support for accessing files from a USB drive, but I haven't thrashed it to find its limitations. AVI's work I think. MKV - not sure; .TS no go.


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  Reply # 488828 3-Jul-2011 16:35
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It sounds like you are describing a HTPC, which should be able to be built to do everything you want fairly well.

I tend to stay away from "all in one" off-the-shelf solutions (VCR/DVD combos etc) because my experience is that they do everything barely adequately and nothing well. Plus, if one part breaks, you have to replace the whole thing. This doesn't apply to a HTPC, as you can spec it to do what you want well, upgrade if better parts come along, and swap a component out if it breaks.

I would go with either:

A. A HTPC, with an easy front end

C. A multi unit solution, something like:
1. A cheapie multi-region upscaling DVD player (circa $69)
2. A WD TV Live, which will cover off MKVs and XVIDs well (circa $160)
3. A Dish TV Freeview satellite receiver (the twin-tuner hard drive model looks good, cheaper options are under $100)
4. A Blu-Ray player, whatever model you fancy, dispense with (item 1) if you get this
5. An HDMI switch to tie it all together (I got a 5 input from DSE on sale for $99)

Whatever you go with, given your dad has trouble driving a media center, you will have to spend time teaching him (I am familiar with that issue - there will be a learning curve with whatever you do!). Option B is messier, but likely slightly easier to learn.

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