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Cheap DivX Solution For Your Entertainment Center 275

joemite writes "I-O DATA recently announced the release of their LinkPlayer, which can decode DivX files from DVDs, CDs, USB thumb drives, and network file shares. At $249 suggested retail, I know what I'm wishing for this Christmas!" For simpler (no network shares, no thumb drives) and even cheaper set-ups, a few standalone DVD players -- the Philips DVP642 is one -- will play DivX files from recordable CDs andd DVDs.
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Cheap DivX Solution For Your Entertainment Center

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:33PM (#10552185)
    For those of us that prefer a better, open-source codec?
  • MythTV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dorward ( 129628 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:35PM (#10552190) Homepage Journal

    Cute, but I still plan to build my own around MythTV []. That will work both ways (allowing me to record TV and then view it over the network) as well as dealing with DVDs and MAME.

    • Re:MythTV (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Let us know when u r done
    • Re:MythTV (Score:3, Informative)

      by homer_ca ( 144738 )
      Now can you build an HTPC that's quiet, not 3 times the size and weight, and doesn't use 4 times the electricity of a DVP642? I have one now, and I'm retiring the HTPC. But to be fair, I never got it working as well as I wanted, and I could have spent more time on tweaking it.
  • Cheaper Divx (Score:3, Informative)

    by Buster Chan ( 755016 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:36PM (#10552193) Homepage
    For cheapter DIVX, you can buy a Sega Dreamcast, then download the DIVX playing boot-disc from
    • Re:Cheaper Divx (Score:3, Informative)

      by Joe Tie. ( 567096 )
      As much as I love the dreamcast (and still write for it), I don't think it'll meet most peoples needs for movie playback. It's worked well for me simply because I do my own captures and so encoding to a size and bitrate which would go along well with the player. But the size and bitrate limitations come down pretty hard on a lot of what's out there right now, without re-encoding, if it's used with the DC player.
    • it doesn't handle high enough bitrates to be really useful though.

      xbox does that better(modded, of course)..
    • While I love the Dreamcast (practiacally downloaded every game for it!) I can't recommend this as a solution.

      Ever tried the VCD player? VCD's have, by standard, constant bit rates and pretty easy to decode as they are uncompressed files - the Dreamcast doesn't do that task very well. You'll notice blocks and 'smears' where you never seen them before.
      • Re:Cheaper Divx (Score:3, Informative)

        by AnyoneEB ( 574727 )
        VCDs are compressed with MPEG1 at a resolution about a quarter of regular TV. More info on the VCD format []. In my experience, VCDs look pretty bad no matter what device you're playing them on.
        • Re:Cheaper Divx (Score:5, Informative)

          by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john DOT lamar AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:20PM (#10552412) Homepage Journal
          In my experience, VCDs look pretty bad no matter what device you're playing them on.

          Well, you've not had the right VCD's! I've encoded some beauties. Plus you need a good decoder, because as I mentioned some don't fully decode the entire stream (they do their best giving you artifacts).

          The issue about resolution is *almost* pointless when you realize your TV (if not HD) isn't that great to begin with and it scales very well.

          But then again it all goes back to good encoding.
    • you can't play just any divx with it though. you need to encode divx files within tight restrictions that can play on the DC's limited cpu.
  • Weren't they suing ESS or whoever made chips for a bunch of the lowcost/cheap DVD players?
  • Sounds a bit pricey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neo5064 ( 822494 ) <hayesbb@bc.eIIIdu minus threevowels> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:36PM (#10552197)
    At $249, that seems to be a bit pricey for a DivX decoder. Although I suppose the money you'd save by stealing the movies off of your favorite P2P network or torrent source would eventually overcome that.

    But what about buying an S-Video cable to hook into the TV, and play it from your computer? Or even better, some cheap DVD encoding software to play it on anyone's system?
    • by NETHED ( 258016 )
      Walmart has a great DIVX player for REALLY Cheap. Here's a Link []

      I bought one a few weeks back and it plays pretty well.
      • Erm, that's the DVP642 in the article blurb on top, and $69 is the regular price that everybody sells it for. For a real bargain try at $63 w/ free shipping or if you can't wait most Best Buy and Fry's have it for $69.99 in store. And yes, it is a nice player. Plays just about every Divx/Xvid file I tried except for sound on a really old Divx3.11 file that had Divx ;-) audio (I think that was a hacked 64K WMA codec). It doesn't play files with QPEL either (a feature of Divx 5 Pro), but I haven't
    • You're missing the convenience factor. No PC to boot up means no noise, no hassle with crashes and the like, etc. Plus, it's a small, familiar form factor. It fits nicely in your entertainment center with all your other equipment. Sure, you could buuild a small form-factor HTPC, but it would be arguably more expensive, and much more complicated to set up.

      I think there's a decent niche market for a product like this. I know quite a few people that would buy something like this at the $250 price point instea
    • They list 1080i and 720p output - upsampling players are generally about the same price right now.
    • "At $249, that seems to be a bit pricey for a DivX decoder."

      It comes with an ethernet and USB2.0 port. Both are pretty damn cool. Not bad for $250.

      Frankly, I'd like to have one so I could dump all my DVD collection onto my computer and be able to play them on-demand. I used to have a computer with an S-Video out to do that. To be honest, I wasn't all that happy with the picture quality. It worked, but I ached for better.

  • I WANT! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shaneFalco ( 821467 )
    Seems quite interesting. What would be really nice would be the option of connecting to a network wirelessly in order to access video files stored on other computers in the house. Maybe even a file browser akin to Konquorer for the computer illeterate in my house. I want one!
  • by ttlgDaveh ( 798546 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:37PM (#10552203) Homepage
    Because it plays DVDs (region free too), media in almost every format under the sun and games too.
    On the downside the chipping process may be on the wrong side of "legal" depending on where you are, and the majority applications are, as they're compiled using MS's SDK. Other than that it is excellent, much better than any stand-alone appliance I have come across.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:38PM (#10552206)
    Why not buy an Xbox($149 new), mod it ($50 shipped) and use XBMC? It does all of that plus music and weather.....and you get a kick ass console.

    You save $50 and you have a lot more functionality.
    • by Stevyn ( 691306 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:51PM (#10552282)
      And you can play xbox games by just ripping them to the hard drive (which you can upgrade to hold a LOT of games. You can also play any NES, N64, Sega Genesis, and I'm sure several other console games. Few people know how amazing a modded xbox is. The only downside is you're taking revenue away from Microsoft.

      Did I say downside?
      • The only downside is you're taking revenue away from Microsoft.

        But will you be able to connect to Xbox Live? I never realized how much I sucked until I got my ass handed over and over and over to me in almost any network capable game. But dang, was it fun.
      • Actually you're providing them compensation for creating the Xbox you bought. I doubt they make a loss these days, but if they do, then buying an Xbox compensates them for that loss.

        Just remember that it's better to make up for a loss on the hardware and not have a customer buy your games than it is to not make up for a loss on the hardware and not have a customer buy your games.

      • by lakeland ( 218447 ) <> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:03PM (#10552944) Homepage
        That the sale of an xbox costs MSFT money is a popular myth among people who don't understand economics. Let me try and explain it simply:

        Microsoft spent a lot of money developing the xbox. Microsoft also spent a lot on infrastructure, advertising, and other such 'fixed' costs. When you calculate the cost to MS of every xbox they sell, you amortise these fixed costs over all xboxes sold, along with the variable cost (the cost per unit). A naive conclusion from this is that when you buy an xbox, Microsoft loses money. If you instead compute the raw cost of producing an xbox to MS (i.e. just the variable cost), then you find it costs them less than you paid for it. Conclusion: Every time you buy an xbox, MSFT's coffers are increased.

        How do you reconcile those two things? Pretty easily. MS makes money off the sale of their xbox hardware, but not enough to justify them developing the xbox. Some people buy xbox games, and these people make MSFT a lot of profit. Is this profit enough to justify the money they've blown bringing a product to market? Perhaps, or perhaps not, we'll see. But every time you buy an xbox, you know you're helping make Bill just that tiny bit richer.

        In case you haven't got it yet, let me give you an analogy. Say you've got a business idea, your company: "Winc" is going to start selling bottled water for $50/bottle. You plan to spend $50M on advertising to convince people that they really want to buy your water - it is much more cool than the water evian sells, for instance. Now, anybody could tell you this is a stupid business plan, and it is going to lose money because hardly anybody will buy the water. But an accountant would describe it in terms of the profit (loss) per bottle sold. In this case, you might be loosing $10,000 for every bottle you sell. But if I walk into a shop and buy a bottle, you make almost $50 profit. Do you follow?
        • Well I'm not sure about today, but when the XBox first came out the variable cost of the XBox was in fact greater than the MSRP. I will quote a Cnet article from 2001:
          And production costs are expected to be an unusually high $375 per machine because of the console's advanced features, Blodget said in the report. Blodget estimates Microsoft will "lose $125 on every Xbox console--and that's before taking into account" sales, marketing and other administrative costs.
          linky []

          I don't doubt that the cost of
        • Keeping in with your bottle analogy: After an initial investment of $50M, you sell your bottled water at $50 per bottle. However, since your making bottles of solid crystal, each costs you $60 to manufacture. You're actually losing money on each, and not recouping investment costs. You're hoping will come back with the bottle for water refills you sell over price, though.

          Your point is well taken, and the popular belief that Microsoft loses money on the consoles might well be wrong. But you didn't really gi
    • I'd like to second that - I bought a dvd player that is supposed to be divx certified (even has the logo on it). So far if its a perfect divx clip, with mp3 soundtrack it works great. If its anything but - forget it. Many times it seems to have poor audio.

      Xbox on the other hand with xbmc plays it all, divx, wmp, xvid, quicktime, real media, you name it. I have seriously yet to see a media format it won't play with absolute perfection.
    • by hohead ( 772082 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @12:54AM (#10554142)
      Why does everyone think you *NEED* to buy a modchip for the Xbox?
      Using the proven "UDE softmod" method, all you need is a rented game, a homemade USB2Xbox adapter and a USB thumbdrive to mod your Xbox.
      Total cost: $5-10

      And yes, this will 100% unlock your Xbox just the same as a $50 modchip would.

      For more info, check out: [] and/or []
  • I would wait to see how the reviews pan out with this thing. Besides the very bad english on their product page (here []) players like these don't always work up to spec (obvious but still needs to be said at least once). A fact I found very interesting was the "(Testing)" entry next to their DivX support halfway down the page.
  • I wonder if companies will produce DivX DVDs/CDs for retail sales... that would be pretty neat.

    Come to think of it, this is kind of like buying an MP3 stereo/player. I still haven't seen any MP3 CD at my local CD retail yet, but I've seen people burning their own MP3 CDs. At least there aren't record companies going after these MP3 player makers yet, hopefully this will hold true for these divx players.

  • by nyquil ( 23124 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:42PM (#10552236)
    i have 2 of these, theyre really great. amazon has them usually for around $67, they work flawlessly, and will play almost everything you could put in there. i guess theres a couple divx encoders that it cant handle (yet), and i have come across a file or 2 that it wouldnt play, but if you're ripping your own stuff it should be fine. firmware upgradeable as well, just burn new firmware to cdr and follow the instructions. it will play divx/xvid/mpeg4 off cdr, cdrw, dvd+r/rw and dvd-r/rw, as well as being region free and progressive scan. best $67 i've ever spent.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      More precisely, most standalone DivX/XviD players have problems decoding XviD-files that were encoded with QPEL, GMC or BVOP [] turned on. If you rip yourself this is not a problem, but most downloadable xvid movies use BVOP and a smaller portion of them use QPEL and/or GMC. I'd guess that about 50% of the movies that I download would work in a standalone player like the dvp642 without any reencoding.

    • It seems that in the race to support more formats and features, quality is forgotten. A lot of my friends that bought players that play DivX, XviD and other permutations complain that their playback quality of regular MPEG-2 DVDs is lower than their older players.

      Let's hope that the upcoming players based on the Sigma Designs' new EM8620L [] chip will be better than the current bunch.
  • They sell standalone DVD players capable of playing DivX, Mp4, Mp3, Jpg, Photo CD, etc etc for about $90 (incl. delivery) here [] in Israel. These are Chinese players pretending to be German, but they do the job. Please, find something better to do with your $249.


  • by Oz0ne ( 13272 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:44PM (#10552244) Homepage
    a modded xbox

    New Xbox $150
    Mod Chip $30-60
    40 Gig HD $40

    Total: $220-250

    Will play DVDs region free, divx, xvid, quicktime, wmv, mpeg, avi, dv, mp3, view photos/slideshow, stream mp3 from internet radio stations, get the weather... etc.

    Only true geeks will want the hardware mentioned in the article... and true geeks can do much better, cheaper, and have more fun doing it themselves.

  • I remember dying to get a commercial standalone player able to play DivX, XVid, etc a few years ago, but even the super-expensive ones had woefully underpowered Sigma decoder chips.

    Now, there are dozens out there, and none of them have half the functionality, much less the low price, of a modded XBox.

    The fact that the Xbox also plays games is essentially a bonus feature -- it's a $150 universal media player that sets up in minutes and plays very well with other high-end AV components.
  • by modifried ( 605582 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:47PM (#10552264) Homepage
    From the product page: []

    "And DHCP server function help you to setup IP address automatically.We guarantee you, your familiy or your guest have an exciting time!"

    "Oustside enjoy listening music or shooting photos, and then after going back home, you just insert your gadjet to this USB port. LinkPlayer can pickup inside any files for your relax time."

    "LinkPlayer remote controller is not normal. Many buttons for your convinience."

    "We will keep to make much effort for your satisfaction. Now the following certifications have already been passed. Also we'll update more after finish. Don't miss anymore."
  • I think I paid $70 for it at Target. Plays DivX, MPEG 1/2, Xvid, MP3s... just toss files on a CD or DVD and away you go. The Philips web site has an ISO with an upgrade, so it plays files better.

    Only problem I've run into is playing PAL files on a NTSC TV - tried changing its output format, but no luck. Anyone have that working? It could be an old DivX file (it does have some problems with 3.11), I'm not sure. But, overall, this thing's amazing.
  • philips dvp642 (Score:2, Informative)

    I love my philips dvd/divx player. It is a pretty good stand alone dvd player but it plays a million other formats too. The only problem is that mine has trouble playing divx4 movies. In mencoder instead of using vcodec=mpeg4 I have to use vcodec=msmpeg4 (divx 3.) Divx3 is nice (alot better than mpeg2) but when I play with divx 4 I see that it has higher quality at lower bitrates. If anyone has gotten their philips player to play divx4 movies I would be interested to know.
    • The DVP642 won't read IDX + SUB subtitles either. Nor does it fast-forward or reverse to quickly (8x max). Other than these minor problems, I love my DVP642.

      Have you tried a firmware update? I've been meaning to do this with my dvp642, but haven't gotten around to it yet (playing around with my "special" Xbox :) ). Maybe that will help with your divx4 problem. I think it would also fix the IDX + SUB problem.
  • Divx player prices: (Score:4, Informative)

    by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john DOT lamar AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:51PM (#10552280) Homepage Journal
    From [], "official" players.

    DVD Player Compatibility List [] at
  • by amembleton ( 411990 ) < minus herbivore> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:54PM (#10552295) Homepage
    Goddmans make a DivX Player model: DVD161DIVX 5.1 DVD Player.

    If you are in the UK you can pick one up for £60 from Argos []. I have one, and find that it works very well whilst also looking good. All my videos play fine except for Real Player ones.
  • You could use the GeeXboX Linux distribution []. I haven't used it for a year but from what I remember it is a LiveCD. You boot up and can then access any network shares (including Windows) from your network. It will then play pretty much anything.
  • by tachyonflow ( 539926 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:03PM (#10552325) Homepage
    I bought a Phillips DVP642 DVD player a while back, and was rather disappointed. I've recorded a great deal of content with FFmpeg (with VBR mp3), and very little of it would play well on this box. I ended up getting rid of the box. (And I did upgrade the box to the latest firmware.)

    My main annoyance with PC tv-out's (i.e. the one on my MythTV box) is that they don't provide 1:1 scanline mapping output of the video. In other words, the video card provides you with a framebuffer of arbitrary size (640x480, 800x600, etc.) and maps that into about 400 or so lines of NTSC output. In other words, it destructively scales the image and breaks the ability to show true interlaced content. It's possible to "overscan" the output, but this in no way guarantees a 1:1 scanline mapping. I do have a PVR350, which does have a proper 1:1 scanline mapping, but the last time I tried using it for general video output (i.e. playing MPEG4 files with mplayer), it was not fast enough to keep up. It's incredible for playing back MPEG2 content with the decoder, though.

    If the LinkPlayer works well and has a proper, well-designed TV out, it may be worth looking into.

    • The "PDF catalog" on their web page (in reality, a user's manual) states that mp3 playback is limited to a maximum bitrate of 192 kbps. This renders this product worthless to me, as I would never consider purchasing a box that purports to be something of a "play anything" appliance yet cannot handle all my high-quality mp3s. And it calls into question how it would handle various mpeg-4 videos which more and more often feature mp3 audio encoding.

      It's a shame, I've been looking for the right networked DVD
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:04PM (#10552328)
    Unless I am mis-reading the article the LinkPlayer supports playback of HD-DIVX. I assume the output is also HD (whats a D4 connector?). If so, that is indeed a big deal. None of the other players I am aware of can playback HD content.
  • by prostoalex ( 308614 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:06PM (#10552339) Homepage Journal
    What's wrong with attaching a laptop with S-Video output to the TV? I also plug my 5.1 audio-system into the audio jack of the laptop and get the full surround sound. Plays DivX, WMV, RealVideo, MPEG and whatever they come up with.
  • by frank249 ( 100528 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @06:09PM (#10552351)
    I had been looking for a way to play Divx files on my TV for awhile. I had considered a Divx capable DVD player but you cannot just go to Best Buy or Future Shop to get one. I thought about a wireless solution but they are still very pricy. I found the easiest and cheapest solution was to buy an ATI video card with TV out.
    The 9200SE [] supports the latest games and dual monitors with DIV and has TV out/s video all for about $80cdn Yes my computer has to be close to the TV but I also have it conected to my stereo for home theatre and mp3s. Playing movies from the hard drive also saves having to burn DVDs/CDs. For me, it was the cheapest way to have my home multimedia centre.
    • You didn't look very hard. I bought this one [] at target today for $69. Early verdict... neat but I can hear the disc spinning which is annoying... stay tuned.
      • $69US is about $85cdn and unfortunately there are no Target stores in Canada yet. The word is that they are about to buy The Hudson Bay [] chain of department stores. If they do, they will be in every major Canadian market but I could not wait that long.

        I was also a little leary of buying a Divx/DVD player as you never know how long the format is good for. Now that I have integrated my computer with my TV and stereo I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Whenever I want to watch something on my
  • I picked up a $60 multi-region DVD & VCD player the other day. I'm not sure about DivX in particular yet, because I don't have any DivX discs...
    • If you don't know if it has DivX, it probably doesn't. It's still a niche feature. Players are getting more common, but still only a very small proportion of the market.
  • So when the next version of the DivX codec comes out and you wind up with a CD with an avi using that codec and the earlier version of the codec won't play it, can this newfangled widget install the newer version?

    • only if the new encoder produces stuff the old decoder can't decode.

      besides, it wouldn't be that far fetched for there to be firmware updgrades, other similar devices get them.
  • Liteon DVD players (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have an LVD-2001, but the LVD-2010 [] is it's replacement model. There was some bitching and moaning about end-user formats and stuff, so the 2010 doesn't do as much as my 2001. But it plays Xvid absolutely perfect, and there's really no reason to ever use MPEG2 for it. Divx plays ok, as long as you keep to the "standards" for it's encoding.

    I also have a LVW-5001 [].
    It's wonderful, too, even though it doesn't play mpeg4. I swapped out the original Liteon 401M optical drive, for a newer 812S drive. I also adde
  • Hauppauge MediaMVP [] is less than 100 bucks at PCAlchemy []

    There's pleny of mediamvp hacking [] (including work on a mythtv client) and 3rd party client replacements out there like gbpvr [] (how to article on my site [] )


  • "At $249 suggested retail, I know what I'm wishing for this Christmas!"

    A $150 soft-modded XBox [] pre-installed with the more capable XBox Media Center [], and a $100 gift certificate with the money left over? :)


  • My xbox cost about $140 new and with about 20 minutes of hacking using a software hack, I had a fully networkable media player that could play just goddamn near ANY type of file. Not only that, it could play xbox games and run just about any emulator i'd want.

    This "divx player" is an overpriced turd in comparison.
  • Was just checking these out yesterday:

    Go Video []

    KISS [] (runs Linux)

    Supposedly Gateway has one too, but perhaps they discontinued it. Could only find this Google cache link [].

    D-Link []

    And I'm sure I've missed quite a few. All have slightly different configurations; my goal was to find a box that would play media from the network.

    Furthermore, I want the device to play DVD images (I rip ISO images using DVDDecrypter so I don't loose all the extra DVD stuff). I am not sure any of them actually support that. I
  • Standalone players (Score:2, Informative)

    by Phatmanotoo ( 719777 )

    a few standalone DVD players -- the Philips DVP642 is one -- will play DivX files from recordable CDs andd DVDs.

    Well at least here in Europe we've been having cheap (under $100) DivX-capable players since the beginning of the year. Last time I went to our local supermarket I could spot FIVE different ones, all under $100 except for the Philips one. And guess what, the cheap ones tend to accept a much wider range of disks and formats.

    I've got an "El-cheapo" one, based on a MEDIATEK 1389-DE chip, and

  • by meehawl ( 73285 ) <> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @07:08PM (#10552669) Homepage Journal
    Cool. According to the DVD Player Compatibility List [], there are just 5 players currently available with DIVX and ethernet []. There are now, however, about 223 standalone DIVX players [], around 13% of the total, which is much more than this time last year. Even the most modern ones, however, still sometimes have trouble with advanced or unsupported DIVX/XVid profiles.
  • LinkSys announced that they would release a DVD player that played DivX, and would include an 802.11g wireless connector for playing said DivX content over the network.

    Press release: y ear=2004

    The product was announced in Q1 CY 2004. It was slated to be released in Q1 CY 2004. it's now Q4 CY 2004.

    It was announced as if it was almost on the market, they said 2-3 months you could purchase it. Here we are 10 months later, not a peep.
  • it seems that all of the divx players won't play files with these enhancements. some types of content need these options during encoding in order to have accepable quality during playback.
  • Seriously people, I got my Magnavox DVD player at Big Lots for $50 and it played anything mpeg1 or mpeg2, that includes avi files and whatnot. Check for lists upon lists of more impressive DivX capable players that are under $50. Two summers ago TechTV reviewed an Apex player for $100 that played DivX and all its breeds as well as DVD-Audio and SACD. If it's firmware upgradeable it almost always can be given newer codec support if it already plays Divx.

    Some of these DVD players use generic DV
  • I am wondering if instead of using a player that can read divx, if anybody here knows of a cheap solution to wirelessly display your computer screen on your tv and just play the files from your computer, that way you don't have to worry about format at all.

    • Lord_Dweomer wrote: I am wondering if instead of using a player that can read divx, if anybody here knows of a cheap solution to wirelessly display your computer screen on your tv

      Um. You understand that current consumer-level wireless gear has some pretty strict bandwidth limitations, right? You also understand that TV sets are pretty brain-dead and require RCA, S-video, or (whatever that 75-ohm connector was called) input, right? So, to do all this crap wirelessly, you'd need a way to transfer 30 640

  • I was thinking about doing the entire mythtv thing, mostly so that I can play region 2 DVD's here in the US and play xvid etc on my TV.
    Instead of doing that I just got an Xecuter3 Modchip for my Xbox... soldered the baby in, and installed Xbox Media Center, and well it doesn't just play any DVD I throw its way but also DIVX, XVID etc, best $60 I have spend in a long time...and its kinda neat to FTP into your xbox.
  • I'm surprised that someone submitted a story about a device that can play video files of all sorts from your computer on your TV. There's got to be a dozen of these things, some of them have been around for a few years now. Linksys has one, Gateway has one, PRISMIQ has one, Hauppage has one, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Skippy Peanut Butter brand media center that could do this at this point. The fact it can play DivX and XVid is old news too. My PRISMIQ unit could do that for the last 18 mont
  • by Beatlebum ( 213957 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:45PM (#10553104)
    I have hundreds of DVD discs lying around. For a while I've been pondering what it would take to build a
    networked video server, recently I finally got it working. The objective
    was to be able to play DVD's seamlessly from a server share, by seamlessly I
    mean complete with menus, extras etc., with high quality video and digital
    sound. In theory a 100Mbit LAN should have enough bandwidth since DVD's
    video stream is at most 9Mbit, the most difficult part was putting together
    a quiet client machine capable of generating a good quality analog video
    signal. I ended up buying a cheap ($400) Dell Poweredge machine on ebay,
    it's practically silent, this is important since it sits beside the TV. For
    DVD decoding I'm using something called the XCard
    ( .htm []), it decodes video and
    outputs digital audio. On the software side I am using TVedia
    ( dhelp []), it generates menus on the
    TV to access media on the LAN. It also works quite well with the XCard,
    which comes with a serial port IR remote sensor. To make a DVD playable from
    the network I use DVDDecrypter to create an iso image and daemon tools to
    mount the image on a virtual drive, TVedia can then play the "disc" as if it
    was in the local machine's drive. The system is pretty neat if I do say so
    myself. I picked up a couple of Maxtor 250G drives from Frys, that's about
    50-100 DVDs online. In theory I could stick another cheap PC in the bedroom
    and have access to the movie collection there also.
  • by Morden ( 15788 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:48PM (#10553116)
    I bought a Digitrex off Ebay for about AU$160.

    Plays DivX, MOV, etc. Pretty much anything you can throw at it, except WMV and Real (but who cares about them anyway...).

    About the only thing I'd want it to do that it doesn't currently would be handle multisession data disks so I can add files to compilations as new ... er ... "episodes" become "available".

    It's also got a monitor output, so if my housemate's using the TV I can plug it into my computer's monitor and deprive /. of posts like this one :)

    Oh, and it even plays DVDs...
  • In Japan this model has been out for about 6 months. Played 99.9% of all video files I threw at it, DivX and Xvid of just about every origin.

    IO-DATA also sells a nice embedded linux NAS (120, 160, 250, 300gb versions available plus you can add 2 external usb2 drives) that has the server-side support to stream video to the linkplayer so you don't have to leave a PC on.

    Firmware updates are distributed directly from the net too.

    I'm really happy with it - makes me glad I bothered to wire ethernet to my livi
    • Koutarou, are you able to tell us whether it will play ripped DVDs (on a hard drive) perfectly? By "perfectly", I mean with all the menus and subtitles/audio tracks etc.

      The only device I've found that does is the TViX ( With the TViX, you simply dump a DVD onto its hard drive, and then play the video_ts.ifo file and it's indistinguishable from playing the disc on regular player (eg. you get the menus). It even has optical audio out and component video out. Unfortunately the TViX doesn't
  • I heard Circuit City has DiVX players: right? []

    I heard these are way better than DVDs.
  • until they design one that allows some way to update the codec software inside the player.

    It wouldn't be that hard to implement in cmos.
    And the newbie non-tech people can just ignore that feature, or have it "serviced" by a local geek.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe