2011 is a year that marks the beginning of the change in how we consume media…movies, music, photos from hard copies onto streaming, streaming and more streaming. Whether we stream from Netflix or Pandora or from our own servers (where we ripped our own legally purchased movies), having everything at a touch of the button is more than simply convenience. As this site is dedicated to media streamers, we will compile a top 10 list containing the 10 best media streamers currently available on the market based on their advertised capabilities. Among the most important factors to be taken into account are DLNA support, internet clients, supported video formats and so on. We’ll try to list the best DLNA media player, best 1080p media player, best internet media streamer and the big prize will go to the best media streamer overall. I will also include a comparison table. Let the battle begin!
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A new media streamer box is finding its way to your entertainment rack (via the store shelves, of course). This time is CiragoTV Platinum CMC3000 (a mouthful of titles). Among the features worth mentioning are the full Audio/Video CODEC support, 1080p video playback, UPNP/DLNA client, recording and with timeshift capabilities, a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and a BitTorrent client. Hardware wise, this media streamer box sports the standard nowadays HDMI output, two USB ports and a media card reader. The box ships including a 500GB hard drive (who uses these anymore?) for $229 and 1TB for $249. No mentions about Netflix support which is a must have currently but you can do something about this via the DLNA client and PlayOn for example, if you already have a server in your home. Time will tell how it will perform against more established players as Popbox, Boxee Box, Apple TV, WD TV Live Plus, Seagate FreeAgent Theater + and Viewsonic VMP75.
This is the lowest price I found for this year – an excellent Netflix capable media streamer with 1080p, DLNA and network shares support for only $60 with no taxes and free shipping for most of the states. YouTube, ShoutCast Radio and Flickr support as well plus local files via network / USB playing MKV, h.264, DIVX, XVIX, etc. You can buy it from Amazon.
- Stream instantly unlimited movies & shows directly to your living room HDTV via Netflix video on demand service
- Listen to a variety of internet radio stations or access thousands of videos and photos with Live365.com, ShoutCast Radio, YouTube and Flickr
- Multiple connectivity options including Ethernet, HDMI, AV Composite, S/PDIF, USB, eSATA, and optional Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. Enjoy rich content with faster file transfer thru eSATA
- Web browser feature allows you to surf the internet (not compatible with rich flash content) and custom RSS feeds provide you with instant news
- Plays a full range of video and audio formats including MPEG1/2/4, H.264, DivX, DTS, MKV, AVI, MOV, RM/RMVB, MP3, OGG, WMA, and more
A Universal Media Player
The EP500 provides flawless playback for all of today’s popular media file formats! It is able to handle high definition videos perfectly all the way up to 1080p Full-HD resolution.
- Video Files: AVI, MKV, MP4, M2TS, MOV, DAT, VOB, IFO, MPG, TS, TP, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, FLV, ISO
- Video Codec: H.264/AVC, MPEG1/2/4, DivX/Xvid, VC-1, RMVB
- Audio Files/Codec: AC3, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC, M4A, WAV
- Photo Formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIF
As the movie watching (or music listening) technology moves away from the physical support toward streaming services and on-demand, soon, in your living-room the Blu-ray player will be replaced by a media streaming box that will allow playing of digital media formats and also the access of movie/music streaming services (Netflix and Pandora being just two examples). 2010 is an important year marked by an explosion of such devices coming on the market. The sheer number of media streamers available makes it difficult to choose: What services I need, what media formats should the device support? These are only some of the questions that we need to ask ourselves and to help, I compiled a list of popular media streamers currently available, that will give you a starting point.
Popular streaming services in 2010 are: NETFLIX, Pandora, Last.fm, YouTube, HULU, VUDU, Facebook and Twitter access for socializing, Amazon VOD, etc. Popular formats should include MKV support, 1080p, h264, DIVX, XVID, etc. In terms of hardware capability, a HDMI out port is mandatory. Depending on your needs, you may also consider a wired or wireless networking capable device as well. On this site, we will try to describe in detail the top media streamers 2010.
Noah Company MediaGate HA-IR01SV Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate MCE Remote Control, 1 Channel IR (Silver)
LG BX580 is the company’s first 3D player and is available now on Amazon for $399 (although the waiting time seems to be 1 to 2 months). Packed with goodies like 3D support, integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, NetCast (for Youtube, Flickr, Weather, NETFLIX, VUDU and so on), DLNA so you can play your DIVX, MKV, photos and music from your home server), despite the steep price, is guaranteed to be a winner. No review yet but soon to come. You can order it here. Hit after the brake for full codec support.
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