Media Center decision

19 Jan 2009

Thank you for all your helpful comments on the post Popcorn Hour, WD TV or Apple TV?, I’ve made up my mind (for the time being).

I have to say though, it doesn’t feel like the ideal solution is there yet for me, although alohaglide warned be me about that. I dithered between AppleTV, Popcorn Hour, WD TV, Playstation 3 and giving the Mac Mini one more try for ages. In the end I went with two solutions.

First, here are the ones I rejected:

AppleTV: I’m not so concerned about the lack of support for various codecs, more the lack of space. I’d like play from the device, rather than have to have my laptop open to stream, but 160gb just doesn’t cut it. There are hacks to add external storage, both paid and easy or free and fiddly, but these have to be redone after each update, which wasn’t for me. Sadly, it wasn’t updated at MacWorld after all, as I had hoped.

Popcorn Hour: This had the expandability that I wanted, but I was unsure that I could live with that interface, or spend the time tweaking it to get it how I want it.

Playstation 3: This appealed in many ways – a machine that would play CDs, DVDs & Blu-ray discs, as well as media from it’s internal hard drive, USB drives and streamed via MediaLink. You can also add a PlayTV unit for PVR functionality, which has a good looking UI. I loved the potential of the ‘all-in-one’ unit for entertainment. However, I didn’t want to add another games console just yet (especially one so big), and it was certainly the most expensive of the options (once you add a PlayTV). This is still under consideration for the future though!

So, I’ve gone back to the Mac MIni for one more try, using a mixture of FrontRow, iPhone Remote app and Boxee (more on the lovely, but not particularly stable Boxee in a separate post) to play the media. By keeping the Mac Mini, I’m losing the airtunes streaming I would’ve got from an AppleTV or Airport Express, but with the iPhone Remote app, I don’t miss it. I can play music via a great UI without having the TV on, or my laptop open. The thing that turned me off the Mac Mini was requiring too much ‘admin’ required to get it to work, so I’ve purchased a Logitech Harmony One Remote to see if this helps (again, more on that in another post).

However, I’ve also ordered a Western Digital HD Media player! This device intrigued me – small, sleek and not too expensive – just plug in a USB drive. Once it arrives, I’m going to give the little fella a trial alongside the Mac Mini for a review.

Plenty of follow up posts to come!

Recent Posts

Differences between Icon and Logo Design on This is HCD Podcast

10 Apr 2018

Twelve South PencilSnap

01 Apr 2018

The Infinite Canvas

09 Feb 2018

Blade Runner 2049

14 Oct 2017

iPad Pro Pencil loop

11 Oct 2017

Troika #32: Tearjerker

04 Oct 2017

Instagram Hickstagram

  • 18 Apr 2018

    Kind of them to notice!

  • 18 Apr 2018

    A very Happy 20th Anniversary to @hicksleigh! I love you more than ever wifey, and still thank my lucky stars that we met. 😘😍

  • 16 Apr 2018

    If anyone’s interested in buying a nice carbon road bike, I’m selling my Colnago 😉 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Colnago-CLX-3-0-2012-carbon-road-bike-size-54/302705911235

  • 15 Apr 2018

    So pretty!

  • 13 Apr 2018

    Tasty one this

  • 10 Apr 2018

    Replacing worn out MacBook keys. I obviously type ‘a’ a lot

  • 08 Apr 2018

    Grown up Fanta

  • 07 Apr 2018

    Reader, I dropped it. #pintofhead

  • 05 Apr 2018

    THE DOOR OF THE TURIN SHROUD

  • 04 Apr 2018

Contact us

Call Jon on +44 (0)7917 391536, email or tweet @hicksdesign.

Alternatively, pop in for tea and cake at the studio…

Hicks
Wenrisc House
Meadow Court
Witney, OX28 6ER
United Kingdom