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What to buy other than Chromecast? Suggestions Please...


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Tanamur

Hi Community - I would appreciate some hardware advice to purchase during my upcoming trip to the USA. I live in Asia and can't fully use (or order from Amazon) streaming devices like Roku, FireTV, Samsung Smart Media Player, etc. By this I mean that all of the features like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon video are blocked through a standard internet connection in my country.

 

I have had a taste of the ease of using my Android app to stream to my old DLNA compliant HP Mediasmart Media Center extender. I love the convenience of not loading the media center client, dealing with overscan settings and codec support by treating it as just a DLNA client. However, it is old and on its way out.

 

I should mention that I had a look around in the shops for one of the Android mini-PC's but nothing is sold here other than some overpriced US$250 clunky settop boxes catering to Mandarin characters which I don't read.

 

So, it appears the logical and positive choice is a Chromecast device. I would appreciate if anyone could verify if this is working well enough with the Android MB3 app and an HDMI & USB slot on the TV.

 

 

Thanks in advance,

Tanamur

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CBers

Yes. Chromecast is an excellent device when used with mb3 Android app.

 

I have replaced a HTPC (MBC) with a Chromecast.

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CBers

[sniff...] B)

Sorry :(

 

I'm still testing your releases and supporting fruends/family that use it ;)

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CBers

Wait til you see what I've got coming next...

 

Sounds intriguing !!

 

Ebr, can we please ban Keith for this?  :D

 

Just put me back to being a normal user :(

 

Sorry, we're hi-jacking @@Tanamur's topic :D

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Spaceboy

Chromecast is great. Personally I would not use it for my main htpc, I'm still heavily reliant on wmc until MBT can help with live tv. If we're talking low cost/power devices I really like the roku xs 2 for only £50. The mb app for it is good but there are loads of other free channels available

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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roberthleeii

I don't have a chrome cast but I would spend the extra $ and get at least the Roku 2, even if it is just for media browser. I have had a roku 3 for 2 months and I have used only one other app besides mb3, and I don't regret a dime I spent on it. I almost like it more than my htpc running MB theater.

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Tanamur

Gosh thanks everybody! It was a long day at the office and I did not get to check the forum until just now so a belated thanks.

 

I had three things on my Amazon wish list: 1) Intel i-5 NUC @ $550 2) Quad Core Android 4.2 TV Box @ $99 and 3) Chromecast @ $35.

 

Since I am leaving tomorrow I needed to get the shipping on the way so, I ordered the Android Box and the Chromecast for now. This should let me test both using my phone as a control for the Chromecast and also retain the option to veg out with a battery remote for the Android Box. Thanks for the feedback and regarding the Roku also. Maybe I will impulse buy one as well at Fryes. 

 

I will report back on the user experience in a few weeks when I get back!

 

Cheers, Tanamur

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ecrispy

Hi Tanamur, I'd suggest you also consider the Asus Chromebox. It is basically like the Intel Celeron NUC, it has a more powerful Haswell cpu and includes a 16GB SSD and 2GB Ram. It makes for a very nice XBMC client running OpenElec. IMO as a playback device the Intel i3/i% NUC are overkill and too expensive, and Chromebox is a better value than the Celeron NUC.. You can find more info here -

 

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=ASUS_Chromebox

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=185329

 

I see form the date of your post that you are already in the US most likely :) You can pick up the Chromebox in Fry's if you want.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Community – I am just back from my travels and want to say thanks to all for the hardware suggestions for replacing my old, low-fidelity extender. Here is what I purchased:

 

1)      The Amazon order of the Android set top box did not arrive before my return so I purchased a Roku 3 at Fry's Electronics. This is a US (as opposed to UK) version however the power adapter does work on 220v power and aside from the regionally blocked channels like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc, everything else works. Strangely the Asia time zone settings have been left out.  I am really pleased with this unit and had I realized how simply it worked and supported all of the formats I had been pulling my hair out to play on the old extender for only US$100, I would have made the move much sooner.

I have downloaded/purchased all four of the MB, MB Beta, MB Media Centre Lite and MB Media Centre channels. Very clean and straight forward navigation. You have to love the IP remote control with the headphone jack. I have the unit connected to my wired LAN but the response of the MB Media Centre channel with the full graphics is noticeably slower than the other channels which may simply be a limitation of the device. Nice work though on all the channel options.
 

2)       I also purchased a Chromecast device. Very straight forward and easy to set up. None of the Google Play Store movies, tv or music options are available in Asia as I expected but it does work really well for MB using my tablet or phone as a remote. Great to see it supported by MB and all the usual suspect formats supported out of the box.

 

I will take a look at the Android box when I pick it up during my next trip but I am quite pleased with the improve options I have now. Many thanks to the devs that have created the support for Roku and Chromecast and thanks again to all for the helpful suggestions.

 

Cheers, @Tanamur

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