Windows 10: What do you use for a Media Player?

  1.    15 Jan 2018 #1

    What do you use for a Media Player?


    Hi. Wondering what folks here use for a Digital Media Player in your entertainment systems.
    Standalone player? Which one? Wired or wireless?
    HTPC or NUC?
    TV or Bluray player using Windows DLNA?

    I've got a WD TV Live, very long in the tooth, and getting ready to upgrade.
    I primarily use it to stream local content rather than stuff off the interwebs.
    Collecting decision data.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Jan 2018 #2

    Hi folks

    For streaming I simply have shared folders and have installed KODI on Amazon Fire TV box. Kodi plays even more codecs both audio and video than VLC !! and that's almost impossible.

    For actually playing on a PC I use VLC for video and Winamp (yes it still works on W10) for audio -- I like the CD ripper in Winamp -- not that I have too many audio CD's -- but it connects to GRACENOTE which is better for Classical music than things like FREEDB - so on ripping the CD tracks are automatically tagged. It rips to FLAC as well which is how I usually store my music.

    If you can get something like an amazon fire TV box / Roku etc then streaming is ZERO problem - standard networking share is sufficient with the remote box doing the actual playing etc. No reason either for remote devices to need DNLA these days -- just Network share -- on android you can also use KODI to pick up your files from windows or the VLC version for Android (on phones too).

    For Audio a really simple easy one for Android is Samba Player (free no adverts) -- also works on phones / tablets -- for audio only.

    You could go the whole hog and set up something like PLEX from your computer as server -- can't be bothered with that B/S -- just share the folder - even from a NAS box if you don't want to do it from Windows and let the remote device worry about decoding and playing. This works very well also if you don't have a powerful TV - since all you are doing is using your network to transmit files -- don't try decoding with PLEX a lot of even full HD (1920 X 1080) HEVC X265 videos -- the machine won't cope - but stream those into an amazon Fire tv box at as low as 2 Mb/s and you are fine -- the CPU in the firebox will decode all the stuff brilliantly.

    by using say NAS / SAMBA shares it's easier to control who has access also. For HQ music you can also route optical audio output into a decent amplifier -- the HDMI connection from say an amazon Fire TV into a TV will give good audio -- then take optical output from TV / soundbar or whatever into your HQ amp. If you have a decent TV soundbar that works fine too.

    Note on the firebox you can install firefox web browser so streaming web content also is no prob with one of these devices. Same for NETFLIX etc.

    The old idea of having to use a multi-media server is so C20 -- standard networking works much better to C21 devices like phones, smart TV's Tablets etc.

    If using an amazon fire tv system the old FIREBOX is a lot better than the latest model if you can source one.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Jan 2018 #3

    Thanks for all the info Jimbo!

    I've looked into Kodi and like what I see. As I understand it the application installs in the player and not on the PC/Server like Plex. I like that. And it looks like it will do everything for media management that you would want.

    I also use VLC and Winamp on my PCs. Can't be beat for small footprint, simplicity, and function.

    What I like about my WDTV Live is that it just works with shared folders, not DLNA, and that is what I am doing now. So I won't need to change much there.

    Question on the Samba Player: is that for installation on the media player in order to play music? Do you like that because it is superior to anything in Kodi or on the Fire Box?

    Are you using the Amazon system? If so, which one?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 324
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit Edition
       16 Jan 2018 #4

    I have a Diamond Media TVW750U that I originally bought for Win7 but it would crash it.. tried installing it on this Win 10 Defenders blocked it. said contents had a virus.. even their website was blocked..
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    17 Jan 2018 #5

    TV2 said: View Post
    Thanks for all the info Jimbo!

    I've looked into Kodi and like what I see. As I understand it the application installs in the player and not on the PC/Server like Plex. I like that. And it looks like it will do everything for media management that you would want.

    I also use VLC and Winamp on my PCs. Can't be beat for small footprint, simplicity, and function.

    What I like about my WDTV Live is that it just works with shared folders, not DLNA, and that is what I am doing now. So I won't need to change much there.

    Question on the Samba Player: is that for installation on the media player in order to play music? Do you like that because it is superior to anything in Kodi or on the Fire Box?

    Are you using the Amazon system? If so, which one?

    @TV2

    Hi there
    am using Amazon Fire TV - the original one (square box) which can also do 4K video.

    There's lots of info on google on how to install KODI on it -- once you've installed KODI you can then simply connect to your Video / Audio files on your remote computer and play on TV.

    You can also install on a Phone --(Android) and then there's a simple app to copy to firetv stick / box.

    Samba player is a small android app that can browse your network (Lan) or internal phone card and play music which you can then route via blue tooth to speakers etc (or even use the headphone cable --some phones still have these !!). Very small, quick and easy to use.

    I just use the computer as a repository for multi-media --all the hard work in decoding etc I leave to the remote device --means the server doesn't need a mega powerful CPU --just ensure Lan / Wifi connection is adequate.

    Simplicity is always best -- I used to use things like PLEX -- not needed any more if you have something like an amazon TV or ROKU box. Might also work with apple tv but I can't trust a firm who gave us that abomination of iTunes with endless DRM problems.Might be better now but I'm not bothering.

    For the samba player on android just search the google play store. Free and NO ADVERTS !!!!
    Limited codecs though - mp3, flac, m4a are the 3 I mostly user so it's fine for me.

    Vlc on the REMOTE android system takes longer to find network shares than either samba player (audio only) or kodi (plays everything). You need a bit of a learning curve with KODI but it's worth it !!!!

    For just music playing on a phone Kodi is a bit more awkward - samba player is small quick and does exactly what you want - just browse your remote / LAN shares on computer or local storage on phone and there you are. It also installs on the amazon tv box but no point since you will probably have kodi on the box anyway.

    For music playing on a phone I'd recommend samba player if you usually play mp3/flac/m4a type of files. I rarely watch video on a phone - if I do it's sky go (I like English football --the one played with a ROUND Ball and where FEET are used to kick it with !!) or Netflix sometimes.

    VLC for android on a phone also works but although has more functionality than samba player it's not IMO quite ready for prime time - glitches sometimes. (Samsung S8 model).

    Recap - install things like KODI and Samba player on the remote playing device not the computer- all the computer has to do is to make the files available over the network via simple bog standard networking -- i.e in plain english just make the folders shareable and your computer visible to your LAN.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    18 Jan 2018 #6

    Great info as usual Jimbo. Thanks!

    That is my plan (Kodi & Samba) for the media box. Been reading up and have been seeing lots of good tricks to try out.

    I ordered the new nVidia Shield TV based on some recommendations on other (AV) forums. Way overkill and stupid expensive but it looks like a fun toy that also should play media!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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