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eBay with Centrix has the Western Digital WD TV Live Media Player (WDBAAN0000NBK-NESN) for $55 with free shipping. Supports DNLA and Bonjour and features an HDMI port for streaming content from computer to HDTV.

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    foomench Ben's cred: 178
    Posted 8:53 am PDT 10/13/11

    This is not the Plus model, so no Netflix, Pandora, etc.

    On the other hand, I think this and the Plus versions are the best media players out there. I have two and am considering getting a third.
    + Accesses network shares directly without using DLNA (better performance, particularly for FF and REW)
    + Supports subtitles in DVDs and .mp4 files
    + Active firmware community at http://wdlxtv.com/

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    sholling Ben's cred: 231
    Posted 9:45 am PDT 10/13/11

    I have two (now retired) and they were very-very good in their day and have a pleasant easy to navigate interface. Their specialty is playing almost any format that you might own and have stored on an external hard drive or on your network. In their day they could play almost anything but technology advanced and due to hardware limitations they couldn't play lossless tracks (DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD) from Blu-Ray rips, and could only play 24bit HD FLAC files by down-sampling to 16bits (CD quality). Their other weakness with a lack of online streaming sources.

    FWIW they were not a real competitor to Roku but something you owned in addition to a Roku, the Roku for best of breed internet streaming and the WDTV Live for (in their day) best of breed local media playback.

    At least a couple of those weaknesses may have been addressed by the new 2011-2012 model (this is deal is for an older version) which is is supposed to have improved streaming (lots more channels) and is also rumored to support lossless formats for Blu-Ray rips. I haven't tested the new version and don't know for sure. So far I haven't heard anything about how they handle 24bit FLAC files.

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    MWplus3 Ben's cred: 191
    Posted 10:16 am PDT 10/13/11

    I had WD players for years, but recently switched to this:

    AIOS HD Media Center, Full HD 1080p, Gigabit Network, USB 3.0 data, Flash Reader, 3.5" SATA 2

    It costs $100, but will hold a hard drive up to 4TB and has played everything I could throw at it, including some files that made my WD stutter.

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    Attikai Ben's cred: 89
    Posted 10:27 am PDT 10/13/11

    I have one of these and one of the newer models. This older WDTV Live does support Pandora, but not Netflix. It's a good full HD player. Plug your USB flash drive or HDD into it and play almost any file. If you are going to stream from your network I would suggest doing it with a wired connection. I have had poor WiFi performance especially with HD files.

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    foomench Ben's cred: 178
    Posted 10:54 am PDT 10/13/11

    That AIOS looks interesting. I see it can be a SAMBA share itself. Can it also read from other SAMBA or NFS shares? Does it support dynamic playlists, e queuing up a bunch of albums? How about playing pictures while music is playing?

    I haven't ripped my Blu-rays yet, so I haven't needed the advanced audio support.

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    foomench Ben's cred: 178
    Posted 11:10 am PDT 10/13/11

    I see that the Pivos AIOS has GPL source available.
    http://www.pivosgroup.com/#!aconbay-download
    I don't see a lot of custom work going on, but it is possible.

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    MWplus3 Ben's cred: 191
    Posted 11:14 am PDT 10/13/11

    Check out the forum here:
    http://forums.redflagdeals.com/ncix-pivos-aios-hd-media-player-100-shipped-just-launched-1087164/

    It's fairly new...but brings a lot to the table. You'll get most every question answered in this forum.

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    iLikeDeals Ben's cred: 26
    Posted 7:42 pm PDT 10/13/11

    Who is AIOS? Never heard of this brand.

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