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    Invelos Forums->General: General Home Theater Discussion Page: 1  Previous   Next
KDLinks HD720 Media Player Appliance
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DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 4,844
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Just picked up one of these off Amazon. This is the miracle device that I have been long seeking. It plays virtually all media types and formats that I have in my system, including DVD and Blu-Ray ISOs with menus and subtitles!!!

The box has a SATA bay for a 3.5" drive (up to 4TB) and 2 USB 2.0 ports for external drives. With the included USB 3.0 cable, it can serve as a attached drive to a PC. It has a Gigabit LAN  port and can share its drives on the network (mini-NAS).

The device also has a few "APPS" (e.g. JukeBox, Youtube and a minmal web browser), DLNA client / server functions and SMB support. You can setup password protected attachments to any SMB servers in your network, and it will automatically pick up any DLNA shared folders as well.

All of this for under $200!

Now I am seriously considering retiring my two HTPCs in favor of data servers front-ended by a couple of these sweet machines. No messing with OS updates, a/v software, backups and other maintenance activities. I now have the infrastructure required to store all my DVDs in ripped form. I could even retire my Sony changers (although video and audio quality will suffer somewhat - the KDLinks is amazing, but it can't duplicate the full video detail and sound modes of high-end a/v gear).

I have no trouble streaming any of my HD content over wired LAN - I get some stutter on the most complex files in Wi-Fi mode.

And so far, the only media types I cannot render are HDDVD and some weird avi format I once created from a home movie I made. Also some high data rate M2TS files I create from my Hauppauge HD-PVR play choppy over the network - but play smoothly from a directly-attached thumb drive or hard drive.

Oh, and did I mention that the USB ports also support keyboard and mouse? Even a portable USB DVD drive sort of worked a couple of times - but that is undocumented and not supported yet.

Their customer support is very responsive and I know they are working on a firmware upgrade - they have even solicited users for ideas on what new features to put in.

Only issue now is whether the thing is reliable. Time will tell, but for $159, it's easily a risk I will take. It only needs to last a year to be worth it. It takes literally 5 minutes to set up, with no maintenance. I love it.

Outputs are HDMI & Component video, with analog and digital audio (SPIDF and optical) whew!
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 4,844
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I just converted my lossless .wma to .flac using dbpoweramp (free) batch converter. Now my KDlinks plays my entire ripped legacy CD collection (new ones are already Amazon .mp3).

I also put in a 2TB WD Green drive with all my music files, family photos and videos, and a whole bunch of DVD and BD ISOs. So far, this box plays nearly everything. The major snag is a certain type of high data rate TS/M2TS that plays with a nasty skip. They are working on a firmware fix.

So, with the advent of 5TB drives, I am on the verge of retiring my Sony CX995V 400 disc changers. The KDlinks plays ISO files with very high quality and with access to all the audio formats and subtitles. It has digital optical output, so while I wouldn't dare to think it rivals the Sony codecs, at my age, it probably doesn't matter.

La Cie has introduced a quad interface (USB, eSata, 2xfirewire 800) 5TB drive for $349 already!!!! I estimate that it will easily hold all 800 rips from my two Sony changers. I might then sell off one of them to pay for the La Cie. Then I will move all the DVDs from my CX7000es to the empty CX995v to make space for more BDs. When the CX7000es fiills up, that will be a new decision point. But my CX7000 is a sweet machine (especially with LoadDVD control) - while the KDlinks plays BDs just fine, I can't imagine that its codecs are as good as the CX7000, but I'm not certain about that.

I am looking forward to the next trip out to see my son. I will pack this little box in the suitcase, and be able to instantly share a large selected set of my favorite media with the family - lots of movie nights. Just plug into his HDTV and go!
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantDr. Killpatient
Here's my card
Registered: May 19, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 5,833
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I'm using the new version 6 beta of UNRAID which now supports running virtual machines (xen) along with up to 23 drives in a protected array (currently 1 parity, 1 cache, 3TB*3, 4TB*6). In a VM, I have an instance of Arch linux with Plex Media Server running.

I gave my dad a $99 Roku 3 box and using the Plex plugin, he can access all of my movie & TV collection stored on the 33 TB array. I currently have everything in MKV format but it handles it quite well, transcoding HD video down to 720P (optional). No transcoding for local Roku 3 boxes. Subtitles supported.

I tested the Roku 3 box on the LOTR extended edition Bluray and it had no skipping.

Just another option to bring to your idea.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 4,844
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Wow, nice! Just think 5 years ago, that would have been unthinkable! 
Thanks for your support.
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Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantRobAGD
Registered: June 3, 2007
United States Posts: 706
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Wow, I just finished filling up my 5th 995 :/

and I am at around 230 BluRays

I had to cut back on my buying habits

Been working my way around using a NAS device for storage and some kind of front end to handle ripping.

-R
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantleo1963
Registered: May 14, 2007
United States Posts: 455
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It looks like it might be as good or better than the Dune Smart D1 box I'm looking into.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 4,844
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Quoting leo1963:
Quote:
It looks like it might be as good or better than the Dune Smart D1 box I'm looking into.

My KDLinks unit is still humming along. Two firmware upgrades so far have provided a few improvements. There are still just three formats that I have, that it will not play: (1) WMA, (2) High data rate .TP, and HDDVD. Everything else I have tried, works like a charm.

For the WMAs, I used a free batch converter to change to flac, so that issue is gone. For the HDDVDs,  you have to open the folders on the disk and access the streams directly.

Still waiting for a fix for the high data rate .tp files. I don't have an exact number, but anything in the range of a DVD (8-12 mbs) I thinks plays smoothly.

It is a weird problem, because BD ISOs and all kinds of mp4 and everything else play just fine, regardless of the data rate.

The thing is so easy to use. I have also inquired as to the process for making an App for it. Would be cool to have a DVDP like front-end in it.
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantleo1963
Registered: May 14, 2007
United States Posts: 455
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Wondering how your KDLinks was working?  Are you still looking into an app to interface with DVDP?  I am in the process of converting all my movies and TV shows to MP4 format and would love to find a media player solution that does cost a bunce of $$$.

Leo
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 4,844
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Still works like a charm, but I have no way to use it with mobile versions of DVDP or with DVDP running on the  Android version of KDLinks. Of course, the PC version of DVDP works fine since it can access any file on the network and the KDLinks hard drive can be shared on the network.
Thanks for your support.
Free Plugins available here.
Advanced plugins available here.
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