01 06/04
04:03

A few more weeks with the connected DVD player

I bought my GoVideo D2730 to be able to play mp3’s and video in my
living room without much hassle. What I got was a little success, a
little failure, and a little hassle.

Success
MP3’s work. And sound as good as MP3’s can. With some extra software,
Shoutcast streams work pretty well, too. With the new firmware you can
setup playlists and cycle through your photos on your TV. Not too bad.

Failure
I’ve
tried and I’ve tried and I’ve been unable to stream high quality DivX
or Xvid video. After a little while the video gets choppy and sometimes
the sound can get off. The software that sits on your computer
transcodes Divx or Xvid to mpeg to stream to the DVD player. I’ve
checked my network usage (wired 100mb), and my CPU usage (2.4ghz with
HT), and they both seem fine. If I change from “Best” to “Better” it
works fine, just looks a whole lot worse.

I’ve also been unable
to watch most Anime shows on the DVD player. For some reason the player
runs a huge chunk of the bottom of the video off the screen. It might
happen with the other sides, too but I dont notice. But, any show that
has the subtitles really low get them cut off. I’ve tried to find a
solution, and have seen posts from other people online that have the
same problem and have been unable to come up with a solution.

Now, I dont watch too much anime, but Jessie does and she’s one of the reasons I got the player. (I watch some anime, I especially like this new Samurai Champloo
show Jessie found). We’ve been unable to to watch hardly any anime on
it because it cuts off the subtitles and I dont understand Japanese
(yet).

It’s not a big deal, but it would be nice to have
something to play Apple’s AAC. Jessie’s been buying a few songs from
iTunes lately. It’ll probably be a while before we see something like
the connected DVD player playing the protected AAC files, but it would
be nice.

Hassle
In addition to the time spent trying
to fix the problems above, I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to
figure out how to index files off of network shares so I did not have
to install the server on multiple machines and have to remember what
machine has what on the DVD player. I came up with two solutions for that problem.

So,
though I like my DVD player for some things, I’m probably going to
start looking for a small form factor PC case to start building a Media
Center pc to replace it. I thought the connected DVD player would be a
“good enough” solution to keep me from buying more computer parts, but
it’s not turning out to be.