Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/soriconm/public_html/_reviewhorizon/wp-content/themes/boldnews/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Best Media Streamers / Players 2012 – Top 10

A new year, a new top 10 list that tries to offer a comprehensive view of the top 10 best media streamers for 2012.

If 2011 was a year in which the media streamer boxes sales experienced a consolidation and media streamers like WD TV Live, Boxee Box or Apple TV exploded in sales, 2012 is a year when beside commoditization of the boxes at prices under $100, the manufacturers will fight quite hard to ensure access to content. From new technologies designed to put a media streamer in every TV sold in 2012 – see the Roku streamer USB stick that should add streaming content to every HDMI-MHL compatible TV on the market to new Google TV boxes from new manufacturers, everything is gearing up toward a complete online experience from your big screen TV. We are here to help you make an informed decision, whether you are trying to stream local / networked content or you just need to access as many web services as possible.

As in 2011, In terms of pure streaming, Roku deserves to be again on the first place due to its excellent implementation of web clients and the support for all important premium clients such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, etc. HBO GO and many other additional channels fond their way to Roku Boxes and their prices are lower than ever.

Local files support continues to be critical for some and Boxee Box and Western Digital boxes are again  the best in this category (even with their inherent bugs), without stepping into the pro-sumer category like the Dune BD Prime 3.0 media player for example which is in my opinion the best in terms of codec support.

As usual, I’ll update the list as new devices come on the market and I would also appreciate your input / votes as well. Considering that some will prefer a stronger codec support for local media and some will only care about web streaming, this top 10 will obviously not make everybody happy. However, I tried to add as many technical specs as I could so you can perform a side by side comparison.

What is not new but is slowly gaining acceptance is the 3D content viewing. Currently there are three venues to play/stream 3D content – Blu-ray disks, VUDU on compatible players and various web downloaded files converted to up/down or side-by-side 3D. Most current 3D TV sets / projectors will be able to play nice with all of the above mentioned sources. Without much further ado, let’s get to the list:

Top 10 Media Streamers / Players 2012

Position Name DLNA Netflix Other

Services

MKV 1080p Popular

Video

Containers

Popular

Audio

Containers

Comments
1. Boxee Box YES Yes Pandora,

Flickr,

YouTube

(Leanback)

Twitter,

Facebook,

VUDU, …

and so on,

about 135 of

them)

YES YES Flash 10.1,

FLV/On2

VP6

(FLV/FV4/M4V)

H.264 AVC

(TS/AVI/

MKV/MOV

/M2TS/MP4)

VC-1

(TS/AVI/MKV/

WMV)

MPEG-1

(DAT/MPG/

MPEG)

MPEG-2

(MPG/MPEG/

VOB/TS/

TP/ISO/IFO)

MPEG-4

(MP4/AVI/MOV)

DivX 3/4/5/6

(AVI/MKV)

Xvid (AVI/MKV)

WMV9 (WMV/

ASF

DVR-MS)

MP3
WAV/

PCM/

LPCM
WMA
AIF/AIFF
AC3/AAC
OGG
FLAC
DTS
Dolby

Digital/
Dolby

True

HD

available

extensive

codec support,

one of the

best in industry

includes

Internet

Browser

(HTML 5

Webkit)

compatible

hundreds

of web

clients

QWERTY

REMOTE

Control

full review here

2. Western Digital

WD TV Live

Streaming

Media Player

YES Yes YouTube,

Pandora,

Flickr,

Spotify,

Facebook,

Live365,

Hulu Plus,

NETFLIX,

MediaFly,

many others

YES YES YES,

pretty much

everything

available

including

MKV 1080p,

etc

YES -available

extensive codec

support,

one of the best

in industry

review here

3. Roku 2 XS

Streaming

Player 1080p

NO NO Netflix,

Amazon VOD,

Hulu Plus, UFC,

MLB.com,

NBA Game Time,

Mediafly,

blip.tv,

twit.tv,

Facebook Photos,

Revision 3,

FrameChannel,

Flickr,

Pandora,

DreamTV,

SmugMug,

Techpodcasts.com,

MobileTribe,

NHZNetorks OnDemand,

Drive-in Classics,

Moonlight Movies,

Kung-fu Theater, MCC,

Weiss Money Network,

Cowboy Classics

NO YES NO NO best pure web

streamer,

support for

Hulu Plus,

Netflix,

Amazon VoD,

many others

4. Popcorn Hour

A-210 by Syabas

YES NO Video : Revision 3,

Videocast,CNET TV,

Mediafly,Mevio,

Bliptv,

Break Podcast,

CBS Evening News,

CNN Anderson

Cooper 360 Daily,

CNN The Larry King

Podcast,

NBC Today Show,

The CNN Daily,

CNN In Case You

Missed It,

NBC Nightly News,

NBC Meet The Press,

CBS Face the Nation,

Podfinder UK, Motorz

Audio : Jamendo,

iPodcast,

BBC Podcast,

Indiefeed,

CNN News,

ABC News

Photos : Flickr,

Picasaweb,

Pikeo, 23,

Photobucket,

SmugMug

RSS feed :

Yahoo! Weather,

NMT Forum,

Bloglines, Cinecast,

MSNBC News,

Traffice Condition,

Yahoo! Traffic Alerts,

Yahoo! News,

Weather Bug

Peer-to-peer TV :

SayaTV

SHOUTCast™ Radio,

Radiobox,

Live365 Radio

YES YES YES YES available-

full range of

codecs

support

5. iXtreamer

Media Player

YES NO Video: YouTube,

Picasa,Yahoo Video,

CNN,NBC Today,

CBS Face the Nation

Audio: Live365 Radio,

iPodcast,

Radiobox, ABC News,

BBC Podcast,

CNN News , Indiefeed,

Jamendo

Photo: Picasaweb

RSS feed:

Yahoo! Weather,

Yahoo! News,

Yahoo! Xchange,

MSNBC News

and more

YES YES YES YES available

Thumbnail

 

Based

Navigation

6. Brite-View

BV-5005HD

NO NO Torrent, Flickr YES YES YES YES available
7. Syabas

Popbox 3D

Multimedia

Player

NO YES Twitter,

Facebook,

Pandora,

Revision 3,

many more

YES YES YES YES available
8. Seagate

FreeAgent

Theater+

NO Yes Netflix, YouTube,

MediaflyvTuner,

Picasa,

FlickrVideo Feeds

(RSS),

Text Fees (RSS)

Finance Widget,

Weather Widget

YES YES YES YES available
9. Popcorn Hour

C-200

by Syabas

YES NO Video : Revision 3,

Videocast,

CNET TV,

Mediafly,

Mevio, Bliptv,

BreakPodcast,

CBS Evening News,

CNN Anderson

Cooper 360 Daily,

CNN The Larry King

Podcast,

NBC Today Show,

The CNN Daily,

CNN In Case You

Missed It,

NBC Nightly News,

NBC Meet The Press,

CBS Face the Nation,

Podfinder UK,

Motorz

Audio : Jamendo,

iPodcast,

BBC Podcast,

Indiefeed, CNN News,

ABC News

Photos : Flickr,

Picasaweb,

Pikeo, 23, Photobucket,

SmugMug

RSS feed :

Yahoo! Weather,

NMT Forum,

Bloglines, Cinecast,

MSNBC News,

Traffice Condition,

Yahoo! Traffic Alerts,

Yahoo! News,

Weather Bug

Peer-to-peer TV :

SayaTV

Internet Radio :

SHOUTcast™ Radio,

Radiobox,

Live365 Radio

YES YES YES YES – available-

full range of

codecs

support

10. Dune BD Prime 3.0 NO NO None YES YES YES YES available

1. Boxee Box media streamer

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
  • Adobe Flash 10.1,
  • FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V)
  • H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4)
  • VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)
  • MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG)
  • MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO)
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV)
  • DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV)
  • Xvid (AVI/MKV)
  • WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)

Subtitles:

  • SRT
  • SUB
  • SSA
  • SMI
  • ASS
  • Adobe Flash 10.1,
  • FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V)
  • H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4)
  • VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)
  • MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG)
  • MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO)
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV)
  • DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV)
  • Xvid (AVI/MKV)
  • WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)
  • MP3
  • WAV/PCM/LPCM
  • WMA
  • AIF/AIFF
  • AC3/AAC
  • OGG
  • FLAC
  • DTS
  • Dolby Digital/Dolby True HD
  • MP3
  • WAV/PCM/LPCM
  • WMA
  • AIF/AIFF
  • AC3/AAC
  • OGG
  • FLAC
  • DTS
  • Dolby Digital/Dolby True HD
over 130 available including YouTube,Facebook,Twitter, Flickr, Pandora, etcNetflix

 

HTML 5 Web Browser (Webkit based)

2. Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player

 

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4),

MPG/MPEG, VOB,

MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1),

TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1),

MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264),

M2TS, WMV9AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4),

MPG/MPEG, VOB,

MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC,

MPEG1/2/4, VC-1),

TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1),

MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9

Subtitle:
SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMIMP3

WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC,FLAC,MKA,

AIF/AIFF, OGG,

Dolby Digital,

DTSMP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM,

WMA,

AAC,FLAC,

MKA,

AIF/AIFF, OGG,

Dolby Digital, DTS

YouTube,Pandora,

Flickr, Live365,Netflix,

Facebook,

Spotify,

Hulu Plus



 

3. Roku 2 XS Player

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
NA,

Internet Streaming only

NA,

Internet Streaming only

NA,

Internet Streaming only

NA,

Internet Streaming only

Netflix, Amazon VOD,UFC,

MLB.com,NBA Game Time,Mediafly,

blip.tv, twit.tv,Facebook Photos,

Revision 3,

FrameChannel, Flickr, Pandora,

DreamTV, SmugMug,

Techpodcasts.com,

MobileTribe, NHZNetorks OnDemand,

Drive-in Classics, Moonlight Movies,

Kung-fu Theater, MCC,

Weiss Money Network,

Cowboy Classics

 

4. Popcorn Hour A-210

 

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MPEG1/2/4 Elementary(M1V, M2V, M4V)MPEG1/2 PS

(M2P, MPG, DAT, VOB)

MPEG2 Transport Stream(TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)AVI, ASF, WMV

Matroska (MKV)

MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4XVID SD/HDMPEG-1

MPEG-2 MP@HL

MPEG-4.2 ASP@L5, 720p, 1-point GMC

MPEG-4.10 (H.264) :

BP@L3, MP@L4.0, HP@L4.0, HP@L4.1

WMV9 : MP@HLSMPTE 421M (VC-1) :MP@HL, AP@L3

Subtitle Formats:
SRT, MicroDVD SUB, SSA,

SUB/IDXAAC, M4AMPEG audio

(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)

WAV

WMA

FLAC

OGGDolby DigitalDTS

WMA, WMA ProMPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3MPEG-4 AAC-LC

MPEG-4 HE-AAC

MPEG-4 BSAC

LPCM

FLAC

Vorbis

Video :Revision 3, Videocast,CNET TV, Mediafly,Mevio, Bliptv,Break Podcast,

CBS Evening News,

CNN Anderson

Cooper 360 Daily,

CNN The Larry King Podcast,

NBC Today Show, The CNN Daily,

CNN In Case You Missed It,

NBC Nightly News,

NBC Meet The Press,

CBS Face the Nation,

Podfinder UK, Motorz

Audio : Jamendo, iPodcast,

BBC Podcast, Indiefeed,

CNN News, ABC News

Photos : Flickr, Picasaweb,

Pikeo, 23,

Photobucket, SmugMug

RSS feed : Yahoo! Weather,

NMT Forum,

Bloglines, Cinecast, MSNBC News,

Traffice Condition,

Yahoo! Traffic Alerts, Yahoo! News,

Weather Bug

Peer-to-peer TV : SayaTV

Internet Radio : SHOUTCast™ Radio,

Radiobox, Live365 Radio

 

 

5.iXtreamer Media Player

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MPEG1/2/4 Elementary

(M1V, M2V, M4V)MPEG1/2 PS

(M2P, MPG)· Audio pass through : DTS, Dolby Digital,

DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR,

Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus

· Photo formats : JPEG, BMP, PNG,

GIF, HD JPEG

· Other formats: ISO, IFO, FLV,

RM, RA, RAM

· Subtitle formats : SRT, SMI, SUB,

SSA, IDX

MPEG2 Transport Stream

(TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV

Matroska (MKV)

MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4

FLV – Flash VideoXVID SD/HDMPEG-1

MPEG-2 – MP@HL

MPEG-4.2 – ASP@L5, 720p, 1-point GMC

WMV9 – MP@HL

H.264 – BP@L3, MP@L4.0, HP@L4.0, HP@L4.1

VC-1 – MP@HL, AP@L3AAC, M4A

 

MPEG audio(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)WAV

WMA

FLAC

OGG

AVC HDDolby DigitalDTS

WMA, WMA Pro

AAC

MP1, MP2, MP3

LPCM

FLAC

Vorbis

MPEG audio(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)WAV

WMA

FLAC

OGG

AVC HDDolby DigitalDTS

WMA, WMA Pro

AAC

MP1, MP2, MP3

LPCM

FLAC

Vorbis

· Streaming formats : RTSP,FLVVideo:

YouTube,Picasa, Yahoo Video,

CNN, NBC Today,

CBS Face the Nation and more

Audio: Live365 Radio, iPodcast,

Radiobox, ABC News,

BBC Podcast, CNN News ,

Indiefeed, Jamendo

Photo: Picasaweb

RSS feed: Yahoo! Weather,

Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Xchange,

MSNBC News and more

 

6. Brite-View BV-5005HD

 

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
VCD 1.0/2.0, SVCD, MPEG1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG),

MPEG2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/ISO/IFO/TS/TP)/M2TS,

MPEG4 (MP4/AVI/MOV) ,DivX 3/4/5/6,

Xvid (AVI/MKV),

H.264/AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV)/M2TS,

VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)/M2TS,

WMV9 (WMV),

FLV,

Real Video 8/9/10 (RM/RMVB up to 720p)

VCD 1.0/2.0, SVCD,MPEG1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG)

MPEG2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/ISO/IFO/TS/TP)/M2TS,

MPEG4 (MP4/AVI/MOV) ,

DivX 3/4/5/6,

Xvid (AVI/MKV),

H.264/AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV)/M2TS,

VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)/M2TS,

WMV9 (WMV),

FLV,

Real Video 8/9/10 (RM/RMVB up to 720p)

 

Subtitle: SRT, SUB, SMI, SSAMP3, WAV,

AAC,OGG,FLAC,

AIFFMP3, WAV,

AAC,

OGG,

FLAC,

AIFF

 Torrent,Flickr


 

7. Syabas Popbox 3D Multimedia Player

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MPEG1/2/4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V)

MPEG1/2 PS (M2P, MPG, DAT, VOB)MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP,

M2T, M2TS, MTS)

AVI, ASF, WMV

Matroska (MKV)

MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4

FLV, F4VH.264XVID SD/HD

MPEG-1

3D stereoscopic videos

MPEG-2 MP@HLMPEG-4.2 ASP@L5,720p, 1-point GMC

MPEG-4.10 (H.264)

BP@L3

MP@L4.0

HP@L4.0

HP@L4.1

WMV9

MP@HL

SMPTE 421M (VC-1)

MP@HLAACM4A

MPEG audio(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)WAV

WMA

FLAC

OGGDolby DigitalDTS

WMA, WMA Pro

MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3

MPEG-4 AAC-LC

MPEG-4 HE-AAC

MPEG-4 BSAC

LPCM

FLAC

MPEG audio(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)WAV

WMA

FLAC

OGGDolby DigitalDTS

WMA, WMA Pro

MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3

MPEG-4 AAC-LC

MPEG-4 HE-AAC

MPEG-4 BSAC

LPCM

FLAC

Twitter,FunSpot,

Photobucket,

Channels.com,

Facebook,

blip.tv,

Revision3,

WeatherBug,

MediaFly,

Shoutcast,

IMDB,

Netflix, etc

 

8. Seagate FreeAgent Theater+

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MPEG-1,MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO),

MPEG-4 (DivX /Xvid),

DivX HD,Xvid HD,

AVI,

MOV,

MKV,

RMVB,

AVC HD,

H.264,

WMV9,

VC-1,

M2TS,

TS/TP/M2TMPEG-1

 

 MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO),

MPEG-4 (DivX /Xvid),DivX HD,Xvid HD,

AVI,

MOV,

MKV,

RMVB,

AVC HD,

H.264,

WMV9,

VC-1,

M2TS,

TS/TP/M2T

AAC,MP3,Dolby® Digital,DTS,

ASF,

FLAC,

WMA,

LPCM,

ADPCM,

WAV,

OGG Playlist:

M3U, PLS

AAC,MP3,Dolby® Digital,DTS,

ASF,

FLAC,

WMA,

LPCM,

ADPCM,

WAV,

OGG Playlist:

M3U, PLS

* Netflix* YouTube*

Mediafly* vTuner

* Picasa

* Flickr

* Video Feeds (RSS)

* Text Fees (RSS)

* Finance Widget

* Weather Widget

9. Popcorn Hour C-200

 

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MPEG1/2/4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V)

MPEG1/2 PS (M2P, MPG, DAT, VOB)MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)AVI, ASF, WMVMatroska (MKV)

MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4

XVID SD/HDMPEG-1

MPEG-2 MP@HLMPEG-4.2 ASP@L5, 720p, 1-point GMCMPEG-4.10 (H.264) : BP@L3,

MP@L4.0, HP@L4.0, HP@L4.1

WMV9 : MP@HL

SMPTE 421M (VC-1) : MP@HL, AP@L3

AAC, M4AMPEG audio(MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)WAVWMA

FLAC

OGG

Dolby DigitalDTSWMA, WMA ProMPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3MPEG-4 AAC-LC

MPEG-4 HE-AAC

MPEG-4 BSAC

LPCM

FLAC

Vorbis

Video : Revision 3, Videocast, CNET TV,

Mediafly, Mevio, Bliptv, BreakPodcast,

CBS Evening News,

CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Daily,

CNN The Larry King Podcast, NBC Today Show,The CNN Daily, CNN In Case You Missed It,

NBC Nightly News, NBC Meet The Press,

CBS Face the Nation, Podfinder UK, Motorz

Audio : Jamendo, iPodcast, BBC Podcast,

Indiefeed, CNN News, ABC News

Photos : Flickr, Picasaweb, Pikeo, 23, Photobucket, SmugMug

RSS feed : Yahoo! Weather, NMT Forum,

Bloglines, Cinecast, MSNBC News, Traffice Condition,

Yahoo! Traffic Alerts, Yahoo! News, Weather Bug

Peer-to-peer TV : SayaTV

Internet Radio : SHOUTcast™ Radio, Radiobox, Live365 Radio

 

 

 

 

 

10. Dune BD Prime 3.0

Video Containers Video Codecs Audio Containers Audio Codecs Web Services
MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB,

AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, ASF, WMV, Blu-Ray-ISO, BDMV, DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS

MPEG2, MPEG4, XVID, WMV9, VC1, H.264 MP3, MPA, M4A, WMA, FLAC, WAV, DTS-WAV, DTS, AC3, AAC AC3 (Dolby Digital), DTS, MPEG, AAC,

LPCM, WMA, WMAPro,

EAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus),

Dolby True HD,

DTS HD High Resolution Audio,

DTS HD Master Audio, FLAC, multichannel FLAC

Netflix through a future firmware upgrade
  • stjr

    This is an AWESOME website. I’ve been “Googling” streaming media players and came across the usual low-end crap. But your review listed some really nice, really high-end stuff that met all of my requirements (optical audio out, HDD/eSATA support, HDMI). Thank You SO much!

    stjr
    Phoenix, AZ