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Movie Online Suggestions

by Joshua Coon (2020-01-28)

With home media streaming devices growing in number the features available to consumers continues to improve. This is why I have decided to write an article on the importance of choosing the right device to meet your needs. By looking at the media streaming device it may appear which it has Wi-Fi capabilities accompanied with the capability to stream Netflix and Pandora so you assume you are all set. If those are the only features you are after then that is great through all means make the purchase. My only regret would be that there probably is a media streaming device available at the exact same price point that may offer more features. Therefore media streaming devices tends to be capable of doing a lot more than Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora. Three aspects that I will cover in detail are supported media file formats the device can read, significance of USB ports, and automatic media categorization.

e1cc457953047.560b4b08a792a.pngThe biggest challenge used to be finding a media streaming device outside your PC that offered the capability to play your entire media collection. Now consumers have numerous options to choose from allowing a multitude of selections. Because of this example I will compare both the Boxee Box and Roku supported media file formats. With both the Roku and Boxee Box offering a good selection of application as well as the ability to stream Netflix, there is still a big gap with the number of supported media file formats built in. The Roku offers only 3 supported media file formats versus the Boxee Box at 21. This really is a tremendous gap in supported media file formats and if you have a personal media collection there's a high chance the Roku cannot meet your needs. One more notable point is these supported media file formats can't be updated. As nice it will be like it is on your PC going to a website and installing a file, these devices do not have this ability. Both Boxee Box and Roku are excellent products, but at the same point it is up to you to decide which is a better fit for your home media center.

Most devices currently offer USB 2.0 ports that can work all right for virtually every home media collection. Something to keep in mind is the range of USB ports that the product offers. When I first started my media collection, before the invention of NAS devices, I used to keep movies and music on just about any storage device I might find then plug it into my computer. Fortunately with today's technology you can find NAS devices to help us keep our collection all in one place on our network. If you're new to the hobby you would probably look-at eight terabyte NAS and say that is crazy I could never fill that up. Well... Let me just say you could get there sooner than later. So getting back to my original point you probably will purchase an external hard drive to start your collection. Should you have just one USB port you will find yourself spending countless hours transferring data to a larger drive when it fills up. With a second or third USB port you can just plug in another hard drive without interruption. The most obvious answer is to buy a NAS device with expandable bays, but this really is a costly expense and if you are just getting your feet wet with the hobby this option might not be realistic.

Something Boxee and XBMC have done extremely well will be the ability to categorize your media collection. Let me give you an example that explains what I am talking about. In your media collection you have The 40-Year-Old Virgin on your storage device. As soon as you direct Boxee or XBMC to that file source it's going to detect your movie and add it under the film section. Once in the watching movie section a picture will be applied of the film cover with details about the film and often trailers. As your collection grows each movie will be added giving you the ability to categorize to your liking. The benefit of automatic media categorization is that you don't have to search through files to discover what you want. With this you have the capability to give your collection a visual appeal accompanied with information that is imported from different sources on the internet.