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Pros and Cons of a network media player

With a network media player, you can place your computer far away from the living room TV. This both removes the need to remodel your living room and keeps spousal complaints at bay.

Simplicity is another reason for having a network media player. Let's face it, some people can't use a computer. Now, Grandma can sit down and use a TV-Like remote and listen to music, watch movies and view those cute baby pictures.

Of course your computer must be on in order to feed files to the media player. Wouldn't it be embarrassing to say, "Oh Grandma ... You can't view those pictures now. You'll have to wait two minutes while I turn my computer on." If you want the player to be transparent as possible, you may want to leave your computer running 24/7. Since some people already leave their computers on all the time, this may not be a problem.

Hard-drive space is cheap and inevitably will get cheaper. One viable option is to purchase a cheap computer and stuff it with inexpensive hard-drives, solely to feed the Media Player.

What can it play?

Here is a chart of the supported media formats.

Music Video Photos
MP3 MPEG JPG
WMA MPEG2 BMP
WAV DIVX  
  WMV  
Table 1: Play@TV supported formats

As you can see, the iCube Play@TV supports most of the common media formats. However, it does not support the Ogg Vorbis music, QuickTime video or .PNG picture formats. A future patch may solve this problem.

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