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Anyone with 1st hand experience with ZBOX HD?

1037 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  wachu
Just one pre-packaged solution I am contemplating vs. building from ground up. Can you comment? I know I loose versatility a little. My main requirements:

1.) Play any video clip at my disposal. HD or SD

2.) Easy to navigate "media center" type menu. Have a copy of Windows 7 with Media Center if applicable.

3.) Play DVD and Blue Ray disc.

4.) At least Dolby Digital capable. If it can up-mix 2ch audio to 5ch the all the better.

This will strictly be a media server. PERHAPS occasional web browsing.

I won't be 3D gaming on this machine. Strictly Photo slide shows, music server, video server. Home theater receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. Would like to hear latest and greatest audio formats but receiver not capable. So, not a hard requirement.

Will ZBOX do 720p video and dobly digital 5.1 without stutter? If so, this may be all I need. Anything else would not be utiilized until I do a major upgrade.

My current TV is 50' Pioneer Plasma 720p or 1080i. Again, home theater receiver will decode 5.1 DD only. It does have analog inputs but don't desire to use them. DD 5.1 is good enough for now.

Comments suggetions?

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I've skimmed over a couple reviews of ZBox and the reviewers seem a bit reserved.

From MaximumPC:

Overall, the Zbox HD has some merit. We’re not convinced it’s the perfect solution, as we’d still like something with a bit more x86 heft, perhaps a low-power Sandy Bridge CPU? But the Zbox handles the key needs: Silverlight, Flash, and Blu-ray, with no issues, and that’s more than most streaming boxes can claim.
Have you thought about a PS3 at all?
I considered a PS3 a while ago. But,

1.) Want a simple to use Media Center Type interface the wife and kids can manipulate

2.) Will Store ripped video locally and would like to have access to that.

3.) Would like web browsing capability to watch streaming video, read, expolre, etc...

4.) Photo slide shows

5.) I get addicted to gaming. I'm affraid with a PS3 in the house my life would go down the toilet.

So, what can a PS3 do for me :)?

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