View Full Version : Newbie question re: Mezzmo, Roku, WD TV Live etc.

09-06-2010, 07:29 AM
Caught the bug, want to reduce my Rogers (Canada) cable package and start streaming. Netflix is coming to Canada, and lots of shows are available online, even if the next day.

I was going to buy a Roku or WD TV Live device after doing some research, but then I came across threads about Mezzmo. I'm a bit confused. If I buy Roku or WD TV, it will hook up to my TV, a 2 year old LG 42" that is not DNLA certified but I don't think that matters. But now I'm hearing about Mezzo, and I'm confused where it fits in.

So basically, why do I need Mezzmo? If I have Mezzmo, do I need the streaming media device such as Roku or WD TV.

Thanks a lot.


09-06-2010, 12:07 PM
You need two things for streaming your video, music or photos from your computer to your TV.

On your computer, you need to install a DLNA server (e.g. Mezzmo). It streams files to DLNA clients.

Most new TVs have DLNA built-in now, but for those that do not, you need a DLNA client device (e.g. WD TV Live, PS3, Xbox 360, Sony Blu-ray, Samsung Blu-ray, etc.). It is connected to your TV and it displays menus, folders and playlists on your TV so you can stream files from the DLNA servers it finds on your home network. Basically, it will talk to a DLNA server and receive the files and play them on your TV.

Your computer and the WD TV Live need to be connected on your home network using ethernet cable (or wireless, or HomePlug - but they are not recommended for HD video).

09-06-2010, 01:28 PM
If you want to stream Netflix, make sure you purchase a device that can support Netflix. The WDTV Live cannot stream Netflix - however the WDTV Live Plus can.

A DLNA server like Mezzmo will let you stream files actually located on your PC, while the WDTV Live Plus will connect to Netflix directly over the Internet (without requiring any additional software on your PC).

While the WDTV Live (Plus) can directly access files on your PC over a network share, the big advantages of a software like Mezzmo are:

1) Transcoding. This means if you have a video file encoded in a format that the WDTV cannot decode, Mezzmo will take care of converting the video encoding into a format that the WDTV can understand. And the best thing is, it will do this on-the-fly, automatically.

2) Media management. Mezzmo will let you create playlists so you can easily organize your medias into categories. For example, it will allow your WDTV to show you your music organized by artist or by musical types. You won't even need to manually organize them on your PC - as long your music files have proper MP3 tags in them, Mezzmo will take care of the rest.

09-06-2010, 10:38 PM
Thank you both so much. Why don't I see Roku or Apple TV mentioned at all on the Mezzmo web site or in these forums. I thought Roku was a populr client and Apple TV is....well...Apple.

09-07-2010, 02:14 AM
The AppleTV is not a DLNA-compatible device. The original device worked by syncing with iTunes, and the new one that was announced last week will only stream from iTunes or the Internet.

Apple being Apple also means they love to rely on proprietary technology rather than embracing what is popular and already existing :(

As for Roku, I suspect it might be the same thing: a device only meant to stream over the Internet, rather than being a DLNA client that can interface with any DLNA server such as Mezzmo.

Personally, I would go with the WDTV Live Plus. It will give you the Netflix support that you want, and will also let you stream any media you have stored on your computer. It is a more versatile product than the Roku box, IMHO. And having used a WDTV Live for a few months now (it replaced my Sony PS3 as my media streamer - much quieter!), I really love that device. Just go with the Live Plus version so you get Netflix support.

Also, be careful with your Rogers monthly quota ;) It made me cry a little when they announced they were reducing monthly quotas the very same day Netflix announced they were coming to Canada... Thankfully I get a beefier quota here with Bell Fibe 10 (I'm in Quebec).