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Thread: Devices with the best UI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    63

    Default Devices with the best UI

    Ok, I've been doing this a while...

    I've been using Mezzmo for several years and have hacked up WD TV Live Plus devices all over my house with WDLXTV. I've got movie sheets working really well for movies as well as TV Series in streaming modes.

    But, of course this setup, while it works well, is a bit of a pain.

    I'll probably use ThumGen forever to load metadata, or at least fix stuff Mezzmo doesn't grab right or can't find, but I guess this is all anecdotal.

    What I'd like is a device that is really new that renders the metadata Mezzmo stores really nicely (as well as being a really good streaming media player). Like my moviesheets do, for example, seeing an MPAA rating and displaying the graphic rather than the text representation.

    Of the latest devices, what do people recommend that has an outstanding UX, and streams HD really well?

    I've seen some OTT stuff out there that looks good, and what about Kodi (formerly XBMC, and I generate nfo files as well as tgmd)?

    Any opinions would be of value. I should add to this that I very strictly us only mkv for video, and MP3 and flac for audio. Photos are all jpg but I'm not interested in metadata for those.
    Last edited by hsbrown2; 03-07-2017 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Update with file types

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    139

    Default

    I would say either Kodi with the Mezzmo addon or a Roku device which has a Mezzmo app
    Both of these display things the same as the web app, so you get the nice display of all metadata

    Roku is the easier of the 2 to setup (which i mainly use on my TV), but it is very limited in codec support, so you might have a lot of transcoding (dont have many mkv so not sure how it handles them)
    The plus side for using Kodi, it plays virtually everything without transcoding, but you need a pc connected to your tv (i use this for playback on my laptop)

    Dont use the Music/Photo feature, but both should be able to handle mp3 without issues

    If you are into gaming at all, Kodi have announced they are bringing the Kodi app to the Xbox One, though no date given for release, as i have a One this is a good move as it has better codec support than the Roku

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    You can run Kodi on many different devices including an Intel NUC, Raspberry Pi and more. I concur with the Mezzmo addon and Kodi recommendation. I moved off WD boxes to Kodi running on NUCs and Raspberry Pis (leveraging LibreElec) and never looked back. I don't transcode anything. Kodi will play everything I have natively. I've moved to the new Raspberry Pi Kodi cases for a very polished result.
    Last edited by jbinkley60; 03-07-2017 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Oops, yes you are right, i keep forgetting kodi is on all those things, my mistake

    Kodi + Mezzmo addon would be my main choice, the Roku is very nice, just let down by poor codec support (for me anyway as i play recorded tv in .ts format and still have a lot of .avi files)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    I used to use WD TV boxes, but after having many issues with them, despite the various array of media servers I tried, I decided to go with android devices using Kodi with the Mezzmo add-on. One device is from PigFlyTech, model T-95, and the other is from NextD (don't remember the model off the top). Both devices perform very well - I don't need to reboot them on a daily basis, they don't lose contact with the media server... they do the job and do it well. I also have all of the metadata for every movie and TV show on disk, so it all loads up very quickly (as opposed to the WD TV's support of metadata).

  6. #6
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    A nice feature of the Kodi addon is that if you are running multiple devices you can share the resume time across devices. So you can start watching a video on one Kodi box, stop it, go to another and resume right where you left off. Peter and team did a great job on that implementation within the addon.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    Ok...

    I broke down and bought a Beelink GT1. It appears to have come pretty much empty, so I went to the Google Store and installed Kodi 17. I grabbed the Mezzmo add-on from the server in the Kodi folder, installed it, and I can see it, but I have no idea what I'm doing.

    Other than "RTFM" does anyone have a link to a stepwise way to get this setup for a n00b?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsbrown2 View Post
    Ok...

    I broke down and bought a Beelink GT1. It appears to have come pretty much empty, so I went to the Google Store and installed Kodi 17. I grabbed the Mezzmo add-on from the server in the Kodi folder, installed it, and I can see it, but I have no idea what I'm doing.

    Other than "RTFM" does anyone have a link to a stepwise way to get this setup for a n00b?
    In Kodi go to Video --> Addon and launch Mezzmo. It should auto discover your Mezzmo server and then you can browse your videos from there. When you find a video you can hit the info button and see metadata. The Addon configuration lets you set some defaults like views. search parameters etc.. One thing with Kodi 17 is that the default skin has changed and I am not a huge fan of the current skin. I went back to the Confluence skin which has been around for years. I find it easier to use but that is just me. Depending upon which version of the Mezzmo addon you have it may not work with the new skin which may be a problem you are having. You need version 1.20 or higher of the addon or go back to the Confluence skin.
    Last edited by jbinkley60; 03-12-2017 at 06:28 AM.

  9. #9
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    Here's what I found. Kodi 17 with this device doesn't work. I did get the updated plugin from the source repository for 17, and it worked, but Kodi 17 isn't fully baked, and on Android it basically stinks as there is no Dolby TrueHD, DTS, or DTS-MA pass-through support. This isn't the devs fault, but the device manufacturer. Kodi had some hacks, but I decided to go to what for sure would work. So, I reverted to Jarvis (16.1) and the plugin from my Mezzmo folder, and it works great!

    Maybe I should start a new thread, but I am pulling in metadata with no issues, but I can't seem to get artwork from Mezzmo. Individual movies don't seem to have a backdrop setting, only playlists, and dropping fanart*.jpg files in the folders doesn't seem to help.

    All in all, WDLXTV, ancient as it is, still seems to present a better UX when you take the time to generate them, but there's no Netflix, no Amazon Instant Video, no Vudu on either one of these boxes. From what I've been reading, perhaps I should've spent a pile of money on an nVidia Shield or something.

    At any rate, itvis what it is. Does anyone know how to get artwork pushed down from Mezzmo? I can set fanarts using the Kodi GUI but man, that could take years, haha.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsbrown2 View Post
    Here's what I found. Kodi 17 with this device doesn't work. I did get the updated plugin from the source repository for 17, and it worked, but Kodi 17 isn't fully baked, and on Android it basically stinks as there is no Dolby TrueHD, DTS, or DTS-MA pass-through support. This isn't the devs fault, but the device manufacturer. Kodi had some hacks, but I decided to go to what for sure would work. So, I reverted to Jarvis (16.1) and the plugin from my Mezzmo folder, and it works great!

    Maybe I should start a new thread, but I am pulling in metadata with no issues, but I can't seem to get artwork from Mezzmo. Individual movies don't seem to have a backdrop setting, only playlists, and dropping fanart*.jpg files in the folders doesn't seem to help.

    All in all, WDLXTV, ancient as it is, still seems to present a better UX when you take the time to generate them, but there's no Netflix, no Amazon Instant Video, no Vudu on either one of these boxes. From what I've been reading, perhaps I should've spent a pile of money on an nVidia Shield or something.

    At any rate, itvis what it is. Does anyone know how to get artwork pushed down from Mezzmo? I can set fanarts using the Kodi GUI but man, that could take years, haha.
    I've never run it on an Android only on a Raspberry Pi and Intel NUCs. It could be a limitation of your hardware not supporting the codes and passthroughs. If you want horsepower, longevity and full support the NUC is the way to go but they are pricey. I do 1080P on a Raspberry Pi3 with support for everything for less than $100.

    There's another bug with Kodi 17 running plugins which is fixed in the upcoming 17.1 version. It causes slowness with addons like you've seen. I've compiled my own build of 17 under LiibreELEC with the fix. The 16.x versions are fine. You can try the 17.1 release candidate which is out. That should have the fix.

    I use the Media Info 2 settings in the Mezzmo addon to get the best metadata, artwork and such.
    Last edited by jbinkley60; 03-12-2017 at 09:11 AM.

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