XMBC / Kodi

....  I had heard the WDTV was an OK box; but never played with it.
That probably means they have paid enough shills to report in every place you read online then... :)

Actually after participating in some WDTV forums I discovered the masses separated into two distinct groups...those that though it was the best and those that thought it was garbage. I was art of the latter group and returned my unit to the store and luckily got a refund.

What I discovered at that time (maybe two years ago now?) was
- people using attached media storage and spewing it out to remote devices or playing it locally had very good results, very few complaints,
- people attempting to use remote media storage had nothing but trouble. My unit would sometimes connect and work great only to find it the next day with "Source drive not found". After futile attempts to reconnect the box would usually totally not find anything on the network. Rebooting would mostly just reinforce it's last capture of the network profile. Factory resetting and one firmware upgrade mostly made the network drives visible again until some hiccup just made them invisible again.

From the forums I read at that time this behaviour was typical but violent disagreements ensued as people using it in the first mode were really pleased with the whole box, in their usage world, while the second group thought it junk. Of course the paid shills are getting better at the BS and anonymous complete lies. The web is no place to trust anybody anymore. :(

I thought I would retry the WDTV in a few years again but XBMC, like the golden arches, gives you something you can depend on without even a seal on the box, making sure you can't return a garbage product, after it actually got tested by a consumer.

My HTPC, my son's HTPC, ATV, and my RPi all work with the same flavour with very little learning curve.
I had (3) WDTV boxes that I couldn't wait to replace... Sure, they were good (not great) many, many years ago when I got them.
I didn't have any issues with my Patriot Box Office NMT's. (replacing base OS and chrooting it a touch using a small USB stick).  I did participate in the testing of the beta's on the PBO forums (bricking one occasionally).  This was around 2011.
I did also play with a Popcorn Hour NMT which was nice but larger.  Patriot did downsize the device to having no internal SATA drive port and using Android as an OS.

I still have the modded PBO's around.  I ended up putting laptop 1Tb drives in them and using the NAS drives purchasing the last 3 on sale for less than $50.  Here two of them are sitting next to the newer XBMC Aopen boxes (off).  One is the "travel" PBO box as it works well for us when we travel.  (kept 5 (4) of them).
I just configured one at my brother in law's house to providing an easier means of watching media for them two days ago.  There were too many features with the XBMC box(?)
The boxes still do play the stuff from the UPnP TV box just fine today. 
Personally it would have been the small little ideal XBMC box due to it's internal storage and multiple means of connectivity.
I like Plex better than XBMC - probably because I'm lazy and don't want to tinker - but I like that it's already client/server (xbmc can do this but it takes more setup) and there are plex channels for everything including native to Samsung TV's.  As for commercial skip, that's rarely an issue - most of the shows we acquire come without commercials ;).  I most recently upgraded to a Roku 3 to improve performance and it's pretty smooth now.  I have a FireTV Stick that I lost moments after opening the package... once I find that, I'll try Plex on it as well.
A note on the RPi - in the last several months they've gotten better/smarter about overclocking and now it's fully supported so many of these images including XBMC now do it automatically IIRC.
Another client device I've really had my eye on is the CuBox which is what the image in Pete's post was from (didn't see reference to CuBox when I scanned it) - I haven't tried one yet, but will still  Info: http://www.solid-run.com 
I can't easily tell via Plex website or forum, if it integrates with tuners (e.g. HDHR or HD-PVRs) for recording locally ???
Looks more like a file/media handler to me...
It looks like Plex has plugins for PVR backends like MythTV, but I haven't used them.  But no it doesn't have the same native PVR integration like recent versions of XBMC/Kodi.  
wuench said:
It looks like Plex has plugins for PVR backends like MythTV, but I haven't used them.  But no it doesn't have the same native PVR integration like recent versions of XBMC/Kodi.  
That's what I thought... and I'd much prefer not to have to manage multiple systems.
As I understand it the XBMC/Kodi solution is mostly just a player solution as well, it still requires separate back end software to do the actual recording it is just more integrated into the interface and control, I added some PVR functions to the CQC driver, but I was never able to test it as I don't run a back end, but I haven't heard any complaints.  My goal was to get off of broadcast TV completely but I am having a little trouble cutting the cord because I am a news junkie :)
Although watching the live local news broadcasts vs. edited national news take of the Ferguson protests play out has pretty much cured me of watching the news, as I am now awake to how the media influences their audience...
I don't mind the acquisition and the player being separate software.  I run Sickbeard on my HTPC which acquires the shows, then plex catalogs them presents them to watch.  I also sometimes use XBMC.  Side note - I also have an RPi running XBMC for the car - loaded with all the Disney movies in a lower format on a USB stick - it's not used often but I did a lot of testing with it when first setting it up and it's really smooth - and I think it's very flexible... I just don't want to spend that much time upfront getting it all dialed in when Plex is pretty plug & play in regards to distribution throughout the house.
I would advise people to look at both - XBMC as I understand can be pointed to a central database so that each client device is basically the same with the options to resume playback from anywhere, etc - but that's not there by default.  With Plex, it is.
Recently noticed XBMC updating itself and causing a PVR disfunctionality on one box. 
Yesterday I updated the MythTV XBMC plugin and it started to work again.  I am using the PVR much less these days.  The commercial skip feature is nice though.  Mentioned earlier though that I am streaming much more these days. 
I did start to watch a SyFy special called Ascension.  Recording it on the MythTV box and DTV box.  MythTV did only OK with the commercial skip stuff. I went to watching the first episode on DTV box fast forwarding through the commercials.  The second of three episodes was almost more commercials then story.  I quit watching.  I did watch a recording later on with no commercials.
I did have Plex server installed on the MythTV box for a bit.  I didn't find any more functionality with it.  Well that was me. 
There is a premium mode for Plex with a monthly charge; didn't notice that until afterwards. 
Yup here its been a few years now since I have quit watching or listening to domestic news programs. 
I did shut off a Homeseer CNN plugin that was doing a headlines / news alert a few years back mostly relating to the garbage content that they had chosen to provide.  I was mostly unaware of recent news events other than maybe the weather for Christmas here.
I do scan headlines, watch nothing on TV related to news and only listen to the BBC for some 20 minutes a day. 
A bit of a hobby of mine going back many years now is history.  When I was in college many many years ago would spend much time in the library.  My breaks when I was studying was reading old print; whether a magazine or a newspaper and getting a picture of what life was all about say around the turn of the century.  Most of it did not come from editorials per say but advertisements and style of writing type of stuff.  Anyone can write anything; but in order to capture the attention of the audience it had to have something that would capture the persona of the audience.  There are easy ways to do this especially now a days.
Just did listen to a little BBC news thing relating to a women who became famous in the 1920's and mostly via the sensationalized media of the time.  She was a phoney and nothing about her was real; but she did capture the pulse of the nation back then.  Faked her own demise when the going got tough just to be a Martyr.  It backfired on her when she came back from the dead and later she died of an accidental overdose of barbiturates in her sleep.  Geez just did a google search of a women charlitan of the 1920's and the first hit was her.
Running a couple Kodi boxes, both on Win7 PC's that I throw a bunch of work at otherwise (they can take it, WAY overpowered for just a Kodi MC).  I'll vouch for the fact that you can, indeed run them in a shared database model, and installing MySQL is a breeze.  Glad I went with XBMC in the first place, because the control for your avid tinkerer (most here definitely ARE) is great.  Not to mention, I can have Elve spew out http to them via scenes, enabling touch interface control buttons to control things (YATSE on an Android is the best, though, IMO, and the newest update to that was WICKED nice).
Yup here last week purchased a few of the Gamesticks for XBMC use for a friend. 
XBMC runs on Android and I was thinking hopefully of replacing the Android OS with just an XBMC Linux based OS.
Using Aopen DE's here with SSD small drives for my Kodi / XBMC boxes running Ubuntu.  Very basic and function just fine.
Started initially running MS Media center on an Aopen mini PC many years ago.  Then went to XBMC for MS then migrated to Linux XBMC.
Work2Play said:
Another client device I've really had my eye on is the CuBox which is what the image in Pete's post was from (didn't see reference to CuBox when I scanned it) - I haven't tried one yet, but will still  Info: http://www.solid-run.com 
     FWIW, for a while I was running HS3 on a cubox i2-ex, but I upgraded from it to a Bay-Trail CPU motherboard because, on the whole, the cubox  just didn't seem fast enough for running Linux HS3.  I don't know that it wouldn't be fast enough to run Kodi/XBMC/Plex though, as I didn't try that.