I currently own a KiSS DP-558 and although I'm quite impressed with the features included I'm not so happy with the overall stability and quality of the device. I've got it for less then 3 years and did have several defects and recordings often fail. Recently it also started mixing random colors while playing back a recording. About time to replace it.... preferable with something that has similar functionality, which is:

  • Record TV (also while watching another channel. I'm adding this remark because when using putting a recording device behind a single tuner SettopBox you only get one channel out of the settopbox which you can then watch and record and I want to be able to watch 1 channel and record another)
  • Stream music from Mac Mini over network connection
  • Stream movies from Mac Mini (many formats) over network connection
  • Stream photos from Mac Mini over network connction
  • EPG with option to select programs for recording and also to specify which programs show always be recorded
  • Play DVDs and CDs
(For streaming from the Mac Mini I'm using the KiSS MacLink software)

On top of the above requirements I'd like to switch from analogue TV to digital. I checked if may cable provider (Ziggo) has a settopbox that would match all above requirements, but unfortunately not...

After some googling it appeared to be not so easy to find a similar device... The TiVo2 boxes in the US look really interesting, but TiVo2
  • is only available in US in NTSC format (need PAL in The Netherlands)
  • require a service subscription (which I would seriously consider to subscribe to if it was available in NL), luckily the Dutch TiVo community has a way to get it to work in NL, but only for TiVo1 boxes. But t looks as if TiVo1 boxes can't stream media from a computer.
Another option would be a Dreambox, but the lack of documentation makes me wonder what functionality is really included out of the box. Looks like it needs some additional work to be able to stream media from a computer.

Apple TV is also an options, but that would only cover the streaming requirements and not the recording and DVD/CD playing...

And lastly I could build a mini PC myself that has all I need, but I'd prefer an out the box (or boxes) solution that does not require me to hack something together and support it for the rest of the family. Ease of use is also a requirement...

In summary... looks like this is going to take at least 2 devices to realize the same functionality now provided by the KiSS DP-558
  • twin tuner settopbox/PVR
  • device for the streaming from computer and playback of DVD/CDs
But which ones??? Any suggestions or recommendations? 


  1. Gero said...

    Hi Gero,

    I own a Dreambox, and the only way to get more features than this sweet machine is building one by yourself ;-)

    Actually, just like you I'd like a single device for all my TV and media needs. Since that's not going to happen anytime soon, my best bet would be to go for the AppleTV + Dreambox combo.

    Hopefully someone will write a FrontRow plugin (for AppleTV) that leverages the Dreambox features, so you virtually end up with a single device after all ;-)
    Note: Comment imported. Original by Bart Guijt ( email: bart@guijt.me website: http://bart.guijt.me/ ) at 2008-08-20 15:46  

  2. Gero said...

    Hi Bart,

    Thanks for info... again ;-) I'm not sure what the Dreambox/AppleTV (and simple settopbox) combination  would give me over a combination of an AppleTV and a more advanced settopbox like the Samsung DCB-850. I don't want to downplay the Dreambox features, but the product info they provide on their website is really really limited.... or am I just looking in the wrong areas? I can find lots of technical specs, but not much on what features are realized with these cool specs. Am I missing something?

    Note: Comment imported. Original by Gero Vermaas ( email: gero@vermaas.net website: http://vermaas.net ) at 2008-08-22 11:15  

  3. Gero said...

    Hi Gero,

    The dreambox is what I'd like to call 'a raw diamond': you need to shape things up before the machine is useful, e.g. install a custom firmware image like Gemini.

    One of the most useful features, next to standard PVR functionality, is its networking capability: You can control & watch TV over your home network. It is also able to store MPEG recordings (.ts streams) to a disk on the network, using either SMB or NFS - useful if you hate noise from a spinning HD in your audio/TV cabinet (you could also install a HD in the dreambox itself).

    Finally, the Dreambox is an 'open' box, just like Android promises 'open' phones. There is a very large community of users and developers around the dreambox boxes.

    Highly recommended!
    Note: Comment imported. Original by Bart Guijt ( email: bart@guijt.me website: http://bart.guijt.me/ ) at 2008-08-22 13:34  

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