I have quite a few video files which I like to watch fro time to time.
I used to use an XBox 360 as a media player but that finally gave up the ghost. I switched to an original XBox which I got from a good friend. That too recently died the death.
A couple of weeks ago I invested in a WD TV Media Player, which is essentially a solid state interface between a file store and TV. On screen it is very similar to XBMC.
It claims to play all flavours of video. Their list states it will play AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9 and FLV (h.264).
I did however have some problems with some AVI files (I'm still waiting from a response from their Support on this). The files would play for about three to four minutes before dropping out without warning or error. The files in question play perfectly in my laptop Media, so I reckoned on a problem with the file format.
I tried converting them to MKV using HandBrake but while the resulting files apparently worked they crashed again around the thirty minute mark.
I decided to try converting to MP4.
After a lot of research and a few program downloads (that either didn't work or wouldn't do batch processing) I came across WinFF. On the face of it, that would do everything I required. However it failed on my first attempt. The solution is to install an extra package – libavcodec-extra.
I ran a test on one of my dud files and the resulting MP4 worked perfectly.
I now have a spare PC sitting quietly in a corner working its way through all my AVI files.
I reckon that will take a while!