Review – Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe Edition

I bought the Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe Edition over two years ago and still today it outperforms many of the newer competing models – the device comes with everything you need to get your XBMC setup going and fits nicely in your living room (no fan noise and looks quite nice as well):

Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe Edition

Xtreamer Ultra 2 Deluxe Edition

The specs even for today’s standards are awesome – especially since most media players do not come with Nvidia graphics cards – probably one of the main reasons why I picked the Xtreamer 2 two years ago:

  • 2.13 Dual Core Intel Cedar Trail Atom D2700
  • 4 Gb DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB mSATA SSD
  • 2 x USB 3.0 X and 4 x USB 2.0 X
  • Internal Wireless 802.11n & Internal Bluetooth EDR 2.1
  • Geforce GT 520M On board
  • Bit-Streaming Supported
  • HDMI 1.4a port
  • Integral IR + Remote Control
  • UEFI advanced system setup
  • Gigabit LAN
  • 7.1 Channel HD Audio bit- streaming
  • Low Power Consumption

The Ultra 2 works flawlessly without any problems and there is really not much more to say about it, as it plays all content perfectly (I still have to try out 3D content since I have a new Samsung 55″ TV) and unlike reports from users using Intel- or RPi-based installations, the Ultra 2 pretty much “eats” any media format and presents it perfectly.

My setup is quite simple:

  • Synology DS1010+ with 5 x 4 TB Seagate desktop drives in SHR configuration. The DS1010+ has been upgraded to 3GB RAM and you will need it if you want to run Sickrage, CouchPotato, Sabnzbd on it.
  • Sickrage running on dev-stream – I prefer Sickrage over Sickbeard, as the development is more active (be aware, that the dev-stream can be quite buggy)
  • CouchPotatoSabnzbd
  • All media content remains on the Synology NAS (now running DSM 5.1) and is shared with the Xtreamer via NFS mount
  • The Xtreamer’s 32GB SSD is used to store the XBMC database and all media images (thumbnails, posters etc) – I tried running MySQL and media on the Synology, but found it to be too slow, even on a gigabit network.
  • The Xtreamer connects via gigabit to the Synology.
  • The Xtreamer feeds via HDMI into the Yamaha YSP-4000 soundbar which passes through into the Samsung 55″
  • I manage all my devices now with a Logitech Harmony One remote
Xtreamer infrared remote

Xtreamer infrared remote

The infrared remote

I honestly struggled finding a proper XBMC compatible remote in South Africa and the remote shipped with the deluxe edition is just perfect (I eventually replaced all my remotes with a new Logitech Harmony One).

My XBMC setup is rather simple – I use it just for movies and series and as such most of the functions offered on the remote are not used at all (hence my change to Harmony One to remove clutter). I have seen some very complex setups where people run live-TV with EPGs and PVR functionality but with Netflix/Hulu/iTunes I found that we have not watched live TV in more than 3 years.

The wireless keyboard

 

Xtreamer wireless keyboard

Xtreamer wireless keyboard

The wireless keyboard is impressive (it is not a Bluetooth keyboard and comes with it’s own USB dongle, which is a pity as it would have been awesome to use one Bluetooth keyboard for TV, PS4 and XBMC). The only time I ever use the keyboard is really just during setup or when typing is required as typing on the remote is really cumbersome.

The purpose of my XBMC setup was to be as minimalistic as possible without much clutter and pretty much run by itself. With the exception of major updates (i.e. moving from Openelec 4.x to Openelec 5.x) it was not necessary to reset/reconfigure the current configuration.

Conclusion

I have not come across better XBMC hardware at a fairly reasonable price – especially considering the performance. I would love to hear about your setup in the comments below.

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