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 Message Boards » » Roku vs AppleTV vs Boxee vs Popcorn Hour etc. Page [1] 2 3 4, Next  
AndyMac
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Which one of these is the best media streaming box for content and value?

The low end Roku 2 seems pretty tempting to me right now because it's so cheap at like 60 bucks.

8/1/2011 2:47:24 PM

dave421
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Roku or jailbroken appletv imo.

Roku has price going for it and most online streaming is available through it.
Apple TV give you itunes access if you're an existing user, Airplay if you have an iOS device, & jailbreaking it lets you turn it into an XMBC box.

8/1/2011 2:52:33 PM

xplosivo
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WDTV live plus is still the best in my opinion. Has the most codec support for things you have downloaded, plus netflix, etc. great device and low cost.

8/1/2011 3:14:01 PM

Prospero
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^

8/1/2011 3:16:38 PM

Lokken
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love my roku

8/1/2011 3:50:18 PM

qntmfred
retired
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i'm also interested in this subject. been using a homebuilt htpc for a few years, but would like to move to a device with a smaller, quieter build. just never took the time to research the options

8/1/2011 3:52:01 PM

Stein
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WDTV Live HD Plus

8/1/2011 4:50:48 PM

Azaka
///Meh
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Quote :
"WDTV Live HD Plus"


+1

8/1/2011 5:11:39 PM

El Nachó
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I must be the only person that doesn't care for the WDTV. I don't have a Plus, just the HD Live, but afaik, the only difference is the Plus has Netflix.

If you don't mind a little tinkering, I'd look at the Apple TV. Jailbreaking it and installing XBMC is a 10-15 minute process, and you end up with a pretty powerful device that will play more formats than anything I've ever seen. I have several mp4s and WMVs that will cripple a WDTV or won't play with audio on a PCH and the Apple TV won't even blink. It will even handle some 1080p stuff now but some of the higher bitrate stuff will choke it up so that could be an issue if that's what you plan on watching.

Aside from that, or if you just want an out of the box experience with no tinkering, I'd go with the Roku. The UI on the WDTV is just so crappy, I can't in good conscience recommend it to anybody that values their sanity.

8/1/2011 5:30:02 PM

Prospero
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Does a jailbroken AppleTV output 1080p? Last time I checked AppleTV was limited to 720p which is an instant deal breaker.

8/1/2011 5:59:58 PM

YOMAMA
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I have a jail broken ATV2 and have not been able to get 1080P to play.

8/1/2011 6:01:48 PM

BIGcementpon
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I'm pleased with my Patriot Box Office.

8/1/2011 7:03:38 PM

llama
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I love my Roku and have been considering picking up a Roku 2 and moving the Roku to my bedroom. The one thing I always have to warn people about is that the Roku was never designed for local media streaming. It'll do it, but it's nothing like Boxee and doesn't support a wide range of formats. That's never been a problem for me because I don't really pirate anything or watch digital copies of my movies.

8/1/2011 7:32:58 PM

BigMan157
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im personally hoping googletv gets their shit together so i can grab something using it

8/1/2011 7:38:41 PM

ComputerGuy
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local media streaming + netflix + other apps....BOXEE RULES THEM ALL

8/1/2011 7:39:32 PM

ThatGoodLock
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i regret getting the apple tv. even jailbroken its not quite the solution i was looking for and i wish i had just waited a month for the Roku 2

8/1/2011 7:58:37 PM

El Nachó
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Quote :
"im personally hoping googletv gets their shit together so i can grab something using it"


I'm going to get a Revue here in the next week or so just because. At $99, now even if it sucks ass, it's probably still has better UI than a WDTV, I'll be able to use the IR blaster and the iPhone/iPad app to control all my AV stuffs, hack it to run Android apps, and even if it completely sucks...it's still only $99. I really wish they had came out at that price point. It might not have been a complete failure then.

8/1/2011 8:28:57 PM

slut
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If they had come out at $99 I would have bought one instead of the wd tv live, which I despise.

8/1/2011 8:49:12 PM

bottombaby
IRL
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We live in the boonies and <3 our Roku.

8/1/2011 9:18:53 PM

xplosivo
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Quote :
"I must be the only person that doesn't care for the WDTV. I don't have a Plus, just the HD Live, but afaik, the only difference is the Plus has Netflix. "


I would be curious to know what you didn't like about it? I have had just about every media box that has existed in the last 6 years and from a balance of cost/usability, nothing has really come that close to me. I have a and HD live and an HD Live plus and yes, the only difference is the netflix stuff. But I love the fact that they update the firmware regularly to ensure everything still plays. And you can grab these things for $100 all day. I have a jb ATV2 and while it is cool, it just isn't quite there yet. I would think that an A5 chip might change that.

Frankly, I would like to have the WDTV unit with XBMC as the UI. That would make me happy. That doesn't exist at the right price point yet though.

8/1/2011 9:53:09 PM

El Nachó
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I just really don't like the UI on it. The playback controls suck ass, and the menu system is just bare minimum functional, but nothing more, and at least once a week mine locks up to the point where it requires a reboot because I try to get it to play something it can't handle (usually a HD WMV file). I just prefer just about every other competing device I've ever tried (with the exception of a non-JB Apple TV) to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not pissed I bought it (actually received it as a Christmas gift a few years back) because I've definitely gotten $99 of use out of the thing, but I just know that if I was buying something now or recommending something to be bought, it surely wouldn't be a WDTV. For value, I really don't see how a Roku isn't the clear cut winner here, but I haven't personally used one so maybe there are issues with that that I am unaware of.

8/1/2011 10:01:13 PM

El Nachó
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Reminded by this thread, I decided to upgrade the firmware in my WDTV just now. Holy fuck, I didn't think it would be possible, but they actually made it worse. I would rather pull every single one of my nut hairs out with my teeth than try to navigate through a folder with 100+ movies in it on the WDTV. They actually made lists display LESS items than before (7 instead of 9, I think) and with no page down buttons, trying to find the correct files is a crapshoot at best. Scrolling through the files has two speeds, 1/3rd the speed of smell or hey-there's-the-file-I-want-oh-fuck-I-missed-it-and-accidentally-scrolled-4 pages-past-it. Doesn't seem to play any of the stuff it didn't play before, but at least it didn't crash when I tried to play a file that would crash it before. Now it just gives an error message. Wouldn't have thought it, but I actually like the thing less than I did just 15 minutes ago. At least I had gotten used to the annoyances before.

8/1/2011 11:53:22 PM

Stein
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Have you tried WDXTV?

8/2/2011 12:05:17 AM

El Nachó
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Yeah. I tried an older version of it. I was just looking at the website after the upgrade and it looked like there were options to configure some stuff (and I think it said by default it made it list 8 items per page instead of 7) but it seemed like a lot of work that I don't feel like looking into tonight. For the most part, I don't care about any of the additions that it gives you (NZB stuff and torrents and support for external DVD drives and all that junk) I might look into it later, but right now it seems like too much messing around for not that much payoff.

8/2/2011 12:59:30 AM

Stein
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Nah man, last I did it, it's pretty much "download to USB drive; insert USB drive into WDTV; press update".

8/2/2011 9:11:35 AM

El Nachó
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Nah, I don't mean the installation process, I mean the configuring afterwards. Cause a default install doesn't really get you anything, except for the previously mentioned new features that I don't care about at all. Or is there something that I'm missing on the b-rad page? Cause it looks like it doesn't really change the UI that much. Just different background and screen savers and such.

8/2/2011 11:47:21 AM

Madman
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roku + playon conquers all

8/2/2011 12:25:38 PM

BobbyDigital
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Quote :
"AppleTV was limited to 720p which is an instant deal breaker."


yep, so close to being the perfect media player, but this is a huge gap for me.

Right now, the PCH is still the king of playback. I have yet to find a movie with too obscure a codec or large enough to overwhelm the hardware, and i've had this thing for almost 4 years.

Of course the downside is that the UI on the PCH is a steaming pile of shit. It needs to be intuitive enough and pretty enough for my non-techie wife to use.

The *best* overall solution right now irrespective anything but playback and UI is a micro form factor PC running XBMC but there's no reason in 2011 that there isn't an appliance that can do it all.

[Edited on August 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason : .]

8/2/2011 12:39:36 PM

neodata686
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There's really no substitute for a fanless HTPC in a micro enclosure with XBMC. The only reason IMO to go with anything else is price.

8/2/2011 1:02:22 PM

BobbyDigital
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and simplicity.

I'd rather have an appliance that requires little to no work to install and operate. an HTPC solution requires all of the upkeep of a PC. I (and many others) are past the point of wanting to invest time in that sort of thing.

But so far, no one has made such a device.

8/2/2011 1:06:29 PM

Prospero
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I just use my Sony Blu-ray player, it supports network shares so I can stream movies from my WHS and I can also push content via Play-On from my PC like ESPN3 and other channels, so I can stream almost anything to it and it plays it pretty well. The blu-ray player also supports Netflix, Pandora, Blu-ray discs (duh) and has a nice simple interface along with iPhone/Android remote app. For other movies or pictures, etc. that it doesn't play I have a WD Live Plus for backup. The system works pretty well and no HTPC required.

[Edited on August 2, 2011 at 1:27 PM. Reason : .]

8/2/2011 1:24:53 PM

neodata686
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^^If you do it right there's really no upkeep. Everything is automated. Sure you have to build the computer (or buy one) and install the software but once it's up and running there's really no difference between it and a dedicated device other than it's faster, more responsive, and much more customizable. If need be you just remote in and make any updates (which are way faster than updating any of these devices)

After using XBMC for so long there's no way I could only use a dedicated device. They're slow and you simply can't do as much. I have a WDTV live hub and while it's nice it's no substitute for an HTPC with a nice Harmony remote and all the content you can pull through XBMC.

But to each his own. It comes down to if you're willing to spend a little extra for a much nicer, smoother, and feature rich experience.

8/2/2011 1:50:18 PM

neolithic
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What is the best option for remotes for an HTPC? From what I've seen Netflix can't be operated from XBMC using just a remote, because it opens netflix in a new IE window that can't be controlled by the remote. For Hulu access, does every just use a browser or is there a more sleek interface? So far it just seems like XBMC is good for streaming stuff around the house, but it isn't well integrated with Netflix and Hulu, which are my primary sources for content.

Do most people just use a wireless mouse and keyboard? Maybe something like these?

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-4GHz-2-4G-Wireless-Rii-Mini-PC-Keyboard-Touchpad-/320728887580?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D5%26pmod%3D320715327815%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D1782430727646205019

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150611743618+&clk_rvr_id=252259366208

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=38&Code=57Y6336¤t-category-id=E9ADAEB6787146E29B78400A33E7FE8A&AID=10383968&PID=404255&SID=207972&CJURL=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.lenovo.com%2FSEUILibrary%2Fcontroller%2Fe%2Fweb%2FLenovoPortal%2Fen_US%2Fcatalog.workflow%3Aitem.detail%3FGroupID%3D38%26Code%3D57Y6336%26current-category-id%3DE9ADAEB6787146E29B78400A33E7FE8A

Thanks

8/2/2011 2:36:23 PM

Prospero
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I've owned and built HTPCs since 2001. Since switching I can tell you there's not much I miss from an HTPC.

To be completely honest, the "idea" of having all those features at my fingertips was the appealing part of having an HTPC, the fact that it could do SO much, and no dedicated device could come close. But the truth of it was I hardly used all those features aside from the basics, watching blu-ray, movies, listening to music/xm, showing pictures, that I realized all the upkeep and headaches of compatibility, the constant application updates, the space, cooling, and power requirements (& startup time unless you want to pay for standby mode) were just a bit too much to keep up with. And going back to the issue of simplicity -- my dog can pretty much figure out how to play media on a dedicated device.

^I used to use the Lenovo keyboard, it was great.

[Edited on August 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM. Reason : .]

8/2/2011 2:36:30 PM

DoubleDown
All American
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^ was S3 Standby not working out for you with the HTPC?

8/2/2011 2:41:30 PM

Prospero
All American
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It wasn't so much S3 but the application's response to when Windows would come back up, coupled with the fact that my computer would wake up automatically whenever the hell it wanted, not always upon request. I'm sure it could have been resolved upon closer research on my hardware and my software and network configuration, but I just got fed up.

[Edited on August 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM. Reason : .]

8/2/2011 2:52:05 PM

BridgetSPK
#1 Sir Purr Fan
31376 Posts
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So is it lame to use your Xbox for this?

8/2/2011 2:57:33 PM

jtmartin
All American
4116 Posts
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What are the odds on Apple TV getting a makeover in September?

8/3/2011 3:44:54 AM

Jrb599
All American
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Google TV. Only $99

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Companion-Google-Keyboard-Controller/dp/B0040QE98O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312373080&sr=8-1

8/3/2011 8:04:47 AM

BobbyDigital
HomieDOESplayDat
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^^

pretty much zero

http://t.co/h0HVRWk

8/3/2011 9:44:38 AM

Bobby Light
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I love my Roku, but I have the lowest end model and it doesnt support flash drives or streaming from a local media server.


Lately at work I've been working with Linutop's...these are incredibly small form factor PC's running Linux (obviously). I think with a USB wireless card, and the right linux software, this could be a great little streaming box. I could be completely wrong here though.

In case anyone's interested: http://www.linutop.com/linutop4.en.html

8/3/2011 1:20:51 PM

scrager
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^ $545 dollars for a netbook in a really tiny box.
you'd be hard pressed with flash, silverlight, or 1080p video. Hell, it might even be a stretch for 720p video.

8/3/2011 3:16:33 PM

Prospero
All American
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Personally I'd rather go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856158021

HTPC w/ Blu-ray, SFF, ~$550

there's a thread already though if you want to talk HTPC:
/message_topic.aspx?topic=524493

8/3/2011 3:34:39 PM

quagmire02
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Quote :
"I'm pleased with my Patriot Box Office."

ditto...the $10 price makes it perfect

8/3/2011 3:38:23 PM

BobbyDigital
HomieDOESplayDat
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where does one find it for $10?

8/3/2011 4:19:39 PM

El Nachó
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I, too, would like to know where it can be purchased for $10. At that price, I know what everyone in my family would be getting for Christmas this year.

I just pulled the trigger on a Logitech Revue. At $99, even if I hate the thing, at least it turns my iPhone/iPad into a Harmony remote control. And I've been reading up on some of the hacks that are available for it. Should be fun to mess with even if I don't think it will replace my PCH as my main media streamer. Fingers crossed that they eventually get XBMC running on the Revue hardware. Now THAT would be the ultimate value in the class, IMO.

8/4/2011 12:43:19 AM

BIGcementpon
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It can usually be found for like $60 or $70 with a rebate.

Quote :
"At [$10], I know what everyone in my family would be getting for Christmas this year."

8/4/2011 12:54:31 AM

OmarBadu
zidik
24964 Posts
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still love my popcorn hour - wouldn't trade it for any of the options available yet

8/4/2011 5:44:36 AM

quagmire02
All American
44225 Posts
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Quote :
"where does one find it for $10?"

http://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?firstonly=1&forumchoice[]=9&q=patriot+box+office

looks like it hasn't shown up for that price in a while...for two months, though, there were some overlapping rebates...now the best price is $40-50

8/4/2011 6:54:21 AM

AndyMac
All American
31871 Posts
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Set (top box) em up

8/4/2011 9:09:28 AM

 Message Boards » Tech Talk » Roku vs AppleTV vs Boxee vs Popcorn Hour etc. Page [1] 2 3 4, Next  
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