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post #1171 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 720p View Post

Reviewers similarly to beta testers are not to be trusted, they are always kind to the products and have a positive attitude as they wouldn't get any products second time round. Rating boxee as 6/10 is like rating a car 5/10 because it won't turn right only left! If a friend asks me about boxee I'll just say it's unfit for purpose, stay clear. Since I've stopped trusting magazines and reading real life reviews my products choices have been getting better & better.

I don't think such a blanket statement is warranted. You could have said 'reviewers like those on Engadget' if you are not happy with their 6 on 10 rating for the Boxee.

The truth is that companies like Western Digital continue to send in their products for review even in the absence of completely positive reviews. We point out both positives and negatives for the product. Also note that reviewers have to cater to the full spectrum of consumers. Things which may make a product unfit for user X may be don't cares for user Y and the reviews have to accommodate that by presenting a fair and balanced view of the features.

Getting the post back on topic, I can guarantee, at least on behalf of AnandTech, that we will present a proper review of any sample provided to us. Sometimes we even forsake publishing a review and give time to the manufacturers to fix the problems we are seeing.. This actually makes the product better for the end consumer.

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post #1172 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 07:31 AM
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@720p

Once the product is released I've no doubt there will be LOADS of issues raised by owners. What's difficult when you read them tho is being able determine those that are user-generated (server, media, tv, dumb-user) and those that are down to the product itself.

I do agree with you that many "professional" reviews are worthless. The reviewers spend 10 minutes playing with a product, knock out a quick review in a couple of hours and then move onto the next product.

I would say the only way for anyone to get a truly objective opinion of a product is to get it for yourself and play with it. There are too many variables to be able to rely on someone else telling you whether to buy it or not.

My first streamer had a 1star rating on Amazon and forums were full of people slating it. I absolutely loved it, it did everything I wanted of it at the time. Buying that thing taught me to ignore opinions I read on forums and all the "professional" reviews on the net. Basically ignore everything.

My advice is this: Buy the thing from somewhere with a good returns policy. Play with it for a few days and unless you can live with it as it is send it back and get your money back. Don't EVER hold onto it in the hope the devs will turn it into the perfect streamer for you. They won't, I guarantee it!
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post #1173 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

You could have said 'reviewers like those on Engadget' if you are not happy with their 6 on 10 rating for the Boxee.

I thought not to name & shame I don't take lightly the newfound attitude of manufacturers of selling first and fixing later (if at all).

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The truth is that companies like Western Digital continue to send in their products for review even in the absence of completely positive reviews. We point out both positives and negatives for the product. Also note that reviewers have to cater to the full spectrum of consumers. Things which may make a product unfit for user X may be don't cares for user Y and the reviews have to accommodate that by presenting a fair and balanced view of the features.

WD are so big that they probably don't care. How else to explain the entire range of wdtv products. These products are so limited in their functionality but somehow everybody buys them year after year as they add one new feature and resell under a different model number. I agree that the reviews are very well written for the general public. If the reviews were written specifically for the avs crowd nobody would read them or understand them. I still believe though that the scores are too lenient for the manufacturers. A low score is more likely to get issues fixed than a high one.

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Getting the post back on topic, I can guarantee, at least on behalf of AnandTech, that we will present a proper review of any sample provided to us. Sometimes we even forsake publishing a review and give time to the manufacturers to fix the problems we are seeing.. This actually makes the product better for the end consumer.

Which is why I'm dissapointed when I see a positive review of a product that I feel it doesn't deserve it. A bunch of grown up men crying on a forum won't get bugs fixed or functionality added but a negative review from a well know and respected publication might & will.
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post #1174 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 08:48 AM
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720 made some good statements.

What is funny is when a beta tester says feature X works but in the released version it does not.
DID IT REALLY WORK or did the beta tester no know what the heck he was talking about.
Just because you are a beta tester does not mean you can read or think.

NOW REVIEWS are something I like to read but do NOT believe in any shape or form.

This is a bad example but take the site here. NOTICE that buy netgear ad you see when you click on this forum.

OK LETS TELL THEM IT DOESNT COME WITH A POWER CORD and NO way to turn it on.

Wait that 50K a year in revenue...
OK so we will say the power enhancements and the way the unit can sit for weeks without running up you electric bill are amazing.

*****this is just an example and NOT something that I have ever seen here****


I love negative reviews but they are not the best thing either.

50 people on here saying Y just doesn't work.
WAIT they sold 200,000 units in 3 days so why don't we have 200,000 people saying it doesn't work.

NOW we have something here, does it work or not and why only 50 people saying it doesn't.
NO ONE post positive things only things that do not work OR things they can't get to work.

Like I said before how can they say uses blu ray disk in a player plugged in to the usb or stat port. THEN in the next section it says it does NOT support external blu ray player.

WTF either it does or it doesn't.

was it supposed to but later it won't so here is our statement. LEAVE the first part in we will sell more that way.

AND the worst part is seeing the os running on a computer is one thing, and now they are trying to get those same features to run in the little box with 256k memory.....ouch

this is why I bet they are not out yet..


a review of the boxxee not needed its been plastered on the net for a year now..the people that buy them won't know or care if its HD or not, or the sound is 2 channel or mono.
they will buy one because of the hype AND you can't tell them otherwise.

ps ..I keep wondering on the neo was this a monday morning meeting about the end of october
ok lets ship it...ok and with the new licenses and the agreements with media suppliers. WHAT THE HELL I thought you got it.
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post #1175 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 09:36 AM
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Nothing will ever be perfect, especially in the world of nerd A/V, as everybody has their own pet peeves or that one bizarre configuration they need working. Plus add in the dozens of different methods by which people encode their media, and bugs are not unexpected.

That being said, I have high hopes for the Neo. Good Sigma chipset, tons of wonky nerd features (like on-the-fly resolution switching, expansive subtitle support), and a GUI that looks like the designers actually gave a crap about navigation and music playback.

And frankly, the Boxee release should probably be seen as a low point in streamer releases at this point. I'm not sure what else they could have botched - Anandtech's review pointed out most of the same issues users here are complaining about. There's a big difference between some media file not playing back (kind of expected) and most files stuttering on playback (absolutely unexcusable).
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post #1176 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by robkwil61 View Post

I'll try to figure this out later this week. The description field appears on a couple different screens, and basically I'll probably just find a movie with a long description and then have to "count" the characters.

I'll do the same to give you the number of characters, but i can tell you it is not enough. I like to download serious critics of movies from some movie site but i can record the text because i don't have enough space (i would like at least double space) I don't understand why the space for char is so reduced.
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post #1177 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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I'll do the same to give you the number of characters, but i can tell you it is not enough. I like to download serious critics of movies from some movie site but i can record the text because i don't have enough space (i would like at least double space) I don't understand why the space for char is so reduced.

Maybe one of the Beta Testers can bring this up on the Beta Forum?

I mean, if there is the physical space for a longer description then let us use it.

Thanks in advance

Kevin
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post #1178 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 09:51 AM
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Hello all

Has there been any development in regards to how TV Shows, Movie Boxsets are handled?

Thanks in advance

Kevin
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post #1179 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by OnlyMe View Post

My advice is this: Buy the thing from somewhere with a good returns policy. Play with it for a few days and unless you can live with it as it is send it back and get your money back. Don't EVER hold onto it in the hope the devs will turn it into the perfect streamer for you. They won't, I guarantee it!

Very sound advice. I'm not one to dump on pre-release reviewers and beta testers. Reviewers/testers are all dealing with pre-release equipment. That's not their fault. I value their information in the context that if it looks good enough it gets me interested in the product and I pay attention to it's development -- that's what happened here.

Caveat emptor rules. I buy a product for what it is at the time of purchase, and expect no more. If it is unfinished and feature-incomplete, I don't buy it until it is -- or something better comes out first.

A big advantage of the Neo over the Dune is that Netgear products are sold everywhere in B&M stores with easy return policy. People will be very willing to buy the Neo from BB to give it a test drive. If they like it, it's a sale, if not, we'll hear about it here.

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post #1180 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

A big advantage of the Neo over the Dune is that Netgear products are sold everywhere in B&M stores with easy return policy. People will be very willing to buy the Neo from BB to give it a test drive. If they like it, it's a sale, if not, we'll hear about it here.

Well, a big advantage over which to try first. After that, it's performance that counts. In a churn enviroment, might be better to be tried last. Last one wins if neither live up to expectations (no hard reason to switch back).
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post #1181 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

A big advantage of the Neo over the Dune is that Netgear products are sold everywhere in B&M stores with easy return policy. People will be very willing to buy the Neo from BB to give it a test drive. If they like it, it's a sale, if not, we'll hear about it here.

That is also one of the disadvantages

The Neo will be available in every high street. This means it will be purchased by "idiots" who expect it to be bug-free and "finished" just like any other piece of electrical equipment. For example, if you buy a TV you don't expect it to crash, ever, you expect all features to work as advertised. Streamers are not like that and this comes as a surprise to "Average Joe". You will therefore see loads of rants from Average Joe-type users who are angry that their streamer is simply "rubbish".

One of the advantages netgear have over other streamer manufacturers is they've got plenty of experience under their belt. But they've also got loads of angry customers

Just to echo what has been said above, I'm personally very grateful to the Neo reviewer AND to the beta testers who've taken the time to help on this thread. I WILL be buying one as soon as they're released. Of that I have no doubt. But will I keep it? I'll let you know
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post #1182 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by OnlyMe View Post

That is also one of the disadvantages

The Neo will be available in every high street. This means it will be purchased by "idiots" who expect it to be bug-free and "finished" just like any other piece of electrical equipment. For example, if you buy a TV you don't expect it to crash, ever, you expect all features to work as advertised. Streamers are not like that and this comes as a surprise to "Average Joe". You will therefore see loads of rants from Average Joe-type users who are angry that their streamer is simply "rubbish".

One of the advantages netgear have over other streamer manufacturers is they've got plenty of experience under their belt. But they've also got loads of angry customers

Just to echo what has been said above, I'm personally very grateful to the Neo reviewer AND to the beta testers who've taken the time to help on this thread. I WILL be buying one as soon as they're released. Of that I have no doubt. But will I keep it? I'll let you know

Some info I gathered from the PLM which are not under NDA:

The box could have been released 4 - 6 months back, but NTGR decided to let it undergo extensive beta testing. This resulted in the delay (and of course the licensing snafu that bobsilver has already mentioned).

While other media streamers (you know which ones) raised expectations within the community based on past performance / claims, this one seems to be raising expectations based on beta testers' feedback. This is refreshing to see, and I hope the streamer lives up to the expected standards I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Btw, another advantage over the Dune lineup seems to be the much lesser street price (I see that the lowest priced Dune is around $240, while this one seems like it could retail as low as $170).

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post #1183 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for the info jakmal.

One thing I see often is people rave about a streamer because it is being actively developed. This to me simply means it was released too early (presumably in an attempt to gain market share)

Nice to see netgear seem to have learnt a lesson or two along the way. But that doesn't stop people moaning that the Neo is based on an out-of-date sigma chip
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post #1184 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for the info jakmal.

One thing I see often is people rave about a streamer because it is being actively developed. This to me simply means it was released too early (presumably in an attempt to gain market share)

Nice to see netgear seem to have learnt a lesson or two along the way. But that doesn't stop people moaning that the Neo is based on an out-of-date sigma chip

Is there a valid reason to be disappointed in the Sigma chip in the device? Or is it just bellyaching because it's older? If it can handle the bitstream of a full BD-ISO file that seems plenty powerful.
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post #1185 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by etrin View Post

I believe the beta testers are mainly running pc emulators and who knows what is really going to work in the box.
besides they can take anything out or add anything the day before launch.
Kinda like their misleading and screwed up listings.

It will play blu ray movies with an external usb or sata blu ray player.
Next paragraph does not support blu ray on usb or sata connections.

Talk about making it sound good then contradicting the previous paragraph

Are they cutting back on features or lying to make it sound great.

I personally resent this post. The beta testers are doing the best we can to accurately provide whatever information we can. We do not control what Netgear does with the product and if they make changes that contradict our previous statements, you can't honestly say we were lying.

And no, I am not running a PC emulator. I have a REAL PHYSICAL BOX.

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post #1186 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

The box could have been released 4 - 6 months back, but NTGR decided to let it undergo extensive beta testing. This resulted in the delay (and of course the licensing snafu that bobsilver has already mentioned).

No, it really could not have been released that long ago. Or if it had, it would have been a huge dissapointment and a disaster for Netgear. It has only been the last month or two that the firmware has become stable enough for a public release.

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post #1187 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:37 PM
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That is also one of the disadvantages

The Neo will be available in every high street. This means it will be purchased by "idiots" who expect it to be bug-free and "finished" just like any other piece of electrical equipment. For example, if you buy a TV you don't expect it to crash, ever, you expect all features to work as advertised. Streamers are not like that and this comes as a surprise to "Average Joe". You will therefore see loads of rants from Average Joe-type users who are angry that their streamer is simply "rubbish".

One of the advantages netgear have over other streamer manufacturers is they've got plenty of experience under their belt. But they've also got loads of angry customers

Just to echo what has been said above, I'm personally very grateful to the Neo reviewer AND to the beta testers who've taken the time to help on this thread. I WILL be buying one as soon as they're released. Of that I have no doubt. But will I keep it? I'll let you know

I have both dune 3.0 and Neo. one thing i'm sure of, is that dune is not for "average joe" at all. This machine is as complicated as a computer and you need to search the web for weeks to find software developped by user to have a correct man-machine interface. And i face a lot of more crash with Dune than with neo.

Neo is more performant, more friendly to use and less expensive.
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post #1188 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:37 PM
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Just to echo what has been said above, I'm personally very grateful to the Neo reviewer AND to the beta testers who've taken the time to help on this thread. I WILL be buying one as soon as they're released. Of that I have no doubt. But will I keep it? I'll let you know

You'll be keeping it. And probably buying a second.

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post #1189 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for the info jakmal.

But that doesn't stop people moaning that the Neo is based on an out-of-date sigma chip


is it not the best chip available now?

and what new features do the newer chips offer

thing like gbit lan an 3d just seem gimmicks to me
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post #1190 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by robkwil61 View Post

No, it really could not have been released that long ago. Or if it had, it would have been a huge dissapointment and a disaster for Netgear. It has only been the last month or two that the firmware has become stable enough for a public release.

Maybe the PLM was feeding me marketing talk or, NTGR was thinking about using customers as beta testers (similar to what Boxee is doing now -- though I do have to remain impartial and state that Boxee is trying its best to make sure things become OK soon).

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post #1191 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:51 PM
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is it not the best chip available now?

and what new features do the newer chips offer

thing like gbit lan an 3d just seem gimmicks to me

The Sigma chip is, as already said, more than powerful enough for full BD playback, including BD ISO and special features.

However, it is not necessarily fast enough or capable enough to do some of the internet related things (3rd party apps, media library management, etc) that some of the other boxes can now do.

The 550 still seems like a very strong offering. Will be interesting to see if they get Netflix and/or Hulu at launch.
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post #1192 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jvarisco View Post

Is there a valid reason to be disappointed in the Sigma chip in the device? Or is it just bellyaching because it's older? If it can handle the bitstream of a full BD-ISO file that seems plenty powerful.

To me this is like say your I5 processor is out of date because the I7 was released. Older yes. Out of date.. no. The Neo and this chip do BD ISO just fine.

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post #1193 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 12:54 PM
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The 550 still seems like a very strong offering. Will be interesting to see if they get Netflix and/or Hulu at launch.

I've never heard any discussion about Hulu for the Neo. So I would not expect it, especially at launch.

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post #1194 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 01:04 PM
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I personally resent this post. The beta testers are doing the best we can to accurately provide whatever information we can. We do not control what Netgear does with the product and if they make changes that contradict our previous statements, you can't honestly say we were lying.

And no, I am not running a PC emulator. I have a REAL PHYSICAL BOX.

In yours and other beta testers defence I would also like to highlight that even if a product is full of bugs it doesn't mean the beta testers did not do their job properly or approached the exercise wearing rose-tinted spectacles (and didn't tell the company how bad their product was for fear of not getting more "free toys" in the future). A beta tester's job is to highlight bugs (and perhaps make suggestions for improvements). It is not their job to fix those bugs OR to tell the company when they can or cannot release their product to the buying public.

So, if you buy a product that is very buggy, don't blame the testers. Blame the company. Pure and simple.
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post #1195 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 01:15 PM
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After my dissappointment w/ Boxee I am lookign forward to the Neo. Few questions:

1. Will Pandora be included?
2. I have 44.1 DTS wav files will the Neo resample these to 48KHz over HDMI/Optical?

Thanks
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post #1196 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

The box could have been released 4 - 6 months back, but NTGR decided to let it undergo extensive beta testing. This resulted in the delay (and of course the licensing snafu that bobsilver has already mentioned).

Quote:
Originally Posted by robkwil61 View Post

No, it really could not have been released that long ago. Or if it had, it would have been a huge dissapointment and a disaster for Netgear. It has only been the last month or two that the firmware has become stable enough for a public release.

Last month or two, hmm . . .
There is a substantial lead time required for manufacture and distribution. This means the code for the firmware has been locked for manufacturing some time ago and so what ships in the first-release units will not be the latest versions the testers have been working with, and reporting on, but rather the most stable version available at the manufacturing deadline. This begs the questions: what version of the firmware are we likely to see in the shipping unit; how soon after release will a firmware update be available on line to bring it up to the current performance level of the last month or two. Hopefully, a stable firmware update will be available upon release so that the Neo updates itself as soon as it's plugged into the network.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #1197 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 01:30 PM
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In yours and other beta testers defence I would also like to highlight that even if a product is full of bugs it doesn't mean the beta testers did not do their job properly or approached the exercise wearing rose-tinted spectacles (and didn't tell the company how bad their product was for fear of not getting more "free toys" in the future). A beta tester's job is to highlight bugs (and perhaps make suggestions for improvements). It is not their job to fix those bugs OR to tell the company when they can or cannot release their product to the buying public.

So, if you buy a product that is very buggy, don't blame the testers. Blame the company. Pure and simple.

Bingo. In my experience, beta testers report far more bugs and deficiencies than companies ever fix. It's very naive to think, "If the company only knew about the bug, they'd fix it! Lousy, lazy beta testers must not have told 'em!" Very naive.
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post #1198 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 01:35 PM
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Hopefully, a stable firmware update will be available upon release so that the Neo updates itself as soon as it's plugged into the network.

That's exactly how it works. When you power it up it'll check the netgear update servers and offer to update itself for you. You don't have to do anything, just turn it on.

If you don't have an internet connection to the Neo then you can always download the firmware manually and load it onto a USB stick. Here is the link. Perhaps robkwil61 can tell us how old that firmware is?
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post #1199 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 02:05 PM
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That's exactly how it works. When you power it up it'll check the netgear update servers and offer to update itself for you. You don't have to do anything, just turn it on.

If you don't have an internet connection to the Neo then you can always download the firmware manually and load it onto a USB stick. Here is the link. Perhaps robkwil61 can tell us how old that firmware is?

.234 was release last month. There have been 3 updates since. The last firmware, .257 was not an automatic update. The servers are now set only to handle official stable releases. Betas will not appear on these servers any longer, now that the units are officially shipping. Of course, I'm sure there will be a beta forum on Netgear's website where the betas can be downloaded and the units updated using a USB flash drive.

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post #1200 of 6246 Old 11-17-2010, 02:08 PM
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In yours and other beta testers defence I would also like to highlight that even if a product is full of bugs it doesn't mean the beta testers did not do their job properly or approached the exercise wearing rose-tinted spectacles (and didn't tell the company how bad their product was for fear of not getting more "free toys" in the future). A beta tester's job is to highlight bugs (and perhaps make suggestions for improvements). It is not their job to fix those bugs OR to tell the company when they can or cannot release their product to the buying public.

So, if you buy a product that is very buggy, don't blame the testers. Blame the company. Pure and simple.

I can't say for sure how many beta testers there are for the Neo. But I can tell you there are about 6 of us who dominate the beta forum and don't hold back any punches. We tell it like it is to the developers. With no fear of being banned from future product testing. The developers always seem to appreciate our honest feedback.

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