Boxee vs. Roku vs. NeoTV vs. Popcorn Hour - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-03-2010, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,
I'm looking to buy my brother one of the below media streaming devices for the holidays, but I can't make up my mind which would suit him best. So I thought I'd list out his basic needs and you guys could help me choose.

Basic Info:
He has a 4TB NAS and a wired and wireless home network. He lives in a small apartment, so running a cable is no problem since the router is right next to his TV. He currently uses an old PC hooked up to his TV as an internet/Netflix/Pandora hookup, but the computer is dying.
Budget: Under $200 USD
Necessities: Mostly for accessing Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Hulu. Some playback across the network of .avi, .mkv and .mp3 files, but that is rare. He also surfs the web on his TV (All-Recipes.com, Google Reader, GMail, etc) so a web browser or similar functionality would be much appreciated. His TV is has all types of connections from composite to HDMI.

Here's the specific models I'm considering:
D-Link Boxee Box
Roku XD
Netgear NeoTV 550
Popcorn Hour A-210

So, what do you think?

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-04-2010, 05:51 AM
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The A210 doesn't have Netflix or Hulu.

Even the Boxee Box doesn't currently have them, but they are supposed to be coming soon.

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-04-2010, 07:31 AM
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While the Roku box is excellent for Netflix, Amazon VOD, Hulu+ (not regular Hulu), Pandora, YouTube, etc., it's not really suited for local network video playback. That is unless your brother is OK with converting his .avi and .mkv files to a Roku-friendly format. mp3 playback is fine though. Also, there is currently no way to browse the web on the Roku.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-04-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys!
After looking around a little more and reading through the forums, I'm thinking the Boxee Box might be best suited for him. Even though it doesn't currently support Netflix and Hulu, Boxee has stated both will be coming soon. Most predictions are for Netflix by year end and Hulu sometime in Q1 2011. I think that would be fine.
Here's some questions about the Boxee I'd love to get answers for:
  • Can you listen to Pandora or local music while surfing the web?
  • Can it play a slideshow of local photos while you listen to music (Pandora or local)?
  • Is there a way to send a website to a networked printer? (not a dealbreaker, but might be helpful for recipes and receipts)
  • Can you use an external keyboard like the Logitech diNovo Edge with the Boxee Box instead of it's remote?

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-05-2010, 03:23 PM
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you might consider the "Western Digital TV Live Plus" box. Has the internet access as well as local drives through network drive shares.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-05-2010, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I looked into the WDTV Live and didn't like the interface. Seemed to lag more and be less intuitive than Boxee or Roku.

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-05-2010, 09:08 PM
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I have owned the WD Live HUB for a couple of weeks & I find it to be a buggy POC. After a short idle time, or after playing a music/ photo sequence, ripped DVDs won't start and the unit will crash....but the same DVD will play after a restart. It has trouble with some of my DTS .wav files...even though I can stream them & play them correct from the unit to my Sony Blu ray player. It has no AR / zoom controls for DVDs. Photo resolution is limited to 2048x2048, which means I have to resize all my pics to use the HUB.
All I wanted was a box to store/index/ play my ripped DVDs/ music files/ photos and it can't do it properly. I've playing playing with the BOXEE software & find it more to my liking. I think I might sell the HUB, connect my 2TB WD Book to it & go with that instead.
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