Well, after playing with it for a good long time last night, my initial reactions are really positive. Keep in mind this is my first streamer and I'm coming from an HTPC (Athlon 250, Radeon 5450, 4G ram, WMC with Media Browser added on).
- So far the Neo has played every file I've thrown at it with flying colors. I know others have had issues, but it's played back 50 or so files I tested with no problems with aspect ratios/subtitles/etc. Changing options on the fly was simple as well, and timeseek/% jump is awesome.
- Setup was simple. I've got shares setup on my Synology using NFS, and the Neo saw them all and immediately scanned them without issue. The options are all pretty straightforward (except for SACK processing, whatever that is).
- Bluray disc playback does work with an attached USB drive. Load times were decent but probably on the long side.
- The interface is fast, including displaying cover art view. Probably faster than my HTPC was! I'm using a usb stick to cache images though.
- Although I'll be using my Harmony, the included remote is pretty nice as well. Nothing fantastic but pretty solid given the price point.
- The tagging I did with MCM works fantastically, and cover art and descriptions work great.
- Quiet! I know that's a given seeing as there's no fan, but after fighting issues with my HTPC it's a blessing.
- The interface is decent but is a bit scatterbrained. Changing options (like queue mode, folder view, subtitles, etc) all require hitting different buttons and they're not always logical choices. It will make using my harmony a bit harder.
- On the same note, I agree with some earlier reviews that it would be nice to have the Neo have "default" options available for navigation (ie, just show me my video share instead of having to select it every time).
- No built-in wireless. I know why they did it but since I don't care about .iso playback I hate having another gizmo I have to put in my entertainment center.
- An attached BR drive apparently won't playback DVDS! I need to test more but 2 common retail discs wouldn't play.
- Metadata works great, EXCEPT for individual TV show episodes. Probably more a tagging/MCM issue than something directly with the Neo. I know several people have complained about this.
- So far I can't use youtube at all. Multiple attempts errored out.
- BR Disc playback crashed a couple of times with IO errors that required a hard reboot. Could be related to the way I've got the drive connected (hacked up a HDD enclosure).
Overall, I'm really happy with the device. It strikes me as a really good local content streamer, with some questionable add-ons. I'll probably just use the Sony BD470 I got for disc playback and online streaming rather than fight the Neo. But for local streaming? The HTPC's gone!