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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in need of a download/streaming set up downstairs that is eay for my wife to use.


Right now I am using my Xbox 360 and Connect360 to stream files from my Macbook to my upstairs mancave setup. However, I would like something downstairs for my wife and 3 year odl daughter.


Specifically, I want something that is VERY easy to use (wife is is very non-tech). I would like to be able to save my daughter's dvd's to my Mac hdd for strreaming to the downstairs tv. I would also like to be able to rent movies for download and, if possible, access Hulu, Netflix, etc.


While I am happy with the Xbox, there is no way my wife would use it as it is too complicated to find the correct media blade, use the controller, etc. Plus, the Netflix instant library for Xbox and the Xbox Video Marketplace selections are pretty meager.


Right now I am thinking the only option is Apple TV (can stream using Plex, can rent downloads, etc). However, I am concerned about that dying off.


Any thoughts, tips, suggestions are appreicated!


Thanks,

Quinn
 

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Quinn,


Roku is very easy to use. It does stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, plus content from Amazon's Video on Demand. I've heard there will be more content available for the Roku coming up, but not sure when that is. I just recently got mine and hook-up instructions are also very easy. Only thing is, it's not able to work with Hulu. It's not expensive to buy the box either, less than $100. If you've already got a Netflix account you don't even need to pay anything else once you get the Roku (as long as you've got an account that allows you to "watch instantly").


Just something to think about. Good luck!


DGK
 

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I'd say the Roku...at $100 it's pretty cheap and gives you Netflix and I think Amazon VOD.


I know you dismissed this but the XBOX combined with PlayOn ($40) is really a great deal. XBOX gives you the marketplace and Netflix, while PlayOn adds Youtube, Hulu, Amazon VOD, and file streaming and a ton of other stuff (CBS.com, Adult Swim just to name a couple)


And I don't know how it's too complicated...I mean, it's compatible with universal remotes. To get to Netflix is like pressing up a couple times and over to Netflix and the media server is similar. It's not like it's hard....my wife is the least technical person I know (besides my mother-in-law) and even she can manage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I have an xbox upstairs that I use. Will playon work with Mac? As for roku, will it play any media file from my mac hdd? Btw-my mac hdd may have died today so I am responding on my iPhone. As for using a remote with an xbox, don't you have to use the xbox controller? Also, when is MS going to increase the video marketplace selections? You don't have access to new releases or really many good movies over netflix while the vid marketplace is very limited as well. If they would increase the offerings I would consider buying another xbox.
 

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My 2 cents.


I am also for Xbox 360. It is by far the most versatile box on the market and you can find it for $200 or so even with hard drive if you look at the deals.


Here's why and I have 3 of them around my house.


1. Supports fully Amazon VOD files directly from your computer as downloaded files by simply clicking MY XBOX -> VIDEOS and it gives you a list of folders


2. PlayOn works perfectly and with plugins you will have access to the following (all of which i use btw)

- Hulu

- Amazon VOD

- Netflix (though Netflix is better to be used through Xbox native because it will give you better quality - PlayOn acts as a browser and Netflix for some reason looks actually worse in HD on PC than on Xbox 360 Netflix)

- YouTube

- Revision3

- GameTrailers

- and a few others


Unfortunately PlayOn doesn't work on Macs but you could always install VM or Parallels and run it that way without rebooting into Windows.


3. Xbox 360 works perfectly with Windows Media Center (Windows 7 Media Center is superb)


4. XBox Live marketplace with shows and movies too in 720p and upcoming 1080p instant-on update.


I really don't know any device that has as much versatility and is cheap.



I totally understand why you would want to get your wife to live a simple life but at some point she'll have to figure it out at least to some extent.


New Xbox 360 NXE is for many super simple. I dont' think she might have issues to figure it out.


You just tell her, turn it on, go to My Xbox, slide 3 times right to VIDEOS and she can browse the "channels" from there. Just get her the remote - it's like $15 or something.



I love my Vudu, I love my PS3 for some things but Xbox 360s are the most used in my house because everything from my Windows PC just works and Amazon and Hulu and all that other great stuff.


Highly recommended.


The only issue with Xbox 360 is lack of HD audio. But if you can live with that, it's awesome.
 

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Btw, my second vote goes for Popcorn Hour however I'm not sure if it works with Amazon VOD stuff.


I know it works with Netflix, Hulu and a couple of other online sites too.


See more info here:
http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinesto...option=catalog


(I've heard great things about A110 - that's the older model but I know a lot of people are super excited about their new upcoming NMT device C-200 soon to be released)




here:
http://toddlorensinclair.wordpress.c...ix-on-your-tv/


and here:
http://geeks.pirillo.com/group/popcornhour



The only downside with Popcorn hour is that it's probably more then what you would be willing to pay for with around $300 for C-200 and $215 for A-110.


You should look into more specs and forums to see what's really supported as I don't have the device myself, just heard good things.


You should listen to this podcast review of Popcorn too:
http://www.podfeed.net/episode/Popco...Review/1676773
 

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You mention you have to "use the controller" with the XBOX, but it'll work with remotes.


Despite all my equipment, the best investment I have ever made was a Harmony remote....so simple even my wife can use it. It really has simplified everything and I highly recommend something like it. Your wife will thank you for it.
 

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Playon has been nothing but buggy in my experience. I just used the latest update. You have to restart the show multiple times. You can't fast forward, it'll just freeze. Occasionally the movies will stop on their own. So basically your an hour in to a movie, you're screwed. It uses far too much memory and cpu time on the PC. Also some movies don't even play on playon due to DRM. Stick with Roku.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse /forum/post/16986530


Playon has been nothing but buggy in my experience. I just used the latest update. You have to restart the show multiple times. You can't fast forward, it'll just freeze. Occasionally the movies will stop on their own. So basically your an hour in to a movie, you're screwed. It uses far too much memory and cpu time on the PC. Also some movies don't even play on playon due to DRM. Stick with Roku.

If you say so....I have had nothing but success with it (although you are correct about the FF and Rew thing). Of course, I don't watch Netflix with it, but use the Hulu and CBS.com feeds (nearly) every day.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by qposner /forum/post/16989444


If I go with another xbox, and benefit to 360 vs. original aside from gameplay? Can the 360 output a video in 720p?

I'm not sure if I understood the question? I mean 360 does any content up to 1080p.. so don't know why it wouldn't 720p.


I don't know if old Xbox has enough power for HD though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse /forum/post/16986530


Playon has been nothing but buggy in my experience. I just used the latest update. You have to restart the show multiple times. You can't fast forward, it'll just freeze. Occasionally the movies will stop on their own. So basically your an hour in to a movie, you're screwed. It uses far too much memory and cpu time on the PC. Also some movies don't even play on playon due to DRM. Stick with Roku.

+1


mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozster /forum/post/16990769


I'm not sure if I understood the question? I mean 360 does any content up to 1080p.. so don't know why it wouldn't 720p.


I don't know if old Xbox has enough power for HD though.

Sorry, I know 360 will output 1080p with the proper source. I just want to make sure it will properly output HD content if it is on my Mac's hdd. I was asking about the original xbox since I have read a ton of posts where people are using the original. It seemed strange that people wouldnt fork out the extra $ for a 360 to get the ability to render HD, so I thought perhaps there was a problem or an advantage to the original (aside from cost).
 
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