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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:55 PM   #26
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Please. The average consumer wouldn't know how to do that w/o asking a million (of the wrong) questions to a Best Buy or Micro Center employee first.
They're also not going to have networked hard drives or understand a single thing Exodus has posted about.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Baron3ss View Post
They're also not going to have networked hard drives or understand a single thing Exodus has posted about.
In which case, a Roku is far superior to the PC. A Roku costs $49-$99, while a PC costs considerably more. A Roku plugs in via HDMI, as does a PC. A Roku plays Hulu/Netflix/Amazon/Crackle/Vudu/etc. via on on-screen application compatible with the included remote control. A PC requires setup, and then most of those applications are web-based and required some serious tinkering to get a remote to function properly (and the remote had better support acting as an on-screen mouse).

Lastly, in order to get ANY applications to detect local/network media, you're going to have to rip your content (MakeMKV, DVDFab, etc.), and then encode it to save on file storage (Handbrake). This will be an issue whether you're using a PC (XBMC) or any set top box.

Again, the PC is not easier and you have yet to offer any explanation on how it is.

Last edited by Exodus : February 24th, 2013 at 03:29 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 03:16 PM   #28
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And with that said, I've now run into a different issue. On my Roku, I used to share video encoded at 2.5mbps or less. I'm now doing proper blu-ray rips and these come to about 7-12mbps on the larger side. Streaming across the house isn't adequate for these files. So, here's what I learned;

-Unlike my Roku, the WDTV will accept my 3TB drive (2TB limit for Roku). Local media has no streaming issues.

-Also, unlike my Roku, the WDTV has an option to share the usb-attached drive as network storage. And this is so much easier than doing it from a router or PC. You just set the "windows share" to "on." It already is by default. So you literally plug a USB HDD into the WDTV...and everything on the network can see it.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #29
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Please. The average consumer wouldn't know how to do that w/o asking a million (of the wrong) questions to a Best Buy or Micro Center employee first.

The average consumer doesnt care about anything mentioned in this thread so thats pretty much a moot point.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 04:16 PM   #30
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The average consumer doesnt care about anything mentioned in this thread so thats pretty much a moot point.
You're 100% correct on this. However, some points were made that were incorrect. Baroness either stated or implied that using a PC (laptop) was easier. It's not. Better, yes, but certainly not easier.

EASY: If someone simply wants Netflix/Hulu (and other such services) on their TV, a set-top box like a Roku is preferred. They're cheap, easier to use than most app-enabled Blu-Ray players and TVs, and far easier/cheaper than using a laptop.

POWERFUL: An HTPC using XBMC is the most powerful and feature-filled option. No comparison. But, it does require a degree of expertise.

COMPROMISE: The WDTV series offers XBMC functionality at a fraction of the cost and expertise level needed. Its not quite as good as XBMC, but your wallet and patience will be thankful.

To summarize what I have going on right now with the WDTV (and the typical consumer can appreciate this.
  • Set-Top Box - Like a Roku, it allows you to access Netflix and similar applications.
  • Live TV and DVR - Plug the coaxial cable into an adapter instead of the TV, and your Antenna or cable will go into the WDTV live directly, allowing you a free and simplistic DVR. This isn't hard. You literally plug in a cord.
  • Local Media - You can plug in a USB hard drive, or use it via networking. Simply rip your movies to the Hard drive (encode if you want), and it will play. The WDTV will also automatically grab meta data and images if you allow it.

None of that is rocket science. It's far more than a Roku does, at a similar price, and it is far less in cost than a HTPC.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #31
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Quote:
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The average consumer doesnt care about anything mentioned in this thread so thats pretty much a moot point.
Read Baron3ss' reply and you'll understand my reply.

The AVERAGE consumer will NOT purchase a notebook over a Roku/WDTV. Period. If they would, there wouldn't BE a market for Roku's and HDTV's.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus View Post
-Also, unlike my Roku, the WDTV has an option to share the usb-attached drive as network storage. And this is so much easier than doing it from a router or PC. You just set the "windows share" to "on." It already is by default. So you literally plug a USB HDD into the WDTV...and everything on the network can see it.
Sold.

I'm going to exercise this option for my living room, rather than try to teach my wife to use XBMC, which I use in my man cave.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #33
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Sold.

I'm going to exercise this option for my living room, rather than try to teach my wife to use XBMC, which I use in my man cave.
If you're going to get it, there are three versions now. Make sure that you get the right one.

WD TV Play - a cheap Roku wannabe, missing some features. Not certain that it can function as a NAS. Avoid.

WD TV Live (also called SMP) - This is the one I picked up. Best Buy will price match Wal-mart's website to $89.99 (WM doesn't sell in most stores, just online). This is the model that does EVERYTHING.

WD TV Live Hub - Basically, take the above Live SMP, add a built-in 1TB HDD, and remove built-in wifi, and you have the $200 Hub. Avoid this. You can spend the extra $110 on a 3TB HDD and plug it into the Live SMP.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:48 AM   #34
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a few years back I bought my family members a wd mini player and a 120 gb hard drive. They use them daily. I have 2 in my house as well, actually using one now.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #35
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I got the new Roku 1 last week. I know many who have the WD stuff and it seems like half of them have had theirs die. Not that that swayed my decision. I was purchasing some Raspberry Pi, you can get the unit, wifi, power source, and a case real cheap. With the remote. And with other goodies such as a fan, I was just going to run XBMC on it. But aren't they running similar chips? So I said fuck it and ordered the Roku 1. My wife will use it more than me and there is nothing for me to teach her. It was about the same price as all the Pi shit I wanted and required no assembly, too. D'oh!

I love this thing, way better than what I had read about them in reviews over the past few years. The thing is sweet!

There are some "things" I will point out.

~Do not buy this to watch Netflix. The Netflix quality is the lowest among any device I can access it through. It is mainly the sharpness and color. Not as good as with a Wii and component cables. It's kinda bad, actually. Upon receiving my Roku I used Netflix as my test, because well....they were the Netflix box first, right?!? It was so disappointing it gave me a hate somewhere near buyers' remorse. Big time. After 20 minutes I turned the damn thing off and was mad, mad, mad. My wife talked me out of packing it up and returning it. Didn't want to even see the thing after that first day. My consensus was that it was a stupid device. But it got to live another day. The next night after work and watching hockey we gave it another try. The little box is winning me over.

~Prime Instant videos and Hulu are just fine. Damn good.

~Depending on the "channel" you are using, some look like internet videos, others do not. Crackle is not bad, not perfect, for example. The quality of onDemand movies is actually very high. Used some free rentals to check things out. Better quality than TWC. By far. I used the MGo service, and have not tried Blockbuster. I am skipping that Redbox shit because, well because.

~They ARE NOT DLNA certified devices, this has been pointed out. That can be a purchase breaker for some. Worth mentioning.

~Plex. Our PC is always on, and I do not mess with extra HDDs, portables, USB drives. It is fine because our PC is always on. I have my network shared folders, nothing fancy.So then there is Plex. Main reason I have the PC running is I am a trader of ROIO. Concert videos, archival footage of acts, all in DVD folders. What is this shit? It's trader community nonsense. For years we traded physical discs. Now that HDD space is cheap I refuse to fuck with burning discs. Would rather torrent or FTP materials and just keep everything on a drive. It's magical, so what this means for me is I have hundreds and hundreds of ready to burn DVDs on the comp. Once I got tired of burning to discs just to watch videos on my TVs, I started streaming to an Android or converting the videos, or viewed on my PC. This took away much of the magic. Nothing like watching what you want on your TV in the main room. So what does this mean now that a Roku is in house? It means I can use Plex to play my DVD folders with almost no fuss. Not only that, it plays them very well. Game changer.
The Plex menu on Roku splits everything up into a menu just like Amazon or Netflix. It gives descriptions, it gives thumbnails, it gives playback options.
Once selected, the video you want to watch gives you a "play/playback options menu". I can even use the settings button on remote to switch between audio sources, which is VERY important to me because many videos and ROIO have different audio sources available. Fucking sweet, man. Highly useful.
You get a menu on the video play page that gives you playback options....transcode, direct play, direct play with transcode fallback, and a couple of direct stream options. Thus far I have not had a video I could not make play. A few start off with fucked sound, or want to buffer(that is another point), but changing playback options is gold. Pure gold.
As for movies acquired by swim, perfect. Full descriptions as if swim bought that shit. 720/1080p rips play like a rented Blu-ray or standard HD rental source. No blocky squares, things still look good with dark scenes when there is lots of black. Smooth!
It saves your place in any movie you were watching, any video.
Damn you, Plex, I would marry you if I could.
Setting up Plex is as easy as not having to set it up. It is like doing nothing!

~Pandora/Spotify/Amazon Cloud....it is easier to play this than using the network in home or smartphone, since the Roku is connected to my receiver. I am a 2.0 kinda guy, this works out! Very useful for the lesser tech wife I have around. It's changed her life. Seriously.

Some notes about the "new" Roku 1....
It has the same menu as their top player. The top player has an Ethernet port, headphone jack, and a faster processor. The 1 is wifi only, and has no card slot, no USB. According to all my speed tests it is receiving 12-21 MB to the device, so speed is no concern. Even with the "slow" processor, it is fast. I also have tested loading it down with channels to see how it handles things when it is all filled up. It's been great. Even tried out Twonky, which I actually do not have a use for, and Twonky was glitchy but did not kill the player. It streamed web videos from my phone in a quality not expected. Not bad. The Twonky channel causes the menu to shift,and makes a shit ton of noise,but always jumps up and works quickly in the end. But fuck Twonky.

Not sure if this is the Roku that is going up Black Friday at Wal-Mart for $39, but if it is, dammit check your needs and see if it can work for you. With everything I wanted to try it does it easily, and with quality. For a box I hated the first day, have to say the best $59 ever spent. It meets my needs, and will help reduce my cable costs.

Not every "streaming" device will work for all, as seen in this thread, the WD devices are much different, but again...check your needs. This thing does what I wanted, needed, and had not thought of yet.
I am still getting Raspberry Pi in the near future, tho.
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I would just prefer it to be a sausagefest.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 09:07 PM   #36
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Old November 27th, 2013, 10:07 PM   #37
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Xbmc.
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I would just prefer it to be a sausagefest.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #38
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I use an Esquio dongle for my living room. It has it's little problems(the motion control is clunky and tacked on, you're not going to be able to play a lot of games, the keyboard is a nice addition but poorly implemented) but being android based, it has Google Play. That was a deciding factor, as I feel the streaming service war is far from over and I don't want anything left out. That is specific to my needs- I periodically let Netflix and Hulu expire and wait for new content. However, I keep my Spotify Premium account current at all times, and it was nice to be able to simply download the app from the store and have my playlists playing over my surround sound speakers in under two minutes. It was worth the cost as a dedicated music player, honestly.
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Old November 30th, 2013, 09:57 PM   #39
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So my boxee box remote is dying and since Samsung bought BB and they no longer have updates or anything, I was thinking about replacing it with a G-TV device or a Roku or you help me decide on another device.

My other TV already has a Roku2 and my wife actually prefers the Roku interface with plex over the Boxee Box which is very similar to the WDTV.

I'm currently running Over The Air for local channels (Comcast recently killed ClearQAM in Denver)

I'd like to get something to replace my BB, that has a UHF/Bluetooth remote (something that will go through walls, as I have the clean hanging TV with no wires or mess). Will stream from my PC wireless or wired and possibly accept my OTA channels with a local guide. We mainly watch local sports and the news with the OTA channels, everything else is a local *.MKV.

I've been reading about the XBOX One has anyone used this for mostly an entertainment center? How's it do streaming local files, etc? And the TV integration?

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Old December 1st, 2013, 05:35 PM   #40
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^Roku is small enough to just prop onto a small space. I have seen plenty of Pi setups with the box attached to the corners of the TVs. All Rokus are wifi only except the 3. The Roku Android app actually works fast, so I know if that remote dies we're good. There has been an option or two on Plex for some of my *mkvs to get them playing, as *mp4 seems to have moved up. It seems anything *mp4 plays. I'd let you borrow mine to see if it works if we were in the same town....I love mine. It is missing advanced features but the ease of use for my wife combined with what it does do is great. She can even add something to Plex and walk off to the TV and watch that shit. Her tech know-how is low, very low! She blames on kinds of shit on TWC and "THE FUCKING BOX" when she cannot just change channels like a normal person, so there's always that.
I have not checked out local over air things tho. I would rather have ABC/CBS/FOX over air as the quality is much better than cable. That's a project for tomorrow after work.
I must say, I watched Logan's Run blu-ray rip through this thing and it melted my face off.
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I would just prefer it to be a sausagefest.

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Old December 2nd, 2013, 01:23 AM   #41
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All Rokus are wifi only except the 3.
Actually, MANY Roku models support both ethernet and wifi. The "ethernet exclusively on the top model" is a relatively recent change for them.

1st Gen - all models supported ethernet and single-band wireless-G, with the top model adding dual-band wireless-N.
2nd Gen - all models supported single-band wireless-n, with only the XS supporting ethernet.
3rd Gen - renamed Roku LT, Roku 1, Roku 2, and Roku 3, only the 3 supports ethernet, while both the 2 and 3 support dual-band wireless-n.
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Old December 3rd, 2013, 11:57 AM   #42
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We use AppleTVs. Netflix functions much quicker and better on them than on the Xbox 360s. The AppleTVs are great for streaming video from the computer.
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Old December 4th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #43
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We use AppleTVs. Netflix functions much quicker and better on them than on the Xbox 360s. The AppleTVs are great for streaming video from the computer.
I've been impressed with the Apple TV's ability to stream from a computer, with the typical complaint about being locked into their ecosystem. Netflix on their platform is similar to that of the Roku, IE boots up and runs quicker than on the Xbox or PlayStation, but lacks some features. Buy Apple doesn't have the media catalog of the Roku. Apple TV is a poor man's Roku but with superior local streaming capability.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #44
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Got a Chromecast for christmas for $30. No complaints at all about it so far. Streams Netflix and local movies just fine through an extension. Only complaint is it doesn't like to play audio on some local files, but that's an easy fix.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Erbs View Post
Got a Chromecast for christmas for $30. No complaints at all about it so far. Streams Netflix and local movies just fine through an extension. Only complaint is it doesn't like to play audio on some local files, but that's an easy fix.
I can definitely see getting a Chromecast again. I liked what I saw in the limited time that I had one, but the deal that I got was too much to pass up.

I was one of the first to order it. I paid $35, got 3 months of Netflix, and then resold it sans Netflix for $52. At this point I think the only thing that it lacks that I want is Amazon streaming support, but Amazon won't release that for Android outside of their Kindle lineup.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 04:51 AM   #46
Julez
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I use an AppleTV. It makes streaming from my phone and laptop completely effortless and with Plex(PlexConnect) I have all of the channels I could ever want.
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