We're on the verge of cancelling our Canadian cable service and going with a media streaming device to receive online content such as Netflix, and an online tv subscription but of course finding the most versatile unit has become a research challenge, hence this post.
My personal choice is the Asus OiPlay but I've also seen recommendations for Boxee Box, Western Digital and Logitech for Google TV.
I'd love to hear from anyone who's had any current experience with this type of hardware so I can make a final decision and stop giving my money to Rogers for 50 channels of reality TV.
I have the WD Live Streaming device (3rd gen) and an ATV2. I like the ATV2 a lot better than the WD Live. The WD live locks up on me frequently. I have not had any problems with the ATV2 locking up. IMO, the interface of the ATV2 is more polished than the WD Live. If you need to pay more file types, then you can jailbreak the ATV2 and install XBMC.
What are the benefits of using these devices?
I use npvr with pcs as extenders.
That's all I'm gonna say about npvr.
I'd like to know the costs and why you like media streamers.
I'm not going to debate, I'd just like to hear the pros(and maybe the cons) of media streamers.
My preference for the Asus OiPlay was because it covers most file types and has most of the hardware connections weather it's HMDI or USB etc. I plan to connect the unit through Ethernet so it will have a direct link to our internet or my LAN.
My main concern is being able to still get some online quality TV and movies to watch. I do a lot of torrents right now but of course the quality is not always the best.
I have a first gen wdlivetv and a boxee box. My vote is definitely for boxee. The main is the Navi-x repository that can be used with the device. I've also purchased the live tv dongle for boxee. Thanks to this site, I've built DBGH antenna in my attic and will likely ending my cable tv services once I finalize my setup. Of course with my NAS, boxee can see media i have there as well. With all these options, I've pretty much covered my reasoning. Good luck.
Have been using media streamers for about five years so have some experience and some opinions. I use them exclusively to play media on a harddrive, USB or LAN computer connected. Not to play internet streaming material (eg. NETFLIX).
I have used the original WD media player (3 years ago) and an LG Bluray with ethernet connection ( 2 years ago). Both worked with disk files, presented good quality video pictures and were manageable with a (TV style) remote. The downside of both was that it was tedious to find a particular video (of 3,000 or so) and there were some formats (particularly advanced Audio) which they would not process.
Last year, to address these concerns, following some analysis, I purchased a NetGear NEO 550. It does play all of the formats - video and audio - which I throw at it, to 1080P speed. As well you can search for files by "keyword" in the title, a great improvement over long lists.
One downside of the NetGear unit is that it does not list more than about 1000 files (ignoring the rest), it can not handle larger than 2Gig disks (just does not see larger disks) and it mangles many subtitles, displaying the "HTML" code with the title rather than rendering the formatted subtitle.
My reading of the best unit now looks like the new WD Streaing Media player.
Any comments on the new WD against the criteria mentioned above?
I recently went from the O!Play HD2 to the 3rd gen WDTV. The asus was more difficult to navigate, slow to index and the interface was lacking. It did however make room for a 3.5" hdd which was nice. I considered a Boxee before my WD, but aesthetically it was unappealing and the WD had better reviews (and at roughly half the cost).
IMHO Boxee is the one to get for online content. Currently there are more than 270 apps and as stated above the "Navi-X repository" is a huge plus. The other thing I like is having separate TV & Movie sources in the menu via your network shares. You also have the ability to search these shares using key words or view by genres, un-watched and recently added. There's a link called "Show Library" that opens up around 200 TV Show's with links to the different sources like CTV, CBS etc.
As for your local content you wont like it you stream HD audio due to the drops but other than that it's played everything I throw at it.
I just purchased a WDTV Live and I'm less than impressed the UI.