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  1. #1

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    Default Netflix Disc vs Streaming

    So we have been going with the Netflix blu-ray monthly plan for a while and for the most part are satisfied. I chose the disc because at the time the streaming selection just plain sucked. The quality of the streaming was not too bad, just the titles were horrible.

    For some reason, since I am a disc subscription, Netflix does not allow me to see what is available for streaming titles (unless I am missing something, I would just like to see what streaming titles are available).

    So my question is, has the streaming selection gotten better? Last I was able to see this was about a year to year and a half ago. If the selections are better and they have up to date, modern titles I may switch.

    Anyone have streaming thru Netflix? Your thoughts?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    It's not much better than it was before if you are looking for very current movies and or TV series. I use it a lot, but then I don't need to watch every single new movie that comes out. I have 121 selections in my streaming queue and 105 DVD's in my mailing queue. At the rate I watch, those titles alone w/o adding anymore could last me the rest of my life. I watch on average 2 movies a month and I started watching LOST, Hero's, Arrested Development, Farscape, Dr. Who and Weeds two years ago and have just managed to finish Hero's. I have finished some other shorter TV series in that time frame, however.

    For me streaming works very well because there is always something to watch. Add to that 1 dvd out at a time to get newer movies and I have no issue with Netflix.

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  3. #3

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    Netflix streaming is pretty bad. Selection and streaming quality suck. I only stream on Vudu.
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  4. #4

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    I have never had an issue with streaming quality in over 2 years. I use a ROKU HD player.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  5. #5

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    Ya, I'm not too concerned on the quality. It was acceptable on the PS3, plus we recently got Apple TV as a gift so would try that too. It's the title selections that still seem to be lacking it looks like.

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    I just thinned out my streaming queue, and am now down to 109 titles in that queue and 109 in my DVD queue. My mom complains about the streaming selection all the time because she doesn't get the concept that it's not current movie releases. There is always plenty for me to watch though.

    My advice is, if you're looking for something specific you're probably not going to find it on the streaming side, but if you're looking for something to watch there's quite a large selection over there.

    I have both the streaming and DVD options, but if I were forced to choose between the 2 I'd go with the streaming hands down, I just use it way too much more to let it go. At $8 a month for the streaming option it seems like an absurdly cheap price for what you get.
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  7. #7

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    Well I will agree that the selection kinda sucks, but I am actually surprised by the video quality over my 20 mbps cable internet (for tv shows at least - of course if I want to watch the newest action flick its blu ray FTW), the sound is sometimes frustrating by I think that just the mix of the individual shows.

    The selection quality depends on your others sources of media. I have dtv with about a million channels so the selection is not all that appealing to me. But I can imagine that if I just had over the air channels with no DVR then netflix streaming would be a really nice supplement on the cheap. Having said that, I have found several tv series that flew under my radar that I have enjoyed so far that are helping fill the slower (for new programming) summer months. Lie to me, The Advocate, Samantha Who, are a few that my wife and I have starting watching and are enjoying so far. So I think it just depends on what you are expecting and your other sources of media.

    I agree that you have to be willing to look for things that you have't necessarily heard of before or forgotten about - not something specific. When I started doing that was when I found several shows that are pretty good so far.
    Last edited by rooftop59; 07-05-2012 at 02:19 PM.

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    Yupp, selection is Horrible, your not missing anything :)
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    The selection isn't HORRIBLE, it's just not great especially if you're looking for something specific. Here's my streaming queue, there are a few 'stinkers' in here but overall there is lots of good material:

    The Universe
    How the Universe Works
    Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking
    How the Earth Was Made
    The Planets
    When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
    Everest: IMAX
    National Geographic: Denali National Park
    Secret Yosemite
    Yellowstone: Battle for Life
    Big Sur: Wild California
    Mount St. Helens: Back from the Dead: Nova
    Building Alaska
    The Dark Ages
    Life After People: The Series
    Ken Burns: The West
    Ken Burns: The Civil War
    Ken Burns: Baseball
    Ken Burns: The National Parks...
    Ken Burns: The War
    Ken Burns: Jazz
    Ken Burns' America: Brooklyn Bridge
    Ken Burns' America: The Congress
    Ken Burns' America: The Statue of Liberty
    WWII in HD
    The Last Days of World War II
    D-Day: The Total Story
    America: The Story of Us
    The Revolution
    Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
    Cheers
    The Office (U.S.)
    From Dusk Till Dawn
    The Evil Dead
    Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
    SNL: The Best of Chris Farley
    SNL: The Best of Adam Sandler
    SNL: The Best of Dan Aykroyd
    SNL: The Best of Chris Rock
    SNL: The Best of Will Ferrell: Vol. 1
    SNL: The Best of Will Ferrell: Vol. 2
    SNL: Sports Extra '09
    Lost
    The X-Files
    The Chaos Experiment
    Ip Man
    Ong Bak 3
    The Langoliers
    The Andromeda Strain
    Saints and Soldiers
    Top Gear (U.K.)
    Battlestar Galactica
    Star Trek
    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    Star Trek: Voyager
    Star Trek: Enterprise
    Stargate SG-1
    Flatliners
    Day Break
    Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment
    Survivorman
    Man vs. Wild
    Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads
    Ice Road Truckers
    Flying Wild Alaska
    Dirty Jobs
    Everest: Beyond the Limit
    Ip Man 2
    Good Will Hunting
    24
    Skyline
    The League
    Airplane
    Airplane II: The Sequel
    Daybreakers
    Red Cliff: Theatrical Version
    The Warrior's Way
    Frank Caliendo: All Over the Place
    Assault on Precinct 13
    Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious
    The Wonder Years
    The Walking Dead
    Family Ties
    The Thin Red Line
    Burn Notice
    K2
    The Next Three Days
    Caprica
    Primal Fear
    The Hunt for Red October
    Secrets Beneath the Ice: Nova
    Broken Arrow
    Rocky
    Starship Troopers
    Man on Wire
    The Fighter
    Christopher Titus: The 5th Annual End...
    Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
    South Park
    TEDTalks: Space Trek
    Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures
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    The Cable Guy
    Rocky III
    Rocky II
    Stigmata
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  10. #10

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    I enjoy the streaming. Lot's of good stuff in there. AMC series like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, BBC series like Top Gear UK, Downton Abbey, Spaced, Dr. Who, Sherlock... A superb selection of foreign films, such as the original versions of Let The Right One In, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...

    I'd give up the discs before I gave up the instant streaming. Obviously opinions vary.

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    Primal Fear
    Man on Wire
    Forgot to mention the documentaries. Lots of those too. Man on Wire is a superb film, as is Primal Fear. Primal Fear was my introduction to Edward Norton. His performance in Primal Fear should have netted him an Oscar, hands down, but they gave it to Cuba "show me the money" Gooding Junior instead, like that was a difficult part to play. Makes sense though when you realize what happened at the Oscars the year before. Still... If I was Edward Norton I'd be pissed. Could have been monumental, winning an Oscar with his major film debut. Should have.

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    Try this link:
    https://signup.netflix.com/BrowseSelection

    It's far from the complete list but it does indicate that the offerings have improved a lot in the last year or two. (since the split, in my case)
    Last edited by gdb; 07-05-2012 at 04:45 PM.

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    My wife and I enjoy both the streaming and the discs - but there are advantages/disadvantages to both. Yes, the streaming lacks any new titles. If you want to watch something that came out in the past year, probably not going to get that via Netflix streaming. What we like most about streaming is the ability to watch all kinds of TV shows. My wife especially likes to watch shows while working out. Streaming allows her to watch pretty much an hour show of some season in one workout. House, Lie to Me, Damages are all shows we probably would have never watched without trying them via streaming. Streaming is also a lot more convinient than disc when it comes to shows. If you find a show you wanted to maybe see if you liked it, streaming is the way to go. You don't have to order the disc, wait for it a day or two, try it out and then find out you don't like it. That's just my opinion.

    We do the disc portion just for the newer movies or shows that we know we want to watch but are not on streaming like HBO series. Each one I feel has it's advantages. I don't think you'll get both scenarios via streaming alone.

    As far as the quality, even though you didn't specifically ask for that, it seems much better than DVD for us. We have 25-30mbps cable and I use a WD Live Plus player for the streaming. This is done via a wireless N connection to the router. Our TV is a 55" LED tv and we sit 8-10 ft away. I can noticeably tell the difference between DVD and Netflix with HD content and Netflix wins for video. It doesn't always win for audio though.

    Anyway, for what it's worth.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Forgot to mention the documentaries. Lots of those too. Man on Wire is a superb film, as is Primal Fear. Primal Fear was my introduction to Edward Norton. His performance in Primal Fear should have netted him an Oscar, hands down, but they gave it to Cuba "show me the money" Gooding Junior instead, like that was a difficult part to play. Makes sense though when you realize what happened at the Oscars the year before. Still... If I was Edward Norton I'd be pissed. Could have been monumental, winning an Oscar with his major film debut. Should have.
    I completely agree about Ed Nawton Jr
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    Jeez...the guy from the sewers ????

  16. #16

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    Try this link - if you want to see what you're missing on netflix streaming

    http://instan****cher.com/

    My daughter and son-in-law live in our basement apartment for now and in the past i have used his account to stream movies with an hdmi connection from my laptop to my LCD tv.

    I recently bought a Sony media streamer (Sony SMP-N200 - Digital multimedia receiver) and haven't yet tried netflix through it yet as I'm considering signing up for my own account, first.

    not to cross-thread here but i'm getting endless hours of commercial free fun from pandora, and apparently my little media streamer box supports DLNA. There's an icon there for my NetGear N900 wireless router - looks like i need to hang a terrabyte drive off of my router and organize my music and movies and photos there.

    p.s. the sony multimedia streamer is wireless and has an ethernet port, usb, component video, hdmi, and composite video, optical, and standard stereo rca outputs. For $49 dollars at target i think it's a pretty affordable alternative to the ROKU top of the line box


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    p.s. this link is for infinite scroll of all 14283 titles -- http://instan****cher.com/titles/all...s=1&infinite=1
    Last edited by wayne3burk; 07-06-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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  17. #17

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    I've been researching streamers and while the Sony does support DLNA most people have reported not being to get any files to play on it through DLNA. I've been looking at it myself as a streamer for the guest room since the price is so cheap and the DLNA is attractive, but not if it doesn't work. Let me know how yours does.

    IMO Plex is currently the best way to go if you want access to local devices, and currently Roku is the only streaming device to support Plex. You can find it on some LG TVs and Google TV devices as well, but when it comes to the cheap streaming devices it's only on the Roku.


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  18. #18

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    The problem with Plex is that it's glitchy as hell, the video you linked above is a good illustration of that. I run it both on a Roky box and on the Apple TV and it performs the same on both machines. The good news is that I get identical results on both boxes, so the issues may be server side, which means maybe they'll be easier to fix.

    Not to further derail this thread, but I've been through virtually every mainstream media box on the market and in my opinion right now the best option is actually the Apple TV, as crazy as that sounds. Out of the box I'd consider this device very limited. It does what it does very well, but doesn't do a whole lot. When jailbroken, however, this box becomes a very powerful streamer - it does a whole lot, very well. The reason I prefer the Apple TV is because it's the only device that I've found that has all the following attributes:

    - Stable and very fast
    - Intuitive and easy to use UI
    - will play any format out there (of special note for me particularly is DVD ISO with full resolution and menu support)
    - does not require any server software (you just point it to your network shares or NAS and you're good to go)
    - AirPlay
    - iPhone and iPad mirroring

    If you remove the last two Apple specific items from my list it's still a good box and a compelling product although not the only option, with those items however it's really the only option I'm aware of.

    Jailbreaking and installing the media app is easy, but does require a small amount of effort and the user to be able to following written directions. In all, it's about half an hour of work and totally worth it - it's really not much more time than you'd spend getting any of the other boxes set up.
    Last edited by AsSiMiLaTeD; 07-06-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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    If Netgear would add Plex or DLNA support to its NeoTV line, I think that would be the clear winner. UI is unmatched, even by Apple TV IMO.

    Netgear's ReadyNAS is one of the few NAS devices to officially support a Plex server, so I'm hopeful they'll eventually bring the Plex channel to the Neo TV. Otherwise I'll just get a Roku.

    Can you add Vudu, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus and Pandora to a jailbroken Apple TV?

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    Supposedly anything is possible through XBMC, although I don't use those services and have not tried. I have XBMC and Plex installed, but prefer the plain media player (over XBMC due to simplicity and interface and Plex due to DVD ISO support). XBMC is supposedly more powerful and has tons of plugins I just don't use any of those. My Apple TV is used for 4 basic purposes:

    - stream Netflix
    - stream DVD ISOs from my NAS
    - stream photos from my computer, photostream, and flickr
    - AirPlay and screen mirroring from my iDevices

    I prefer the UI on the Apple TV, but that's total preference. Personally I don't really care that much, just makes it easier for the wife and everyone else to use. The problem with Netgear is you get EITHER Netflix OR DVD ISO support depending on which box you buy, they don't have a box that does both that I'm aware of - I have both of their mainstream boxes sitting within 10 feet of me as I type this, they're each very stable and I agree the UI is very good (way better than the WD boxes I had/have), just that neither of them will do everything I want. So maybe Netgear COULD be better, and maybe it COULD be 65 degrees outside instead of 100, but neither of those IS in fact the case so what's the point?

    To be clear, I was not and am not advocating that the Apple TV is a best choice for everyone, this is why I was very careful to note that it was my favorite and then I listed out my set of criteria so that everyone could see the features that I'm factoring into my decision. Obviously, if your priorities or wish list don't align with mine then my opinions or observations are irrelevant for you, simple as that.

    However, I don't believe my conclusion that the Apple TV is the best option given those factors to be a matter of opinion. I suppose one could debate how intuitive or easy the UI is, but everything else there is tangible and measurable and, to the best of my knowledge, the Apple TV is the only device in existence on planet earth sold to the public that has all those features.
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  21. #21

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    Yes, AirPlay and iPhone/iPad mirroring are of course going to be only on an Apple device, which is important to someone invested in the Apple closed ecosystem. Not so much to someone who simply wants a streaming device. The rest of its features are not unique, whereas many of its limitations are.

    My point was not to start a debate as to which player is "the best," but merely to point out that there is currently no streaming device that is not a compromise in one way or another. Either you sacrifice local streaming capabilities, Internet streaming services, UI or price. Today the only devices that cover the most bases are the WD TV Live and the Roku. The WD TV Live is a very capable device but compared to the current crop of streamers its UI now looks very dated, plus I much prefer the automatic handling of metadata that Plex gives you vs. the tedious process that you have to go through without it. The Roku comes the closest to perfection with the addition of Plex, but there is no support for Vudu, and while its UI is miles better than the WD's, it's still not as good as the NeoTV's IMO.

    Now if your budget is a little larger, you can build a dedicated HTPC and get everything you could possibly want, but there the compromise is cost. If the rumors pan out and Plex does come to the NeoTV, however, I think it would be the clear winner. The current version, the NeoTV Pro ($70 at Amazon), even adds WiDi support, which (IMO) is much more useful than Apple's proprietary AirPlay, as it means it can mirror far more than just iOS devices.

    But of course if the rumors don't pan out, then we're left with some sort of compromise. I for one am crossing my fingers. However it is rare that the consumer electronics industry actually gives consumers exactly what they want in one device, so I am not going to be holding my breath.

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    You are not seriously comparing WiDi to iOS mirroring support...that's so absurd I'm not even going to respond to it. OK maybe I will a little bit, WiDi may be great in theory, but nobody actually has a device that uses it. OK, maybe some people do, but if you add up all the smartphones, tablets, and laptops in people's hands the number with Apple mirroring support is waaaaaaayyyyyyy higher than the number with WiDi support. That may change, and the world may end on December 21, but right now there's no comparison. Keep in mind it's not just iOS devices that have mirroring, Mountain Lion in a couple weeks will add that support to all their computers.

    Let's throw out AirPlay and Apple device mirroring, list for me the other devices that meet ALL the other criteria. I added one below in Netflix, though should have included that in my earlier post since it's implied given the thread we're in

    - Stable and very fast
    - Intuitive and easy to use UI
    - Netflix Streaming
    - will play any format out there (of special note for me particularly is DVD ISO with full resolution and menu support)
    - does not require any server software (you just point it to your network shares or NAS and you're good to go)

    The only three devices currently in my possession and that I'm aware of that can handle online and local DVD ISO streaming are the WD Live, the Apple TV, and the Asus O!Play. The Asus box is laggy and buggy as hell and should have never been sold and took a fair amount of rigging to get ISO support. The WD Live has all the basic functionality I need and is what was in my system for the last year but I don't care for the interface and it was slow, it's very underpowered and just doing something like navigating menus exposes that. Honestly, if WD would update that box with better navigation and a more powerful processor it be great.

    For playback of local content I maybe preferred the Dune HD-101 over the Netgear, but honestly that was more due to looks. The Netgear box looks like a router (both of them do I have them both) whereas the Dune looks nicer and blends in with the HT gear better. Then again, the interface is better on the Netgear and the Dune can be glitchy from time to time, the Netgear is very solid. So maybe I prefer the Netgear, I don't know. It doesn't matter though because neither has Netflix support so neither will work for me.

    I do like the Netgear box overall, and if they made a box that would do both local and online streaming that would actually be the box I recommend to people OVER the Apple TV because there's no jailbreaking involved. However, to my knowledge that box does NOT exist, so why do you keep bringing it up? If Ferarri made a car with the performance and looks of the 458 for $30,000 I'd own one and recommend that as well, but it doesn't exist so what's the point in talking about ti.

    And it's not like I have an outrageous list of demands. Like I said, throw the Apple specific stuff out, all I really want is a solid device with a fast and attractive interface that has Netflix streaming and will stream any standard audio or video format (technically all I really need is DVD ISO support) and i don't wanna have to run server software like Plex on a computer to make it all work.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    - Stable and very fast
    - Intuitive and easy to use UI
    - Netflix Streaming
    - will play any format out there (of special note for me particularly is DVD ISO with full resolution and menu support)
    - does not require any server software (you just point it to your network shares or NAS and you're good to go)
    That last requirement, to me, is less preferable than having Plex support. I would much rather have Plex handle the organization and metadata tagging rather than having to sort through and tag everything myself manually. I equate Plex to MediaMonkey for videos. You still may have to correct a few things Plex gets wrong, but it's far faster than hunting down cover art and tagging each video on your own.

    The Plex server even has DLNA support, so if I were to use something like the WD TV, I would still run the Plex server on my NAS. I can see no reason to not run the Plex server on the NAS, assuming it has the horsepower to run it, so I really don't understand your aversion to Plex. Plex > DLNA. Do you have the same aversion to the Logitech Media Server?

    http://elan.plexapp.com/2012/03/29/t...dfathers-dlna/

    We?ve united our sexy transcoder with Plex?s rich metadata system and Plutinosoft?s fabulous DLNA SDK. The result (besides a lingering scent of cologne and flowers) is the world?s best DLNA server. No, really. I?m not prone to hyperbole. This DLNA server can do things that no other DLNA server on the planet can do.
    I agree completely with the above quote, aside from the part about cologne and flowers.

    WiDi vs. Airplay is another story. I have never had a desire to put my phone or tablet's display on my TV. However I have often had the desire to put my (non-Apple) laptop's display on the TV, and there are many laptops with WiDi support. So again, a difference in values.
    Last edited by Syndil; 07-08-2012 at 07:28 AM.

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    OK so instead of just answering my post directly you're changing topics on me, ok we can do that. Your anti-Apple blindness is clearly impacting your judgement a bit, as now you're commenting on something you're presuming about my setup, and clearly you just don't have all the facts. They key difference between us is that I've tried both, and I'm not biased (I've even said that had it all my requirements, I'd recommend the Netgear over the Apple TV), so I actually know vs just assuming what features something has.

    1 - My setup HAS metadata fetching that works just as well as Plex. It sees the name of the iso file and 'knows' which movie that is and pulls down the title, movie art and info from the inter webs. And yes, like Plex this isn't perfect all the time but it's damn close. There's no manually entering or organizing anything, it just works.
    2 - Plex does not consistently working have DVD ISO support, AKAIK, feel free to prove me wrong here.
    3 - Plex requires a server to run. So you either need a computer on all the time or purchase a more expensive NAS that will run it.

    My biggest aversion to Plex is actually that it's glitchy and doesn't have DVD ISO support, there is actually a workaround but I've not been able to get consistent results. My other aversion is the server software required. and yes I also don't care for that on the Squeezebox, just that on that I don't have any other choices.

    The setup that I have is a simpler, more stable, more comprehensive, and does not require a computer to be on to work. I'll play your game though, I'll remove ANOTHER item from my list, care to list up devices that meet all these requirements?

    - Stable and very fast
    - Intuitive and easy to use UI
    - Netflix Streaming
    - will play any format out there (of special note for me particularly is DVD ISO with full resolution and menu support)

    Keep in mind I'm half arguing with you and defending my position, and half wanting you to actually come up with something that will work for me. If I come out of this exchange with the name of another device I can try then I've accomplished something, so feel free to offer up any suggestions. I'm not removing any more items though, and FYI an HTPC is not an option.
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    I'm not even sure how this became an argument. This whole tangent started when I pointed out that the DLNA support in the Sony streamer box mentioned by wayne3burk is known to have major issues and to ask him if he had any with his. I then mentioned Plex as an exciting new alternative to DLNA and the fact that the Roku is the only cheap streaming device with Plex support.

    You were the one that decided to present the Apple TV as an alternative and then take up a defensive position around it. I have been presenting the results of my research into streaming devices in a balanced manner, not putting one above the other. As the market stands today, if you settle on any single streamer you are going to be compromising on something--no avoiding it. You seem to want to put the AppleTV above the rest, and I have merely been pointing out the many criticisms of the AppleTV in response.

    While I have no doubt that the Apple TV is the best device for someone who is deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, I have been pointing out how currently no solution provides everything the end user might want in a single device right now, least of all the AppleTV, which only meets your own extremely narrow requirements after having been jailbroken and installed with XBMC. However the AppleTV is not the only device capable of running XBMC, and it is also one of the least powerful devices capable of running XBMC.

    If a person asked me what they should buy to run XBMC, an AppleTV would not be among my recommendations. For a dedicated XBMC machine, I'd recommend spending a bit more money on a more capable nettop and throwing OpenELEC on it. And before you cry "HTPC!" that is essentially what the ATV is: an underpowered nettop running a custom OS. In fact, you can get better performance for XBMC out of your ATV if you replace the ATV OS with an actual Linux OS:

    http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title...Linux-based_OS

    But if a person is interested in a cheap, easy-to-use Internet streaming device that will stream not only Netflix but other major services like Pandora, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus, and Vudu out of the box, the AppleTV is not even a contender. If you'd also like this device to stream local content out of the box, then Plex is your solution, and the Roku is currently the device to run it, assuming you won't mind the lack of Vudu. There's the compromise. If Vudu is important to you but you still want local streaming, then you need two devices.

    Obviously you put a lot more weight on local streaming than Internet streaming, with Netflix being your only Internet requirement, but for you to declare the AppleTV "the best option" based on your extremely narrow requirements is what I would consider pandering to the Apple's limitations.

    Plex may still have a few hiccups--not that many, really, and certainly not what I would call "glitchy as hell"-- but it is still in its relative infancy (hasn't even reached version 1.0 yet) and is being improved constantly, with enthusiastic support from its developers and community. I have great expectations for Plex, myself. If it really takes off it will be huge, IMO, making the whole business of sharing local content a lot more accessible.

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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    I'm not even sure how this became an argument. This whole tangent started when I pointed out that the DLNA support in the Sony streamer box mentioned by wayne3burk is known to have major issues and to ask him if he had any with his. I then mentioned Plex as an exciting new alternative to DLNA and the fact that the Roku is the only cheap streaming device with Plex support.

    You were the one that decided to present the Apple TV as an alternative and then take up a defensive position around it. I have been presenting the results of my research into streaming devices in a balanced manner, not putting one above the other. As the market stands today, if you settle on any single streamer you are going to be compromising on something--no avoiding it. You seem to want to put the AppleTV above the rest, and I have merely been pointing out the many criticisms of the AppleTV in response.
    Right, you came in and suggested an alternative with Plex and the Roku, as did I with the Apple TV. We BOTH took up defensive positions around our suggestions, you around Plex and me around the Apple TV.

    While I have no doubt that the Apple TV is the best device for someone who is deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, I have been pointing out how currently no solution provides everything the end user might want in a single device right now, least of all the AppleTV, which only meets your own extremely narrow requirements after having been jailbroken and installed with XBMC. However the AppleTV is not the only device capable of running XBMC, and it is also one of the least powerful devices capable of running XBMC.
    I've already mentioned this, but I don't use XBMC on the Apple TV, methinks you're not reading all my posts before responding. I installed it, but prefer the basic Media app because it's less convuluted and has better meta tag fetching. The Apple TV is the only option for those invested in the Apple ecosystem, but again I threw out that requirement a few posts back so why even bring that up.

    If a person asked me what they should buy to run XBMC, an AppleTV would not be among my recommendations. For a dedicated XBMC machine, I'd recommend spending a bit more money on a more capable nettop and throwing OpenELEC on it. And before you cry "HTPC!" that is essentially what the ATV is: an underpowered nettop running a custom OS. In fact, you can get better performance for XBMC out of your ATV if you replace the ATV OS with an actual Linux OS:
    I have no argument with this as I have no desire to use XBMC and would agree that if XBMC is all someone wants to run, then there are going to be better options on the market. I'm not going to argue whether the ATV is a HTPC because I don't know what technically qualifies, but in every way that counts it operates and feels like just another component in the setup, not a PC.

    But if a person is interested in a cheap, easy-to-use Internet streaming device that will stream not only Netflix but other major services like Pandora, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus, and Vudu out of the box, the AppleTV is not even a contender.
    I have no argument there, and have said myself that out of the box the Apple TV is very limited, not sure why we're even still arguing about that because we both agree.

    Plex may still have a few hiccups--not that many, really, and certainly not what I would call "glitchy as hell"-- but it is still in its relative infancy (hasn't even reached version 1.0 yet) and is being improved constantly, with enthusiastic support from its developers and community. I have great expectations for Plex, myself. If it really takes off it will be huge, IMO, making the whole business of sharing local content a lot more accessible.
    Plex may very well become awesome and be better than everything else ever, but the fact is that isn't the case today. Let's set aside the whole server needed thing for a moment because apparently we have different needs there. It is beta software really, and is still buggy as shown in the video you yourself posted, that video is close the the results that I get when running Plex on both boxes that run it. It also does not consistently handle DVD ISO files, ISO files are important to people like me who want to preserve the full quality of DVDs and keep the menus in tact. Yes I know DVDs can be converted but there's no way to convert a DVD without loosing at least some quality. And even if Plex does get better and becomes the greatest thing ever, I'm covered because it's running on my Apple TV.

    Obviously you put a lot more weight on local streaming than Internet streaming, with Netflix being your only Internet requirement, but for you to declare the AppleTV "the best option" based on your extremely narrow requirements is what I would consider pandering to the Apple's limitations.
    You're misreading or misinterpreting what I've said, at least I think you are. I didn't say "The Apple TV is the best streamer on the market and here are the things it can do". I said, "Here are a list of MY requirements and IMO the Apple TV is the best device on the market that can handle them". That's it, simple as that, nothing more. I also never said that MY requirements are YOUR requirements and should be EVERYONE's requirements. I've gone OUT OF MY WAY to state that in this thread. You can call my requirements list 'extremely narrow' if you like, but then you're placing YOUR values and judgement on what I want, which simply isn't fair.

    We all want different things, not everybody wants what you want. For example, of the extra items you listed: I don't use Vudu because I have core issues with Wal-Mart and refuse to support them in any way, I don't use Hulu Plus because I choose to pay for satellite and have no need, and I don't use Amazon VOD because I don't like buying movies online (I prefer to have the content locally). I should also note that in addition to not using Amazon VOD I also don't use ANY online service to buy movies OR music, this includes iTunes, I much prefer OWNING the physical media and storing those files locally.

    See how the things that you listed aren't important to me? It's neat how that works and we all get to decide on our own values.

    And you're insinuating that I've somehow 'made up' this list of requirements to pander to the ATV's limitations, as if I'm CREATING my list of requirements based on what the Apple TV can do, which is simply wrong. There's a thread HERE that I started (where I basically lay out my requirements and seek advice on a box) that proves this, except that my list here actually has one more requirement in streaming Netflix because ultimately having one box to do it all was more important to me than I originally thought. I ended up finding the trick of jailbreaking the Apple TV but even after that have tried multiple devices because I'm always looking for 'bigger and better'.

    I'm still waiting for your recommendations on a device that meets my requirements. Don't JUDGE my requirements, just help me find a box that handles them. Again I'll leave off the Apple mirroring stuff.
    - Stable and very fast
    - Intuitive and easy to use UI
    - Netflix Streaming
    - will play any format out there (of special note for me particularly is DVD ISO with full resolution and menu support)
    - does not require any server software (you just point it to your network shares or NAS and you're good to go)

    To anyone actually still following along I apologize. The thread took a turn in the direction of talking about streaming devices, I've gone through a dozen or so devices and feel like I have found a gem in the Apple TV and simply wanted to pass that along to anyone who had a similar set of requirements or priorities. Obviously I am passionate about my audio and video experience and when I find a device that I really like I want to share it with the group, same as I've done with something like the Squeezebox Touch. Obviously I'm really thrilled with these devices based on my needs, but everyone has different requirements and YMMV
    Last edited by AsSiMiLaTeD; 07-09-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Forgot to mention the documentaries. Lots of those too. Man on Wire is a superb film, as is Primal Fear. Primal Fear was my introduction to Edward Norton. His performance in Primal Fear should have netted him an Oscar, hands down, but they gave it to Cuba "show me the money" Gooding Junior instead, like that was a difficult part to play. Makes sense though when you realize what happened at the Oscars the year before. Still... If I was Edward Norton I'd be pissed. Could have been monumental, winning an Oscar with his major film debut. Should have.
    Agreed...+1

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    I saw Brownsville Station (Smoking in the Boys Room) play opening act to Black Oak Arkansas at the Briggs Auditorium at Phillips University. I believe the year was 1974, maybe '72.

    The lead singer of Brownsville Station wore a Basketball Referee's Uniform shirt - and black round rimmed glasses. -- It struck me as kinda funny. Where is that guy when you need him.

    I've been doing a little research as i have 60 days to return my Sony N200 Media Streamer to Target. Looks like i'm gonna order the Netgear NTV200S NeoTV Streaming Player from Wally-Mart.

    I loaded the Plex Server on my Dell N17 something hundred i5 laptop with the idea of using it to serve up my audio files.... Looks like the Sony doesnt support flac files in any way shape or form - a shortcoming of DLNA me thinks. And Plex through DLNA on the Sony box doesnt support continuous play / shuffle but does look like it supports playlists - something i never really have taken the time to make. (playlists that is).

    So it's the Netgear NTV200S NeoTV Streaming Player for me - I'll give you a full report on WiDi once i have it ordered, installed, tried out and evaluated.

    In the meantime - you too are back on the court and we're in triple overtime - may the best team win.

    cheers - wayne

    -- edit-- the WiDi so i can use media monkey to play my audio files without having to hook my laptop up to my tv via hdmi or to my stereo via 3.5 mini jack.
    Last edited by wayne3burk; 07-09-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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    I use directv with the pay channels like showtime, hbo etc. They have excellent on demand in HD. I use that for my documentaries, space stuff like Morgan Freeman hosting etc. The Netflix streaming on my ps3 is pretty good actually, but sometimes I have to push pause when starting a movie to allow the hd portion to catch up, buffering issues. But streaming has no comparison with the video and sound quality of bluray, not even close. I'm actually glad that they don't stream the newer movies because I would be tempted to take the convenience over quality. For regular viewing of non-new movies I stream. But the OP has really brought up a valid point, where do we begin to simply stream rather than wait on bluray deliveries. For instance, I am really digging this 6 part "girl with the dragon tattoo" series. I'm on part four now, and the cinematography is just over the top awesome, not to mention the story, acting and sound. So I really should be watching this on bluray, but have so far only done the streaming due to convenience.

    I might try Hulu to see how it streams and the selection, but I don't see any streaming anywhere near as good as bluray. But 1 out of 5 times a bluray from Netflix is unwatchable and I have to return it early.

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    Yeah sorry for the huge derail here. It wasn't my intention but got caught in the debate. At this point I've said all I can say so I'm moving on.

    Back on your topic, I've had mixed results when using ANY streamer for audio playback, Apple TV included. The issues I've had vary, but ultimately the biggest issue I've had with every box that I've tried is the sound quality. None of these boxes satisfy my requirements for sound quality, none are even as good as the Squeezebox Touch using the built in DACs. I have my entire music library in lossless and the only device that I'vve ever tried streaming that with that I really like is the Squeezebox, actually the Sonos is very good as well but is a bigger investment. I've also had issues with some boxes not supporting gapless playback which can be a big issue if you do alot of classical music, but less of a concern than the sound quality issue.
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