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streaming Blockbuster through wireless Century link?
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draganm



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: streaming Blockbuster through wireless Century link? Reply with quote


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I have century link (used to be Qwest) and a high speed wireless connection, or at least they claim it is. I also have an older HTPC which I spent $2k on few years ago. Stuff in it is still high quality, 1Mg of Ramm, 2+Gig CPU, Radeon 9000 graphics card.
I want to add a wireless router card to it and try and stream blockbuster instead of waiting 2 months to get a new release. Has anyone tried this, we tried it with Netflix + Wii box and it sucked = 15 minutes of content followed by a 10 minute "loading" slider bar.

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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are my chances better wiht the HTPC. Can I first download the entire movie then watch it instead of streaming it?
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
I have century link (used to be Qwest) and a high speed wireless connection, or at least they claim it is. I also have an older HTPC which I spent $2k on few years ago. Stuff in it is still high quality, 1Mg of Ramm, 2+Gig CPU, Radeon 9000 graphics card.
I want to add a wireless router card to it and try and stream blockbuster instead of waiting 2 months to get a new release. Has anyone tried this, we tried it with Netflix + Wii box and it sucked = 15 minutes of content followed by a 10 minute "loading" slider bar.

I shouldn't even help you after all the sh*t you gave me about my PS3, but WTF... I'll take the opportunity to give you sh*t for having a POS Wii... What a hunk of junk that thing is... Seriously, a Wii? It's standard def, for chrissakes! 2004 is calling, dragon... It wants its game platform back! I'm just going to assume it's in your living room, because nobody would put a stupid standard def Wii in their theater... Wink

So, first question: What kind of bandwidth do get from your CentryLink pipe? It's not enough to just say it's "high speed". They have a whole slew of different options, ranging from just barely adequate for SD video streaming, to excellent even for HD. If you don't know, go here, run the test, and post the results:

http://www.speedtest.net/

My guess is that you have the entry-level 1.5mbps DSL tier. If that's the case, that's why Netflix didn't work very well on the Wii, and you're probably not going to have good luck with anything else, either. If you have something faster than that, then I'm blaming the Wii. Wink

My experience with Netflix was generally very good on PS3, iPhone, iPad, and computer, but I also had a 10mbps cable connection. I occasionally had it stop to buffer, but that was pretty rare, and it could have been a problem on my end (the neighborhood), not at Netflix. Regardless, that was probably only a one in twenty thing.

Still, I was never that thrilled with the PQ (HD was better than DVD, but comparable to cable/satellite). The major problem I had with it was the selection... If you're not into old TV shows or special interest/documentary, or catalog titles, I thought it kind of sucked. New release selection was horrible. Maybe it's better, now.

I don't know if Blockbuster is going to be any better selection-wise, or just... Different.

draganm wrote:
Are my chances better wiht the HTPC. Can I first download the entire movie then watch it instead of streaming it?

I wouldn't say your chances are necessarily better with the HTPC as HTPC usually just introduces different headaches.

The good thing about an HTPC is pretty much everything is supported. Blockbuster, Netflix, you can try all sorts of stuff.

If we can establish that you have a good internet connection, one thing you could consider would be a Roku box. $50, and you can stream Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Crackle, and much more. Unlike the Wii, it's HD. Unlike the HTPC, it's tiny, low-power, and silent.

Just throwing out some ideas. Let's see what you have for a pipe and go from there.

SC
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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Roku 2 XS for streaming HD. Nice easy wireless remote (not IR) and 1080p with 5.1 audio over HDMI. They were going for $85 plus free shipping from Amazon last I checked. I use a Century Link 7 Mbps connection with the Roku wired via Ethernet to the Q1000 modem. Buffering does not seem to be an issue even at 1080p...
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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
I shouldn't even help you after all the sh*t you gave me about my PS3, but WTF... I'll take the opportunity to give you sh*t for having a POS Wii... What a hunk of junk that thing is... Seriously, a Wii? It's standard def, for chrissakes! 2004 is calling, dragon... It wants its game platform back! I'm just going to assume it's in your living room, because nobody would put a stupid standard def Wii in their theater... Wink
ok, that's funny Laughing
I don't play video games, the kids got the Wii after finishing one season of football and not quitting. Came home one day to see a netflix menu on the living-room TV.

ecrabb wrote:
So, first question: What kind of bandwidth do get from your CentryLink pipe? It's not enough to just say it's "high speed". They have a whole slew of different options, ranging from just barely adequate for SD video streaming, to excellent even for HD. If you don't know, go here, run the test, and post the results:

CenturyLink Connect Titanium and they're claiming "12 Mbps Service- "

ecrabb wrote:
draganm wrote:
Are my chances better wiht the HTPC. Can I first download the entire movie then watch it instead of streaming it?

I wouldn't say your chances are necessarily better with the HTPC as HTPC usually just introduces different headaches.

The good thing about an HTPC is pretty much everything is supported. Blockbuster, Netflix, you can try all sorts of stuff.

If we can establish that you have a good internet connection, one thing you could consider would be a Roku box. $50, and you can stream Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Crackle, and much more. Unlike the Wii, it's HD. Unlike the HTPC, it's tiny, low-power, and silent.Just throwing out some ideas. Let's see what you have for a pipe and go from there.
SC
I haven't had much luck with cheap set top boxes, it seems like you need to spend at least $250. to get a decent device. I can get a net-working wireless card for free though and my RGBHV cable is still up in my ceiling for the HTPC.
Content is a big issue though, the only reason I want to do this is because getting the discs in the mail sucks

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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom.W wrote:
I use a Roku 2 XS for streaming HD. Nice easy wireless remote (not IR) and 1080p with 5.1 audio over HDMI. They were going for $85 plus free shipping from Amazon last I checked. I use a Century Link 7 Mbps connection with the Roku wired via Ethernet to the Q1000 modem. Buffering does not seem to be an issue even at 1080p...

Well that's encouraging for sure.
Who do you stream from? I'm assuming your paying for some kind of service or connection
What's the quality like compared to a BD disc?

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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well mostly the many free channels like Crackle the WSJ and several others. You can also subscribe to just about anything you like.

As for the picture quality it is quite good !
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
CenturyLink Connect Titanium and they're claiming "12 Mbps Service- "

OK, that's good. From my experience, you typically get pretty close to what they're promising with DSL. If you're curious, run the speed test I linked you to earlier. But, Netflix says 3 Mbps for "DVD quality", 5+ Mbps for "HD", and 8+ Mbps for 1080p. With your 12 Mbps pipe, you should be able to stream from almost any service you like.

draganm wrote:
I haven't had much luck with cheap set top boxes, it seems like you need to spend at least $250. to get a decent device. I can get a net-working wireless card for free though and my RGBHV cable is still up in my ceiling for the HTPC.

I don't know what "cheap set top boxes" you've tried, but the Roku or AppleTV are not "cheap set top boxes". The Roku is a little Linux box, and the Apple TV is running iOS - a UNIX-based OS. They have plenty of RAM, a very lightweight, dedicated OS, with dedicated video hardware. For trouble-free, simple, "pick up the remote and watch something", I'd put my money on a Roku box or AppleTV over the HTPC ANY day.

But, if you've got an HTPC laying around, and you can get a Wi-Fi card for it, give it a whirl. Just don't be surprised though when you waste several hours getting the network card in it, getting it configured and on the network, then find out the audio is dicked up somehow, or you're getting tearing in the video, or the gamma is dorked up, or the remote doesn't work right, or...

draganm wrote:
Content is a big issue though, the only reason I want to do this is because getting the discs in the mail sucks

We were in the same boat. The discs took too long, and I was unhappy with the streaming content choices, then they pulled the sh*t with raising prices... By then, we'd already dumped Netflix and started renting discs from Family Video and Redbox. Redboxes are everywhere. You can rent online, and then pick them up, return them anywhere. There isn't enough selection to rent them every Friday and Saturday night, so we flip-flop between Redbox and Family Video.

I pretty much watch exclusively Blu-ray, and it's pretty rare we can't find something we want to watch between the two sources. If you rent more than a couple of nights a week, you might run out of content if all you want is BD.

SC
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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never tried the Apple box but I will say the OSD on the Roku and the easy remote are hard to beat...
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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I should ahve been more specific, my problem isn't actually movies but HBO series. First Dexter and now game of thrones. I usually see the previous season long after the next one is rolling. For some reason it's takes months to get it and I was told by people at the BB Store in town they get fvery few discs at the mail-in depot and sometiems none at the store location.
Also, I just checked, you can't stream game of thrones from BB or Netflix either. So options are wait 12 months to see a show or pay $600.+ a year for cable TV just to watch Dexter and the Tour de France, no thank you.
Also seems like i'm not alone, it's a recurring problems as people realize cable TV is 90% garbage. I wish HBO and either BB or netflix would start their own streaming content service.

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/opinions/cant-stream-game-of-thrones-cable-companies-are-the-real-villain-achar.php

Quote:
As shown in the comic, the only way currently to see Game of Thrones online without the potential of getting arrested is to purchase a monthly subscription of HBO through your cable or dish service provider, and then you will have the ability to stream the show via HBO’s online streaming service HBOGo. Therefore, if you have an HBO subscription already you can stream it online, and if you do not you can purchase the monthly subscription for the channel via your cable service provider, and then you can stream the show.

The consumers that leaves out in the cold are the people that don’t have cable, nor want to purchase cable specifically for one channel (let alone one show). With the above mentioned services offering network television programs online for about 1/10th the monthly cost of cable the number of those consumers is rising. It’s simply just more cost-effective for a person to pay 8 dollars a month to watch 80 percent of the shows they want online and wait for their availability on that platform (sometimes months after the show initially aired on television) versus 50+ dollars to see 100%of the shows as they air.

It’s C grade service with A grade cost versus A grade service with D grade cost.
So Why Doesn’t HBO Tap Into the Online Market By Streaming Shows For a Fee?

With all these avenues in which HBO has the ‘ability’ to stream Game of Thrones and charge for it either on a per episode basis or through subscription to a direct online streaming service the question becomes, “Why don’t they?” They can obviously make a lot of money doing so by appeasing a market of consumers they have currently shut themselves off from; so what’s hindering them?

The companies with the most to lose by a direct HBO to consumer relationship are the cable/satellite service providers (ie Time Warner, ComCast, AT&T, etc).

In a web article published on Ad Age in January of 2010 the reporter speculated that Web Televisions may be the cable industry’s largest battle over the next couple of years, which is technically right now. A television set that connects directly to the internet offers a path to network content to be watched on a TV without the need of a cable subscription.

If Game of Thrones is offered on HuluPlus or Netflix, who doesn’t receive a paycheck for that service order? If the shows are made available to download on iTunes or Amazon for a couple bucks an episode, who doesn’t receive a paycheck for that purchase? More dangerously to the affected parties, if HBO offers a streaming service outside of their television channel subscription who can potentially lose an incredible amount of revenue because of that? HBO is not a free channel bundled in with a basic cable subscription, so what’s stopping a consumer from dropping HBO from their television package and getting it through an online streaming service? HBO won’t care because they still have the customer, but the offering company of their cable subscription just lost money, and if HBO was the primary reason they had cable to begin with then they have just lost a customer completely.

The next piece to the puzzle is the hypothetical “Well, then why doesn’t HBO just offer an online service outside of television programming even when whatever contract they have with cable company A is up?” And the possible answer to that was found in the same article from Ad Age:

“…one tech exec, who asked not to be named, predicted that the minute cable operators start to feel the disruption, they will clamp down and use their market power to keep TV and films from seeping into next-generation devices. They’re already putting the squeeze on networks; any free distribution is an argument for lower cable distribution fees. “

Therefore, is it worth it for HBO to even attempt to offer a streaming service non-sanctioned by the cable operators at the risk of not being able to reach customers who don’t stream and only watch television on the television? Essentially, is it worth the risk to be an online programming entity only, because Time Warner, ComCast et al would probably, very happily, black out HBO across the board to be watched on television.

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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to start a new thread on internet vs cable politics. The cable providers should be VERY nervous ! Wink
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, this is a long post. It's a complicated subject. So, sorry. If you don't want to read it, don't.

The cable providers are nervous, and their lock on the premium subscription services like HBO, Showtime, etc. is about to expire.

I've been watching this situation for several years now, and things are just about to change. Here's the wildcard: Apple. Apple will be the one to bust the gridlock.

If you've paid attention to Apple, it was Apple that basically strong-armed the music industry into making their music available electronically, and then it was Apple that capitulated and gave up a unified price structure (99 cents per track), in return for the music companies to allow Apple to offer the music to customers unencrypted.

What allowed them to strong-arm the music labels (content owners) originally was their position: They had tens of millions of users with iPods, and they had those customer's credit card numbers, and they had an easy way for people to buy the music. Apple was basically able to walk into the execs offices and say, "Look, do you want to sell music to people, or do you want to go the way of the dinosaurs while your customers keep stealing music because it's easier than paying for it?" Didn't take long for the logic to penetrate the music industry's think skulls, and Apple had every major label on board.

But, Apple waited for years to build the iTunes/iPod platform until it had huge numbers before they approached the record companies. They basically "snuck up" on the record companies. Millions of people were stealing music because they couldn't easily buy it the way they wanted: At home in front of their computer.

So, here we are with video. HBO, Showtime, etc. keep bending over for the cable companies when the say, "You give us exclusivity, or else..." The satellite and cable company's position was clear, and they had the upper hand. At the same time, millions of people HATE cable and satellite, and would rather just buy the programs they want. I'm one of those. Dozens of my friends are the same. The cable and satellite companies know it, and they're scared shitless. Well, things are about to change. Again, Apple is about to gain the upper-hand, and they'll bust it open for everybody else.

Last year at a press event, Apple revealed that 200 million people had iTunes accounts with credit cards for one-click purchases. That was over a year ago. They've sold something like 75 MILLION iPads. They're selling something like 35 million iPhones per quarter. Now, here's where it gets interesting: Apple also sold something like 3 million Apple TVs last year, and close to that many each of the first two quarters of this year. Jobs kept calling it a hobby, but it's clearly no hobby any longer. Apple has slowly been building in more integration with Apple TV for anybody who has iPhones, iPads, and in the new release of OS X that ships this fall, Macs.

That was long-winded, but I was setting the stage. Here's the point: Soon, Apple will be be able to walk into the content providers' offices and say, "OK guys... It's great that you have 30 million subscribers. Congratulations. But, you're now severely limiting your growth by attaching yourself to DISH, DirecTV, Comcast, and the others. Only so many people are willing to spend $60, $70, even $100 to get satellite or cable to get your channel - one of the few they really want. Well, guess what? We now have 20 million people with iPads, iPhones, and Apple TVs. They want your channel. Instead of getting $5/subscriber/month from the cable companies, we'll give you $7 - 70% of a $10/month retail price - and we'll hand you millions of subscribers on our silver iTunes platter.

At that point, the content owners like HBO are going to go back and say, "Sorry Comcast, DirecTV, etc., but we're getting a better deal from Apple, and now we're talking to Netflix and Hulu. Sorry, but we just can't afford your exclusivity any longer."

Here's my prediction: I give it a year. 2013 will be the year this happens, that Apple strong-arms the content producers into offering their programming to everybody, and forcing the cable companies to compete with all these other services, instead of having an unfair advantage that they themselves created.

I think this might even be what Jobs was talking about when he told Isaacson that they "cracked TV".

Quote:
"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs says in the book. "I finally cracked it." Isaacson writes that Jobs describes an integrated TV that would sync seamlessly with all (presumably Apple) devices and iCloud, Apple's new consumer cloud service. It will supposedly make complicated remotes for disc players and cable boxes a thing of the past.


People keep talking about Apple making an actual TV, but TVs are fine... The interface is fine. It's the stupid way we're forced to consume content that sucks! Commercials, time schedules, time grids, DVRs, it's all a stupid paradigm that's basically just a slightly newer version of the way TV worked in the 1950's, and it's the cable TV and satellite companies that are trying to keep that way. But, they're just middle-men. It doesn't NEED to be that way at all, anymore!

Video should work like audio. You want to watch a show, you watch a show! Podcasts work like that. A new one comes out each week. You want to watch on release day, you can. You want to watch a week later, you can. This is more like how most content is being delivered.

I give it a year or two, and the TV landscape will be very different. 2013 is when it starts to change.

SC
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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SC have you tested the Apple streaming device ? I'm wondering how it compares to the Roku from a user here.
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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds good to me, and I might even buy one those new fangled iphone thingy's If I have to. Hopefully I won't and Apple with just offer a simle "apple box" with a huge menu and you can just buy what you want. It better be reasonably priced, true on demand availability, and no FOOKIN commercials Thumbs Down
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Tom.W



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One review and lots of comments...

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57320715-221/apple-tv-vs-roku-lt-which-streaming-box-should-you-buy/
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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so Apples TV is already out! Steve you didn't know that?
It looks like you pay 99 bucks, then 3 bucks per episode or movie watching? If you watch it once for 3 bucks can you watch it again without paying a second time?

http://www.apple.com/search/?q=game%20of%20thrones&section=ipoditunes&geo=us

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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another comparison review of the Roku 2 XS and the Apple TV.... Crackle has free aps and no commercials for now during the movie plus lots of good movies. Apple TV does not have Crackle but instead it has YouTube. Roku has more free content.
Apple TV seems to be more of a pay per view platform rather then offering free content.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20098857-1/apple-tv-vs-roku-2-whats-the-best-streaming-media-device-for-under-$100/?tag=mncol;txt


Last edited by Tom.W on Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

draganm wrote:
so Apples TV is already out! Steve you didn't know that?
It looks like you pay 99 bucks, then 3 bucks per episode or movie watching? If you watch it once for 3 bucks can you watch it again without paying a second time?

The "Apple TV" as a product has been around for 3 or 4 years now. The form factor and use methodology has changed a bit, but it's still the same basic concept. First, it had a hard drive and you stored content on it. Then, they took the drive out and miniaturized it, and it was 720p, with Netflix, then they just updated it earlier this year to 1080p.

As for the content, yes... You buy the TV shows. Pay $2.99 or $3.99 (I think, for SD and HD), and you then own the content. That's one of the criticisms of the platform is that you can't pay a monthly fee and stream what you want. But, as with Netflix, that doesn't always yield the best content. At least with the purchase model, there's generally lots of brand new stuff like the latest episodes of TV shows available same evening as broadcast or next day.

The "Apple TV" that keeps getting rumored is an actual television. Everybody seems to think Apple is going to sell an actual TV... A big, 40" or 50" silver, aluminum, TV with the iTunes/Apple TV content delivery mechanism, and Apple is going to somehow "revolutionize" TV with it. I don't understand what people think Apple is going to do with an LCD panel that they can't do with the Apple TV product they sell now. The TV market is just crazy cutthroat with pathetic margins, everybody already has an HDTV, and I just don't see Apple could do that would compel even the Apple nuts to buy it.

If Apple does end up releasing an actual display product with tuner, cable card, Apple TV, etc., then I'll be massively wrong. I have big bets with good friends... I'm going to be out cash and steak dinners!

I think everybody has it wrong... The "revolutionary Apple TV" is already here in the form of the iTunes/iPhone/iPad/Apple TV ecosystem that all works together. All that's missing is the content deals. We'll see...

SC
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom.W wrote:
SC have you tested the Apple streaming device ? I'm wondering how it compares to the Roku from a user here.

Tom, it totally depends on whether you have any Apple hardware. If you have an iPhone or iPad, and you have content in iTunes, the Apple TV is great. The device is worth the money for the AirPlay capability alone (which is going to get even better with the newest release of Mac OS X this fall).

A lot of audiophiles are now even using an iPhone or iPad as the front-end for their music listening. Rip all CDs to Apple Lossless into your iTunes library, connect Apple TV via HDMI or optical through an audiophile DAC into your system, then sit in your chair listening to anything in your library. Yes, there are plenty of other ways to do this with a variety of cheap or free open source solutions, but the Apple solution is just stupid easy, and totally hassle-free.

On the other hand, if you don't have any Apple stuff, like the articles say, there's a little more content on the Roku box. Well, sort of more content, and sort of different content. iTunes/Apple TV/etc. is nice because if you want to use it a TV replacement, you can buy new episodes of TV shows as they come out. That's a little different.

Anyway, basically comes down to whether you have Apple stuff or not. If you don't, the Roku is excellent. If you do, the Apple TV is also excellent because it offers some cool integration with other Apple products.

I already have an Apple TV in the theater and living room, and I'm thinking about getting a Roku for the bedroom. For $100, it's hard to go wrong with either. If you've never checked them out, you should.

SC
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draganm



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom.W wrote:
Another comparison review of the Roku 2 XS and the Apple TV.... Crackle has free aps and no commercials for now during the movie plus lots of good movies. Apple TV does not have Crackle but instead it has YouTube. Roku has more free content.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20098857-1/apple-tv-vs-roku-2-whats-the-best-streaming-media-device-for-under-$100/?tag=mncol;txt
thanks Tom i read that but I'm more confused than ever. I don't really understand how the pay per view works. They say sh*t like $8. for month for netflix. So for $8. a month you can stream anything netflix offers. How do you know if they offer game of thrones, or any other TV show you might want, is on netflix? Go to the web-site and dig around.
What if you want to watch the tour de france live? Do you have ot dig around on the internet, find, pay for it, then watch it? How do you know how good the service your buying actually is? I can see paying for something and then relaizing the quality is sh*t, then your stuck with a 6 month subscription?

So Roku say's it offers HBO go, so I go there and it's asking for a cable service provider? So you can just buy a Roku box and then stream from HBO directly over the inernet, you have to have a cable company in there somewhere. If that's the case then why the f*ck do you need a Roku box? Why can't you just watch game of throens directly through your cable box?
It seems like all this is still very new and a giant cluster-f*ck at this time?

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