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Thread: "Roku" type devices...pros and cons, different brands, different options????

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    "Roku" type devices...pros and cons, different brands, different options????

    I pay much too much each month for the Cablevision "gold package" that I never use. Most of my time I end up watching either "Pawn Stars" or "America's Dumbest ______" for my insipid entertainment. "On Demand" leaves a lot to be desired.

    We like movies.....We are also the type who don't really want to wait a couple days from the time we decide to watch a specfic movie until it might arrive via the mail. We are more into "immediate gratification".

    So...can anyone provide information on the "Roku type of devices" currently being sold? I know there are several variants to the basic box, and several different competitors. And different options allowing more types of movies to be viewed. that is where my knowledge hits a total dead end.

    What are the advantages? Depending on the options you decide upon, how feasible is it to get internet streaming on the TV so that when we want to watch a movie we can choose one that is instantly available? And which sources offer the most available movies via "instant gratification".

    What are the options to look for....which options are not necessary. I am certainly willing to pay additional $ for a subscription service (e.g. Netfllix) so that we can get instantaneous access to the greatest supply of movies.

    Recommendations appreciated. Any advice as to how to proceed is gratefully accepted. thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Roku seems to get more apps built into it, but I have a WD-TV Live and I absolutely love it. It has Netflix, Spotify, Hulu Plus and other apps on it as well as hooks up to a HD where I store videos and movies that I rip myself or *find* laying around on the internets.

    If it were up to me, I wouldn't have cable at all and I would spend $20 a month on Netflix and Hulu Plus. Those two services combined will get you almost all of the shows and movies you need. The only thing that is left to be desired is sports if you're into them but I've found that most of the games are streamed online.



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    I have an Apple TV, and Netflix. It's great. You can also log into your iTunes account and get content, as well as play music, home videos, etc, through your computer. Highly recommended, and the device itself is very small and high quality.

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    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I have an Apple TV, and Netflix. It's great. You can also log into your iTunes account and get content, as well as play music, home videos, etc, through your computer. Highly recommended, and the device itself is very small and high quality.
    I love Apple TV - its gorgeous but the only reason I chose a WDTV over it is because Apple TV only plays iTunes/Quicktime compatible files like mp4 - while the WD TV boxes will play ANY outrageous file type you find along your digital journeys haha
    Paul Reed Smith 7 - S t r i n g A c t i v i s t | Fueled by P T C

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    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I have an Apple TV, and Netflix. It's great. You can also log into your iTunes account and get content, as well as play music, home videos, etc, through your computer. Highly recommended, and the device itself is very small and high quality.
    I also rock an AppleTV. Highly recommended.
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    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themike View Post
    I love Apple TV - its gorgeous but the only reason I chose a WDTV over it is because Apple TV only plays iTunes/Quicktime compatible files like mp4 - while the WD TV boxes will play ANY outrageous file type you find along your digital journeys haha
    You are right. Out of the box the AppleTV is a bit lackluster in network and file type playback when compared to a number of the other popular units. If you are already running in an Apple environment you'll likely be without wants. If you find yourself interested in more you can open them up a bit easily. I suggest FireCore's aTV Flash. For the record my AppleTV is stock and I am perfectly happy.
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    Thanks so much for everything so far....as far as additional recommendations, FWIW...I am a PC user and won't be switching to Apple format anytime soon. I have to keep my learning curves minimal. Great suggestions...and anyone who can chime in on what I should be doing once I get my hardware (???) is appreciated. So...the device, netflix and Hulu plus sounds like a great platform start...especially since a lot of the devices I've been seeing offer free trials to these. I have absolutely no interest in watching sports via paid programming, so that won't be an issue for me.

    I do like the idea of streaming all my computer content onto the TV so I can play along with youtube and the like.

    More ideas and suggestions as you think of them...and thanks again for all the advice so far.

    Edit after re-reading....does "Apple TV" require an Apple platform? In re-reading, perhaps it is just a hardware device that is compatible with PC's as well.
    Last edited by docbennett; 02-12-2013 at 11:13 AM.

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    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    The product Mike linked is also very nice. Both it and AppleTV are excellent options. The AppleTV does what I need which is Netflix and AirPlay from my other iOS devices. I am also vested in the platform as I use a Mac, iPhone and iPad.

    Here's the list of requirements taken from Apple's site.

    Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g, or n) wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11a, g, or n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network
    iTunes Store account for buying or renting movies and buying TV shows
    Netflix subscription required for streaming content
    Hulu Plus subscription required for streaming content
    For streaming media from a Mac or PC: iTunes 10.6 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing
    MLB.TV subscription required to watch live and archived games
    NBA.com League Pass Broadband subscription required to watch live and archived games
    NHL GameCenter Live subscription required to watch live and archived games
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    I'm a PC person and my wife is a Mac-ophile. I really dislike Apple for their perpetuation of planned (socially coerced or physical) obsolescence and censorship through iTunes. Not that MS or PC makers are any better.

    That said, my wife and I both have iPads. I use mine for all the typical stuff and music apps. We also just bought Apple TV (it hurt my pride to do so) and it's been good so far. We have had some mirroring issues, but they have been minor and easily resolved.

    We haven't missed cable at all, so go for it!

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