Mar 12 2013

Review - NETGEAR NeoTV MAX (NTV300SL) Media Streamer


After experiencing NETGEAR’s previous generation NeoTV NTV200, with solid function, value and distinction as one of the only media streamers with HDMI CEC support it was genuinely exciting when the NeoTV MAX (NTV300SL) arrived with a dual-sided QWERTY remote, full VUDU 3D and Netflix multichannel audio with subtitle support--that NETGEAR only asks $70 (MSRP) for the device was gravy. With the NeoTV MAX also promising 24p and continuing the tradition of seamless integration into a HDMI CEC controlled ecosystem it seems likely that NETGEAR would deliver the perfect Over the Top (OTT) streamer for the most demanding users.

Oct 25 2011

Review - NETGEAR NeoTV - NTV200 Connected Media Streamer

NTV200If you are in the market for an inexpensive connected media streamer, the number of options has exploded recently.  A couple weeks back we took a look at Roku’s XS, and today we have the newest member of NETGEAR’s NeoTV lineup - the NTV200.  At first glance, the unit’s price ($79.99) and lack of a USB port for local content sets it neatly in the middle of the multitude of players currently available, but breaks from the pack by offering VUDU alongside Netflix and the many other “also ran” applications we have come to expect from this segment.

Oct 12 2011

Review - Roku 2 XS


Roku made a name for itself by providing a device that, for many, is synonymous with Netflix streaming.  The quality of that service, and other premium, IP delivered media, has increased significantly since the original box was launched, necessitating an update to modernize the lineup and provide support for HD content.  To address this, we now have the Roku 2 comprised of three models: HD, XD, and XS, spanning the range from $60 to $100.  Each of the devices is capable of 5.1 bit streaming, but the Roku 2 HD, which is limited to 720p, it is not as interesting as the other two which are capable of delivering 1080p video.  Today we take a look at high-end XS, which tops the XD by including Roku’s Bluetooth gaming remote, a USB port, and Ethernet.

May 10 2011

Review - Boxee Box D-Link DSM-380


With a unique physique, revolutionary remote and innovative feature set--promising no compromise local file playback alongside Internet content aggregation--no streamer has threatened to break into the Consumer Electronics (CE) mainstream like the Boxee Box.  Based on Intel’s CE4100 system on a chip (SOC) the device is capable of hardware accelerated decode for many popular codecs, HD audio bit streaming and an x86 CPU capable of delivering a decent browsing experience.  Anyone who followed the device’s launch knows that it could have gone smoother; having given the platform a few months to mature, now is a good time to dive in and see if it can make good on its potential.

May 03 2011

Review - 2.5 Movie and TV Media Center App

Rewind two years ago to 2009--Hulu was really starting to gain momentum and attention, as well as some other fledgling TV streaming services, but all required a keyboard and mouse for use with your Windows Media Center HTPC. Then, was released and not only made it possible to control and watch content, but did so in a very attractive and easy to follow user interface (UI), utilizing fan art and covers along with descriptions to make things easy. Of course, Hulu soon blocked the service and eventually released their own 10' UI based application called Hulu Desktop, and then remained fairly silent with a few mild updates...until now. With version 2.5, has received a pretty significant overhaul and now is aiming its sights not just at you TV cord cutters, but also at movie watchers alike. That's a lot for one app to tackle. 


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