Question: Which Netflix Streamer Solution Are You Considering As a Non-Xbox 360/TiVo Owner?


samsung bd p2500 netflix hdtv graphic

I’m curious what non-Xbox 360/TiVo owners are most likely considering buying for streaming Netflix video to their HDTVs. On one hand you have the $99 Netflix Player by Roku and on the other you have the sub-$350 Blu-ray players from Samsung (BD-P2500) and LG (BD300) – all of which offer HDMI out, upgradeable firmware for new features (Samsung recently added Pandora support and rumor has it that Roku is going to open up the platform to third party developers), and don’t require additional subscription fees like the TiVo (TiVo service required) or Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Gold Pass required). If you’re on the fence about replacing your current DVD player, this may be a hard decision.

* I purposely excluded mention of Boxee’s new Netflix support for Windows since it requires a PC for viewing.




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Filed in: Content Providers, Streaming Media Devices


  • schlacker

    Since I don’t have a blu-ray DVD player yet, probably a Samsung blu-ray player to go with my Samsung LCD. Now I need to find place to put my Xbox360 and Roku… wow, I’ll have Nutflex capability everywhere in my house.

  • jared

    personally, i’m holding out for the VuNow device from verismo networks. to be sure, i haven’t seen any statements indicating they will support netflix streaming, but for $100 this box does everything Roku should have done — i’m sure it’s got the horse power for netflix streaming and i’m hoping for a future service update to provide it.

    personally, i’m not a netflix subscriber. but i WOULD be if my otherwise worthwhile streaming video box also provided netflix for me… and that’s my point. (roku: get hulu and i’ll be one of your boxes too!)

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com Alexander Grundner

    Good point jared. The VuNow PoD does look pretty sweet — and I have a feeling Netflix will be on it soon as well. I just wish they included Wi-Fi on the device like they first showcased. In any case, it launches Dec. 15th (previous coverage).

  • Terry

    Not wanting to ever have anything to do with anything associated with SONY, ie; “Blue Ray”,(My Tosh. HD-DVD Player works great for Upscaling standard DVDs). I use my HTPC for Netflix Streaming with a front projector & 100″ screen with excellent results! When not using it with the HTPC I also have the same excellent results with my DISH VIP-722 DVR.

  • http://www.davisfreeberg.com Davis Freeberg

    Before the Roku box came out, I would connect my laptop to my TV via an S-Video cable and watch it that way. I never figured out a good way to get the audio into my HTS, but it worked really well. Of course now that Netflix is out on TiVo, there is no more need for Roku or the laptop, but I still keep the laptop around so that I can watch Comedy Central videos on the big screen. Of all the content out there, Comedy Central is the only channel left where I can’t seem to watch the shows on some kind of a set top box.

  • Nnyan

    I’m waiting for Netflix to add support for linux devices. I have a linux media PC in an HTPC case connected to my network via wifi-n. I do have to say that the VuNow looks awesome (depending on the price) with support for xvid and Matroska. Now if it could stream iTunes and access a NAS it would be killer.

  • http://bitflung.blogspot.com jared

    @Nnyan
    Netflix support for linux is coming by way of boxee “early next year” -> (http://www.deviceguru.com/boxee-adds-netflix-movie-downloads/) “As mentioned above, the new Netflix VOD support reportedly is already released for Mac OS X, and is expected to be available for Ubuntu Linux “early next year,” according to a source on the Boxee team. ”

    VuNow price will be $99 -> (http://www.jonzee.com/vunow-another-media-playing-device/2008/11/18/) “The VuNow will cost you $99 bucks when it releases in December (15th).”

    VuNow will support NAS -> (http://www.vunow.com/) “Access to Personal Media such as video, music, and photos from the home network – stored on a PC, Networked Attached Storage device, or even on a connected USB storage device”

    I wasn’t sure if you were ASKING about codec support on the VuNow, or stating that it exists. to be clear, xvid and matroska are both supported in the ‘premium’ VuNow offering -> (http://www.vunow.com/specifications)
    “MPEG-2 PS
    DVD VOB
    Transport Stream
    MP4
    AVI
    MOV”

    iTunes support? not likely to ever officially happen – though if you’ve got iTunes running on another machine, remotely controlling that machine and streaming the audio to remote speakers is officially supported by apple, you just need to 1) use apple’s AirTunes interface (with THEIR Airport access point), or 2) install audio hijack, etc to push the audio stream to, say, a shoutcast stream.

    -bit

  • Nnyan

    @Jared

    Very nice indeed. I almost bought at DMA2100 since you can grab them for about $110 but I’m thinking of holding off now. I was just mentioning that they supported those codec’s = ) I’m not able to find if the wifi adapter will be .N or .G

  • http://bitflung.blogspot.com jared

    @Nnyan

    will be 802.11g via USB; and no, they don’t claim support for any 3rd party wifi adapters (so it seems we’ll have to buy theirs)

    of course, i sat all day yesterday with credit card in hand refreshing the vunow page incessantly… until near the day’s end when the page updated to tell me that i’d been wasting my time… the VuNow won’t launch till the 22nd now.

    sadly that’s too late for xmas shopping — so i’ll be buying a roku (if any video player) for my brother. vunow must have lost a huge sales boon by slipping their delivery date so late (it was originally to be ready last summer) :(

  • leslie troyer

    I’ve been watching from the xbox, but found that several of the instant movies wouldn’t play. Tried on my pc, and they required an additional download (codec??) before they would play. So xbox doesn’t play 100% of the content, what about the other platforms???

    Does the blueray players play 100% of the content? Does the Roku, PS3?

    Is netflix going to come out with an instant solution that works on media center extenders (it currently doesn’t)

  • Nnyan

    @jared

    Thanks for info but they really need to re-think this. They should either integrate 802.11N or allow you to use any adapter. Streaming HD via 802.11G is really not a good idea.

  • http://bitflung.blogspot.com jared

    well, i’ve ordered my vunow. it took a bit – i was expecting a flurry of user reviews, etc after they launched. seems the uptake didn’t match my expectations. i’ve now cancelled my cable tv service and have just high speed internet (well, that plus basic cable, since the cable company wants to sell ads, they make it cheaper to have basic+internet than just internet alone).

    it should arrive early next week (maybe even tomorrow, friday, but i doubt it).

    i opted for the SD unit with wifi. i’ll be sure to post about my impression of the unit/service.

  • Nnyan

    Jared,

    Haven’t had much time to spend on this since the baby arrived = ) wanted to see if what you thought about the VuNow unit. I’ve also been checking out the HDX1000.

  • http://bitflung.blogspot.com jared

    @Nnyan

    well, overall i’m impressed with the product, but not the service. the device decodes video smoothly and the user interface is responsive and pleasant to use. a few features should be added, like being able to re-organize the live streaming tv channels, or maybe flag some as “crap” and not have to scroll past them to find the one you want. HOLY crap is there a LOT of religious crap on there. if i was a born-again-christian or something i’d be in heaven. i’m not, so i’m in hell. go figure. seriously though, there must be at least 15 live streaming channels dedicated to Godvertising 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    which gets me into the services part. the ‘services’ are the live streaming channels, connection to youtube, cinemanow, etc. since cinemanow isn’t live yet (click it and you get a “come back soon” message) i’ll scrap that one from this post. youtube? i once said i hate it and done understand the draw to it. now that’s all i really watch on this thing. here’s a break down of what’s available, with *’s next to what i watch:

    1. * youtube (i subscribed to ChannelFrederator, RocketBoom, and a few others – i also use it as a radio and let music videos stream while i sit and surf the web on my mac)

    2. video search (i’ll occasionally use this to search for something specific, like John Stewart’s interview at Crossfire)

    3. * live streaming tv (there are 2 or 3 channels that don’t 100% suck. the rest are totally worthless to me; i’d rather they didnt appear in my listings. the best, i think, is Film24 in the asian channels list. sadly it tends to be foreign films with an asian language for subtitles… so if it’s not an english film to start with i have to abort and go watch youtube for 30 seconds before i get bored and turn it off)

    4. bit-torrent (man, does ANYONE get good bandwidth with torrents? it’s not the vunow, even on my mac i tend to get 1-10 kbps. that’s it. same on the vunow. it takes a week to download an episode of grey’s anatomy. a WEEK. when it was done downloading, something went screwy and the uncompressed file as a correct 132kbyte AVI that wouldn’t play. i was NOT happy and haven’t bothered trying again. bit-torrent was useless on my mac, and it’s useless here)

    5. *** UPnP (i use this ALL the time. it’s the BEST way to play music, videos, or slideshows of pictures from my nokia phone. i’ve got an N95. if you own an N-series nokia phone, chances are that you’ve got this feature and never used it. nokia’s directions assume you want to stream from the phone to a windows box, but that’s garbage and failure prone – windows sucks – straming to the vunow works flawlessly almost 100% of the time. once i had the vunow freeze on me while i was streaming mp3s to it and browsing the 5MP images from new years eve. i don’t know if the vunow failed, or if the phone failed. UPnP never worked right anywhere else for me)

  • Nnyan

    How about the internet TV sites like Hulu and Veoh (etc…)? Netflix? Thanks for the update!

  • http://bitflung.blogspot.com jared

    @Nnyan

    non-existent (for now only, i hope)

    in an email exchange with the CTO @ vunow, Vijay stated there were plans for hulu support to come, if/when possible, in the form of firmware update to existing boxes. i didn’t ask about veoh or netflix.