WD TV Live Vs. NetGear NeoTV: Streamer Showdown

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mattyz

I prefer Roku...

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bling581

Anyone own one of these products AND a Roku? I have the older style Roku and wondering if one of these is better? I don't really have a problem with Roku but I'm looking for more channels and perhaps a better interface for Hulu. Navigation for Hulu on the Roku is terrible. Roku also does not offer YouTube or Vudu.

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ddayton

WDTV does do VUDU
It was an update just after the new year.
Streaming 1080p on a wired connection.
Also now grabs metadata for all your movies if you allow it too.
It's not a HTPC, but for $89 ( usually on sale at Newegg.. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136997) it rocks. Will play any file format I have thrown at it.

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TheMiddleman

Not sure why you omitted it, but the Live comes with a great iOS/Android remote app as well. I hardly use it though, as the new remote is easy to use and feels comfortable and natural in my hand. I like having the extra options though.

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stige

Seems like Roku would have been a better comparison to the Neo.

I have a 1st gen Roku and a WDTV Live+. I like them both for different reasons.

I wish that WD's menu system was more focused. As it is, it still feels like an engineer set it up. I'd like to see a 'favorites' system for the internet options that puts the two or three i actually use right at the top. I'd also like to not have to drill down through 3 layers of menu to get to my content on my HDD. Once it's set up that first layer should offer my current connections and an option to search/add more. Small quibbles, really. The WDTV Live+ rocks. I just wouldn't recommend it to my Mom or Wife.

The Roku, however.... =P

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TheMiddleman

The Roku is basically a streaming box, and that's it. Yeah, the XS comes with games a Wii-like controller, but they both suck so there's no reason to spend the extra money vs the XD model. Or XL, or whichever is the next lowest.

Both the Neo and the Live can stream AND play local media, over a network connection or direct USB port. Yes, the XS can play MP4's over it's own USB port, but it is NOTORIOUSLY picky about encode settings. What plays fine on my iPhone is more than likely to send the XS into fits. Navigating the menu of the Live isn't any more complicated than the Roku, either. My mom is 66, and she has no issues at all operating the Live I got them for Christmas whatsoever, and that's saying something. Love my mom, but she's no rocket scientist.

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GrimResistance

I have a WD TV Live Plus with WDLXTV firmware on it. One of the great things about it is you can plug in any usb storage and have it SMB shared over your network. Instant NAS! I haven't played around with Movie sheets yet which allows for a much prettier interface.

I have to say though that even having a lot of features with the custom firmware I would rather have a net-top or something running XBMC just for ease of use. Maybe I'll try building a cheap micro-atx Pc instead, that would allow for easier upgradability over a net-top.

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AlBSure

I have a dedicated Media Server that holds a backup copy of my Pics/Music/Videos(Ripped DVD's) and now I use My old WDTV to access the SMB's can the Netgear do this? I also have Roku, don't quote me, but I'm not sure it can access them either.....DgrMouse is right a Nettop running XBMC + Plugins(Netflix-Hulu-etc) is more appealing right now. I will be getting a few Pi's when they're released

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dgrmouse

Lack of internal storage is a huge step in the wrong direction. External drive enclosures are cheap, but require additional space, wiring, and power outlets. By the time you factor in the hassle of setting up 24/7 network storage and the compromise in UI that a dedicated box forces, you're better off with a cheap HTPC. I'd love to see one of the sub-$200 Atom/NVidia Net-top PCs running bootable XBMC in a face-off with any or all of the existing streamers. If you have the ability to setup the software, I believe there is no better choice for the media connoisseur.

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TheMiddleman

With hard drive prices being what they are right now, I consider a lack of internal HDD a plus here, not a minus. Most of us who read this magazine have external drives coming out of our ears anyway. Hell, I've got three 250gb USB-powered WD's sitting in my junk drawer. And what mess of cables? One USB cable, plug it in, done. No fuss no muss.

And setting up an SMB, UPnP or DLNA share with Windows 7 is just stupid simple. If you can't manage that, you're reading the wrong website.

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Ulrich

I like the sony one I got at costco for $65.

(Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi)

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