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Thread: Streaming box choices

  1. #1

    Streaming box choices

    What is the best, these days?

    My impression is that roku 3 is the simplest out of the box, the generally least expensive for total services provided, and the oldest.

    The amazon fire seems to be the most popular among neo hackers. It is very inexpensive, includes software side loading capabilities out of the box, and the kodi platform runs well on it. It is debatable on whether or not hacking this device will eventilually brick it entirely. Currently, the hacked, kodi versions provide more access than roku services (in some, most ideal configurations).

    The google nexus tv is the newest on the race track, but only popular because people are still figuring out how to hack it. Cnet considers it a disappointment.

    So what is the best thing to get? I dont particularly care for illegal activity, but i do enjoy as many open platforms to bounce around in. I have paid accounts with all of them, save hulu.

    I'm also considering an htpc, an xbox one, and thr nvidia shield tv as well.

  2. #2
    hella Star-Demon :3
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    Mmm... IDK. I have the previous generation of Apple TV and I like its interface the best, and with Beamer it is straight forward to stream files on disk. But, no Amazon Prime, which is lame, also its remote control is too thin and too small, very easy to get lost in the covers with and it is uncomfortable to hold.

    I have a few Amazon Fire Sticks and they are pretty okay. The interface is... byzantine, but you get get used to it. On one of them the remote control buttons were really sensitive and sticky and would queue then dump all at once as though the engineers had not debounced the signal. [1] I can't remember if I fixed that, if it fixed itself, or if I just picked up another remote. In any case it isn't an issue now. But the Amazon Fire Sticks don't have HBO Now available as of yet. So both have not insignificant cons to them.

    Oh, a very minor detail, is that the Fire Stick remote control battery compartment is a severe pain in the dick to remove the face plate from. I cannot recall if that was the case on all of them, but on at least one of them a butter knife was involved the first go around.

    I am not interested in anything with voice control on any device. That is a severe anti-feature for me, and you can take my dumb devices out of my cold, dead hands you bastards.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch#Contact_bounce
    Last edited by MI Redeux; January 31st, 2016 at 05:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    This looks like as good a place to link this article I read over the weekend. Not sure how it would affect streaming boxes, but if Apple, Google, etc get involved it seems it would affect them in a big way.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    Amazon Fire is popular in our circle. We're picking one up ourselves tonight.
    Nerkahia
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  5. #5

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonlainy View Post
    This looks like as good a place to link this article I read over the weekend. Not sure how it would affect streaming boxes, but if Apple, Google, etc get involved it seems it would affect them in a big way.
    Google would bring the greatest benefit to the users, Odds are Apple would be overly locked up.

    the big worry id have is that nothing would improve because there would be compromise worded in to make sure useful features like streaming to any device on your LAN and download of DVR recordings to other devices as DRM free .mp4 would certainly never happen as the Content Mafia hates loss of control.
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  6. #6

    Re: Streaming box choices

    RPi with openelec/kodi installed
    Herb
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  7. #7
    hella Star-Demon :3
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by FilanFyretracker View Post
    Google would bring the greatest benefit to the users, Odds are Apple would be overly locked up.

    the big worry id have is that nothing would improve because there would be compromise worded in to make sure useful features like streaming to any device on your LAN and download of DVR recordings to other devices as DRM free .mp4 would certainly never happen as the Content Mafia hates loss of control.
    Bonlainy's article would enable a return to HTPC circa a decade ago where with a tv tuner card and some dickering you could have TV however you wished. Apple generally just restricts things to work within their ecosystem, beyond that they do not care and usually the restriction is better phrased as we only provide A-Z functionality for i, ii, iv products. But, the media and infrastructure conglomerates should have never been allowed to merge into existence in the first place. They are idiotic, cantankerous thugs and hamstring capitalism.

  8. #8

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertDypp View Post
    RPi with openelec/kodi installed
    This choice is actually at the top of my list.

    I'm a little reluctant about the lack of remote control support, but I might be able to get over the possibility with a decent enough bluetooth keyboard.

  9. #9
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    This choice is actually at the top of my list.

    I'm a little reluctant about the lack of remote control support, but I might be able to get over the possibility with a decent enough bluetooth keyboard.
    You can have a remote rather easily: http://www.htpcbeginner.com/simple-c...emote-control/

  10. #10
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    Re: Streaming box choices

    What do you want your "streaming box" to be able to do?

    Play local media files stored on your network?

    Play things from subscriptions you have?

    List the services you use and your desires.

    Currently, I'm running a mix of hulu plus/netflix/amazon for streamed items, and plex for local files that I have ripped from disc/electronically downloaded via purchase.

    Plex is great if you have a lot of local stuff on the network and LAN appliances you want to stream to.

    It works on my windows machines, my windows tablet and phone, my iPad and pretty much everything I've seen. It was the best answer to a media server I've been able to find since Serviio stopped working for me. The only downside is that my blu-ray player (ancient, sony BDP-S580, I think) can't see it, but that's mostly used by my daughter these days to watch tinkerbell movies or milo and otis on repeat, so it's not like I get much chance to use it.
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  11. #11

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    This choice is actually at the top of my list.

    I'm a little reluctant about the lack of remote control support, but I might be able to get over the possibility with a decent enough bluetooth keyboard.
    I got one of these - works really well for me.
    Herb
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  12. #12

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertDypp View Post
    RPi with openelec/kodi installed
    Which RPi version did you purchase, and where did you get your flash isos for the openelec/kodi installs?

    I think, instead of Roku and another chromecast (I have an original, but I have heard the new ones are more efficient), I'd prefer to have a Pi.

    I have a RPi series A, but the damn thing had way too few options for peripherals available to it, and just had too many problems out the door (The flash card tray had a retaining piece of plastic that snapped off immediately after putting together the case. I used super glue to fix it, but it makes me leery around it), so i don't use it. Hell, I don't even know where it is, right now.

  13. #13

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Merrick ap'Milandra View Post
    What do you want your "streaming box" to be able to do?
    At the end of the day, I just want to view all of the online services I have subscriptions to (Netflix/Amazon Prime/Google Play/iTunes/Pandora/Spotify) and also watch internet versions of the broadcast channels that TimeWarner cable gives us access to (TimeWarnerCableTelevision Online & FX, FXX, Comedy Central, etc).

    HTPC stuff would be great to watch some things, and ideally keyboard onto websites where a tablet is not as convenient, as today at this very moment is the first time I've set my fingers on a keyboard this year, but it is not absolutely necessary for what I want out of a streaming box.

    My PS4 is the most ideal of streaming boxes, but that is on the downstairs television with the surround sound, and I just need this up in my mancave which I typically just go to when I want to avoid all other people in the world, and not deal with even the idea of a video game.

  14. #14

    Re: Streaming box choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    Which RPi version did you purchase, and where did you get your flash isos for the openelec/kodi installs?

    I think, instead of Roku and another chromecast (I have an original, but I have heard the new ones are more efficient), I'd prefer to have a Pi.

    I have a RPi series A, but the damn thing had way too few options for peripherals available to it, and just had too many problems out the door (The flash card tray had a retaining piece of plastic that snapped off immediately after putting together the case. I used super glue to fix it, but it makes me leery around it), so i don't use it. Hell, I don't even know where it is, right now.
    I got Pi 2 model B starter kit from Amazon but got an additional 16Gb SD Card, which I put NOOBS onto - with NOOBS it will download and install the OS you want or you can put your OS of choice on it for quicker install.

    I have an original Model A too somewhere (got it when it first was released, but couldn't decide what to do with it) which I'm planning to put into a fake CCTV housing with a PIR and an IR camera attached.
    Herb
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