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Move Over BoxeeBox, Here Comes PopBox

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the lookout-appletv dept.

Television 117

DeviceGuru writes "Following closely on the heels of the December announcement of D-Link's BoxeeBox, Syabas Technology today said it will ship the PopBox, a $129 Internet-based A/V streaming set-top box (STB) in March. Both new gadgets have the potential to give Roku's popular STB a run for its money. All three boxes can deliver a range of Internet-based A/V streaming and social networking services to consumers' TVs. Like Roku's digital video player STB, the PopBox will include Netflix on-demand video streaming when it first ships. D-Link, meanwhile, is rumored to be scrambling to add Netflix streaming support to its BoxeeBox device as well, prior to inaugural shipments of that device. All three run embedded Linux OSes, and all are expected to sell for less than $200."

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How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (4, Interesting)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640044)

I just got a roku for my parents, and at $100 it does what it needs to just fine. I can see Roku easily adding a USB port and "Media" channel to a future box without touching the pricepoint and doing the same thing all of these other boxes do.

Oh and it doesn't look like that stupid melted cube that D-link is trying to sell.
 

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (2, Funny)

wkurzius (1014229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640246)

If I remember correctly, the high-end Roku ($130) has a USB port, though its disabled by default and has no functionality.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640248)

Have you ever used XBMC or Boxee? The UI is great, the playback quality is superb and the feature-set is enormous.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640610)

And for $200.00 using one of the ASUS netboxes it costs $200.00 has HDMI does 1080p and has NO DRM plus internal storage and no limitations from where my media sources come from. XBMC has a Live CD that will install all of it with zero effort. adding in SMB to access the storage space in it is also trivial. They need to release something that can entice me away from building my own.

If it has netflix streaming in it, you are damned sure that it will have DRM in it to protect that precious precious Netflix video from all you EVIL consumers.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640708)

Sure but for people that just want to plug it into the TV and go then something like the BoxeeBox could be great.

Regarding NetFlix, AFAIUI Boxee have been playing cat and mouse with them for ages, NetFlix keep making changes to break Boxee's usage of it so I'm guessing there's not licensing agreement there, but maybe D-Link are working on that.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640958)

...that's assuming that the appliance has a UI that the n00bs would want to use.

That's not a given at this point.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642400)

This is true, Most of these boxes sold by these companies have utter crap UI compared to XBMC. I only use XBMC because my wife found boxee to be confusing compared to XBMC.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642898)

But one of them is Boxee, which is XBMC with a new skin, and some plugins pretty much.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30642138)

Boxee has been playing cat and mouse with Hulu not NetFlix...

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642862)

Oops, good point, I stand corrected :)

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641248)

If it has netflix streaming in it, you are damned sure that it will have DRM in it to protect that precious precious Netflix video from all you EVIL consumers.

The Netflix stream will be DRM'ed yes, but you can certainly stream your DRM free files fine. I don't see Netflix anywhere near linux for now.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641970)

And for $200.00 using one of the ASUS netboxes it costs $200.00 has HDMI does 1080p and has NO DRM plus internal storage and no limitations from where my media sources come from.

Can you dumb it down a bit for me, are you referring to the Asus eee box?

Every year or so I think about building a htpc box, but I don't keep up-to-date on that niche.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642244)

ATOM ION anything, AppleTV with the Broadcom HD decoder card, Intel Mini with Broadcom card ($20 BTW), NVIDIA's VDPA rocks! I use an ASROCK 330 - ZERO complaints, it just works!

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (0, Troll)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642210)

Have you ever used XBMC

Are you serious? XBMC has the worst, most retarded, most un-intuitive UI of any program I have used in a long time. I installed it and ran it and I thought, "Well here's a decent looking program." and then about 10 seconds later I started smashing things. And then about 2 hours later I figured it out with the help of a bunch of web HOWTOs. And it's not like I'm a moron. And it's not like there's just one little tiny annoying thing, the entire setup is wrong. From the system settings, to the library interface, it's just plain wrong. This isn't a case of different strokes, it's wrong on an absolute scale. I think the backend engine is probably decent -- it has some nice features, but whoever designed that interface has their head screwed on sideways or something.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642512)

You realize it's skinable right? And you are one of the very few minority that cannot understand the interface it seems. Should it have been with crayons perhaps? Can you give an example of something with a good interface or do you hate them all? Try Boxee and see if you aren't even more willing to poke your eyes out....

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642920)

Seems pretty simple to me.. The settings menus could use a little re-organisation but otherwise I like it.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640334)

I just got a roku for my parents, and at $100 it does what it needs to just fine. I can see Roku easily adding a USB port and "Media" channel to a future box without touching the pricepoint and doing the same thing all of these other boxes do.

Oh and it doesn't look like that stupid melted cube that D-link is trying to sell.

We were looking at a Roku over the holidays...

The laptop I was using to stream Netflix died on us, and I didn't have enough parts around to make a replacement Netflix box. The Roku looked like a decent device.

Then we noticed the Samsung BD-P1590 [samsung.com] ... Costs more than a Roku, obviously, but it does more too. Plays DVDs, blu-ray discs, Netflix, Blockbuster, Pandora, YouTube...

We wound up buying the Samsung instead of the Roku. Replaced our old DVD player and the dead laptop.

Re:How can it be a run for it's money at $200? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644020)

Sony's BDP-N460 might also be a consideration here as it plays blu-ray, Netflix, Youtube... and Amazon VOD for more recent flicks. It does not, unfortunately play videos from personal storage.

PoopBox (0, Troll)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640050)

'nuff said (though where's the tag?)

Re:PoopBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640642)

It's my poop in a box!

OMG, the Internet is eating the TV! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640066)

News at eleven.

could be cool (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640092)


If this works as well as their spinoff Popcornhour Network Media Tank [popcornhour.com] systems it will(?) be a success. We own two Popcornhours with a 3rd (C-200) coming soon. Great for xvid, x264, DVD ISOs, etc up to 1080p.

.

Re:could be cool (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640328)

avoid the c200 pch. I have one. its buggy as hell.

development has ceased (for all practical purposes) on the older models. they abandoned them ;(

the company does not have any US engineering and ALL firmware (and hardware, which also has bugs!) is designed overseas. its shows (sorry).

if you can afford to KEEP replacing the shitty PSU in the c200 (it blows on a large percent of owners) then fine. else, you may want to wait for some other box designed by a company with a higher clue factor (so far, none are that much better though, sigh).

c200 is just not worth its price. highly overpriced and you will be a beta tester for at least the next year and a half before it does all it claims it will.

(owner of 2 pch products. fwiw.)

Re:could be cool (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640704)

Oh that's good to know, thanks.
We own 2 of the original A100 models and love them. The C200's display, gigabit and beefier CPU is what I was looking at. Haven't ready through the forums about it much.

Re:could be cool (0, Flamebait)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641686)

Second this. I own the the A-100 and the A-110 and I wish I didn't.

I am unable to play something like half of the movies that I've ripped because they're in either ISO files or VIDEO_TS folder rips. Neither one of those formats actually work.

Also, I still am unable to change the dialog language on vob files...seems like a pretty basic damned function to me.

Re:could be cool (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642110)

I can play ISOs just fine, we have dozens of them. Think VOB as well but haven't tried in ages. Your firmware up to date?

Re:could be cool (2, Informative)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642738)

yes indeed. I can play vob just fine, but it defaults to some (seemingly) random choice of the audio tracks and (for some files) can wind up being the wrong language leaving me unable to change the track.

I've got the latest firmware on both units but am still unable to play iso files or VIDEO_TS folders. The video is garbled and the audio stutters on *all* files that I try.

To me, this just goes to show that these units are not ready for production since I'm definitely not the only one out there that has described these issues. I wish they worked as advertised, but they don't.

Re:could be cool (1)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644228)

A good example of YMMV :)

We have two A100s and love them. Mind you we only play scene releases or our own ISOs.

Re:could be cool (2, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642320)

I'm running the latest firmware on my A-110 and it runs like a dream. Sorry to hear about your C200 issues, but my unit is not buggy in my experience, and I highly recommend it.

Re:could be cool (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644638)

a100-series is quite stable BUT very low functionality, overall. good for video. HORRIBLE for audio (too long to list all the complaints; but we can include sloppy spdif phy-port design in all their players and poor ethernet design, as well).

c200 is another new 'hope' but it failed, already. quite buggy and the hardware does not inspire any more confidence than previous generations did. they cheaped out in every possible aspect of the hardware design and build. sorry to say that but it shows and its painfully obvious to anyone who has done hardware/software design on things like this.

it will take a full year before the c200 matures to what it should be. many users have exited the beta-process because they got tired of waiting.

Re:could be cool (1)

ydrol (626558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644084)

> they abandoned them ;(

You may have some valid observations but I think you are overstating the case.
The date of the last A100 firmware (their first model AFAIK) is 17th December 2009 , A110 last firmware is 10th December 2009

http://www.networkedmediatank.com/index.php [networkedmediatank.com]

> if you can afford to KEEP replacing the shitty PSU in the c200 (it blows on a large percent of owners) t

I've not seen any reports on CPU repeatedly "blowing". Can you elaborate?

Re:could be cool (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644606)

I have an a100. that last 'update' was a joke. it was content-free. no reason at all to upgrade. waste of time. not worth the bricking-risk.

Re:could be cool (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641636)

It looks like the regular popcorn hour, but neutered. No on-disk storage, no local streaming/media server.

Popcorn C-200 (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643676)

I read a lot of bad stuff about the new C-200 Popcorn, but mine seems to work fine as a media player. I have many DVD copies (in FILM_TITLE/VIDEO_TS folders; I don't have .iso files). They play fine, including language and subtitle control. The remote control is quite nice. Definitely better than my DVD player's remote, or the A110 remote. Also, the hard drive tray is cool. Just push a bare SATA drive into it, and that's it.

On the other side, there are a few things against it: it's expensive. The Gigabit network port seems slow. There is no real SSH or Telnet access which would have helped tweak the configuration and backing it up. The web server doesn't let you set it up from your browser (you have to use the remote. It is much bigger than the previous A110, so it's not really portable. The Audio player part is unusable because there doesn't seem to be any sort of playlist support.

In the end, it plays the files I want (DVD copies), and even though I can not tweak it as I wished and cannot install an rsync server on it, I can still use rsync by connecting to it's NFS server, and Windows file sharing for the Windows machines.

WebTV? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640110)

WebTV would have been right on the dot, if the networking infrastructure could have handled streaming video at the time. Everyone had dial-up, which doesn't stream well I would assume.

Of course Microsoft would have locked down the video portion so you could only do "online stuff" anyway, fearing lawsuits or making deals with some company or another. But don't they get some points for being close?

Re:WebTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30643378)

nope, no points.

NetFlix in Linux? (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640160)

D-Link, meanwhile, is rumored to be scrambling to add Netflix streaming support to its BoxeeBox device as well, prior to inaugural shipments of that device. All three run embedded Linux OSes,

  If I read this right, it is believed that D-Link runs Linux on the BoxeeBox and is trying to get NetFlix working. If they can do it, shouldn't I be able to in Ubuntu as well?

Re:NetFlix in Linux? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640304)

D-Link, meanwhile, is rumored to be scrambling to add Netflix streaming support to its BoxeeBox device as well, prior to inaugural shipments of that device. All three run embedded Linux OSes,

  If I read this right, it is believed that D-Link runs Linux on the BoxeeBox and is trying to get NetFlix working. If they can do it, shouldn't I be able to in Ubuntu as well?

Technically, yes. I doubt if there's any real technological reason why it would not work.

Legally, however, is another thing entirely.

Netflix may very well be willing to enter into an agreement with D-Link to support their box... While not releasing the code for use on Linux in general.

Re:NetFlix in Linux? (1)

DeviceGuru (1136715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640574)

The problem is the DRM. Netflix relies on the latest MS Silverlight. Apparently the security processor embedded in these STBs' multimedia-oriented CPUs is capable of handling Netflix's requirements. So yes, theoretically it should be possible to get Netflix streaming working on Ubuntu........... eventually :-/

Re:NetFlix in Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30641734)

Samsung obviously uses a FFmpeg version with netflix support hacked in, so it certainly should be possible in principle.
However the reason DRM "works" at all is that the practical implementation is a bit of a problem, not the theory.

Netflix on Linux? (4, Interesting)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640182)

D-Link, meanwhile, is rumored to be scrambling to add Netflix streaming support to its BoxeeBox device as well, prior to inaugural shipments of that device. All three run embedded Linux OSes, and all are expected to sell for less than $200."

Why the hell can't I get Netflix working on my laptop running Linux? How are these guys doing it, why isn't it available for the rest of us?
Netflix is the only reason I have VirtualBox installed.

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640300)

they probably have a special deal with Netflix where they get dev support. it's like YouTube only allows API access if you pay them a lot of money

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641284)

they probably have a special deal with Netflix where they get dev support. it's like YouTube only allows API access if you pay them a lot of money

This. Although earlier Sybas lost the ability to stream YouTube, how is it they can add Netflix?

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

cl0s (1322587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640306)

This is why they are scrambling to get it on. I believe the Roku does the same, sounds like they just have a special license + backdoor/gateway of streaming the original files. Netflix, of course, just doesn't want us all to have this.

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640308)

Almost certainly because of some absurd piracy fears(absurd in the sense that the cat is already out of the bag, anything you can stream from netflix is already being ripped from their Windows streaming setup or available as DVD rips, not in the sense that a linux streaming setup wouldn't be used for some piracy).

Windows and Mac are bedeviled by almost exactly the same piracy risks, of course. If anything, while Linux offers the most theoretical freedom to the user, the de-facto cutting edge of circumvention is almost always found among hackers and crackers using leaked internal or cracked commercial proprietary tools on Windows. However, since Windows is where the market share is, and Mac is where the high end consumers and college students are, companies suck it up. As the good folks at Tivo demonstrated, "embedded linux" can be as black box as any other embedded OS, even more so now that a lot of these HD-media SoCs are using Linux on an ARM or MIPS core to do menus and interfaces and web functions and so forth; but doing the actual media decoding on a separate core that runs its own(signed and verified) firmware. There is obviously no architectural reason why Netflix can't make a linux client and, since linux is a widely popular embedded choice, they've done so. Unfortunately, since the reasons aren't technical; but commercial or legal, it could be a fair while before it shows up for desktop linux.

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640376)

Try running a Windows OS in VirtualBox sorta like a server, (in a closet, headless maybe,) along with the PlayOn software http://www.playon.tv/playon [playon.tv] .

The idea is the Windows/PlayOn server can receive NetFlix fine, and stream to your UPnP Linux workstations. 'Theoretically', you could feed your MythTV this way with input from NetFlix-- I have never tried this.

Can anyone could suggest a nice UPnP client for Ubuntu? Does Totem do UPnP?

PlayOn costs $40, and maybe you've were given an XP license on some box you upgraded to Ubuntu? At any rate, this is competitive with the price of a Roku box, and if you run VM servers anyway, this reduces hardware, increases VPN options, etc.

Re:Netflix on Linux? (1)

Devrdander (1105175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640482)

The Microsoft DRM Codec used by Netflix is supported in hardware by the Roku Player, I would wager these device are the same.

Wait, what? (1)

ShipIt (674797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640196)

Ok, it allows third-party downloadable apps (their own app store?,) but "media-server functions have been omitted."

Can I pull media from my linux fileserver or not?

If the omitted functions just means it doesn't have local storage, then fine. I'm just hoping they don't cripple or disallow apps that can remotely fetch media.

If I could get that plus Netflix on a ~$100 box, I'd be all over it.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640348)

yes, you will be able to (ALWAYS) pull content (drm or non-drm) from your linux or nas box.

never will be a problem with the non-drm style companies. most allow non-drm JUST FINE. avoid apple, of course, but that goes without saying (cough).

Re:Wait, what? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640766)

And non-DRM is just fine if you're willing to buy rather than rent. The reason, that gets glossed over so often here, that netflix uses DRM on it's streaming is that the content owners are quite reasonably concerned about people saving it to their hard disk. Being able to download all you like during the month and keep it makes for a much, much more expensive licensing arrangement as all of a sudden Netflix has to collect for X number of purchases.

Re:Wait, what? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641068)

The reason, that gets glossed over so often here, that netflix uses DRM on it's streaming is that the content owners are quite reasonably concerned about people saving it to their hard disk

No, they're quite unreasonably concerned about people saving it to their disk. Why unreasonable? Because this is a side business for Netflix currently and their main business is renting DVDs. I can copy rented DVDs to my hard disk and recompress them at leisure. Somehow, the fact that I can do this hasn't killed the rental market.

Now, possibly, I could rent every film I will ever want to watch, rip them all, and then cancel my subscription, but that isn't likely as long as more new films keep being made.

Re:Wait, what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30644366)

No, they're quite unreasonably concerned about people saving it to their disk. Why unreasonable? Because this is a side business for Netflix currently and their main business is renting DVDs.

That probably won't be the case for more than a few more years, though. Netflix would love to make streaming the main course and relegate comparatively costly DVD mailing to side-dish status, and probably intends to do so for their long-term strategy.

But all the on-line content sucks (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640234)

Yeah, it does, and it is certainly not worthy or watching on my 50 inch telly. I would like a small box that will connect to a SMB share and stream video from files on there, that supports a load of formats (hey just use embedded VLC) and has HDMI output. I do not want USB sockets or built in youtube just something that works to stream from a shared drive.

Re:But all the on-line content sucks (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640948)

You want a Network Media Player. eg an IcyBox MP305 [tweaktown.com] but there are loads of other players based on the same chipset (realtek 1073), or the competitor (sigma erm.. something). They're all quite cheap - £80 or so (ie probably $80)

They all tend to have 1 or 2 USB ports for attaching an external HDD, an ethernet port to connect to your router, and HDMI and composite/optical outputs. They will stream quite happily from a DLNA server (eg PS3MediaServer [google.com] , TVersity or Twonky) or a SMB share (thought setup can be tricky if you have any security on the share).

I love mine, it just works for all my, erm.. legitimately ripped backups of my DVD collection.

You can find a lot more information on them on my favourite AV forum [avforums.com]

Re:But all the on-line content sucks (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642316)

XBMC, there done! Or rather doing it - all setup for me already..... This exists and has for well over a year!

What's the point? (2, Insightful)

roybotnik (891573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640254)

I must be way ahead of the curve because I already have a device that can stream netflix, run boxee, xbmc, act as a media server, etc. It's called a computer. You can get one for very little money these days, even with hdmi output for use as a htpc. They do a lot of cool stuff!

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640380)

I must be way ahead of the curve because I already have a device that can stream netflix, run boxee, xbmc, act as a media server, etc. It's called a computer. You can get one for very little money these days, even with hdmi output for use as a htpc. They do a lot of cool stuff!

Yeah I have one of those too. And setting up mythtv on it was frankly pretty trivial, I believe every person in the entire world whom ever had a problem with mythtv, all five of them, post their issues with religious fervor to each myth-related slashdot story. The only problem I had with my nice mythtv front ends, fanless small case, IR keyboard/mouse (program a universal learning remote control to act as the keyboard), and a fancy enough combination of graphics card and scan converter, cost something like $800 total several years ago. I "bought in" at that point because the price for a FE had finally dropped below one grand.

I guess the the things in the article run about $130. If only I could use them as mythtv frontends...

Re:What's the point? (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640796)

Not true. with comcast hating it's customers and switching to all digital in may places setting up a mythtv box is a major PITA. the HD5000 digital capture cards are barely usable. the only real choice is a HD homerun box and trying to snag the channel lineup stream so you can easily match QAM numbers with actual numbers. and then you need to rescan every few weeks because the assholes at Comcast move channels around just for giggles.

Right now trying to get MythTV working well with cable TV is a major undertaking and it will only get worse. Plus you can only get it working if you are lucky to live in an area where they gave out the crapptastic boxes that cant handle encryption.

A year ago? I'd agree. Unless you were using some bizzare tuner card or crap hardware MythTV from a mythbuntu install worked out of the box.

Re:What's the point? (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641032)

> Not true. with comcast hating it's customers and switching to all digital in may places setting up a
> mythtv box is a major PITA. the HD5000 digital capture cards are barely usable.

Ok. Then just do what the first two generations of Tivos did:

        Use a suitable analog capture card and either an IR blaster or USB control cable.

It's time to stop the drama queen act. There are too many people here that know better.

Cable companies have ALWAYS scrambled the really interesting channels.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Zach978 (98911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641230)

Why would I want to pay $100 a month for cable, just to convert it to an SD analog signal? I would rather just pay the extra $5 per month for their DVR and get a nice HD picture...

Re:What's the point? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642946)

Their DVR has no storage, a crap interface and is prone to crashing. At least advocate a Tivo if you are going for this line of nonsense.

Meanwhile, most of what they are sending you for your $100 per month is old SD reruns anyways.

What they do send you in HD you would be better off getting yourself off of an antenna. ...and analog capture isn't restricted to SD. Where have you been?

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30643602)

Yeah, that's a craptacular idea. Especially when you can capture HD Analog signals with something like the Hauppauge HD-PVR device. I briefly considered going to Dish a while back for the HD-only package they briefly offered - and would have gone that route. But it would have taken me down to a single tuner, where I currently have four. (2 Analog - 2 Digital)

Fortunately, the HDHomeRun goes a long way for me because my cable provider has 36 QAM channels in-the-clear, including my HD locals. We still have 70 analog stations, and the number of clear QAM channels in my area keeps growing. It probably has something to do with our having 2-3 providers in the area, none of which are Comcast.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642236)

I have been unable to get the IR blasting to work. I tried both a homebrew serial blaster and the commandIR. They just don't seem to work. I really expected the commandIR to work since that was the whole point of the device. I would really like to have MythTV working, but not being able to change the channels on the Dish box is a real deal breaker for me.

What I use now is an Acer Revo PC running XBMC for playing local media and a Roku for playing Netflix. One thing that all of the people that are suggesting a HTPC for Netflix seem to be missing the fact that Netflix stream a lower quality picture to PC than they do to Rokus. It seems kind of funny that people would stonewall at the idea of cable being SD, but don't think twice about having their movies streamed at sub-HD quality.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30642264)

Sounds like a plan, oh wait nobody has been able to get working IR codes for the new boxes... Lots of people are fighting these damned things with MythTV. the forums are full of threads about it. Cable companies are trying to scramble ALL CHANNELS. maybe you need to learn what is actually happening? sounds like you know nothing about MythTV or cable T.V. in general.

Stop the bullshitting, you have not even tried doing it. Lumpy is right, right now it's a craptastic thing to deal with cable and Mythtv or any other DVR.

Re:What's the point? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642874)

> Sounds like a plan, oh wait nobody has been able to get working IR codes for the new boxes...

Need new IR codes? Just point the remote at your IR receiver and record what comes in.

It is a mildly technical thing to do under Linux but hardly a show stopper.

Try some other BS tactic.

Re:What's the point? (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643624)

Be careful about painting all DVR's in the same light. My Tivo HD works great. It did require the cable company to install a cable card, but its been smooth sailing since then. And I get Netflix and Amazon streaming.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Scyber (539694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643458)

I must be way ahead of the curve because I already have a device that can stream netflix, run boxee, xbmc, act as a media server, etc. It's called a computer. You can get one for very little money these days, even with hdmi output for use as a htpc. They do a lot of cool stuff!

A) Netflix HD streams are not current available for computers. Sure they are low bitrate HD streams, but they are better on larger TVs than the SD streams
B) Buying a PC for each TV in my house (5) is much more expensive than buying these lower end boxes and using a central storage server. Plus its much cheaper on the electricity bill.
C) HTPCs tend to take time to setup correctly, more so than these inexpensive dedicated boxes. While I would probably enjoy making these tweaks (as would most of slashdot), I enjoy spending time with my family more or making money by working and billing my clients.
D) Dedicated boxes like this tend to have a simpler UI and therefore a much higher WAF (wife acceptance factor).

Just a few points off the top of my head.

Samsung BD-P1590 (3, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640266)

We picked up a Samsung BD-P1590 [samsung.com] as a replacement for our aging DVD player over the holidays...

It plays DVDs, obviously... As well as blu-ray discs... And it can stream stuff from Blockbuster, Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube. We got ours for about $150 at WalMart, but I'm told they can be had for as little as $80 if you're willing to shop around a bit.

I guess I'm just wondering why you'd buy a Roku for $80 or one of these PopBoxes for $130 just to stream Netflix.

Yes, the PopBox can stream all sorts of other stuff... Plenty of stuff that my new Samsung can't... But what's being advertised as the "killer app" is Netflix support.

In fact, if you look around a bit, there's plenty of hardware out there that can stream Netflix. All sorts of Netflix-enabled televisions and boxes. So I'm having a hard time seeing Netflix support as the "killer app" they're making it out to be...

On a somewhat unrelated note: Has anyone else noticed that broadcast television seems to be rapidly disappearing? We've got boxes that let us stream what we want, when we want it, from various web pages... We've got televisions that are able to stream content right from sites like Netflix... And we've got DVRs to download, record, and time-shift everything else... How long do you suppose it'll be before there's no such thing as "broadcast" television and it's all downloaded/streamed from your local affiliate's website?

Re:Samsung BD-P1590 (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640426)

Has anyone else noticed that broadcast television seems to be rapidly disappearing?

I was a tivo (analog series 1) user for over 5 years. then a sat-tv directivo owner for a bunch more years. both tivos died and 'took their drives with it' (encrypted content was lost).

I canceled my direct-tv service. was on the phone for over an hour (sigh) with the rep giving HIM an earful about drm!

I've been without 'tv service' of any kind for over a year now. you know, I don't miss it! I CERTAINLY don't miss the concescending commercials. not much more degrading than having to sit thru commercials. you guys don't even realize how dehumanizing they are until you break free of them, entirely.

even 'pay tv' is not worth anything anymore. PBS has nice specials but not much else worth watching. see, we've figured out what tv's story is: its NOT (ever) about sending content to us; its about renting our eyeballs to be there for the commercials. the stuff between the sales events (commercials) are just there to keep you at your seat. once you understand that mindset, it loses all magic. no more is tv programming useful (in general; given how low its sunk the last few decades).

anything good, I'll rent on dvd. I'll strip the (c) headers and get right to the show. I have ZERO interruptions or admen barking at me during period breaks. its how things were meant to be!

I think I've said goodbye to broadcast tv and totally goodbye to pay-tv. its a time waster that, given a choice, I'd rather be TYPING and talking with someone (interacting, using more of my brain) than to sit 100% passively and have 'stuff' be thrown my direction, visually and audibly.

the new generation wants more interactivity. tv can't give that. tv has limited life left before the 'old guys' who still watch it, die out.

good riddance, too. the notion of 'be there at 8pm on tuesday, everyone' for a watching is absurd now that we can all download video just fine ON OUR OWN SCHEDULE.

final thought: tv 'news' is less than useful. tv 'news' is about entertainment and has ceased to be about news or journalism.

die, tv. please die. sooner the better. the whole format and concept is bad, at this point. it only serves to brainwash (gov and media moguls to The People). let it die, already. maybe more free thinking will happen if we're not all staring at the glass teat all day long, having opinions GIVEN to us (dictated to us, more like it).

please die, tv. it would help us all in more ways than one.

Re:Samsung BD-P1590 (1)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640454)

I grabbed a Samsung BD-P2500 around a year ago. Kinda wishing I'd waited another 6 months or so, but I wanted to stop watching Netflix on the xbox360 (all that electricity was mostly being wasted as heat and shortening the MTBRROD).

Anyhow, we canceled cable altogether last month. I built an attic antenna for OTA HDTV but haven't bothered to put together a recorder for that content. Mostly we use OTA for football and PBS stuff like NOVA. The rest of our content comes from Netflix, MS (via Live), and iTunes (via a macbook that is connected with an HDMI adapter). The main obstacle we had to overcome was the irrational resistance to purchasing content which had previously been "free".

I'm convinced that a la carte programming will the the norm in less than 10 years... Either by per-episode payments or via a subscription model. Content providers will have to work harder to find money to fund new programs, but I'm sure they'll figure it out. Broadcast TV (and radio) are going to have a harder and harder time competing as technology for accessing the long tail becomes easier and easier for average consumers to use. Hell, my wife's parents have been streaming content from Netflix since I bought them a Roku box last xmas... They're into their 70s and took to it very quickly.

Re:Samsung BD-P1590 (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640898)

How long do you suppose it'll be before there's no such thing as "broadcast" television and it's all downloaded/streamed from your local affiliate's website?

never. The broadcasters do NOT WANT you to do what you are doing. you will have to watch their crap on their website. They will never allow you to download it and watch it on your own device how you want it.

the only people that will be able to do that are criminals.

Re:Samsung BD-P1590 (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641298)

never. The broadcasters do NOT WANT you to do what you are doing. you will have to watch their crap on their website. They will never allow you to download it and watch it on your own device how you want it.

the only people that will be able to do that are criminals.

They may not want me to do what I'm doing... But I am doing it. Legally, I might add.

They'll certainly have to adjust. Maybe everything will be subscription-based, rather than ad-supported... Maybe there'll be more product-placement... Maybe the ads will be embedded right into the show (have a character turn around mid-scene and recommend some hair gel, instead of cutting to commercial)...

And I don't think it will be a seamless transition from what we have today to what we have in the future. There'll likely be plenty of screaming and kicking involved.

But the fact of the matter is that it is happening. Right now.

I can record shows with my DVR and watch them whenever I want. I can have my DVR gather up all episodes of some series... Even the re-runs that air in the middle of the night... And I can watch them on my schedule.

Or I can use my DVR to download episodes right from DirecTV using their "On Demand" service, and watch them when I want.

I can watch many of these shows on the web right now, according to my own schedule.

I can purchase many of these shows, episode by episode, on iTunes.

The genie is out... And if we've learned anything from the assorted RIAA lawsuits, it's that the genie is damnably hard to put back into its bottle.

Looking for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640272)

How can I take information about Oto24 [oto24.com]

PS3 (4, Informative)

Stele (9443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640302)

My PS3 can stream Netflix and stream video from my PC, at 1080p with 7.1 audio. And it can play BluRay and upscale regular DVDs. Oh and there are some games. Doesn't cost much more than these others and has a very nice user experience.

Why not just get one of them? Hopefully not because it doesn't run Linux.

Re:PS3 (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640346)

Funny you should say that- it actually can run linux- and is a pretty straightforward process supported by Sony.

Re:PS3 (2, Informative)

markus o'farkus (98120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640434)

Funny you should say that- it actually can run linux- and is a pretty straightforward process supported by Sony.

This was true for the first several generations of PS3s. But the "Install Other OS" feature has been removed in the PS3 Slim and is not expected to return.

Re:PS3 (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642432)

And the previous install of Linux was run in a limited Hypervisor anyway that didn't give you proper access to the underlying hardware anyway. Want video acceleration? Nope sorry, you can't have it. They apparently only ever did this to keep people like the parent happy and not to actually give folks any real serious Linux functionality. :-( There's a reason why programs like XBMC don't run on the PS3 and it's nto the CPU...

Re:PS3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30642846)

I've also given up completely on paid television, and actually torrent my favorite shows on an RSS feed on uTorrent, Then I stream them to my xbox 360. Haven't needed a pay subscription in quite some time.

Re:PS3 (1)

optimus2861 (760680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643914)

For me (I bought a Blu-ray player before Christmas) it was several reasons. The first two were my show-stoppers, the last two more incidental.

  • The PS3 has no infrared port, hence it cannot be used with my universal remote.
  • The Blu-ray player was more than $100 cheaper and came with 3 movies (though they all suck it's still something).
  • The player has much lower power consumption than the PS3; 18W versus about 100W, depending on the PS3 model.
  • I never owned a PS2 thus have no games. In fact I've never owned a console period so console gaming just isn't a big deal to me.

Re:PS3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30644204)

Too bad the PS3 has poor coded and container support. Forget about MKV, selecting audio tracks, subtitles and so on. With some fiddling the DLNA server (PS3MediaServer I guess) can do this transcoding, but it is cumbersome (track selected from defaults on the PC side), and requires some serious CPU for HD content. There is no direct SMB support either, you NEED a DLNA server.

So the PS3 is a bad streamer if you have your own media library.

No thanks (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640332)

Perhaps this announcement explains why the Popcorn Hour C-200 is such a disaster. I had such high hopes for that device but it seems like Syabas spent little to no time on QA. They advertised wireless capability and shipped the device without a driver, the blu-ray drive they "approved" is EOL and there is a list of issues as long as my arm.

To me, it appears they were busy with the PopBox and didn't spend enough time on the C-200. I'll pass on anything from these guys in the future

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640988)

Heh.. Good old Syabas.

They always seem to be making a good effort what with firmware updates and forum support, until you notice that the firmware updates _keep on coming_, with _huge_ changelogs each time.

Lots of new features, too.

I'll leave it as an excersize for the reader to figure out why this isn't a good thing :)

Cable companies: WAKE UP! (1)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640502)

This should be a very large cue to the cable co's to shift their tiered pricing structure to an ala carte format. I, along with untold numbers of others, are sincerely fed up with our $100/mo. cable bills with poor quality video and tons of fluff we never watch. The second I can get access to all of the shows I like via the 'net, is the second I cancel my cable TV sub and go 100% internet based. I'm quite willing to wait a couple days for the shows to be posted on the 'net, if it means cutting my monthly expenditures by three figures.

Re:Cable companies: WAKE UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30641038)

Cable companies are working diligently to find technical and legal solutions to ensure the security of their business model. It is important that the dangerous socialist technologies such as compact discs, magnetic tape, vinyl and radio, which have nearly destroyed the music industry. The cable companies had a close call with VCRs, but luckily these have been nearly eliminated. Unfortunately this required the introduction of DVDs, which further disrupted an industry still reeling from the introduction of talking pictures and the rise of the star actor. Have no fear, legislators are burning the midnight oil to find a method to preserve our freedom and way of life from the horrors of ... oh wait, you want a la carte programming?! You godless communist bastard, won't you think of the poor starving TV stuntmen?

Re:Cable companies: WAKE UP! (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642986)

You get the fluff channels because the cable companies get paid to carry them.
That's why you always get the home shopping networks if you only get the basic cable service.

Also, many of the networks opt for a 'carry one, carry all' sorta mentality.. if you carry MTV (which you better), then you also have to carry VH1, MTV2, Nick, Spike, and about 20 other channels that no one watches but you better carry.

Also, I'm alittle personally annoyed I get some channels that other people thing are popular. (ESPN/Sunshine Network, I'm looking at you).

I agree, I as a consumer, want ala carte networks. But you have to convince the cable providers to go all IP (and the consumer to upgrade their TV/cable box again), which they aren't ready to do yet.

Your choice is to goto Dish/DirecTV.. but they have their own ways of screwing their consumers too.

It can't hurt (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640662)

To have a link here for the petition to Netflix requesting Linux support: http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/petition.html [petitiononline.com]

Re:It can't hurt (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641048)

To have a link here for the petition to Netflix requesting Linux support: http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/petition.html [petitiononline.com] [petitiononline.com]

That's unlikely to sway them, but there is hope. Netflix can walk away from the Linux desktop/netbook market right now without any concern. They are very concerned, however, about the iPhone market. Since the iPhone is unlikely to support Silverlight or Flash anytime soon, that means Netflix is really interested in finding an alternative. The real stumbling block is their content providers are demanding DRM. So possible winning solutions for Linux include:

  • H.264 without DRM because they manage to push back at content providers enough.
  • H.264 with an open standard DRM (Dream or the like) that can be easily implemented on Linux desktop clients.
  • H.264 with Apple's DRM and Apple opens up their DRM because of antitrust concerns or as part of their move to Web services.

Re:It can't hurt (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642616)

Consider this: If, say, only around 1,000 signatories is a Netflix user and each of them could cut their use of shipped movies by just a quarter, how much would Netflix save in shipping?

Re:It can't hurt (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643224)

Well, postage costs them about $0.37 by most knowledgeable estimates for three digit, machinable, bulk media mail. Streaming costs them between $0.06 and $0.10. So lets say they save $0.30 per movie and the average user watches 150 a year, that gives us 1000*.3*.25*150=$11,250.00. Compared to the cost of switching to an entirely new streaming system, or paying developers to port silverlight to Linux via moonlight, it is probably not really cost effective. These are all just napkin calculations of course and based upon the assumption that people order less movies through the mail because of streaming (not really true for me anyway). I think the streaming is more of a forward looking solution in any case. Until a quarter of the movies in my queue are available by streaming, I'm chalking the streaming service up as a value added incentive, rather than an actual way for Netflix to save on postage.

Re:It can't hurt (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643650)

Given that they already stream to the Linux-based Roku, the barriers may not be what they appear on the surface. I'm also given to believe that Moonlight 2 supports the DRM hooks of Silverlight, which would seem to enhance the possibilities available to Netflix.

Hulu is what we're waiting for... (2, Interesting)

oldenuf2knowbetter (124106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30640670)

Living in an area with poor over-the-air digital TV reception, my daughter had to make the financial choice between broadband and cable TV. Wisely, she chose broadband. I bought her a Roku unit and she loves it.

With Roku for Netflix and Amazon access and her laptop plugged into her TV for Hulu access she doesn't really miss cable - but she'd really like to have a single set-top unit that provides both Netflix and Hulu.

I've been looking at the Myka ION as a possible Roku replacement/upgrade for her but it seems more capable than necessary and at least $100 over-priced. When something appears that provides Roku capability plus Hulu for around $200, I'll buy one for her. If it also provides access to the websites of CNN and broadcast networks, I'll pay $250 for it.

Note that if it also provided optional access to BBC America, Discovery, TLC, History, and NatGeo, I'd be willing to pay a reasonable subscription fee to each of those companies, buy a unit for myself, and drop my own cable TV serice in a heartbeat.

Now that I think about it, if TV broadcasters were streaming their own content to such a device, I'd also be willing to pay each of them a monthly subscription fee. How much? I don't know. But the fact that Fox was asking Time Warner $1 per month per subscriber tells me what a subscription should cost. $1 each month to each of the probably ten content providers I care about would be perfect - and save me over $60 per month compared to my current cable bill. Buying a new STB for $250 with a 4-month ROI looks like a good deal to me.

Obligatory: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30640780)

Moar Boxxy Plz, KThxBye!

Sony Blu-ray player (BDP-N460) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30641116)

I just got a Sony Blu-ray player (BDP-N460), which sells in roughly the 180 to 200 (USD) price range, and its extra features include the ability to stream video and audio from the Internet, numerous "channels" (services) including Amazon video on demand and Netflix--and the quality is amazing, even a lot of HD'ish crisp video via streaming. If you're looking for a Blu-ray player as well then I strongly recommend this. The only downside (IMO) is that it can only get online via a LAN (Cat-5/6) network cable, although one could spend money on a wireless bridge if desired... in my case I just relocated my cable modem and router/AP to the entertainment center (since a cable line is already there).

On a related note... (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641392)

... has anyone here played with a Western Digital "WD TV Live"? [google.com]

2010 - The year of LINUX on... (2, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30641590)

your TV, computer, xbox, playstation, toaster, wireless router, microwave oven, water heater, fry daddy, and your wife's sybian...

Can't watch home UPnP/DLNA? Garbage. (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642406)

Meh, these dopey boxes don't do UPnP or DLNA, therefore they are worthless.

My xtreamer may be a buggy pain in the butt, but at least it will stream off my ps3mediaserver, and it costs far less than a PS3 or XBox.

http://www.xtreamer.net/ [xtreamer.net]

Re:Can't watch home UPnP/DLNA? Garbage. (2, Informative)

Scyber (539694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644236)

The popbox supports UPnP & DLNA (as a client).

A/V STB. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30642766)

I'd like an AV unit that was source agnostic. Internet source or your local NAS. I've also noticed none of them do Internet radio. That's usually a separate expensive box.

How About No? (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30643306)

I do NOT want a sea of divided little set top boxes that are merely adequate.

It pisses me off that Netflix HD streaming isn't available on the PC, but it is on dinky little boxes.

I was watching shit via Netflix's streaming service on my PC (connected to my TV) and when the PS3 finally got the Netflix service (you have to use a disc to run the Netflix software, though that should change soon) I noticed that shit was in HD.

Box A supports Hulu and Netflix but not Amazon.
Box B supports Netflix and Amazon and promises future support for other things (will never happen).
Box C lets you stream crap in crappy quality when you're away from home.

I'm amazed that a dumb box for dumb people has done so well. The concept of another box and another remote usually strike fear into the hearts of the plebes. Maybe it was the shitty name "Roku" that got people to love it.

Many TVs and Blu-Ray players already support some sort of streaming service or media channel, but it's never the one you want. This is precisely the kind of crap that SHOULD be standardized (though there's no technical reason to - it's brain-dead simple to stream video to a host on the internet) in order to help the consumer.

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