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I'm a slut for set top boxes

 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: I'm a slut for set top boxes Reply with quote

As you all know, I am a big fan of my magical little 99 dollar Roku box which streams Netflix "watch instantly" content to my TV in DVD and sometimes HD quality. In addition to Netflix, they have added a myriad of "channels" that offer various types of free content from Pandora Radio to Blip.tv programming. I hope that they strike a deal to hookup with programming that is available on network websites...

In addition to that, I have a network attached storage drive in the entertainment center where I deposit all of my pirated movies and such... it also holds my itunes library and iphoto library to keep the drive clean on our main computer. I had an old laptop hooked up to the tv that I could control via a vnc server and an iphone application so that I could easily play my saved movies on the tv without bringing in the mac mini from the other room.

That laptop died this weekend... it was 7 years old, so I kinda expected it.

So, I needed a "solution" to accessing all my stored movies on my tv without buying a replacement laptop and going through all the customization and workaround to be able to control it remotely with my phone... Hey, what do you know? There is 99 dollar magical box that does just that!

I ordered an Asus o!play box from Amazon.com... it should be here by next weekend. I researched a whole slew of media streaming boxes and settled on this one because it's cheap. It appears to be relatively idiot proof... I'll review it when it comes.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a Roku box too that I love. But now that the PS3 also streams from Netflix, we've moved the Roku to the 2nd TV. My husband uses Vuze to download movies to our computer, then connects the PS3 wirelessly to it so that we can watch the movies on our TV. Even though I'm not a gamer, I have to admit that the PS3 turned out to be a good investment...
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I might have to pick up netflix now for that reason too. I already dropped blockbuster because I just wasn't using it often enough to justify it, but part of that was half my rentals required me to actual drive to the store for the free trade in.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok... in short, this Asus O!play is the chiznit.

The NAS drive that I am using now is cool and all that... but I think I am going to get a 1tb esata drive.

The NAS drive will still be the destination for music and home videos and pictures... basically, things that we primarily use the computer to access... but the esata drive will be the repository for movies. I just installed Handbrake, which is a program that rips dvds. I am going to handbrake all of our netflix rentals so that we don't hold onto them for longer than a day... that way we can get back to receiving two dvds a week.

Here's the living room setup-

TV (duh)
Cable Box (still trying to convince the wife that we don't need this)
Cable modem
Wireless router
Roku box
O!play
NAS drive
Playstation 2 (basically, the dvd player)

The Roku streams netflix's watch instantly library as well as music through pandora and a myriad of other lesser media through various applications.

When I download movies or rip dvds, they go into the "movies" folder on the NAS drive. The O!play accesses media on a network or through its esata port. Right now, I only have the network drive, so it plays the movies in my "movies" folder very simply to the tv.

It also has a "copy" feature that would allow me to copy things from the network drive and "paste" them to the esata attached drive (when I get it).

So, I can download or rip media to the network drive and then use the O!play to copy them to the "isolated" drive (it's not itself connected to a network). This keeps my media away from the internet and allows me to access thousands of hours of entertainment for essentially the cost of my internet service + the 9 bucks a month I pay for netflix.

Or... as Cy would say... you could just get a PS3 Smile
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