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Television Entertainment Linux

Move Over BoxeeBox, Here Comes PopBox 117

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lookout-appletv dept.
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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Move Over BoxeeBox, Here Comes PopBox

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  • by MistrBlank (1183469) on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:56AM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by wkurzius (1014229)

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

    • by tolan-b (230077)

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

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        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

        • by tolan-b (230077)

          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.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

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

            That's not a given at this point.

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              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.

              • by tolan-b (230077)

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

        • 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.

        • 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.

          • by BLKMGK (34057)

            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: (Score:1, Troll)

        by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
        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 setting
        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          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....

        • by tolan-b (230077)

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

    • 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.

      • by eleuthero (812560)
        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 (Score:1, Troll)

    by sznupi (719324)

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


  • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:29AM (#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.)

      • by grub (11606) *
        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.
        • gigabit still does not work and won't ever work (imho) on the c200. somewhere along the path from chip to firmware, there isn't enough 'oomph' to keep up. gigabit on this is a hack. maybe next time around (sigh).

          I lock mine to 10/100 and at least I'm able to play movies, etc. but it is NOT a gigabit capable box. not by what I've seen and read and experienced.

          good news is you don't NEED gigabit to watch movies. so its purely academic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Coopjust (872796)
        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.
        • 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 pa

      • by ydrol (626558)

        > 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?

        • 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.

    • by Zerth (26112)

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

    • 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 ne

  • 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?

  • 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?

    • 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.

    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by businessnerd (1009815)

      The crazy thing her is that, as far as I know, Roku runs Linux, PopBox runs Linux, Tivo runs Linux. All of these appliances running Linux have Netflix streaming support. Yet we keep hearing the same line about regular old desktop Linux users not being supported because of Silverlight. These embedded Linuxes can all do it seemingly without the need for Silverlight. In the initial buzz here on Slashdot when Roku hit the scene and was revealed to run Linux, many hackers investigated the box for the same pu

  • Netflix on Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FunkyELF (609131) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:11AM (#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.

    • by alen (225700)

      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

      • 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?

    • by cl0s (1322587)
      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.
    • 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 circumven
    • 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

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

    • 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).

      • by hedwards (940851)
        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? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:24AM (#30641068) Journal

          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: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by TheRaven64 (641858)

              Which is irrelevant to my point. They are making the majority of their money by lending people films in a form that is trivial to copy. OS X even comes with a utility for doing it! Just click on the Make Image button in Disk Utility and it will copy the disk. Double click on the image and DVD Player will play it.

              There's no reason to think that copying would kill their service if they suddenly switched from lending movies in one easily copiable form to lending movies in another easily copiable format,

  • 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.
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      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 b

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      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? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roybotnik (891573)
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642)

      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 lik

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        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 und

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > 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 chan

          • by Zach978 (98911)
            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...
            • by jedidiah (1196)

              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?

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            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 su
            • I am going to have to second this sentiment. I have actually been a long time MythTv user. For about four years, I had been recording cable from Comcast successfully and life was good. This of course, was only analog cable. Then Cartoon Network disapeared from the Analog signal, and it could only be watched on digital, so I felt it was finally time to attempt IR blasting. I tried the pvr-150 receiver/blaster, but to no avail. Then I tried a serial blaster, but again failed. I determined the issue was
    • by Scyber (539694)

      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 slashd

  • Samsung BD-P1590 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:24AM (#30640266) Homepage

    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?

    • 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 co

    • by JerkBoB (7130)

      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 iTun

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      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.

      • 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

  • PS3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stele (9443) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:26AM (#30640302) Homepage

    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.

    • by gblackwo (1087063)
      Funny you should say that- it actually can run linux- and is a pretty straightforward process supported by Sony.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        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.

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          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...

    • 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 co
      • by Osty (16825)

        The PS3 has no infrared port, hence it cannot be used with my universal remote.

        There are various IR-to-Bluetooth adapters available that will allow you to control your PS3 with a universal remote. Personally, I use the Logitech adapter for their Harmony remote line, since I have a Harmony One that I really love. In theory that adapter could be used with any universal remote as long as you know the codes. The Harmony adapter has the added benefit of supporting a power off macro (previously only available

        • There are various IR-to-Bluetooth adapters available that will allow you to control your PS3 with a universal remote. Personally, I use the Logitech adapter for their Harmony remote line, since I have a Harmony One that I really love. In theory that adapter could be used with any universal remote as long as you know the codes. The Harmony adapter has the added benefit of supporting a power off macro (previously only available on $100+ adapters).

          I thought about this but rejected it; if I had to spend another, what, $40 on an adapter to use the PS3 with my universal, that's just more sunk cost over the standalone player that worked out of the box. Or worse, end up having to buy another universal. All I wanted was to watch Blu-rays; not overhaul my entire HT setup.

    • by Osty (16825)

      My PS3 can stream Netflix ... at 1080p with 7.1 audio

      No it can't, because Netflix streams cap out at 720p with stereo audio. Also, your PS3 still needs a disc in the drive in order to stream Netflix. Not quite the same integrated experience as a Roku, Popbox, or even Xbox 360. I guess if you never use the PS3 for anything but Netflix it works out the same since the disc will always be in the drive, but if you ever play games or other discs (Blu-Rays or DVDs), you'll have to get up off the couch and swap

      • by Stele (9443)

        No it can't, because Netflix streams cap out at 720p with stereo audio.

        I didn't say Netflix could - I say the *PS3* could. It can stream high-def video with surround from my PC. Your Roku can't do that.

        My point was the PS3 is a much better audio/video streaming device than these Netflix-only devices.

  • 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

  • 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
    • by uncledrax (112438)

      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/Suns

  • To have a link here for the petition to Netflix requesting Linux support: http://www.petitiononline.com/Linflix/petition.html [petitiononline.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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
      • 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?
        • 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
          • 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.
            • Given that they already stream to the Linux-based Roku, the barriers may not be what they appear on the surface.

              It seems unlikely Roku will share their code with a competitor. There are two ways Roku could be managing their support. The most likely is by including one of the hardware chipsets that supports silverlight DRM natively (not an option for most Linux on the desktop users). The second method is with proprietary code, which Netflix would have to pay people to develop. 11 grand doesn't pay for a lot of programming these days.

              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.

              Really, that's interesting. As of early last month, when asked moonlight developers s

              • I'm afraid the source was an article I read in the last week, but made no particular note of. While it listed the particulars of the DRM features implemented in ML 2, I can't recall or provide details. Sorry.
  • 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

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

  • by ae1294 (1547521) on Monday January 04, 2010 @11:59AM (#30641590) Journal

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

    • 2020 — What is a “desktop”? You mean like a table?
      2030 ’ Water? Like from the toilet? What for?

      • by ae1294 (1547521)

        2020 -- What is a "desktop"? You mean like a table?
        2030 ' Water? Like from the toilet? What for?

        2050 - 0110101000111101011001101011010010101000101011101010011110001

  • 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]

  • 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? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    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 pr

  • For quite a while I was trying all sorts of these media players; trying to find the perfect one. After a few years, many dollars and countries (searching korea) later I discovered that they all suck in one way or another. The best thing? A simple ubuntu box with a logitech mini wireless keyboard.

    If something breaks, or some new feature is required you can easily fix it. Once you have a working solution, just freeze it.

    Software I like:
    XBMC http://xbmc.org/ [xbmc.org]
    Boxee http://www.boxee.tv/ [boxee.tv]
    YAMJ http://code.googl [google.com]

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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