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249 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 205516 16-Nov-2016 14:00
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I'm interested in giving the family streaming services for Xmas. I have a dedicated OpenELEC Kodi HTPC but that doesn't give me Netflix or TVNZ On Demand or 3Now (that I can tell). I'm not interested in Sky (except for Prime). I might retire Kodi (and the old Panasonic freeview DVR) if I find a solution to the stuff below...

 

I have UFB and a fast LAN/wLAN, so bandwidth is not an issue. We have a Windows PC and iPhones/iPads. Kids are primary school-aged so must to be simple to operate.

 

Also, I'm waiting for next Xmas to splash out on the new still-under-development Xbox, so I don't want to get a new Xbox until then but could consider a bare-bones older model 2nd-hand.

 

So to summarise the needs,

 

* Needs to access NAS for video/photo/music library

 

* Needs to stream NZ On Demand streams, including TVNZ (1,2), Mediaworks (TV3) and preferably Choice and Prime. Is that FreeviewPlus? Not sure about paid-for services (Quickflix, Lightbox) except for...

 

* Needs Netflix

 

* Possibly Spotify (and Groove?!?)

 

* 1080P, 720p if I have no choice

 

* User friendly- don't want to have to keep casting from a phone but just use a TV interface

 

 

 

So would I go for a Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, an old Xbox, a new FreeviewPlus DVR box or what? Any comments and your experiences gratefully received...

 

 

 

Cheers

 

Jon





I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

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  Reply # 1672099 16-Nov-2016 14:33
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I've got a chromecast, apple tv4, roku 3 and a window 10 pc in the lounge.

 

Most nz services would be chromecast (plus plex for local content).  And depending on the device doing the driving you can get access to overseas services (I'm on ios with apps from the NZ/US and UK stores - a bunch of them have chrome cast ability).

 

The apple tv has most services you mention, but there's no TVNZ yet - there is tv3 though, + plex/netflix etc.  Advantage over chromecast is a remote....and with IOS device you can airplay like chromecast.

 

Roku3, no local services.  As a US roku you get vudu etc, but most services (ie espn, hbo., abc. nbc etc) are locked to needing a cable subscriber, but the rest of the uS services are there.  As a UK roku, it's a better experience, you can get ITV, Channel4, etc - bbc has just gone license required so it's less tempting, + plex etc.  But as uk you lose vudu and the us only services.  It can't mix and match like apple tv can.

 

Lastly I have a pc....honestly I only use it for sky go, the tvnz window 10 app might as well be on a tablet, it doesn't respond to keyboard. and everything else is browser based - yawn.





Previously known as psycik

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  Reply # 1672111 16-Nov-2016 14:43
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Of the ones you've mentioned, AppleTV (v4) would be the best IMO.

 

Good WAF, plays nicely with iOS devices (though you don't need anything else from Apple to make it work), Has Lightbox, Netflix, 3Now and Sky's FanPass. Neon and TVNZ on demand will both Airplay form an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. No need to go more than the 32Gb I don't think (unless you want to play games on it?). Interface is good, and it can be controlled from your iPhones (Remote App - very handy for entering usernames/passwords).

 

AppleTV, you can also use DNS services to get overseas apps (you need an AppleID in those countries, but not hard to do) - BBC iPlayer, Australian FTA etc. and they can all sit on the one home screen.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1672124 16-Nov-2016 14:54
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Chromecast is a good, cheap option but you will have to initiate the casts from a device. I use an AppleTV 4 and it pretty much covers everything I need. Going through your list:

 

Access to a NAS can be done via the Plex app, and apparently Infuse 4 is pretty amazing for other kinds of servers like Kodi. It can transcode on the fly.

 

Freeview Plus doesn't work via the AppleTV, but if you know the urls for the NZ channel live streams there's an app called TVStreams (about $5) into which you can enter and watch them. The on-demand services generally need to be airplayed from a device, but TV3 has a native Apple TV app. Lightbox has an app too.

 

Netflix - there's a native app for that

 

There's no Spotify app but there is one for Pandora, plus lots of radio ones. Apple music, obviously. You can airplay Spotify from a device. I'm not familiar with Groove but if it's this then you're in luck.

 

Supports 1080p but not 4k

 

My 9 year old son has no trouble using it.

 

I still use a Panasonic PVR for recording live TV - I got that before the ATV4 came out. Realistically I could probably live without it now the on-demand offerings are much stronger, apart from the fact I am a bit slow to watch some stuff and it would expire before I got to view it. Realistically you're unlikely to find one device that does everything (an HTPC would be closest but maybe less user-friendly). A new Panasonic PVR with Freeview Plus would probably do most of these things and have a Netflix app, but I know there have been issues with random black screens on the new ones that Panasonic hasn't worked out how to fix. Not sure about how good NAS access would be - mine can stream from a computer, but the UI is so clunky I never really used that functionality. My Sony home theatre system did a much better job, but I use the ATV4 for that now.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1672201 16-Nov-2016 16:10
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What about a Mibox - there was a thread on this item a couple of days ago.
Android TV  box that has 4K output and a remote.
Will probably do everything except freeview plus. I suspect you can sideload TVNZ and TV3 on demand apps.

 

You will probably struggle to get the ChoiceTV on demand as I don't think it has an app - you will need freeview for that (or a PC).

 

Another good option might be a Samsung Bluray player - my Samsung TV does all your require so a new smart bluray player probably has most of the apps you want...

 

Another option might be a NUC and run something on that....




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1672921 17-Nov-2016 16:01
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So would Apple TV 3 (Rev A) work OK? I don't think 4 has that many advantages.

 

I guess I have to consider replacing the Panasonic Freeview recorder with a new Panasonic Freeview Plus recorder that also has Netflix? Does anyone know if I can record DVT and stream IPTV at the same time?

 

KrazyKid:

 

Another option might be a NUC and run something on that....

 

 

What "something" are you thinking of? I've got the OpenELEC that I can wipe and start over...





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- Adam Savage, Mythbuster

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  Reply # 1672954 17-Nov-2016 16:51
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Jonski:

 

So would Apple TV 3 (Rev A) work OK? I don't think 4 has that many advantages.

 

 

Apple TV4 has one huge advantage - an app store. With the 3, you are stuck with the apps that Apple puts on it themselves, and only from one region at a time. This limits the use quite severely. You can't run Plex or 3Now or TVStreams. With the 4, because the app store is open to developers, TV channels and content providers are all developing apps for it. It makes it enormously customisable. Plus you can play games on it. I have my Speedtest app on it, because it's one of the few things cabled to my modem. You can also run apps from many different regions side by side while being logged into a single region. For example, I have Hulu, BBC and Australian channels all on my home screen and can just jump from one to the other. They required a bit of fiddling to set up but once that's done they are super easy to use. You can also control it with a Logitech universal remote, which I use for all my other devices.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1680677 1-Dec-2016 13:18
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davidcole:

 

 

 

Roku3, no local services.  As a US roku you get vudu etc, but most services (ie espn, hbo., abc. nbc etc) are locked to needing a cable subscriber, but the rest of the uS services are there.  As a UK roku, it's a better experience, you can get ITV, Channel4, etc - bbc has just gone license required so it's less tempting,

 

 

BBC iPlayer has a prompt asking the question "Do you have a TV Licence?" - you click "Yes" and you are in - there is no check.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1681944 4-Dec-2016 00:42
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Jonski:

 

So would Apple TV 3 (Rev A) work OK? I don't think 4 has that many advantages.

 

 

 

 

 WARNING !!

 

dont buy a apple tv , i made that mistake

 

with apple tv 3 the only apps are good on there are netflixs and bbc and youtube

 

and you cant download any new apps

 

go with the apple tv 4

 

 


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  Reply # 1681964 4-Dec-2016 08:51
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biggal:

Jonski:


So would Apple TV 3 (Rev A) work OK? I don't think 4 has that many advantages.


 



 WARNING !!


dont buy a apple tv , i made that mistake


with apple tv 3 the only apps are good on there are netflixs and bbc and youtube


and you cant download any new apps


go with the apple tv 4


 



I would qualify that though. Don't buy an Apple TV 3 if it's you're only Apple device. Coupled with an iPhone or iPad and using airplay it's quite capable.

But if it's your only device, then no, I wouldn't recommend it. Apple TV 4 is getting more apps. Local support is ok. Similar to chromecast.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,
OpenHAB: ODroid C2 eMMC DriveOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1681971 4-Dec-2016 10:06
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silverlake:

 

davidcole:

 

 

 

Roku3, no local services.  As a US roku you get vudu etc, but most services (ie espn, hbo., abc. nbc etc) are locked to needing a cable subscriber, but the rest of the uS services are there.  As a UK roku, it's a better experience, you can get ITV, Channel4, etc - bbc has just gone license required so it's less tempting,

 

 

BBC iPlayer has a prompt asking the question "Do you have a TV Licence?" - you click "Yes" and you are in - there is no check.

 

 

That is supposed to change next month. There may then be some kind of verification required. Not sure what.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1681974 4-Dec-2016 10:30
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I have atv3  coupled with an ipad which has dns4me installed. I  also have on it the appletv remote app and all the services I use, amazon, netflix, lightbox, tvnz, tv3, rugbypass, fanpass and bbc. I usually just airplay works well and is a cheaper option if, as you do, have a ipad or iphone.

 

  edit

 

I also have spotify and pandora which also airplay


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  Reply # 1682030 4-Dec-2016 14:04
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Rikkitic:

 

 

 

That is supposed to change next month. There may then be some kind of verification required. Not sure what.

 

 

It would be quite nice if, along with this, they lifted the geoblocking and provided a mechanism for me to buy a licence off them. BBC TV is fairly decent, and I would be willing to pay a reasonable subscription for access to quality ad-free TV. Kind of like I used to with Sky, before they started saturation-bombing levels of advertising on most channels.

 

Charge me $100 a year and give me access - more money for them, and a win for me. Yes, this is less than a domestic licence, but most of the domestic content is only of limited interest to international subscribers, they can't make it compulsory like it is in the UK, and they need to pricee it low enough as a mass-market product to be more attractive than piracy or going to the hassle of bypassing geoblocks.


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