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Topic # 226175 24-Dec-2017 06:06
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Can anyone recommend a good streaming device?

 

Requirements:

 

  • Stream Netflix
  • Stream Youtube, with an easy way to search for / choose the clip (probably requires a keyboard or voice interface)
  • Easy to use for wife / family / eventually the toddler
  • Prefer cheaper over more fully functioned: ideally US$100 or less

Nice to have:

 

  • A remote, or compatibility with my old Logitech Harmony One
  • Stream media from a local computer, ideally keeping track of watched status (not important as the R.Pi2 running Kodi works great)
  • Stream NZ TV - TV2, TV3, etc (really not that valuable to us, but nice to have the option)

 

 

I'm considering:

 

  • Chromecast: ok for my wife and I, but not so good for guests as our regular guests don't tend to have smartphones. We have a tablet for the lounge, but it's more hassle than picking up a remote that's always there anyway, waiting for WiFi to connect, finding the app, etc
  • Roku: reported to great, but tricky to get working in NZ? If it's ok to get going this is probably my pick
  • Amazon Fire TV: don't know much about it
  • Shield TV: probably more than I want to spend

 

 

I'm not consisdering:

 

  • Apple TV (too expensive)

 

 

I have a VPN for my PC, and there's probably a way I could use an old R.Pi1 as an always on VPN gateway if the device needed it. I tried once but gave up before I got it done because I didn't really need it.

 

 

 

Any advice appreciated.





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  Reply # 1924355 24-Dec-2017 07:57
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I’ve got a roku 3. Old now, but overall still good. I prefer the Apple TV, because of the local apps. But in a pinch with local tv streaming via plex it’s quite usable. Not sure about newer model, but would assume faster. They used to be the flagship Netflix device and get all the new ui updates first.

Unlike an Apple TV, they can only be one region. I prefer uk, to get access to the uk channels. The us just annoys with everything tied to cable accounts.




Previously known as psycik

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  Reply # 1924356 24-Dec-2017 08:02
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I'd say Amazon Fire TV but they Googlei is retiring the YouTube from the platform because of a row between companies.

 

Apparently, NVIDIA Shield TV are really good stuff - and they are discounted on Amazon with shipping to New Zealand.







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  Reply # 1924357 24-Dec-2017 08:12
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Shield is around US$170, it'd have to be much much better than the US$30 - $60 Roku for me to go there.

 

Good to rule out the Fire, thanks.

 

@davidcole if your Roku broke would you buy another? And can you watch local UK channels fairly easily, is that via a VPN? My wife is from the UK and would love that. She uses a VPN on her laptop but it's more hassle.





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  Reply # 1924359 24-Dec-2017 08:26
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Apple TV is not badly priced now 219 for non 4k one well worth it soo easy for the wife and kids to use and the content is great .best part is don't have to mess around with blocking Google DNS settings. Its simple for non it bods like me. My 4 and 6 year olds even use it

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  Reply # 1924360 24-Dec-2017 08:31
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timmmay:

Shield is around US$170, it'd have to be much much better than the US$30 - $60 Roku for me to go there.


Good to rule out the Fire, thanks.


@davidcole if your Roku broke would you buy another? And can you watch local UK channels fairly easily, is that via a VPN? My wife is from the UK and would love that. She uses a VPN on her laptop but it's more hassle.



Possibly. I think mine was $99 us. At that price point yes I would. Also I like the plug headphones into the remote feature.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,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 # 1924365 24-Dec-2017 08:42
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Stu1: Apple TV is not badly priced now 219 for non 4k one well worth it soo easy for the wife and kids to use and the content is great .best part is don't have to mess around with blocking Google DNS settings. Its simple for non it bods like me. My 4 and 6 year olds even use it

 

At that price, and given they update apps rather the the apps fall off over time is great. Main thing now is all FTA NZ apps are there. No need to mess around setting it up (with PC, Plex, etc, although it does now have Plex, so the home content is now covered) , just get the apps and use. 


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  Reply # 1924366 24-Dec-2017 08:43
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For what you are asking for an Android TV/Fire TV device would be best, it will tick all your boxes via either native apps or Kodi. Roku would be ok but I think you'd probably need to run a Plex server which may or may not work well for you.

 

Mibox is a lowish cost option https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=204857&page_no=13

 

Personally I run an Apple TV, a Fire TV and a Chromecast. Apple TV on the main TV gets used far more than the Fire TV, the Chromecast very rarely.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1924367 24-Dec-2017 08:46
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tdgeek:

Stu1: Apple TV is not badly priced now 219 for non 4k one well worth it soo easy for the wife and kids to use and the content is great .best part is don't have to mess around with blocking Google DNS settings. Its simple for non it bods like me. My 4 and 6 year olds even use it


At that price, and given they update apps rather the the apps fall off over time is great. Main thing now is all FTA NZ apps are there. No need to mess around setting it up (with PC, Plex, etc, although it does now have Plex, so the home content is now covered) , just get the apps and use. 



It’s brilliant the kids even love the free games crossy road is pretty addictive and mine craft lite is perfect starter for a six year old



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  Reply # 1924378 24-Dec-2017 09:03
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We can keep the R.Pi2 for Kodi, it works great, so if it makes the streaming side easier we can ignore the local files option. Nice to have them all in one, but not essential. Having to run Plex sounds like a hassle, given I don't know anything about it, but I'm sure I could work it out if needed.

 

Apple TV is $250 or so, but easily streams all local TV channels. Not sure local TV is worth that to me, I watch it every couple of years and seems to be mostly advertising.

 

UK TV would be much more useful to us. Anyone know how difficult it is to get UK TV on the Roku?

 

Mi Box looks interesting. Prefer to stay mainstream I think, but if it's popular, well supported, and does what I want for a reasonable price I'll have a look.





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  Reply # 1924389 24-Dec-2017 09:22
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I bought a roku2 about 6 years ago. Its still working. Its only just started to have major issues now. Its too old. Plex sometimes crashes and so does youtube. Netflix seems to be ok most of the time.

 

I am considering an xbox one s. 

 

Amazon Firetv would have been my goto but some weird high level stuff is going on with google and amazon at the moment. 

 

So you can muck around with Kodi on a Pi3. And then you can even watch sky in other rooms if you use an alt decoder..

 

Or get a chromecast (new one). 






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  Reply # 1924393 24-Dec-2017 09:30
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@timmmay I've got a Mi Box if you want one for cheap - upgraded to the Nvidia Shield and have not looked back. The Shield can act like a Plex Server also for local content.





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  Reply # 1924445 24-Dec-2017 10:12
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+1 for the shield.  Far and away the best bang for your buck IMO.


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  Reply # 1924446 24-Dec-2017 10:16
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timmmay:

We can keep the R.Pi2 for Kodi, it works great, so if it makes the streaming side easier we can ignore the local files option. Nice to have them all in one, but not essential. Having to run Plex sounds like a hassle, given I don't know anything about it, but I'm sure I could work it out if needed.


Apple TV is $250 or so, but easily streams all local TV channels. Not sure local TV is worth that to me, I watch it every couple of years and seems to be mostly advertising.


UK TV would be much more useful to us. Anyone know how difficult it is to get UK TV on the Roku?


Mi Box looks interesting. Prefer to stay mainstream I think, but if it's popular, well supported, and does what I want for a reasonable price I'll have a look.



Most of the channels we watch on apple TV are not NZ more UK or US ITV,BBC,my5 and channel 4 are all on apple. AUy ou can watch abc,channel 7 , 10. US we watch fox, NBC,ABC , PBS bravo. The had apples at 219 at jbhfi wellington and wharehouse stationary last week, bound to come down on boxing day. For simplicity and please wife factor Apple TV is way easier to use than the other options.

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  Reply # 1924488 24-Dec-2017 11:27
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timmmay:

 

Mi Box looks interesting. Prefer to stay mainstream I think, but if it's popular, well supported, and does what I want for a reasonable price I'll have a look.

 

 

I've got a Mi Box to do all of what you are asking as I had identical needs to yourself.  Works great - streaming is good. Some people seem to have had issues with Wifi.  I'm going to guess thats if you're using 2.4GHz.  I use 5GHz and have never had problems.  For USD$60 delivered from the Xiaomi store at Ali Express Im very happy and seriously impressed with it.

 

Im not convinced it's going to get much ongoing support/upgrades from Xiaomi as its still only using Android TV 6.  There is a beta version for Android TV 7 but I cant be bothered with beta versions anymore.  For the price Im prepared to accept that and will search for a replacement when apps no longer work on it (no sign of that at all yet).


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  Reply # 1924504 24-Dec-2017 11:53
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If you can find a 4th Gen Apple TV on sale, it ticks all your boxes, so it might be worth doing some bargain hunting. Mine works with my Logitech remote (which I think is also a Harmony One) but I prefer to use the Apple remote because it's easier. You can run Plex to stream from a computer (or do it through iTunes home sharing, I think, but I've not tried the latter). There are local apps for TV3 and TVNZ On Demand which also have live streaming. Netflix and YouTube work great. It's really simple to use - the remote only has two buttons and a small touch-enabled panel for swiping, clicking and scrolling. The benefit of the 4th Gen is that it has an app store so you can choose which apps you want, including games. The 3rd Gen gives you no choice - you can only pick from the pre-determined selection, and you have to change regions if you want to use apps from other countries. With the 4, you only have to change iTunes accounts to download the relevant app, then they all live together on the home screen. I have US, Australian, British and NZ apps all happily sitting side-by-side. I also have a Chromecast and an HTPC but I use the ATV 95% of the time. It's plugged into my home theatre system so I also use it for music streaming.





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


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