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Streaming Movies and Music to your TV

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Category: Hardware Published on Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Roku, D-Link and Netgear: Three Reasons to Cut the Cable 

I stream.

You stream.

We all stream for . . . well, maybe not!

A highly unscientific poll on my website - - - www.jocgeek.com - - - reveals that a vast majority (30 out of 34) of folks don't know what video or audio streaming is or how to take advantage of it to cut or eliminate their cable or satellite bills.

With that in mind, I decided to take a look at three streaming media players that deliver tons of movies, TV shows, podcasts and games to TV sets and monitors.

The king of the hill is the Roku 2 XS ($99.99) with the MovieNite Plus from D-Link ($99.99) and the NeoTV from Netgear ($49.99) nipping at its heels.

All of these devices were extremely easy to set up and use your Internet connection to deliver streaming audio and video to your screen of choice using. All three also use HDMI cables for HD with the Roku 2 and MovieNite Plus also having outputs for component audio and video cables for non-HD hookups. They all also offer the basic services such as YouTube, Netflix and Pandora, but that's where the similarity ends.

The Roku 2 delivers more than 500 channels giving you access to a wide variety of entertainment - - - a majority at no cost. There are a few subscription services (Netflix, Epix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and VuDu) where you need to pay for a subscription or per show or movies fee, but they cost much less than subscribing to cable or satellite movie channels.

Many of the channels that are "free" have annoying commercials every few minutes, but I guess someone has to pay the freight.

MovieNite Plus gives you access to VuDu and Netflix in addition to more than 130 channels offering everything from old movies to access to your Twitter account. The only problem I have with this device and NeoTV is that the streaming video is "fueled by Flingo," which, at times, delivers unsynced video and audio which can be annoying. This doesn't happen with all of the channels, but a few, such as ACM and others offering old movies, tend to have the same affliction.

The content on the MovieNite and NeoTV are pretty similar. The only difference being that the MovieNite box offers a service called Mydlink, which gives you access to mydlink network cameras.

Additional features for each include:

Roku 2 XS

  • More than 500 channels of movies, TV shows, games, music, podcasts and links to social media and photo sharing accounts.
  • 1080p HD video and 5.1 Dolby sound.
  • HDMI and composite audio and video outputs.
  • Ethernet and USB ports.
  • Enhanced remote to play games.
  • Built-in WiFi.

MovieNite Plus

  • Access to more than 130 streaming apps and services.
  • 1080p HD video.
  • Dolby 5.1 surround sound.
  • HDMI and composite audio and video outputs.
  • An Ethernet port.
  • Built-in WiFi.
  • Instant access to pay per view movie channels (Netflix and VuDu), YouTube and Pandora via the remote control.
  • Access to mydlink network cameras.

NeoTV

  • 1080p HD.
  • HDMI output.
  • 5.1 surround sound.
  • Access to about 100 streaming media channels including HBO, Showtime, VuDu, Netflix and CinemaNow.
  • Built-in WiFi.
  • Ten games.

More information on the streaming media players can be found on www.roku.com, www.dlink.com and www.netgear.com.

Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page. You can also contact him via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.