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Daniel Trogdon

I only have experience with AppleTV and my Samsung Blu-ray player and the AppleTV is a helluva superior experience. Maybe other devices are better but I'm happy with what I have.

Cubic Z

stopped watching at the demos but it's unfortunate he didn't talk about netflix 5.1 audio support on the ps3 which is a pretty huge factor for anyone with decent audio gear.


to me roku is not the best .


He also doesn't mention that Roku does not support subtitles or CC. That and no 5.1 audio makes it a second rate device for me.


BoxeeBox is the best I have used. GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku are well behind if you ask me.


Tivo also allows you to subscribe to channels. I get cnet and Revision 3 content automatically downloaded to it all the time. There is a ton more to choose from as well.

Although I despise the UI tivo has for netflix. Very limited. Dont know how it is for the premier but on the HD and S3 its crap. It just looks like the now playing list but with tivo movies.


I think all the streaming options pale in comparison to a Blu-Ray player on a Hi-Def TV with kick butt surround sound playing a new release movie.


We've got a bunch of NRDs at home:
Apple TV
Samsung BD-P1600

(Sadly, my Chromebook seems unable to play Netflix at this time; same's true about my HTC Thunderbolt and my spouse's Droid X)

By far my least favourite is the Samsung, because its interface is so limited and it will never again be updated;

The Xbox is still boxed, so I can't comment on it; similarly, the Wii is not ordinarily used for streaming.

Our primary two platforms for streaming are the PS3 (upstairs) and the AppleTV (downstairs).

I really like the PS3 for its capabilities (5.1, CC, etc). Because Netflix can push a new client to the PS3 whenever it wants, it tends to (in my experience) be the fullest implementation of all the capabilities our NRDP can accomplish. I'm not crazy about the current interface, mind you (and tend to have to go through interface testing because my account is marked as an internal testing-enabled account). The PS3 is also my primary Hulu Plus platform, so having both Netflix and HP in the same platform is definitely handy.

I love the AppleTV for the ability to find more movies with the actors in the movie I'm watching, and for its noticeably cleaner and less cluttered Netflix interface. I also love it because it is my primary platform for renting movies and for watching previews (I've been known to spend an hour or two just watching previews, including for movies I've watched before, including previews I've seen before). AND, of course, it allows me to stream music and video from my iTunes library.

If I had to pick one, I'd go for the AppleTV.


I have 3 Netflix Ready Devices and, in the order of use-preference, they are: PS3, Roku and Wii.

My additional comment/question to this post is Rayburn's reference to PS3 with regards to MLB.TV requiring a PSNplus account "... for access to MLB and others" (video time reference 13 mins 21 sec) Can anyone here verify that is a true statement? I'm not an out-of-market team fan so MLB.TV is useless to me because of live-game blackout restrictions. I'm also wondering who "and others" are that would require a PSNplus account; Hulu+?

Neil Kraft

i have been looking into this for 6 months. it's inconceivable that any box that doesn't support 5.1 would be ranked at all. as far as i can tell that just leaves the PS3. do any other devices support 5.1?


My AppleTV downloaded an update recently that specifically said it added 5.1 support for Netflix streaming. So I know that one does it. I would not be surprised if the other set top boxes like Boxee or GoogleTV do it as well.

I've only really heavily used a Roku and a AppleTV. I switched from the Roku to the AppleTV because I decided to buy a season pass to Doctor Who season 6 on iTunes and wanted it to go to my TV, and the AppleTV can do this for me but the Roku couldn't (also, the cords I'd need to plug my Macbook into the TV were almost as expensive as the AppleTV device).

As a user who really LOVES her instant queue, interface wise I honestly prefer the Roku. The Roku puts the instant queue up first whereas the AppleTV has a nested menu system where the IQ is at the bottom. And I don't really care for the nested menus; they just seem to take a lot of time to go through and I never find myself looking for a specific genre. Also, the Roku will automatically move to the description page of the next episode when you finish watching an episode of a TV show, while the AppleTV does not. I have to back out and select the next episode. However, the AppleTV does let you chose from different seasons in a nested menu which is one thing I like better about it than the Roku.

All this makes me sound like I hate the AppleTV; I don't! I really like it overall and am pleased that I bought it. It does its job of playing Netflix and my iTunes stuff from my computer like a boss. I just like the Roku's interface for Netflix better.


PS3 is the best followed by Windows 7 Media Center


Does Windows 7 Media Center play "HD on your TV" content in HD, or does it act just like the website and only play "Available in HD" titles in HD?

Cubic Z

The best interface I've seen is vudu on the ps3. You get rotten tomatoes scores, review summaries, wiki, etc. You can watch trailers and preview the first 2 minutes of any movie they have available (though it kinda sucks that this is often mostly opening credits). Plus the a/v quality is outstanding.


I have an LG LED/LCD TV w/ NF that I primarily use to stream. Very solid software w/ few instances of buffering or freezing. The three BluRay and one Roku players I had/have all suffer(ed) from this. No 5.1 yet so there's that but hopefully down the road. I like the new queue interface too. Many more user options and search now. The Sony BluRays also upgraded this feature as well.


That was classic when the Roku wouldn't connect wirelessly. I have two, and they're good boxes, but boy are they brittle about their WiFi connections. Wish I had back all the time I've spent reconnecting them after they lost the router for no obvious reason.

One thing about Roku - the company is kind of a shoestring operation, and it shows. The little boxes do the job, but the feel is really clunky.


Hmmmmm. No mention of Xbox360? I love the UI, and the fact that it seems to get a better connection than my Sony Blu Ray, or the Wii, but I hate having to pay an extra $50 a year for a Gold Membership in order to get Netflix. Hastings is on the board of Microsoft... he should see what he can do to remedy this. I paid for the Xbox, I pay for Internet connection, I pay for Netflix, and I pay through the nose for XBOX games!!! WTF.... do i have to pay Microsoft to use their console?

Robert Emmerich

"I paid for the Xbox, I pay for Internet connection, I pay for Netflix, and I pay through the nose for XBOX games!!! WTF.... do i have to pay Microsoft to use their console?"

See SONY. See free PSN not run. See SONY stock run downhill. Run SONY run.

I don't know how much a "paywall" would've helped SONY, but MS has better security. That said, I was considering a 360 purchase this weekend (upcoming sales) but then I remembered the $50 and said forget it.


Unfortunately my experience with XBOX is my own fault. I did not occur to me that there would be an extra fee. At the time I got the Xbox it was the only game console that worked with Netflix, and I figured it would be better to get a game console than one of the few BluRay Players that had it available. It didn't help that I got the XBOX as part of a bundle deal with the TV from Best Buy.

The only reason I am going on about the 50 bucks is that it should be known that although the XBOX UI is fantastic, I am not aware of any other device that requires an annual fee or membership to view Netflix.


I have at least two Netflix devices hooked up to each of the 4 Big screen TVs in my place. These include a two Vizio TVs with internet access, 2 PS3s, 2 Roku boxes, 2 Samsung Blu-ray players, and 2 WD Live media hubs. Then there's the SONY Dash (what a loser!), the iPad (iPhone screen is too small!), at least 5 computers (desktops, laptops, PCs, Apple) and probably a few other devices I've missed. Limiting factor, of course, is the 6 devices activated at one time.

Seems like the Netflix interface is different among devices. No real favorites - they all work, which is all I care about. I general use the PS3s hooked up to the two really big screen TVs - the current brouhaha with the Playstation Network didn't seem to effect accessing Netflix. I also like the iPad for sitting out on the back patio.


Dan just sold me on Roku. Was leaning, he pushed me over. Great post, thanks!


I currently own five devices which can stream Netflix: PS3, Xbox 360, Panasonic DMP-BDT110, TiVo Series3 and this PC, which is connected to the same AVR and 46" 1080p LCD panel as the others. I also tested the Roku XD a couple of months ago (I was looking for an Amazon Prime streamer and chose the BDT110 over it). Right now, feature-wise, the PS3 comes first, with support for 1080p streams, 5.1 sound and close-captions; the BDT110 is second, with support for everything except 1080p (only the PS3 among the stuff I tried can get the 1080p streams--I've tested by measuring bandwidth consumed; I suspect that Sony has some kind of timed exclusive on that). The PC supports closed captions, but none of the others can do any of it.

I like the Xbox's GUI the best; I have the same "Netflix 3.0" interface on the PS3 and BDT110, which is okay, but not particularly inspired. The TiVo is the worst. It was the second embedded Netflix streamer (I think) after Roku, and they haven't changed its interface since it appeared in November 2008--lackluster graphics and layout, no browsing at all and no (obvious) way to search. I'd love to check out ATV2 and Boxee Box, but I don't need either.

By the way, I collected some data on bandwidth usage of these streamers (how I'm certain that, among the devices I've tested, only the PS3 can get the 1080p streams). Anyone interested can see some of that in the following posts at AVS Forum:


(I actually took a full set of data on all six devices streaming the same film from Netflix, Amazon, VUDU and Zune--Netflix on all, the rest on the device which support them. One of these days I'm going to get around to posting that stuff).

I've also been maintaining a list of Netflix streams with 5.1 sound in the following thread (a couple of months out of date--sorry):


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