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Comment: Re:Google TV failed..possible Chromecast is the wa (Score 2) 96

by slaker (#46665577) Attached to: The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind of a Mess

Chromecast doesn't do enough to add value. The only thing it really brings to the table is the novel control scheme. Yes, it's a cheap streamer that I can control with a $75 tablet or retired smartphone, but I'll bet I can find a price-competitive BluRay player that can do both those things and still play discs AND use a proper ethernet connection.

Comment: Re:Local content? (Score 2) 96

by slaker (#46665505) Attached to: The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind of a Mess

This review read like an Apple user looking for things to whine about. I don't recall seeing anywhere in the verbiage of press over the last two days any promise from Amazon that it would be some universal media-seeking device.

That being said, like any respectable media streamer these days, it DOES support Plex access, which should be your go-to tool for local content access. If it's on the same LAN with a client, you can also connect to it via DLNA and thereby use it with pretty much set top box smart enough to connect to the internet.

The single best STB I've ever found in terms of capability is the LG Smart TV Upgrader, which LG sold for about two months back in 2009 or so. It supports SMB, AFP and NFS, but it also has support for Netflix, Youtube, Hulu Plus and Amazon. It can play h.264, open VideoTS folders and it doesn't have a problem with AC3 or DTS audio. Unfortunately, it's slow as hell and the UI is ugly. I'm not entirely sure if LG is still releasing firmware updates for them but they're a pretty good alternative to a fully functional HTPC.

Comment: Re:Also how is the backhaul? (Score 1) 142

by alienmole (#46643665) Attached to: How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

In this case, the connection out of Svalbard is decent - 10 Gb/s, "with a future potential capacity of 2,500 Gbit/s" via currently unused fiber. See Svalbard Undersea Cable System.

One imagines that with the $50 million cost partly funded by NASA, that they also paid some attention to the peering connection at Harstad, where the connection terminates.

Comment: Plex + Media collection = Who gives a crap (Score 1) 323

There's this thing called Plex Media Server.

Plex accesses locally defined content libraries, scrapes them for metadata and makes them available both locally for clients smart enough to play back the raw data or transcodes them for access by dumb (DLNA, like Playstations or the like) or reduced-capability clients like iFruits. Furthermore, it negotiates authentication-based access and sharing with the Plex Web Service, meaning that you can expose your media collection over the internet, for access outside your home or use the service to share with others. Plex isn't supported by as large a collection of consumer electronics as Netflix, but it is on a lot of smart TV systems and runs on most mobile and desktop platforms.

If you already have a respectable collection of local media and a half-decent computer you're willing to leave on, you more or less have a streaming media service that is entirely under your control. If you're enough of a nerd to be reading this deep in a Slashdot comment thread, you're also enough of a nerd to figure out how to leverage Plex or something like it to make a content service that is satisfactory for your needs.

Comment: Netflix discs are still a compelling product (Score 1) 490

by slaker (#46586303) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

I've had an 8-at-a-time Netflix subscription since 2000 and I've been copying discs for that entire time. My goal is to touch a disc one time and Netflix facilitates that - I rip the disc and send it back. I don't mind doing it (at this point it's automated). My local copies tend to be better than the pirated product and it's not like my ISP is going to rat me out for doing it.
In theory I can download faster than Netflix can mail me discs, but dealing with physical discs more or less eliminates the risk factors from piracy. I'm willing to accept the slight inconvenience of having to put a disc in a drive for that.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy

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