questionswhich is best: roku vs chromecast vs smart bd?

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Netflix from the ChromeCast:
For us the Android device is the remote. To pause it or back up you need to unlock the Android device and then press what you want. Slightly annoying. I did not think it would matter, but it does.
I am looking for the killer cable cutter device. One that does ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC streaming, with local streaming and Netflix and HuluPlus.
Chromecast you can cast your chrome tab, for my core2duo it is too much work to cast the PC intensive streaming on the ABC, CBS, and NBC sites.

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Roku 3. There's a ton of other channels on there that I just can't help watching. Not sure why I watch the sailing channel but I do. Lots of tech channels as well. Easy streaming of NHL gamecenter too. I like the Roku's back button that lets me go back 10 seconds in case I miss some dialogue. I actually prefer it to my PS3, xbox 360, and Blu-ray player with apps. Of course there's the standard Hulu and Netflix and other stuff too.

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Chromecast may be the best in the future, but google is being really slow about releasing updates. Roku is probably the best right now. BD player only if you want to actually watch blurays as well.

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I have not used anything but the Chromecast and I wish google would speed up the process of adding content. That said, the biggest benefit for me is the size and portability. We've taken it with us on vacation and it works flawlessly. I have casted from the pc to the tv and it works well.

I am excited about getting a projector with an hdmi input too. We bought our current projector before hdmi was included in some of the cheaper models. It will be awesome to be able to plug the chromecast into a projector hanging from the ceiling without having to build a shelf for some other box to sit on. Keep in mind this has home entertainment as well as presentations at work potential.

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Roku uses RF. IR seems archaic after RF. Insight touch universal remotes (I bought two from Woot) do RF. Eurocentric though and smallish user base. What I don't get is Logitech's lastest UR cost twice that of the latest Nexus 7" tab. Put an IR blaster like Visio's first 8" on a Nexus and let app makers go to town.

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I like the miracast dongles. You can send ANYTHING that's on your phone to your TV. Not just the few things the chrome cast let's you. Also, you don't need WiFi. Which is good for me because I live in the country with no internet but my phone.

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My Roku uses bluetooth... not IR.

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TONS of channels with the Roku. Crackle and Plex are channels many people have tried and now can't live without. Amazon instant video is another popular choice. 600+ channels total if you want to get technical. The Roku has USB and hardwired Ethernet (and WiFi of course). Yes you can watch your own movies off USB. And with a hardwired Ethernet, no worries about poor wireless signal/buffering. Roku remotes also have a headphone jack on them. Watch TV quietly as your partner sleeps. The remote use Bluetooth and are motion sensitive....so you know what that means.

"Hey honey. Want to fool around tonight?"

"Shhhh! I'm playing angry birds!"

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I perfer Roku right now but I do a lot of streaming from my home media server over Plex. Rokus are very easy to use and my 3-6 year old kids use one without any issue.

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I have both a Roku and a Chromecast. For most tasks I prefer the Chromecast. It gives me more options, like the ability to watch Hulu (w/o subscription) and other streaming content on my TV through Chrome. I also use Plex on both devices (through Chrome for the Chromecast) for playing local content, but I prefer using it with the Chromecast since I can navigate more easily from my desktop. For Netflix it is a bit of a toss up. I like the convenience of a remote on the Roku, but browsing content from my smartphone is a perk on the Chromecast.

However, I've had the Chromecast glitch on me quite a few times (like blaring static), and I also wish Google would open it up to developers. Additionally, Roku's are nice if you have one that works on the 5 GHz band as the Chromecast only operates at 2.4 GHz and is thus very sensitive to interference from microwaves, etc.

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@ssiemonsma: Nice, informative post. I have a couple of Rokus, and couple of Wiis. The Rokus are easy to use, and my grandkids use them without any help from me. I like the chromecast because I can control it with my Android tablet. I liked the first one I purchased so much, that I now have two of them. The only thing I haven't been able to do so far is stream home videos that are on my desktop 'puter. Not really necessary to do that, I know how to burn them to DVDs. I've seen Plex mentioned a couple of times. I have intalled Plex but haven't played enough with it to make it functional. Bottom line is, it depends on what you want to stream. I expect more apps to become available in the future for the Chromecast. For ease of use, I would probably have to say go with a Roku. If you like toys, you can't go wrong with a Chromecast, they work and do what they are supposed to do.

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I don't have any experience with the other two devices but I use Chromecast everyday from my Nexus 7, just for Netflix. I haven't tried Hulu on it, but youtube works as well if you have subs on there or even for the occasional video. Unfortunately Chrome won't cast from my tablet, but that's not really an issue for me. Chromecast has worked flawlessly for me thus far and for that price, you can't really beat it.

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Went to Best Buy a few nights ago and purchased the Chromecast, they offer a 15-day return policy, which I plan on exercising. I've tried Netflix, Hulu, and browser mirror playing a video from my computer. It has worked well, I especially like the ability to track what my kids are watching from my phone and/or put on a new show for them while I'm cooking dinner in another room. For anyone wondering about Hulu, there isn't an icon in the chromecast app, you have to go to hulu app and the chromecast icon is there.

That said, I am still itching to try Roku to see what other free channels it has to offer, especially interested in the PBS kids channel.

Woot decided to make this decision all the more harder by offering a BD player today on tech.woot.com for $45 after shipping.

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I have had many options so I'll cover them all here.

PS3: Startup time was less than impressive, uses a ton of power and puts out a lot of heat even when just watching Netflix. The annoying mandatory updates every few weeks ruined the user experience, and the GUI wasn't as intuitive.

SmartTV: Works fine for a limited number of apps, but the user interface isn't as smooth as it should be, and the Netflix interface was never as smooth as it was from other devices.

Blu-Ray player with apps (LG / Toshiba): These work but have a very limited number of apps supported. If you want Netflix and Pandora you are ok, but neither would work with Amazon Prime nor did they allow channels / apps to be added later. The Toshiba had a direct Netflix button the remote which was good, but the startup time was still rather slow.

Roku: The best by far. Flexible, allows all the channels and apps I need, super fast, great UI, cheap, fast, simple. I just bought a second one for my family room TV.