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NETGEAR NeoTV Streaming Player (NTV300)
Style Name: HDChange
Price:$41.95+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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194 of 208 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 27, 2012
Style Name: HDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I will start by taking some of the blame for the three star review. We got this to use with our Amazon Prime account and Crackle for a bedroom TV. We do have a Roku player for our family room TV so do have experience streaming players and liked it so much got the Neo for the bedroom. As for using with Amazon or Crackle, you guessed it, neither available. You would think since it has channels like "Tim" it would have those. If I remember right Amazon is now second only to Netflix. There are the usual free channels like YouTube and Facebook and the pay channels, Netflix, Hulu Plus (But not Hulu).

Setup was fairly easy but you do have to be careful since some screens have different inputs to move to the next screen. After going through all the steps and connecting to my router the Neo said there was no internet connectivity then promptly started an update. The update took about 10-15 minutes (which I guess isn't bad since the Neo said it couldn't connect to the net). Then it went back to the setup screen asking to connect to my router again - you have to be careful here, press "skip this step" or you will have to set up your connection again, entering your password, etc.

While setting up I did feel you have to be careful with the remote, it does not have a wide range, it must be pointed directly at the Neo.

I tried streaming some of the free channels, some worked quite well, but most were choppy. I went back to these and tried again with the same result. Several channels, e.g. Discovery would not load (I feel waiting 1 minute is more than enough).

I, personally, favor the Roku player we have, it has Amazon Prime and does not have any play back issues.
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100 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2012
This is a review from someone that is "upgrading" from NeoTV Pro bought 1 month ago for exactly the same price as this one.

1) Great size and (puck) form factor - does not hog space at all. Similar to previous version.

2) The remote is actually a big step up from the previous one. Holding it feels less flimsy. The 4 "colored" buttons are now incorporated within the "joystick" control area, so you may end up pressing one of them instead of an arrow button or vice versa, but you get used to it after a while. The alphanumeric keyboard on the other side is great for searching content and entering your credentials to various apps - the only issue I have is that I am not able to get the keys requiring the ALT key to work, so ended up using the on screen keyboard for those characters. Need to check it out.

3) The "My Media" feature is a great addition, but very poor on video format support. It played MP4 files, but not certain AVI files or MTS files. My PS3 or PC plays all of these without any issues. Note that the "My Media" option is hidden under "Most Popular" menu on the main screen, so you may need to add it to your favorite list explicitly. I tested that the USB connection also works in addition to DLNA, but did not test the Micro SD slot. Bottom line - you have so many ways to play your own files on this little thing, but you may be disappointed with the type of (video) files that it will actually play.

4) Responsiveness of the menu options and actions and transitions between screens is still a major problem. I would say it has gotten marginally better with the NTV300SL, but nowhere compared to a PS3 or even a Roku. Especially with network content, loading or scanning (FW/RW) is very slow, but once loaded, I did not see any hiccups in playback. Also, the video quality is amazing - as close to the original quality as possible.

5) One feature that was on the Roku, but not on NTV200S was the ability to hook it up to non-HD TVs using AV-out (Composite video, RCA audio). This one has finally added that ferature, so your device has greater use across most displays. The optical audio out is now gone, so it is either the analog out or HDMI for audio. I do use optical audio out from the NTV to my receiver, but the removal of the optical audio out was not a problem for me as my TV would give the audio fed into it via HDMI back to my receiver via its own optical out, so I can still get 5.1 channel audio on my receiver even if it does not support HDMI. If your TV cannot do this and you are expecting to have 5.1 audio in any way other than HDMI, then tough luck.

6) I am reserving the best for last - Intel WiDi. I have to feel sorry for Netgear, as it may not be their fault in most cases that so many people have trouble setting up their wireless display even though their laptops supposedly support it. I went through this nightmare initially with the NTV200S and my Dell XPS notebook, but when I connected the NTV300SL, surprisingly, it just worked like a charm - nothing new to setup. There are so many steps that need to be done in the correct sequence for Intel WiDi to work with any device (source and target may need to be on the same wireless network/band, may need to install wireless card driver, display driver and Intel WiDi in that order etc.) that it is very easy for most users to get frustrated at this product. For those that mentioned about the blank screen with a mouse pointer, there would be a step where you need to enter the secret code to establish a secure connection between the devices and after that you would see your desktop. The other reason may be that you are actually seeing the extended desktop on the TV screen and may have to move windows over to the extended desktop to use it.

Overall, this is a fine device that gives Roku and other similar devices a run for their money. Knocked one star off for some of the issues listed above.
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107 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: HD with WiDiVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I already had a Roku 2 XD when I received this for review. On appearance, I liked this remote better, so I bumped the Roku to the bedroom and put this one in the living room, ready to go.

Pros:
1. Set-up is easy, almost the same as Roku
2. Better Netflix queue than Roku

Cons:
1- Significantly slower than the Roku...by a magnitude of at least 10.
2- Playback issues...Hulu is slower and the last 2 seconds is cut off every show/commercial...Netflix is 2-3 times slower
3- Instead of going into sleep mode like Roku, the Neo goes into shut down...that's an extra minute waiting for full boot up. Maybe that's a benefit to the power bill? Also, it means that it has to take another minute to re-connect to your router.
4- Remote keyboard is annoying. I thought I would hate the lack of features on the Roku remote, but now I love it. The Neo has alot more options, but since you only really use a few of them, Roku nailed it in keeping the remote limited.
5- No Amazon Instant Video App! Seriously?
6- Android app for Roku is much simpler and effective.

I've switched back to the Roku in the living room, and I am much happier. Good luck!
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56 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: HDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I simply love this product. It is perfect for older TV's that aren't internet ready All you need is a TV with HDMI input and you are good to go. The unit doesn't take up too much space (3.62 x 3.62 x .098 inches) and the set-up is quick and simple. You are able to connect to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Pandora and Cinema Now. The only thing I would add is the ability to play Amazon Instant Video- other than that I don't have any complaints. The streaming is flawless. The can get up to 1080p HD streaming and connect to your router wirelessly. You can also download an app and use your phone as a remote or use the remote that is included in the package. At times, there is a few seconds delay when using the remote to pause, play, rewind, etc. However, I may be experiencing that delay because of my internet connection. Also, please note that you will need to purchase the HDMI cable because it is not included. Overall, this is a great product at a great price!
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
Unfortunately the NeoTV Max product has many bugs and is a poorly designed product. My company tested the product in addition to 10 other products that are in the same ballpark price wise and have placed the NetGear product in dead last. We had bought two of these units and they both failed miserably. One had a dead wifi piece and the other got stuck in the infamous setup loop.

Customer service was no help whatsoever and they even had the gall to try and make us pay for support even though we told them that we have over fifty stores that we wanted to use their product in.

Very disappointing NetGear.

We would have loved to upgrade the firmware, but the system crashed after each firmware upgrade. In a nutshell it's a piece of crap.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Hello G. Kuiper,

Our apologies for the way support handled your case and would like to investigate your case. Please contact us directly at amazon@netgear.com with a copy and paste of your review and any case numbers you received from support.

We would like to get the matter resolved as soon as possible, please get in contact with us when you can.

Regards,

NETGEAR Team
The manufacturer commented on the review below
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2013
After using the NTV300 for a couple of weeks I am disappointed in the performance of this product. I connected my Neotv NTV300 directly to my router via Ethernet. My internet service speed is 20 mbs and the NTV300 shows a download capability of 8.6 mbs. I have experienced several screen freeze ups and very slow performance. I bought this product because it has Netflix, Vudu and HuluPlus which I have accounts with. When using Hulu the streamer it will tend to freeze up when Hulu finishes a commercial. Will also freeze during streaming of shows. I have also noticed that when in Netflix and using the search function, the results shown don't always match what is selected in the scroll of listed programs. Sometimes Netflix will freeze up too. Other things include slow start up time, it takes about 35-40 sec to bring screen up, slow response to remote inputs, sometime you'll press the button 2 or 3 times (because you think the unit didn't receive that command) before the unit responds, causing the unit to jump pass the selection you're trying to make. I think they put the NTV300 on the market before they completed QC. I also have a NTV200 which performs perfectly. It starts quickly, responds to remote quickly and doesn't freeze up. I like the Neotv units because they have a Ethernet port to connect directly to your router, and they support 1080p resolution. You have to spend almost $100.00 to get a Roku with Ethernet connection. If you're looking for a unit that supports 1080p and has a Ethernet connection and cheap, then this is your unit. I hope that Netgear will have a fix for the list of known issues shortly.

Update: After 3 weeks of use I have given up on the NTV300. It is a very poor performer. Pictures freeze regulary, today I couldn't access Hulu. It kept saying I needed to update date and time in my settings. There is no date or time functions in settings. If you pause for a few minutes, then restart, the picture will show a couple of sec but then it will freeze. I should mention that I have the latest software ver 1.1.2NA installed but problems persist. Don't know what the update was suppose to fix. Apprently nothing. I do have a Netgrear NTV200 which works perfectly. It has a different software program.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Hi E B,

Thanks for your review and your honesty. We're always working to improve and make the best products we can! The problems you're having aren't the typical experience, and we'd like to help. You can contact us at support.netgear.com to have our support team look into the slowness and freezes you report.

Also, we do have an update in the works for the NeoTV products that will include fixes and improvements -- keep your eyes open for any updates if you haven't already, this will ensure the best experience.

Regards,

NETGEAR Team
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: HD with WiDiVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must thank Netgear & Amazon to provide me with a sample device to do my review, There are no glaring issues to report, The device more or less works perfectly for what it was designed for. I must say Netgear has done a decent job with this tiny shiny little device. Kudos! to the development team for a honest effort.

In terms of size, honestly no bigger than a hockey puck, Actually the power adapter that came along with this device is bigger than the streaming device itself. The NeoTV's IR remote which has a full QWERTY keyboard on the bottom-side is a big plus when you plan on using it to input keywords for search. The GUI also has on-screen keyboard for input if you do not care about QWERTY based IR remote keyboard.

There are various other companies that make similar devices. Let me list them first so that viewers can get the feel of other choices we have currently in the market with comparable pricing and feature set.

Western Digital:
------------------
1. Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player, Wi-Fi 1080p
2. Western Digital 1 TB WD TV Live Hub Media Center, Full-HD 1080p No Wi-Fi

SONY:
----------
1. Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi

Roku:
----------
1. Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player
2. Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p

Where does Netgear NeoTV Max Streaming Player NTV300SL stand up to these competitors?

The current clear winner in this market is Western Digital, There is no doubt in that. I have both WD TV Live Streaming Media Player and WD TV Live Hub Media Center and love it. The plethora of local media file support is by far the best with WD TV line-up of streaming media devices. The WD TV player series also has support for most WebTV based streaming media services just like Netgear's NeoTV player. WD TV also support DTS Audio decoding and has support for DVD menu for ISO DVD files.

I must admit Netgear NeoTV's WEBTV Internet streaming media offerings are more polished and works very well. The Menu system even-though sluggish at times but presentation is good and completely usable. So yes! Netgear's NeoTV does have a edge in streaming WebTV offering.

PROS
[+] Very small form factor
[+] Very good picture quality (1080p)
[+] No fan no noise
[+] Nice looking IR remote with full QWERTY keyboard
[+] Nicely presented GUI - easy to use.
[+] INTEL WIDI support
[+] Built-in WiFi
[+] Built-in MicroSD slot
[+] Supports NTFS USB drives (Tested with 2TB capacities)
[+] Some online games for casual fun!

CONS
[-] Sluggish GUI
[-] Very poor local media file support
[-] No SMB share feature for sharing your local USB to other devices on network
[-] No optical audio out for people with older audio receivers
[-] MKV files with DTS Audio tracks are not decoded (Video plays okay)
[-] No support for ISO DVD files with Menu support (VOB files plays okay)
[-] Some AVI files with DiVX/XVID are not playable
[-] Weak/Poor IR remote implementation - I wished the remote was RF.

Having said, Netgear is known for their hubs and switches, The entry into this extremely competitive market is a very bold step for them. I think as it stands with the current level of software/firmware updates it falls short of my expectations and thereby attaining 3 respectable star review rating.

If you are in the market for streaming media player and do not care about local media files then Netgear NeoTV will suffice for now, but if you want best of both worlds consider Western Digital's Western Digital WD TV Live Streaming Media Player,  your best bet. Even better is Western Digital 1 TB WD TV Live Hub Media Center

I will keep an eye on this product as I expect Netgear to work hard to beat the competition and add support for ISO DVD with Menu support as well as support DTS Audio decode in order to remain in the competition. If I find future firmware updates fixes these requests I will revise my review rating accordingly.

Thanks for reading my review, If you have any comments please feel free to share with me.

Cheers!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
I bought this to stream Netflix. The HD quality is great, but it freezes ALL THE TIME. There have been several software updates but none of them have improved the performance.

When it freezes, it is like trying to watch a scratched and smudged DVD. I have to exit the channel and go back in to try again. I also frequently have to power down because it is totally locked up. FYI, my download speed usually tests at 10 Mbps so I know that my internet speed isn't the problem.

I watched 8 episodes of Arrested Development yesterday and the unit froze at the start of every episode! All I can say is FRUSTRATING. I literally ordered the Roku LT while watching Netflix.

I totally regret trying to save a buck by going with this product.

Also note that netgear doesn't support Amazon streaming.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2013
I used the NTV300 with the Slingplayer app and my Tivo on my home LAN. The "skip back", "stop", and "skip forward" functions were inoperative on remote (physical and iPhone virtual), and these same functions accessed via the menu commands on NTV300 screen are "greyed out". I also checked by signing on remotely to a Comcast Motorola DVR and had the same issues. The Sling documentation indicates these functions should work as they do on the PC Sling app. I contacted Netgear support and they had me do a system reset, and basically said "they did know why the function does not work." So, I guess I will return this device to Amazon and try a WDLive device and see if it has the same Sling menu problems to determine whether the fault lies with Sling or Netgear. Too bad the customer has to do the testing ... I gave a 1 star because the only reason I bought this device was for the Sling function, and Netgear support could not definitively state whether the functions should work or not, and it obviously does not, in spite of Sling stating otherwise. I could otherwise (barely) live with the Sling menu delays others described, but need to be able to skip through recorded content easily. The "fast forward" command, while operative, is ineffective with the amount of key delay in the Sling app.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Hi Wally,

We're very concerned about what you experienced with support -- the Sling functionality should work as advertised, and we want to help. Please email us at amazon@netgear.com with the tracking number you were given by support, so we can investigate and get in touch with you as soon as we can. (Please also include a link to this review, as it contains all the details of the issue you experienced - thanks for being so clear on those!)

Regards,

NETGEAR Team
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
I purchased this device for three purposes... 1) to stream media from my server (tvmobili), 2) to stream netflix, and 3) to stream from my slingbox. The device connected to my network and demanded an upgrade. But the upgrade would not complete. I spent an hour on the phone with tech support and after several attempts resetting the device with a paper clip, I managed to get it running with the latest firmware.

The connection to netflix was smooth.

The sling player did not work. Also, you couldn't enter your log in information using the keyboard on the remote (one of the main selling points for the device). It was at this point that I noticed how cumbersome the remote is. Too wide for my hand. Also the buttons are squishy and you weren't sure if you pressed the button or not.

Connecting the my DLNA server (tvmobili) was smooth but unfortunately none of my video files showed up as playable on the device. So one for three. If the tech support wasn't so awful I might have given it 2 stars out of 5. Twice I called, waited on hold for 5-10 minutes, spoke to somebody in Asia, provided my serial number (written in microscopic letters on the bottom of the device) and was disconnected.

Do not buy this device. Also, consider selling your Netgear stock because if this is the type of product that they produce and my experience with technical support was indicative of their passion for customer service, they will be out of business by Tuesday.
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