Most helpful positive review
100 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Works well for the most part
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.