Roku 3 Impressions

posted in: Gadget Impressions 0

roku-3-box

I bought a streaming box for my parents place because they needed something that can pull down Netflix movies. Hooking up my Macbook Air to the big screen became a chore and I wasn’t planning on lugging it over every time I paid them a visit. So I chose to buy a Roku 3 from Amazon.com.

I chose the Roku 3 because of the praise and — more importantly — because it had has Plex support. It also has support for a variety of streaming services that are either a channel install away or a DNS change away. It even supports GiantBomb’s video feed which makes the lack of YouTube support easier to bear.

Broad channel support is very nice but it wouldn’t be worthwhile without the performance as well. Roku 3 is easily the quickest and easiest interface to use out of all the TV streaming solutions I have available to me. The remote is wonderfully designed and shames the remotes the accompany the HDTVs I own.

That headphone feature is ingenius and I’m surprised by the fact that it was a streaming box manufacturer that came up with it first. The remote is essentially a mini-Wiimote. It has an accelerometer and can be used horizontally for simple games. I’ve only tried Angry Birds: Space but its serviceable. I wonder if there are any emulators out there that can transform this box into a light gaming box as well.

The Roku 3 is such a wonderful device that I’m considering buying another one for myself. It’s a very sensible box and worth every one of the one hundred and twenty five dollars I paid for it. If you’re looking for a quick Netflix watching and Plex supporting streaming box, get the Roku 3.

 

PlayStation 4 OS based on BSD

posted in: Game News, Game Previews 2

playstationlogoSo it looks like the upcoming PlayStation 4’s operating system will be based on BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) Unix operating. This is the same operating system that Apple’s Mac OS X spawned from.

This move should make it a whole lot easier for developers to create games. However this choice (and my current Red Hat course) makes me wonder why they chose BSD Unix over Linux. Their multitasking reason doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me because Linux is more just as capable on the multitasking front.

 

LTTP: Rayman: Origins (PS3)

posted in: Game Previews, Reviews 0

rayman-origins

LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.

After playing Ubisoft’s Rayman: Origins, I can’t help but think Nintendo have fallen behind in the 2D platforming game. Rayman: Origins provided everything I wanted from the New Super Mario Bros. line of games. It was challenging, gorgeous and provided a lot of nuance with its core mechanics.

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Goodbye PMS. Hello PMS.

plexWhat am I talking about here?

I’ve retired PS3 Media Server and changed over to Plex Media Server. I’ve heard of Plex before but I always thought it was just a front end application like XBMC. I looked for alternatives to PS3 Media Server but I only found Serviio which is another Java based media server. It’s a good thing I conducted another search a few weeks ago.

Major Plusses

I’ve been trying to move from a Java based media server in order reduce memory usage and having to provide upkeep on Java itself. Plex doesn’t require Java and consumes very  little memory.

Plex is also incredibly flexible with its viewing clients including web browsers, iOS apps and DLNA clients. I don’t eve need the iOS app; I can stream by hitting the webpage via Safari. There’s one more trick up Plex’s sleeve which I have yet to try out: myPlex. If/when I sign up for it, I will be able to stream my videos from anywhere in the world.

A Minor Shortcoming

The only shortcoming worth mentioning thus far is the inability to install Plex Media Server as a Windows service. There is a workaround developed by a Plex forum user but I would like to see the developers include a native option.

So Far So Good

The next step is to try myPlex and maybe even get a copy of the iOS app. I’m also toying with the idea of getting a Plex compatible streaming client. Maybe this Roku 3?

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