The NTV200 package is similar to that of the Roku 2. Since there is no analog video output, we are thankfully not bundled with the component video cables. The contents of the package are as below:

  1. Main Unit
  2. Remote with two CR2032 coin batteries
  3. 12W Power Adapter
  4. Installation Guide

The main unit is fairly nondescript, with a small logo and a power LED (light blue when in operation) making up the front panel. On the rear, we have a 100 Mbps RJ-45 port, a HDMI port, optical SPDIF out and the power adapter slot. A look at the internals reveals a fully passive design (with the main SoC being covered by a thin metallic heat sink). The Wi-Fi antenna is connected to the plastic panel on top.
 



Netgear let us know that the NTV200 is powered by Broadcom's BCM7615. The same SoC is also present inside the RCA Wi-Fi Streaming Player and the LG ST600.

Unlike the Roku 2 box, the NTV200 doesn't require you to create an account or need your credit card information on file. The guided setup process is fairly painless. In addition to making the unit connect to the home network / Internet, it also fixes up the video resolution. An automatic firmware update check completes the setup process.

 

Introduction User Interface and Remote Control
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  • raquel - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    I don't understand why you're saying this is better than the Roku when the only advantage it appears to have is Vudu support. I don't know anybody who uses Vudu.

    I don't know anybody who uses Amazon video, either. But everybody uses Netflix, and Roku has a better Netflix client. And Roku supports Hulu, which is pretty popular. And the cheap Roku costs less than this. And it supports supports Crackle, which the cheap people who buy these cheap boxes will appreciate since it's totally free. This thing isn't going to catch on like the Roku and it'll never have the support of Roku -- like keeping the Netflix client up to date, and like MKV support which Roku has now.

    I just don't see how this has anything going for it except as a cheap Vudu player if you're a huge Vudu fan and you don't have a PS3 or Xbox or Blu-ray player that supports Vudu.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    My comparison holds water as long as you can grab this one for ~$50. Let me explain:

    The cheapest Roku 2 is only 720p, so the latest Netflix client and full 1080p is wasted in it. There is no wired Ethernet support and Wi-Fi is not universally reliable in the 2.4 GHz band, particularly in crowded neighborhoods. Netgear says this will get 1080p Netflix and supports wired Ethernet. Hardware-wise, this is surely one in the bag for NTV200.

    On to Vudu.. I am really not a big fan of the non-buffet services, but the quality of titles streamed on Vudu has to be seen to be believed. It is nice to have that extra option (say, when you want to rent a good quality movie once a month).

    Roku needs your credit card even to setup the player. NTV200 doesn't. That alone is a good enough reason for some people to avoid the Roku :)

    Playing back local media with Roku is often not worth the hassle.. The time and effort taken to get that up and running (often with a media server running all the time on a PC) is often worth more than the ~$20 one would save over the WDTV Live SMP.

    If you have got only $50 to spend, I still suggest going the NTV200 route (if only for Vudu). If you can spend more, get the WDTV Live SMP. Personally, I think Roku is surviving because they were the one of the first guys in this media streaming market, and they have a huge advertising budget. Technically, the WDTV Live SMP is miles ahead. And price wise, the NTV200 at $50 is what I would recommend in the general case. Of course, individual requirements might vary.
    Reply
  • raquel - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    Best Buy and Staples have it for $60. It's a great deal if it's what you want. I just don't see there being many people saying, "I want to pay for premium streaming services but I need a box less than $100."

    If you're a big enough geek to have ethernet running through your house and you're paying for more streaming services than a cheap Netflix account, the WD TV Live has everything the NTV200 has plus Hulu Plus and Spotify and local media support.

    I guess I'm just biased towards the Roku. I watch a lot of Netflix, and everything has a pretty terrible client and an even more terrible remote. The PS3 Netflix client just recently got updated so it doesn't crash all the time. Most of the remotes have a bunch of tiny buttons that are all the same size. The only thing I can really stand to watch Netflix on is the Roku and the Wii. But if I liked the NTV200's Netflix client and remote and thought it would get good support and updates in the future, I would think it was the best thing ever.
    Reply
  • LoosCarl - Sunday, January 01, 2012 - link

    Get this Netgear NeoTV (NTV200) Streaming Player from Amazon, if you missed it: http://cl.lk/21hkykk Reply

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