Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Entertainment system evolution

After long time I decided to do something to improve little bit my entertainment system.

In the past I played with some streamers and lately I ended up to use the glorious Wii to watch Netflix or Chromecast with the same purpose.
For a while I tried to use some Android sticks without much success.
They did work but all suffered by a bad video quality and connection problems.

In fact the connection to the network is the real problem.
The TV is located far away from the WiFi router and even using a repeater it didn't improve much the connection reliability.

So after a long time experimenting with cheap and wireless streamers, I decided to set up something better.
Here my basic requirements :

  • Wired connection
  • Faster streamer
  • Decent user interface
  • HD quality
  • Possibility to be connected to the main network
  • Possibility to stream from my server
  • Possibility to stream from local memory (flash pen)
  • Support for all video formats
  • More streaming choices than Netflix
  • Possibility to receive local HD program via antenna
Looking for something capable to cover these requirements, I ended up with two choices :
Wetek Play 2 is a nice and faster streamer with also the possibility to install a digital HDTV receiver (ATSC).
It is Android based and uses Kodi as main streaming management.

Amazon Fire TV is an Android based streamer with Alexa (the Amazon voice interface) integrated in it and very nice intuitive way, plus it supports Plex for streaming.

I tried to install Kodi on the server but I had some problems, then it was not clear when the Wetek Play 2 would be available.
I then installed as media server Plex on the server, after reading some interesting reports, and it went perfectly, plus Amazon Fire TV was readily available.

Because of that I decided to go with Amazon also if is missing the possibility to connect an ATSC receiver in order to see local HDTV channels.
As bonus it has Amazon Alexa that helps to integrate vocal commands to search for programs or activate applications. 

So after a while, here some pros and cons of using Fire TV.


  • Easy to configure and handle
  • Fast streamer. No I mean ... FAST.
  • Nice to search/select some programs using Alexa
  • Fast streaming from my server using Plex
  • Quite reliable
  • Very small, very easy to hide
  • Vudu is blocked because competitor of Amazon
  • No possibility to connect an ATSC receiver
  • Not integrated with Amazon Echo even if both are using Alexa
  • Too many apps require subscription (I guess is the same for all streamer though)
  • Quite close system. Is Android but is not open to install whatever you want

No comments:

Post a Comment