Score one for the AppleTV and a few other quick hits…

  • I usually side with Roku when asked what additional set-top box to buy, since Roku allows the easy use of Amazon Prime Video, but the Teter cord-chewing (it’s not cutting if it ain’t cut!) project has unearthed the fact that Roku’s HBO Go channel does NOT work with XFinity, whereas AppleTV’s HBO Go option DOES work with XFinity. Since I would pretty much cancel all channels other than HBO and NESN, and simply watch the Patriots with an antenna or at a bar once a week, this discovery has pushed the AppleTV over the Roku… even though we have both… and they’re 5 inches apart… and they’re on Video 3 and Video 4 on the same television… and we only watch tv in the kids-are-asleep window from 8:15PM to 9:00PM because we’re more tired these days than the Ridgeback, who is about as tired as you can get and still be alive.
  • Motorola’s X Phone is good-not-great. It is innovative with its always-on-and-waiting-for-youishness and the way it tries to tap into Google Now better… something that really blows Siri out of the water by the way. The specs are a little weak and the display is little weak, but the real deal breaker for me is that the camera (from what I’ve seen) still takes too many craptastic pictures. Repeat after me, Motorola: “a stellar camera joined to solid Motorola hardware with maybe adding back a dash of kevlar would = you winning.” I’d say wait for the second generation of this and hope that Google bakes some of the extra Motorola functionality into Key Lime Pie, so that this could be a viable Nexus device.
  • Chromecast is a neat little toy that made sense to buy when it came with the three free months of Netflix. It works… it’s kind of neat to throw a browser to your tv… if you want to put browser-based video on your tv, or if you don’t have a Roku or an AppleTV or anything else to watch Netflix, ok… but it’s raw and hiccuppy at the moment. It’s got great potential, but if you don’t like to beta test… well… I’d wait until they start giving these away or integrating them with newer tv’s. People will do cool stuff with this thing down the road, but no need to rush out now.