Netgear already has a list of bugs to be fixed from user submissions on their forum. They indicated that they are prioritizing the issues to be fixed in future firmware versions. As for the firmware release schedule, the next firmware version is supposed to come out in late June, followed by another in September. The June release is supposed to take care of bug fixes, while the September release would add more features (though what these feature would be were not indicated to me).

Netgear has also starter a uservoice site for the NeoTV 550. This tool is supposed to help them manage the suggestions, get meaningful feedback in a shorter amount of time, and streamline/ prioritize future bug fixes and improvements.

I was quite interested in finding out how the NTV 550 was faring in the market. Netgear indicated that the response in the EU and Australian markets was very good and surpassed the US sales by a large margin. This is indicative of the fact that the US market (unfortunately, if you ask me) is moving to more OTT based media streamers.

Personally, I feel that Netflix, Vudu and other VOD providers are good for casual users, and physical media backups are the only way to enjoy full HD content in the way it was intended. The NTV 550 was supposed to enable users in this area at a sweet price point (it is much cheaper than the Dune series which is comparable feature wise), but its potential remains unfulfilled. Whether future firmware releases will help in this regard remains to be seen.

It has to be noted that the Dune series (which has been praised in many other review sites) didn't turn into a great media player overnight. It is only logical that Netgear be given a few more months to iron out the issues in the NTV 550. Till then, potential buyers should wait and watch how the June firmware fares in our final review before pulling the trigger.

Firmware Issues
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  • mfenn - Saturday, May 7, 2011 - link

    should be this morning
  • MeSh1 - Saturday, May 7, 2011 - link

    I'd go for AMD fusion htpc
  • burntham77 - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    I am with you. I have tried to find alternatives to my HTPC that use less power, like these media streaming boxes, and none of them are as flexible as a Windows 7 HTPC. The fact that I only need one box to handle all of my media needs is just great.
  • Blaze-Senpai - Sunday, May 8, 2011 - link

    There goes the DRM making things more difficult than it has to be....
  • dbone1026 - Sunday, May 8, 2011 - link


    Thanks for the update. Am I the only one who is getting tired of these companies advertising features that either do not work or are not available at release???

    As far as the Netflix certification process with the PCH, I wouldn't be surprised if Syabas simply decided it wasn't worth pursuing since non-US makes up a large part of their customer base. Had the Popbox been a viable product at launch maybe that would have motivated them to move forward with certification

  • ganeshts - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link


    Is PCH trying to get Netflix certification for their players? That is news to me.

    If they are trying for their 8654 based player (do they have any?) then it is possible since that platform is certified by Netflix. If it is for their C200 (8642 based), I hope customers aren't holding their breath.

    I hope that at least some media streamer manufacturers endeavour to market a box with equal and good emphasis on both local and OTT media playback.
  • shawkie - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the update. Can you also clarify the situation on BDA certification and support for external blu-ray drives? This was promised in some early reviews but now seems to have been dropped from the specifications.

    So on the whole the Dune players are more polished devices? I've heard that they do have some problems of their own though - the big one for me is that apparently they can't even play back CD audio (let alone FLAC or MP3) gaplessly.
  • stevekgoodwin - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    Having experienced Netgear's lacklustre support for the EVA8000 media player, I've got to say I'm not that suprrised to find the same kind of thing here. While the EVA8000 kind of mostly worked, it was never great.

    Worse, was Netgear's rather dismal view on telling the truth in the forums (to be fair, they had a couple of really helpful guys... but they were obviously required to toe the corporate line wrt to disclosure of what was really going on).

    What I learnt was
    a) Netgear releases products before the firmware is fully cooked
    b) They aren't that interested in cooking the firmware properly.
    c) read the forums thoroughly before purchasing (keeping in mind forums are by their nature heavily waited towards those people having problems).

    In general, I don't think media appliances are quite done yet, there's a few more years of evolution to go yet before they're ready for everyone.
  • ganeshts - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    I didn't spend too much time checking up on the EVA lineup. Now that I see more talk about those products, I think what you are writing seems well substantiated and the NTV 550 also seems to be going the same route.

    That said, I am hoping that the sort of coverage we do for media streamers on AnandTech will somehow make the NTV 550 a better player (Or, I can just keep on dreaming :D)
  • micksh - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    Maybe they are busy implementing Cinavia and can't dedicate enough resources for Netflix?

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