So, other than the difference in transcoding the 2 devices are very similar? If I want to stream, not put a show on my device, will the transcoding matter? I didn't pay for the genieGo and I didn't sign any contract extension so I guess I could just try it and if it doesn't work return it to them.
When you stream, you are still transcoding, but on the fly vs. to device storage.
They only allow one GG device per account, so it's hard for me to directly compare streaming one model to the other. My guess is if you're streaming and you want to skip commercials, the GG2 will resume playback after a skip faster than the GG1, because it has a faster processor. If you're just playing through however, and not trying to jump over commercials, I would expect streaming performance to be similar on both devices.
As I said above, the key is to have a good internet connection, both uploading to the internet and downloading while out of home. GG transcodes are currently about 1.2 mbps, so 1.5 mbps wireless up and 1.5 mbps down will allow you to stream at maximum quality, with a bit of a cushion.
If you want to stream in-home, on your own wireless G or N network, odds are you'll have plenty of bandwidth available for maximum GG streaming quality at all times.