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All posts tagged "Roku"


Monday, January 26, 2009

Options for Streaming Netflix

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/19/...aming-shootout/

"Netflix seems to be doing things right when it comes to the streaming game, partnering with several hardware companies in an attempt to make its service more or less ubiquitous -- a pretty sharp break from the proprietary hardware approach taken by most of its competitors. That means Netflix subscribers have quite a few choices when it comes to streaming, and we thought we'd put the ones available now head-to-head and try to crown a winner. The good news? There isn't a mediocre choice out there. The bad? Well, read on."

I've been using the Roku box for a while now and find it pretty impressive and should be wrapping up my review soon. Sounds like they are all pretty good and the decision as to which is best really comes down to personal preference and how you plan to use it.

Tags: Xbox, Samsung, Tivo, Roku

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Netflix Streaming Issues Resolved

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

http://blog.netflix.com/

"Recently some Netflix members using Roku or Xbox movie players noticed lower quality streaming than they had experienced earlier. This was a temporary issue that we believe we have resolved. Working with our content distribution partners and key carriers, we made some specific changes that should restore everyone’s experience to where it was before – high quality streaming."

The above statement is directly from the official Netflix Blog. So it looks like they have tracked down the issue and have it fixed. I was never experiencing an issue in the first place, but to those of you that were, does it appear to be back to normal? Now, hopefully they and Roku can hurry up and get the HD update out for the Roku box!

Tags: Netflix, Roku

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Streaming vs. Downloading

Posted by Timothy Huber in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/12/0...etflix-problem/

"For weeks now, Roku Netflix Player owners have noticed an almost universal drop in quality dots (which range from 1 to 4 in order to show quality levels), with many finding the new feeds "unwatchable." CNET recently had a talk with Tim Twerdahl, vice president of consumer products at Roku, about the issue, and according to Tim, all he knows is that "Roku didn't make any changes." Furthermore, we've seen comments in our own posts noting that other Netflix-enabled boxes are also seeing the quality drop. The worst part is that there's still no definitive solution in sight, so we suppose our only advice is to kick back and watch Netflix and Roku bicker over who's really to blame"

I don't have a Roku box, but apparently users are having issues with Netflix streaming quality, to the point that the video becomes unwatchable. This got me thinking about the fundamental differences between streaming and download services particularly as it relates to the (relatively) new category of IP set-top boxes.

Streaming services like Netflix automatically adjust the quality of the video based on the media player: bandwidth, resolution, etc. The stream is not stored, but played and then discarded. Time to playback is typically short but quality may be limited. If the connection is unreliable or unavailable, a streaming solution effectively no longer works.

Conversely, download services deliver an existing video file but may require the entire file to be downloaded before beginning playback. Since the file is stored locally, quality is consistent and it can easily be replayed. In a system with progressive download, used by Vudu and the new Blockbuster set-top box, playback is started before the video is completely downloaded. However, depending on connection speed and quality, playback may be delayed while waiting for the video download to finish.

Read more...


Monday, December 1, 2008

MediaPoint Blockbuster Set-Top-Box Unboxing

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2008-12...unboxing-setup/

"UPS just arrived with the new Blockbuster OnDemand movie rental box, by 2Wire. If you recall, $99 gets you the box and 25 video rental credits. Once those have been consumed, content begins at $1.99 a pop. Packaging is Blockbuster branded, though there’s absolutely no mention of “Blockbuster” on the unit. (Then again, the competing Roku box is also devoid of “Netflix” branding.) The AppleTV-shaped hardware feels somewhat plasticy, but it’s more attractive and has more personality than the Roku box."

On the surface, looks pretty similar to the Roku box (which I have and am working on a review of) but focused on rentals rather than the all-you-can-eat mentality of the Roku box. It does not look like this is tied to Blockbuster's on-line rental service and if it offers a decent number of new releases, it might be attractive to those that only get a few movies a month.


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