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All posts tagged "roku"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Roku CEO Gives His Views Of The Entertainment Industry

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:25 PM

""The Internet is clearly going to revolutionize the way we get video," Wood begins by stating the obvious. Both he and I (a happy Roku user) know that the online TV revolution is well underway."

VentureBeat recently interview Anthony Wood, Roku's CEO, regarding where he see his company, competitors and the entertainment industry heading. His take of the industry are not novel or surprising especially to people who follow the tech industry. Wood sees a complete change over of how we get our television within four years and credits the internet for forcing this change. While this timeline may seem kind of short, it is entirely possible given that response from cable and satellite providers is to raise prices to compensate for lost subscribers.

I for one am also on the fence and ready to cut my ties to UVerse TV. The only thing holding me back is my two toddlers and the programming they watch.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Roku's Streaming Stick Boosts TV IQ into the Land of Smart

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

"Smart TVs are great and all - who doesn't want a dash of WiFi with their daily dose of reality television? - but the segment will face challenges in the market. For one, a $49 Roku LT is a much better value proposition than a $1,000+ smart TV. Secondly, the hardware moves at such a rapid pace that even with solid software updates, your smart TV will likely be outdated much sooner than you're ready to buy a new one."

There's nothing worse than a dumb TV right? Most TVs are pretty low-IQ in terms of what they can do - it's a recent development that we have TVs capable of running apps, streaming media, etc. The Roku looks like an interesting solution, but TechCrunch points out a key problem: it requires an HDMI port that supports the MHL standard, which only newer TVs do. For a product like this to be successful, it should work with the oldest, most basic HDMI port there is from years ago. Anything less than that and Roku might have a hard time selling many of these...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cutting The Cable? What Should You Use?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"So, which one is right for you? Well, here’s what I’ve found in my years of watching Internet TV on my television. These days I use an Apple TV, a Roku 2 HD and a pair of Internet-enabled Sony Blu-Ray players for my TV watching pleasure. Indeed, a few months ago I cut the cord to my cable company and now the only TV I watch comes up either the Internet or from one of my own network media servers."

Despite what they say, I consider Internet TV to still be in its infancy. Yes, if you live within the United States, you get a wonderful selection of options, though that seems to be dwindling. If you live anywhere else, your choices are less than stellar. Until Apple releases the rumored Steve Jobs dream of a re-imagined tv service, we have options like Apple TV, Roku and an increasing amount of Blu-Ray players that handle Internet TV. It isn't just Blu-Ray players though. TVs themselves are coming out with all manner of new features. It is not far away that they will be able to make you a sandwich. Until then, I can only hope that they come out with some sort of universal standard for streaming TV, and allowing you to pick your own supplier or aggregator. While it is nice to see some of these sites offering access to places like Netflix and Youtube, it would be nice to be able to add your own streams more easily. That would be particularly handy should any of the custom services go down.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Say Hello to the Roku 2 HD, XD, and XS

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:36 PM

"Setting a new standard in streaming entertainment, Roku today introduced Roku 2, a new family of streaming players. Available in three models - the Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS - this new line brings popular casual games including Angry Birds to the TV alongside Roku's large and growing selection of entertainment. Roku 2 players also feature a sleek new design that's more energy-efficient than before, using less than two watts of power."

Roku has a special place in my tech-loving heart because of the M2000, my first network media player. And when I think about how trouble-free it was compared to the troublesome Logitech Squeezebox, I'm saddened that Roku exited this market to focus on TV-attached media players. But I digress...Roku is delivering much of the same content as the Boxee Box does, but they're doing it for half the price (or less). That's tough to beat - for but me, without ISO support, the Roku box won't find a place in my home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Six Products To Help You Disconnect From Tradition Content Providers

Posted by Richard Chao in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:20 PM

"There's more than a few ways to cut the cord. So here we go, the six best devices listed in order of relevance that will help cut your household's dependence on pay TV."

It seems these days most people are looking for ways to cut their monthly expenses. One item that has always been in the bullseye is the cable or satellite bill. While many people consider it, I know I have, few people actually go all the way and pull the trigger. Figuring out how to get the content we're used to consuming without it coming from the traditional provider can be tough. Well, CrunchGear has put together a list of six products that will make the transition easier. Over the air digital TV receiver, Boxee Box, Roku, Tivo, Dell Zino/Mac Mini and your local library. Click the read link to see the rational behind their choices.

I can personally vouch for the Roku box. How about you? Have you used any products from this list? Have you cut the cord yet? Let us know and give us your experiences or other items you'd put in the list.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rock On With a Roku Update!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:30 AM

"If you're an owner of one of the early Roku XR units and have been left on the 720p bench while the newer models step up to full HD, it's time to get in the game. Roku has released a firmware update (2.9-b1509) that unleashes the necessary pixels on the XR, also including some niceties for those models that can already do 1080p."

It is really encouraging to see a company committed to its products and provide updates. While I would not make it a requirement for a company to continue supporting their product with updates for decades, with the changes that happen in the online media streaming world, it is almost a necessity that stand-alone players receive updates. I would argue that many of us are very used to updates, and almost come to expect, if not demand them. There is not a week that goes by where some program I use, from Firefox to Notepad++ to VLC pops up and tells me that an update is available. Across the several computers I have, it can be like a little kid nagging me if I am done yet. At least with this update some new and fancy features, or at least some performance improvements are provided.

Tags: hardware, roku

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hulu Plus Drops to $7.99/Month, Coming to Roku

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"Hulu Plus edges forward with a little bit more news everyday it seems. Recent announcements include the service's availability on the PS3 gaming system and Sony BRAVIA HD television sets. Today's news is that Hulu's subscription television service has lowered its price from $9.99 to $7.99 a month, that it will be available on Roku set-top boxes, and offering a 1-week free trial."

It's interesting to see the Hulu Plus versus Netflix battle shaping up - at the new price of $7.99/month, Hulu Plus is the same price as the Netflix streaming-only package that I have in Canada. I strongly suspect that Netflix is going to offer the exact same plan in the US in early 2011. So the question becomes, for $8/month which service would suit you best? Hulu Plus, along with Netflix, are coming to the Boxee Box, so Roku will have some competition. Are Hulu and Netflix, Roku and Boxee, each going to be the two respective leaders in each space?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roku Rocks Streaming Set-top Box World

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"Roku announced Wednesday that the company is revamping its line of three set-top boxes for streaming video. All three models come in a much smaller case, similar to the new Apple TV and about the size of two CD jewel cases. Some models also gain support for 1080p video output, while the top model can stream MPEG 4 files directly from a USB drive."

Streaming technology is gaining more acceptance every day. With the updated Apple TV, it has also been thrust into the forefront of the media's attention. iTunes does have its competitors though. Netflix, Hulu, Pandora all provide streaming services and Roku seems to be the device to combine them all into a single interface. The price cuts and 1080p support for the higher end Roku boxes are welcome changes and helps make sure that there will be plenty of competition among all the Apple TVs, Boxees and other streaming boxes out there. The rising interest in streaming video is also probably why Internet providers are all looking at data caps. It both protects their existing video offerings and should other companies beat them in the battle for streaming video, they will still stand to make a profit.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sony N100 Media Player to Challenge Roku

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 AM

"If you like the streaming capabilities of Sony Blu-ray players, you’ll love the new SMP-N100 Network Media Player. This SMP-N100 Netbox has everything the Sony BDP-S570 has, minus the Blu-ray drive and plus the support of additional video formats including DivX and MKV. And the suggested retail price is only $129, meaning the street price may eventually come in around the $100 mark. That puts the product into contention with other standalone media streamers like those from Roku, Popbox and Western Digital."

Pretty compelling. More available content and features than the Roku box at a comparable price and from a brand more recognizable to Joe Consumer. If they can market this well so people can understand what it does, they could sell a lot of these, especially for secondary TV's where people might not necessarily want/need a full sized Blu-ray player.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Roku Ups Ante With Upcoming Netflix Interface

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 AM

There is nothing wrong with the current Roku interface, but with all the gaming consoles now offering Netflix it was time for them to bring a bit more to the game. So check out the above video if you've got a Roku box to see what you can look forward to in the coming months. As an added bonus, they also got a sneak peak of their UFC channel.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Roku Channels and Smartphone Remotes

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

"I wanted to give a heads up on a couple new Roku channels that were uploaded to the Roku Channel Store today: MHz Networks on Demand, which is a popular international channel available on select cable and satellite packages today, and the Highway Girl, a collection of interviews and live performances w/ various indie musicians. Below is a press release MHz Networks distributed earlier today and a link to their site. These two channels join DreamTV and SmugMug, which were launched a couple weeks ago. There are many, many others (some very well-known names) in the pipeline so stay tuned. In addition to the new content, there are a couple new smartphone remotes now available that let you control your Roku player: i.TV for iPhone and iPod Touch and Roku Remote for Android. These two apps. join DVPRemote for iPhone/iPod Touch, which has been available since last summer and features a pretty cool automated search feature that makes use of the keyboard on the iPhone/iPod Touch."

Got the above in a PR email from Roku. I hadn't fired up my Roku box much since I got Netflix on my PS3, but I might need to go check it out. The fact that they developed remote software for the iPhone platform is nice but not overly surprising, but the fact that they've also come out with software for Android is just outstanding!

Tags: hardware, roku

Monday, April 27, 2009

Amazon HD On Demand Now Available via Roku

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 AM

"Rent or buy and instantly watch Hollywood hits, classic movies, and your favorite TV shows using the Roku player and Amazon Video On Demand. Access more than 40,000 titles, including new release movies and the latest episodes of popular TV shows in HD. No subscription fee required. It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3!"

I have not tried out any of Amazon's services via my Roku box, but the addition of HD certainly seems like a compelling reason to give it a shot. If you've already given it a shot, please share your impressions.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Amazon and YouTube Coming Soon to Roku?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

"We knew Amazon Video on Demand was headed to Roku’s media streamer ($99) early this year. And now, via their forums, we have word that the service has entered private beta. I had hoped Amazon VOD functionality was hidden within the recent 1.5 software update, however it’s rolled into a more significant 2.0 upgrade."

Roku is going to need to change the name of The Netflix Box to better reflect this added functionality. They are basically taking what was an outstanding one-trick pony (watch for my review to be posted shortly) and giving it an entire repertoire of content. I have not had reason to try Amazon's video service yet, but this might be just the reason.

Tags: amazon, netflix, roku

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