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My Roku came yesterday
Skeeve
I'm loving it.

http://roku.com/

If you use Netflix Streaming, this is an awesome addition to your experience. I was using my laptop connected to the flatscreen, which was decent, but with Roku I can use the hdmi cable and get a much higher quality picture.

I found all the free channel right away and spent hours surfing through stuff before watching a couple movies on Netflix.

And the box itself is tiny! Look at the attachment below.
Skeeve attached the following file:
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Doubting Thomas
How does it work on buffering? Seems like every time we watch a movie on Netflix, it pops up with the screen saying that the connection speed has changed and it sits there for about 5 minutes reconfiguring and buffering. If this works better, it might be worth using it instead of my laptop.

Of course, I heard a rumor that the guy who owns the local ISP likes to slow down people's connections if he sees they're using a lot of bandwidth like when watching a movie. Which if that's the case I don't know that this device would help.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Skeeve
Like my laptop, the Roku will buffer up and run for about 20sec, then rebuffer and adjust and then play out the entire movie without a problem.

What I like is I connect it to my tv with HDMI and get full screen 1080p quality. Much better than the laptop combo.

I do notice there are some channels are basically lagfree and only buffer once and play perfectly, so I guess it all depends on demand.
 
seeker
I almost bought a roku but then they updated the PS3 to work with Netflix. What else can you stream besides Netflix?
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Bob of QF
I see there are 3 versions.

Which one did you opt for, and what made you choose that one over the other choices?

Thanks!
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Skeeve
seeker: check out http://www.roku.c...nnel-store , there is a ton of free stuff and some pay-per-view, monthly fees or one-time fee content.

Bob: I chose the XD for it's 1080p definition and not the XD|S because I couldn't justify the extra $20.00 for features I'd probably not use. See here for comparison http://www.roku.c...products#2

From what I've researched before buying it, Roku is the best thing available at this time. If you don't have HDMI, it comes with regular audio/video cables like standard vcr/dvd players use as well.
 
Bob of QF
So, as I understand this thing, it's basically a little computer optimized for downloading internet video content?

Probably a single board computer running a custom Linnux distro, I'd guess (most stand-alone DVR's are, and not a few flatscreen TV's).

How would this box compare to a regular PC, with a high-end video card that had a HDMI output? With some buffering software, obviously...

Curious, is all-- I have such a PC, but no software as yet.

And I'm seriously thinking about dropping my cable TV... I'd need to up my speed on my internet, though but I could afford that, if I dropped the TV part.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Skeeve
Yes, a streaming content computer. Has direct connect for modem/router or wireless. Depending on how much cable you watch, this might be a supplement...if you're looking at more internet content than cable, this and your computer might be just the ticket.

Hulu Plus is available, but it's a subscribed channel.

I am able to watch Al Jazeera English live now, so I'm really happy with it.

I watched some Ozzie and Harriet earlier just for kicks. You just have to dig though all the channels to find the free ones versus the paid.

I will probably subscribe to one or two movie channels, after I look at them all and figure out which gives the best content for the $$$.
 
seeker
That rocks Skeeve. I didn't know that Roku had so much exclusive content and much of it with no monthly fees.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Bob of QF
seeker wrote:
That rocks Skeeve. I didn't know that Roku had so much exclusive content and much of it with no monthly fees.


I didn't realize that, either....

... this thing looks better and better.

------------

Skeeve wrote:
Yes, a streaming content computer. Has direct connect for modem/router or wireless. Depending on how much cable you watch, this might be a supplement...if you're looking at more internet content than cable, this and your computer might be just the ticket.

Hulu Plus is available, but it's a subscribed channel.

I am able to watch Al Jazeera English live now, so I'm really happy with it....


Does it have a separate analog audio out, or TOSlink or other separate digital audio out?

My TV's audio amp is blown, and I've been feeding the audio directly to my stereo from my cable box (digital optical link). My audio amp has a coax wired digital audio input, as well as the usual RCA jacks for plain stereo.

Does the Roku have separate audio outs, apart from the HDMI?
Edited by Bob of QF on 02/06/2011 00:03
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Skeeve
It has the standard Red/White/Yellow RCA jacks in addition to the HDMI.
 
Bob of QF
Thank you.

I'm seriously considering shifting everything from regular digital cable to one of these and a cheap netflix account.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Cynic
We have a Roku, primarily to go with my weak-ass standard definition TV and to supplement the programming I get from our weak-ass antenna with Netflix Instant Watch content over our weak-ass broadband connection. So far, it is by far my most favorite TV-related gadget to date, and I'm including my TiVo in that.

Your mileage may a vary. My internet gets ~700 mbps on a good day. What that means for me is that standard definition DVD content rarely exceeds "two dots" on a four-dot scale (which is OK, IMO), has a tolerable but oh-so-noticeable initial buffer time, and re-buffer breaks occur and become especially frequent and even unavoidable if taxing my downstream with additional load (e.g. downloading files, surfing, etc). That last problem can often be prevented by exceeding the minimum buffer lead in by allowing the movie to load and then pausing for a bit so that it can get sufficiently ahead of itself that minor interruptions do not interfere.

While the box is optimized for Netflix (it was designed by former employees), my connection is too often too weak for other channels and I therefore rarely enjoy anything more intensive than Pandora (and Netflix) with it. My mother, who has sadly been kicking our asses on nearly every technology front, has a much better connection and an HD model and its seems flawless with none of my issues so I'm confident that the issue is that and not the Roku itself.

It can be a great way to watch TV (why wait for next week?), but occasionally annoying because you have to watch shows up to a year out of date and occasionally are forced to get the actual, physical DVD for select episodes. One series was particularly obnoxious in this regard. Rather than just dumping the entire season in one bin and letting you watch them all, about 25% of them were DVD-only, but selected such that those episodes were distributed between each and every season disc making the entire instant watch aspect nearly pointless. But that was by far not representative. I'm continually impressed with what I get for my money between it and Netflix.
 
Skeeve
I think Netflix is only half of my Roku experience. There are so many free and private channels that have so much to offer.

I found almost every TED Talk, and they are much better to watch on a TV than a computer, heh.

I'll go through my channels tonight and list them here with the content I enjoy, maybe I've got some you haven't found.

Also, I've found the other channels to be easier to watch and Netflix the one with any buffering issues. Though, most of mine are "4 dots" and HD when it's available, it will still occasionally buffer twice at the beginning.

I can't say enough about Roku and the direction it is taking online streaming. All the other boxes have come and gone (basically) and Roku is still standing.
 
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