dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2017
share rss forum feed


DownTheShore
Honoring The Captain
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:14
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Roku Streaming Player - Comments on a New Install

Due to the need for financial retrenchment, I dropped my cable TV and broadband services. I went instead with an over-the-air antenna and picked up a dry-line DSL service.

I lasted with OTA TV for about 10 months before I got tired with the very limited choice in channels and the crapshoot of whether or not a channel would be available any particular night or would be pixellated out of existence. My DSL speed averaged 900/200kbps, which meant that while it was good for the proverbial "email and internet surfing" in reality it means that you can forget about any kind of streaming video, playing online games, and have to expect any large download to take hours instead of minutes. Just uploading images to the Artify & CE threads here on DSLReports would drag, as would trying to view those image-intensive threads.

I finally broke down and got basic cable service, just to be able to get ALL of my local channels on a consistent basis. But I was really jonesing for all of those cable channels that I knew were out there. There truly is a dearth of national and world news reporting on local broadcast TV, and forget about watching movies there - everything is sitcoms, reality TV and crime dramas. I toyed with the idea of upping my cable service tier, but I really didn't want to pay roughly $80/mo just to get the channels (mainly BBC World Service and Eurovision) that I wanted. I know that I could watch some of the things I wanted to see on my laptop or my desktop monitor, but frankly the laptop screen is too small, and I don't want to sit at my desk and watch TV on the monitor. I prefer watching TV on my actual TV screen.

I saw mention of the Roku Streaming Player. What caught my eye about it was that you could watch Amazon Instant Videos on your TV with it (without having to turn your computer on), which as an Amazon Prime member I could watch for free. It also allowed for composite video output in addition to HDMI, which meant that I could hook it up to my non-HD TV.

I was able to get a broadband deal from CV for $29.95/mo for a year (my VZ DSL is $24.95/mo) so instead of upping my cable TV tier service, I ordered a Roku player from Amazon for $50 (Prime free shipping) and got it the next day. It was very easy to hook up, both to the TV and to my wireless router and, hey presto, I once again had the world at my fingertips. I'm in news-junkie heaven what with (in English) streaming BBC World Service, Sky News, RT, RTE, Al-Jazeera, CNN International, DW Asia, France24, and NHK World. There are other cable news channels in the language of their country, too.

There are more movies available to me through this than I could possibly watch in a lifetime, not to mention the ability to stream a NetFlix subscription through it, if wanted. As far as I can tell, almost everything that is podcast is accessible. If you are a fan of really old TV shows, then the Roku channels will be a gold mine for you. In addition to the channels available through the Roku Channel Store, do a Google search for Roku private channels and you'll find even more channels.

I haven't yet fully explored everything thing available through the Roku device, but right now I am a very happy camper and I am still ahead of the game, financially.
--
Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is living the ideals

I want to retire to the Isle of Sodor and ride the trains.



darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
I love my Roku -- I went with the Roku 2 XS and have used it with Hulu+, VUDU, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and Plex. My mom (70 years old) has one just for Netflix and loves hers too
--
♬ Music is life ♬


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1
reply to DownTheShore
I have two of the top of the line Roku 2 XS and they work pretty good as long as you have plenty of bandwidth but too much usage could cause you to bump into your cable company's monthly cap. There are a ton of channels (some free and some pay and most are niche channels) including few free movie channels but you really need Netflix or Amazon Prime or both to get to a decent level of content. Of course those two are still limited to older movies and TV shows but not as oldie-moldy as the free channels. I kept my premium cable channels because all but HBO are part of a package but I'll be dropping HBO once the promotion price expires. I'm retired and for me where the Roku shines is late at night when there is nothing on cable but infomercials and for niche programming you can't get on cable. My recommendation is to ask around locally and try some local shops and try to look at one in action and then wait for a sale.

If you get the XS model plan on dropping in a 2-4GB microSD card ($5-6) to give it a bit more room to store lots of favorite channels. It's not a must but I think it helps if you have a ton of channels but there is no need for anymore than that.
--
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--FREDERIC BASTIAT--

BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
reply to DownTheShore
I also love my ROKU.

I have 6meg DSL from ATT ad it works great for NETFLIX.

For me it is only ROKU and OTA.

In my area there are over 50 OTA channels to choose from.

On the ROKU we do netflix, TV.com, Crackle, and I still have youtube on mine.

My daughter watches the crap out of netlfix TV series shows. One show after another then season after season.

This has been going on for better than two years and I have never gotten any overage notice or hit a cap.


mbi777

join:2002-05-24
Orlando, FL
reply to DownTheShore
How do you guys deal with the commercials using Roku on Crackle. Is there a way around it other than just putting up with it?


DownTheShore
Honoring The Captain
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:14
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to sholling
I got the LT version, so there's not slot for an SD card in that one, but I don't mind if I hit a favorites limit. It's still all new, so I've got a lot to search through.

It's definitely the way to go if you have Amazon Prime - so much better watching shows on the TV without the sound of a computer fan going.

I wanted to set up Plex, but every time I try to download the Windows server software from their website, I get a "can't find the server at cdn.plexapp.com" alert. Checking the download URL on the "Is It Down Right Now" site and says that the URL has been down for more than a week.

I was also looking into PlayOn, but I can't seem to get that working no matter what.
--
Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is living the ideals

I want to retire to the Isle of Sodor and ride the trains.


BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
reply to mbi777
I kind of don't think there is a way around the commercials with Crackle.

They are the reason that the programming is free to you.


Juke Box
His Word Never Fails
Premium
join:2001-01-29
Proverbs 3
reply to DownTheShore
I have a Roku LT on my kitchen TV. It's primary purpose is for streaming recipe channels such as Allrecipes.com.

IanR

join:2001-03-22
Fort Mill, SC
reply to DownTheShore
What do you want to use Playon for?
Whatever extra they offer is now covered elsewhere. It does also ESPN3 streaming though.
Plex also gives an additional range of channels.


DownTheShore
Honoring The Captain
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:14
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
There seems to be more episodes of shows available on the PlayOn network channels than on the free Hulu versions of them. For example, the free Hulu channel has two episodes of House Hunters International (HGTV) while PlayOn has nine episodes. It also carries what looks like the full line-up of the HGTV shows while Hulu carries less. It carries the full CBS daytime, prime time and late night shows. For example, it has 27 shows listed in just its prime time folder; my cable company only has 14 shows in total for CBS and all of them only prime-time ones.

The reason why I was having problems with PlayOn was because I had connected the Roku to my wireless router using a guest SSID because I knew the password for that off the top of my head, while my laptop with the server software on it was connected wirelessly via my main SSID with the obscenely long password that I always have to look up. Once I used the same SSID for both, it worked.
--
Patriotism is not waving a flag, it is living the ideals

I want to retire to the Isle of Sodor and ride the trains.