New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

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New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby jackbpace » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:43 pm

I just purchased a Roku and will report what I have enjoyed so far, and what I have been disappointed in so far.

The bad-
When I first hooked up the machine, I was very disappointed that I was unable to access free Hulu content. I expected to have access to the free content with an option to subscribe, but such is not the case. I am also disappointed that there is no app to access YouTube yet since several competitor units can do so.
I accessed my Flickr account, and it was incredibly slow - So much so that I doubt I will ever use it to show my photos to family. Its a shame that feature is so slow its useless.
I have found the USB port to be VERY choosy. I had some movies already labeled as MP4, but when they loaded, all I got was audio and a black screen. I found a free converter called Miro which allowed me to see them, but it has zero user configurable parameters, and will stretch a video that is not originally set for wide screen when it converts to MP4. So I tried the Freemake converter. Those converted with Freemake to MP4 will not work at all. They load to about 80% then stop. I tried to find some others but got tired of cleaning off the spyware, toolbars and spam programs most of the others stick on my machine. I actually thought of sending my Roku back and getting the one without the USB port since it was so much trouble.
I was also disappointed that the system is unable to access a shared network drive. It logs into the local network and can bee seen as part of the network. Would it be that hard to add the ability to sniff out shared network drives?

The good -
It does what I primarily purchased it to do and that is stream NetFlix to my TV. As I mentioned, i thought I would get Hulu and some other channels that allowed you to watch old series and older movies, but few of them that I have found so far have much worth watching. But I have had very few problems with the streaming unlike some others I seen post here. I have Roadrunner cablemodem with the supposedly upgraded bandwidth to 15M (though testing a rarely get over 7) and use a Netgear 54M router. The Roku wireless connected without a hitch and the occurrences of NetFlix having to stop and reload are rare.

All in all -
I am happy with the device so far, though I am disappointed I have had so much trouble getting the USB port to recognize movies. I considered sending it back and getting the cheaper model without the USB port, or exchanging for a media extender for my computer so I can watch everything I have on my network on my TV, but I will probably hang on to this one rather than send it back in hopes that Roku will continue to improve on their interface and features in an effort to stay up with some of the competitors products who offer more flexibility.

P.S. if anyone knows a good free converter that better than the two mentioned above, and that won't load a ton of spyware on my computer, please post a link.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby TexGuy » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:56 pm

Roku3 Roku XS Roku HD and Roku XD
Comcast Cable
Panasonic TC-L32C3
Sharp E32D41NKEGBSNNX
HDMI Cable ($6.99 cables unlimited)
CNet CBR-970 (router)
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby bullardc » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:04 pm

jackbpace wrote:I just purchased a Roku and will report what I have enjoyed so far, and what I have been disappointed in so far.

The bad-
When I first hooked up the machine, I was very disappointed that I was unable to access free Hulu content. I expected to have access to the free content with an option to subscribe, but such is not the case. I am also disappointed that there is no app to access YouTube yet since several competitor units can do so.
I accessed my Flickr account, and it was incredibly slow - So much so that I doubt I will ever use it to show my photos to family. Its a shame that feature is so slow its useless.
I have found the USB port to be VERY choosy. I had some movies already labeled as MP4, but when they loaded, all I got was audio and a black screen. I found a free converter called Miro which allowed me to see them, but it has zero user configurable parameters, and will stretch a video that is not originally set for wide screen when it converts to MP4. So I tried the Freemake converter. Those converted with Freemake to MP4 will not work at all. They load to about 80% then stop. I tried to find some others but got tired of cleaning off the spyware, toolbars and spam programs most of the others stick on my machine. I actually thought of sending my Roku back and getting the one without the USB port since it was so much trouble.
I was also disappointed that the system is unable to access a shared network drive. It logs into the local network and can bee seen as part of the network. Would it be that hard to add the ability to sniff out shared network drives?
The good -
It does what I primarily purchased it to do and that is stream NetFlix to my TV. As I mentioned, i thought I would get Hulu and some other channels that allowed you to watch old series and older movies, but few of them that I have found so far have much worth watching. But I have had very few problems with the streaming unlike some others I seen post here. I have Roadrunner cablemodem with the supposedly upgraded bandwidth to 15M (though testing a rarely get over 7) and use a Netgear 54M router. The Roku wireless connected without a hitch and the occurrences of NetFlix having to stop and reload are rare.

All in all -
I am happy with the device so far, though I am disappointed I have had so much trouble getting the USB port to recognize movies. I considered sending it back and getting the cheaper model without the USB port, or exchanging for a media extender for my computer so I can watch everything I have on my network on my TV, but I will probably hang on to this one rather than send it back in hopes that Roku will continue to improve on their interface and features in an effort to stay up with some of the competitors products who offer more flexibility.

P.S. if anyone knows a good free converter that better than the two mentioned above, and that won't load a ton of spyware on my computer, please post a link.


Youtube is available. It's just a private channel. There are lots of other private channels that are great as well. Just go to that link above, or search the forums for the yahoo group link, which I think is better, to find the codes and add the channels to your Roku.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby neftv » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:16 pm

For conversions you might try VLC player that might be able to do the format Roku needs to see. My understanding is that Roku understands H.264 with ACC audio and Windows Media. I too have had my Roku XD since Thanksgiving and did get the free trial of Hulu+. Yea Hulu+ only has content that Hulu+ has rights to stream to a "set-top box" god for bid if all content was allow the end of the world would happen (give me a break, Indeed!). I been trying out PlayOn channel which allows some content that some channels alone can't give you and its been interesting because it requires a strong PC on your network but it does work and makes your Roku box more powerful to my mind its almost like access to your PC. If content is available to PC it should be able to be the same to TV.
Anyway in the past few days I discovered the performance of the box improves if you wire it to your network instead of wireless. Over wireless I get last frame of video freezes before it goes back to the program, sometimes I get lip sync issues too. I sent a tech support inquiry on this days later I get a response on how to uninstall and reinstall a channel and I have no idea why, must of had the ticket numbers crossed. But I give the company an A for effort though for such implementation of a product which is priced right.
I got a marketing email if I want I can extend my warranty for a year for $15 I don't know if I will do that I not seem much chat about it here.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby Ing5 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:33 pm

jackbpace wrote:P.S. if anyone knows a good free converter that better than the two mentioned above, and that won't load a ton of spyware on my computer, please post a link.


I've been using 'Handbrake' to do all my video conversions. It's free and works well.
http://download.cnet.com/HandBrake/3000 ... ?tag=mncol
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby jackbpace » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:50 pm

Thanks for the replies, Ill try some of those other channels.

I figured free free Hulu could still sick in advertising to fund it, but I guess not.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby bullardc » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:10 pm

jackbpace wrote:Thanks for the replies, Ill try some of those other channels.

I figured free free Hulu could still sick in advertising to fund it, but I guess not.

It's not about the funding. It's actually about what the networks give Hulu permission to allow them to let you watch on your television. That's why Hulu Plus only has SOME of the content available on the free pc hulu.com. When the networks give them the go ahead, they'll add more content to Plus, as they're doing all of the time.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby mflores57 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:19 pm

Yeah bud, best way to overcome any issues of 'slowness" is just connect directly into your network if possible. Or you may have to upgrade your wireless router for better streaming capabilities etc.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby ddevonb » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:55 am

bullardc wrote:
jackbpace wrote:I figured free free Hulu could still sick in advertising to fund it, but I guess not.

It's not about the funding. It's actually about what the networks give Hulu permission to allow them to let you watch on your television. That's why Hulu Plus only has SOME of the content available on the free pc hulu.com. When the networks give them the go ahead, they'll add more content to Plus, as they're doing all of the time.



That's not quite true. It is not totally up to Fox, ABC or NBC to decide which content is available because many of the shows are not owned by the networks. It actually the owners of the shows that are not allowing certain Fox, ABC and NBC shows to be available.
The networks would like to have every show on Hulu Plus because it would be more attractive to subscribers, but they don't control all of the shows.

To say it's not about funding is not true either. Only when these program owners are convinced that this model brings in more net profits will they allow their programming on Hulu Plus. I think they would be wise to work out a deal with Hulu Plus, but until they also think it's wise we won't see their shows.

Just like Netflix, the more subscribers Hulu Plus gets, the more programming they will get, which brings even more subscribers, which brings even more shows. Success make the product better.
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Re: New Roku Owner, Good and Bad

Postby Viejoken » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:54 pm

ROKU is great. My only complaint is too few closed caption options. I'm looking forward to what I can
do with my own private history channel.
Ken
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