Contemplating a purchase have Questions

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Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby edlentz » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:53 pm

I an trying to decide if I want to buy a Roku or not. I am a little confused at the moment. The issue is the channel selections. If I want to subscribe to HuluPlus, I pay them the monthly subscription fee and that is all? There isn't any "gotcha" fees for using the Roku? What if I want to stream from TV.com? Is that possible without a fee? If Playon available? I have seen many different answers to this. I am so new to this it isn't funny. any guidance is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby kumasuki » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:04 pm

edlentz wrote: If I want to subscribe to HuluPlus, I pay them the monthly subscription fee and that is all?

You pay a monthly fee to Hulu directly (that's all).
edlentz wrote: There isn't any "gotcha" fees for using the Roku?

There are NO further Roku fees beyond the initial purchase of the hardware.
edlentz wrote: What if I want to stream from TV.com? Is that possible without a fee?

TV.com is a free channel.
edlentz wrote: Is Playon available?

The "P" word is not used on these forums - but you can get more info on the "P" website.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby RWatson » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:54 pm

There are many channels now available on ROKU that are free, however, the one most use is Netflix streaming which is a subscription service. It is included with all the Netflix subscription levels that are "unlimited" and there is a streaming only subscription now which you might want to consider if you don't already have Netflix. With a normal Netflix you get both the expected DVDs plus basically unlimited streaming.

The other early and major service is Amazon video. It is a rental service and charges for each "rental". Check out Amazon for more information. You can consider the Amazon service as about the same as what is available at a normal DVD rental shop.

There are also interesting free music channels. Pandora and Radiotime are two. Pandora plays continuously with music by genre (that you choose). Radiotime allows you to tune in to thousands of radio stations around the world and the sound quality is excellent. (The services are also available on your computer).

It's hard to loose with the ROKU device. We use it constantly. You do need a reliable internet connection with adequate speed. for HD movies from either Amazon or Netflix you need about 4 meg download speed, less for SD.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby Frazier » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:48 pm

From experience to not get the P a on Channel it does not work very good no matter what type of internet you have, it sits and buffers and starts over. I have yet to get through an episode of anything through the 14 day trial. That is why they are pretty much giving it away!

Thank You,

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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby edlentz » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:27 pm

Thanks for the replies. I think I will be placing an order soon. Sorry for the P reference. Didn't know.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby RocknRoll » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:39 am

TV.COM is considered a private channel in ROKU terminology. Once you get your box..go to account settings where it says add private channel and enter the code tvcom. It will be added.

Wiki says you need 2.5mps to stream video and 10mps to stream HD. If you have those speeds you should be good to go.
You may get a month free from HULU as a promotion ( use it quickly because it expires if you dont). You can get a month free from NETFLIX and a month free from BIGSTAR TV. With Amazon Video-on-Demand you have the purchase/rental option.

PUB-A-DUB will get you free movies, MEDIAFLY will get you free TV clips and NEWSCASTER will get you free cable news clips.
If you like hardcore rock videos, you are in heaven with NUCLEAR BLAST,ROXWELL and UVTV in Mediafly.

Rumors abound about whether Amazon launches a competitor to Netflix, is espn coming?, and who knows what else? Roku sure isnt sitting on its hands.

Its a very good start (on a new purchase) and they have been adding new content about every 10 days it seems.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby edlentz » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:58 am

Thanks for the info, I just placed an order for the basic model. We will have 6meg when we get the Roku. We only have a 720P TV now so I think we will be OK. Most of what we want it for is getting some of the DIY programs we got hooked on with the Uverse we are turning off. By this time next week we should be all hooked up!
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby kc8pql » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:22 am

edlentz wrote: We will have 6meg when we get the Roku. We only have a 720P TV now so I think we will be OK.

You should have no problem getting the best quality SD streams and the HD streams when available. The highest bitrate streams
are only about 4Mbps average (Amazon HD/5.1 audio) so your 6Mbps service will be quite adequate.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby edlentz » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:33 am

Our needs are very minimal compared to most people. So that sounds like I made the right choice. Thanks
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby kc8pql » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:49 am

XxHaimBondxX wrote:Noob question: Public and Private channels are both FREE? The only paid is the Premium- Netflix and Hulu Plus? Thanks.

No, there are other premium channels, some subscription, some one time fee and some PPV. Like Netfilx and Hulu+, the fees go to the channel owner. There are no charges from Roku other than the purchase price of the box.The free ones out number the paid.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby kc8pql » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:35 am

XxHaimBondxX wrote:right, I just wanted to know the difference between free, private and premium. I noticed there are a lot private channels out there and was wondering if those have any subscription cost, since I want to eliminate cable and save some dough.

There are some private channels that charge a fee. Most don't.

I subscribe to Netflix and occasionally rent a movie from Amazon. Those, combined with the tons of free channels and an OTA antenna give me more than I'd ever have time to watch.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby texashildy » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:53 pm

I'm fairly new, too, so take my word as such...

But I think private channels are "unofficial" according to Roku - they are developed by private programmers/developers that have taken it upon themselves to make the channel available to the Roku viewers. Don't worry - it is easy to figure out whether a channel will have fees associated with it once you get in and try using it.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby stratcat96 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:10 pm

texashildy wrote:I'm fairly new, too, so take my word as such...

But I think private channels are "unofficial" according to Roku - they are developed by private programmers/developers that have taken it upon themselves to make the channel available to the Roku viewers. Don't worry - it is easy to figure out whether a channel will have fees associated with it once you get in and try using it.



technically, a "private" channel is a means of publishing a channel for widespread use to Roku's servers enabling users to add it to their box. This is a way for developers to distribute and test their channel operation (and have other users test it as well) in a real-word situation, rather than it residing solely on a developer's own box. This process requires NO approval from Roku, so the content within said channel might not be from official sources (official meaning the owner of the content.) The private channel process is also used by private developer's to bring added value and content choices to the user community without it needing to conform to Roku's terms of service. That being said, if a complaint is issued to Roku over content violations in a private channel, or it blatantly comes into conflict with either their or an official partner's channel unlawfully, it is the discretion of Roku to remove it from their servers. That is what the situation is with the afore mentioned channel. Long story short, be cautious when adding a private channel that requires payment.. Many times it is a legitamate source where the publisher/creator is asking for a nominal contribution to aide them in their continued development, BUT if it is a "questionable" service and something goes wrong, there is no fault on the part of Roku or recourse with them because of.

The open development and the private channel process is one of, if not the greatest strength of Roku. Add lots of private channels, because that's where you'll really see added value of the Roku.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby edlentz » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:21 pm

I picked up a ChannelMaster OTA HD DVR. Installed it a couple of days ago and so far it is pretty good.
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Re: Contemplating a purchase have Questions

Postby nushmut » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:57 pm

XxHaimBondxX wrote:that's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for your help. Now if there was an easier way to record OTA channels. I am thinking a converter box hooked up to a TV/VCR combo. Any other options? I know there is Tivo DVR, but isn't there a monthly charge?


I've also heard good things about the ChannelMaster and may get one for next TV season. It gets guide data using whatever is sent in the actual OTA signal. Sometimes it's just an ID for the current program, but many areas provide data for up to a week away at any given time. No costs beyond the box itself, which is on Amazon for $334. With Tivo, service is $20/month plus the box for $99 or $299.
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