NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

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NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby whereisnetflix » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:45 am

So, now that we're a way into the season - what do folks who have it think of the NHL Gamecenter stuff on Roku? Is it stable? buggy? sluggish? reliable? good value/rip-off?

We 'cut the cable" with our cable company within days of getting our first roku. We haven't looked back except for hockey. If not for the blackouts we'd probably have signed up already, but I'm wondering what others think of the service. For those who have it and don't have cable, how are you dealing with the blackouts?

Looks like their half-year price is out but it's almost as much as the whole season price for last year. Not sure how they think that will fly...most folks I know have less to spend this year than they did last year.

Thanks!
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby DaBronx » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:21 am

whereisnetflix wrote:So, now that we're a way into the season - what do folks who have it think of the NHL Gamecenter stuff on Roku? Is it stable? buggy? sluggish? reliable? good value/rip-off?

We 'cut the cable" with our cable company within days of getting our first roku. We haven't looked back except for hockey. If not for the blackouts we'd probably have signed up already, but I'm wondering what others think of the service. For those who have it and don't have cable, how are you dealing with the blackouts?

Looks like their half-year price is out but it's almost as much as the whole season price for last year. Not sure how they think that will fly...most folks I know have less to spend this year than they did last year.

Thanks!


I am very happy withe the NHL GameCenter performance on the Roku so far this season. It is not perfect (but what is?) and works with no issues for me 99% of the time. One way to judge how well it is working is the lack of threads in this forum of people complaining as was the case with MLB.tv this past season.

I watch the vast majority of the NHL games on the Roku, I find the picture quality better and more stable then the PS3 although an occasional archived game will show up on the PS3 a few hours before the Roku. Head to head I would take the Roku for the NHL GameCenter games.

Can't tell you how to get around the blackouts with the Roku but on the computer you can if you are a little tech savvy and can set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or do a google search for "Open VPN". Another alternative would be devices like the "Iron Key" which comes with a built in firefox browser over a VPN that can place your IP out of the blackout area.

Good luck!

Peace

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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby cwniles » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:00 am

I would hesitate to attempt to bypass blackouts as it states very clearly in the Terms of Service for NHL Center Ice....

IF YOU CIRCUMVENT OR ATTEMPT TO CIRCUMVENT ANY BLACKOUT RESTRICTION OR OTHER USE RESTRICTION: YOUR SUBSCRIPTION WILL BE SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE TERMINATION AND A CHARGE OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100.00) FOR EARLY TERMINATION WILL BE APPLIED TO YOUR CREDIT CARD; YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO LEGAL ACTION; AND NHL ICE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REPORT SUCH MISCONDUCT TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES.

Note: The use of all caps is not me, it is typed that way in the Terms of Service which is a good indication they are attempting to emphasize that point....if you do try to bypass the restrictions, I would at least refrain from discussing it publicly.


With that being said, the performance of the Roku/NHL channel has been pretty solid but if you plan on following your local team, blackouts make that difficult. If you like hockey in general, you will probably love the channel, if you really just want to follow your local team, you might not be as satisfied.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby Rangersrule » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:24 pm

First of all people's complaints have been about paying for the service. Since Roku is not charging people, they have to buy this from the NHL because it costs them money to broadcast the games and stream them. People need to pay attention and read the guidelines carefully and make sure if they are in the blackout are to arrange a different way to watch their team. Secondly, I have been a subscriber of this service online for about 5 years. It costs a lot, but to me it's worth the money. I want to make an effort to watch as many of the 82 games of my favorite team as possible. I am in another teams area, so when my team plays them, I make other necessary arrangements to watch that game. I think the whole package the NHL gives it's fans has come a long way. This is the first year, in which a fan can watch their teams broadcast for every game, assuming the team broadcasts every game on their station. The DVR feature has been great too, but I noticed it did not work all that well with the Roku, so the condensed game is what I will watch on the rare occasion I miss a game. The Roku live streaming was a disaster in December when I first got my Roku. I think like the first time I bought the NHL package, a few kinks needed to be worked out. The games now, are barely interrupted, and don't loop all the time, plus the picture is great. Watching on the Roku beats watching a game on a computer, which is filled with personal files and programs that run to secure networks and so on. The Roku NHL game center has been great for me. I highly suggest it for a hardcore hockey fan. If you have doubts, go and buy a month and see what you think. There also should be cuts on the price soon because it's mid-season right now. The NHL will also notify you on early bird specials which can save about 20-30 bucks every year if you want to buy this for the 2011-2012 season. One last thing, since this is a live application, make sure your internet connection can handle the service. All that information should be in the FAQ for NHL's gamecenter.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby eastside735 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:11 pm

A bit off-topic but I am considering buying a Roku to go with my NHL GameCenter subscription.

I tend to watch games after they have started or may have even concluded. Is there a way on the Roku NHL channel to play a game from a menu without seeing the final or current score?

Thanks!
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby Mills » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:09 pm

eastside735 wrote:A bit off-topic but I am considering buying a Roku to go with my NHL GameCenter subscription.

I tend to watch games after they have started or may have even concluded. Is there a way on the Roku NHL channel to play a game from a menu without seeing the final or current score?

Thanks!


Yes the score is hidden by default, unless you select the "view the score" menu option within each game. For games in progress, you'll see what period & how much time is left in the period, but no score... for games that are over, it will only display "Final".
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby eastside735 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:42 pm

Thanks. So based on your use... if I turn on the NHL channel halfway through a game... could I start the game from the beginning or do I have to join live action before rewinding back?
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby JRob » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:14 pm

Question: Why pay $80 for the rest of the season when paying two separate monthly prices would total $40 for the rest of the season? Or are they going to have the playoffs on there this year?
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby JRob » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:20 pm

Never mind. The FAQ makes it sound like no matter what you'll get charged the $80; so basically, if you choose the monthly payment, you have to pay for two more months after the season ends.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby Mills » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:13 pm

eastside735 wrote:Thanks. So based on your use... if I turn on the NHL channel halfway through a game... could I start the game from the beginning or do I have to join live action before rewinding back?


Yes, you can select a game in progress and start watching it from the beginning... however, once the game is over in real-time, it will just freeze and become unwatchable from between a few hours to a full day while it is being archived (the time it takes the NHL to archive a game varies a lot, and with no rhyme or reason why). In other words, if you begin watching a game in progress from the beginning, you had better catch up to the point that it is really live (fast-forwarding through commercials & intermissions) before it's over, or you'll get left hanging before you hear the final horn.

One nice feature about the archived games is that the commercials & intermissions are already edited out.. so you can just start a game, let it play & in about 90 minutes you've watched an entire game... it would be nice if MLB could figure this out with their archived games.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby HockeyMan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:18 pm

Having puchased a Roku XD/S two weeks ago (2/6/2011) from Amazon, I was looking forward to watching the Red Wings "anywhere" with better quality than Comcast Center Ice in Standard Def. So I connected into the Roku using an ethernet cable, then an HDMI cable into my HD Plasma. After an easy setup I thought I was ready to go... REALLY good picture quality on all of the menu options and color apps. Then to NHL Gamecenter Live, pay-up again of course, and then it all went to <The entropy of a perfect crystal, at absolute zero kelvin, is exactly equal to zero. - Third Law of Thermodynamics> in a hand basket. The streaming continually cuts out, I tried re-booting a few times, the same conclusion, cutout, re-set, re-loading, flickering, etc. So then I called tech service at NHL Gamecenter Live and was shocked to hear that the NHL is having alot of problems streaming through Roku!?!?!? Not any of the other hardware options, just Roku. So this Roku unit will go back and I'll probably go with the Sony PS3, which apparently IS NOT (so I'm told) having ANY streaming problems. Of course it will cost another $200, but it is the NHL, eh... Mind you ALL of the other apps seem to work really well and look good too, but I did make the initial purchase for streaming NHL games.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby godsmack931 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:30 pm

Pretty much agree with everything hockeyman said. The fact NHL Game Center was an option greatly influenced my purchase of the Roku and, despite some bugs here and there, it's been going fine. But recently (say since January) the feeds have degraded from OK to essentially pathetic. I'm halfway through a single game right now and I've missed the majority of it, having restarted Roku three times and reloaded the feed several times. No other app drops out and I've had zero problems with my home network. It's just the NHL Game Center service.

If you're looking at Roku as good source for hockey streaming, not sure what to tell you. It's been an extremely disappointing service.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby HockeyMan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:20 am

UPDATE - UPDATE

After completing the return of the Roku (see previous post); many more conversations with 'tech support' at NHL Gamecenter Live; the purchase of a new Sony Playstation 3, I was once again all energized for the NHL Game center Live. And once again it all went to <The entropy of a perfect crystal, at absolute zero kelvin, is exactly equal to zero. - Third Law of Thermodynamics> in a hand basket. The "streaming" of late is just a bunch of digital crap. So the Sony PS3 also went back. I'm out close to $100, all told, and a very unhappy NHL Hockeyman.

So other buyers please beware, as the tech says, we are concentrating on streaming to PC's, Mac's, et-al. And the quality will NOT be of the "SD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p" level needed for any sized HDTV! That being said, and now many times, one must certainly question the advertising, but maybe even more, the pricing of NHL Gamecenter Live.

The Roku is a good unit! The Sony Playstation 3 is also a good unit! But neither are good for streaming NHL Gamecenter Live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I really don't think it is the "hardware's" fault any more.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby Chuck_IV » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:37 am

That's what I don't get with the NHL. Why is their Gamecenter package so expensive? I guess they are trying not to b*stardize their Center Ice package. It's about the same price as Center Ice on Directv/cable. Compare that to the MLB.TV package, which is half the price of the EI package. That's why I got MLB.TV. $200+ for EI is way too expensive for me, but $99 is more reasonable.

The NHL should take this approach too.
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Re: NHL Gamecenter / Roku: Current reviews?

Postby JRob » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:19 pm

I'd gladly play twice as much for MLB.tv if they'd drop the blackout restrictions, but that's a lost cause.
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