Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functionality?

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Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functionality?

Postby Fran_3 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:44 am

I'm just starting to research the present and near-term status of full internet access via a TV set...

As... access to the entire internet via your TV and a hand held clicker/keyboard seems to be where this is all heading.

(Of course you can do it now by simply hooking up your extra PC to your TV... but then you have a lap full of keyboard and a mouse :)

1 - Is there any talk of Roku (or other such devices) offering access to the entire net? And if so when?

2 - Aren't there some TV's that now offer access to the entire net? (As if they have a built in computer)

3 - and if not now will this functionality be built into next years models?

4 - If there are any TV's with this capability available now... or about to be available... would someone be kind enough to share the brands and model numbers.

Thanks for any help on this.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:49 am

It's definitely not going to happen with the Roku. The box is low in internal memory, has no storage, and is tricked out for streaming, nothing else. It won't even run a full web browser. That's why it's cheaper than most every other box out there - it's a niche product.

As for other TVs, I haven't seen it, and I don't expect to. Mostly because of the issues above, and frankly because TVs are meant to be viewed from 6 feet away, and computers are meant to be viewed from 1-2 feet away.

Your best bet really is to hook up a computer and use your television as its monitor.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mastermesh » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Nintendo's wii has this thing called Internet Channel. ;)

Other consoles can do similar, but not for the price.
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=46566&p=359897#p359897 -channel lists/tools
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=63553&p=409506#p409506 -fta
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=64096 -linear channels
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby -LD » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:22 pm

This has been tried and failed with WebTV and most recently with Google TV. No one wants to browse the web on their TV. It's a flawed concept.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby gonzotek » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:36 pm

-LD wrote:This has been tried and failed with WebTV and most recently with Google TV. No one wants to browse the web on their TV. It's a flawed concept.
I disagree that no one wants to do it..This thread and similar threads here and on other STB/CE device forums, and Web TV, and Google TV, and the browser on the Wii, and a multitude of various other attempts all demonstrate there are people out there who want it. I do however agree that all of the implementations I have seen so far have failed to live up to expectations.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby Mark12547 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:45 pm

I doubt that general web browsing TVs would become mainstream, though there may be a few niche products from time to time that attempt to do that.

For the web browsing side, the web standards seem to always be in a state of flux and software to render video, such as Adobe Flash, keep on going through periodic updates. And on occasion one comes across a video that requires even more programs to be installed and sometimes a codex update is needed. It seems that every few years one just about needs to update one's PC to keep up with the changes. (My PC, for example, was manufactured just after Windows XP came out and it is now under-powered to play Netflix streams smoothly.) Right now the technology for spinning magnetic discs is cheaper than solid-state discs, but with that comes a limited life expectancy because of the moving parts, and additional moving parts are common in the form of fans and CD or DVD drives. Computers seem to fit the bill pretty nicely, are easy to upgrade software, easy to get from the store to home, to the repair shop, to back home.

On the other hand, it seems that TV standards remain relatively constant once they are adopted, so I expect the current TV standards to remain unchanged for several years even a couple of decades (with 3D being an add-on, but I expect the current 2D HD TV standards and HDMI to be pretty standard for a long time). Also, TVs generally have very few moving parts and could potentially last a very long time. Big screen TVs are awkward to transport and, generally, once one has it where one wants it, one doesn't want to move it unless necessary. Big screen TVs are also a spendy item.

Typically, marrying a a device with moving parts (such as a computer or even a VCR) and thus a shorter life expectancy with a device with almost no moving parts and a much longer life expectancy (such as a TV) may appear convenient but in the long run prove awkward, and typically after a few years one sinks money into repairing the short-life device at prices typical of the long-life device, or one goes without the short-life device and that ends up money wasted. But by keeping the short-lived device decoupled from the long-lived device, one can pick the best fit device for each major function and can replace or upgrade each on its own schedule without being forced to pay for the combination to be replaced at the same time.

Remember when one could buy a TV/VCR combo? Or now one could get a TV/DVD combo? Your options are far more limited than getting the TV separate from the VCR or DVD player--one just has to make sure one can get a quality signal from the VCR or DVD player to the TV and, within those constraints, the choices are pretty wide open. Also, if the DVD player or VCR needs repair, one can still use the TV.

It wouldn't surprise me if there is an occasional manufacturer that would make a TV/computer combo, but I would recommend keeping them separate.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby -LD » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:56 pm

Mark12547 wrote:It seems that every few years one just about needs to update one's PC to keep up with the changes. (My PC, for example, was manufactured just after Windows XP came out and it is now under-powered to play Netflix streams smoothly.)

Well, to be fair, that was a decade ago, which is an eternity when it comes to computing power. An iPhone is more powerful than your computer.

Probably the best way to get "the full Internet" on your TV is via an Apple TV and an iPad 2. Using wireless AirPlay mirroring to mirror what you are viewing on the iPad to the Apple TV. It's not cheap, but you get a ton of apps and a full featured browser.

Another option which may work is a Boxee Box http://www.dlink.com/boxee/ I believe it does have a browser included. It's certainly cheaper than the iPad/Apple TV combo.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mommom » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:45 pm

Its just not that big of a deal.I love browsing the web on a 42" screen.We have our tv's hooked up to pcs ,using s video for the older ones,hdmi for the newest,VGA for one.The pcs are 2.8ghz,3.0ghz,3,06ghz pentium4's,and one 1.9 AMD dualcore.WE use the KYLO browser ,you can download free,they do have a nice remote that goes on sale for $49.We hook up our older laptops sometimes,too,they are 2.o and 2.2 ghz.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby Fran_3 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:25 pm

You _will_ ultimately have full internet browsing in your TV...

It may add a couple of hundred dollars to the TV price but that will fall.

You can buy a HP 3Ghz quad core AMD with 4GB ram and 1TB drive... with 20" monitor for about $400 on sale. We just bought 4 for a project and paid $375 each... including monitor... (Staples week before last HP p6716f-b)

So... the cost of a PC dedicated to only browsing... built into the TV case... can't be much more than $50 to $100 to the OEM.... so cost increase won't be that much of an issue. If nothing else it is a selling point... and as more and more video moves to the net more and more people are going to want the big screen experience

We have been doing this on a large screen LCD TV for several years using an old Dell PC with an Intel P3 running XP.
We bought the computer used for $100-$200 if I remember correctly.
It has a small hard disk but who cares. It is a dedicated for web browsing.

We have it at the office to in the conference room... works great for meetings.
Same basic configuration... large LCD TV and old PC plugged into the VGA input on the TV.

Actually... it is available now... or about to be... check Samsung Smart TV...
http://www.samsung.com/us/article/the-w ... 0052d2f7fd

and LG Smart TV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKjsVWwWhMU

And these are only the beginning....

The issue is now the dedicated streaming box's control what content you can watch on your tv... and viewers will ultimately demand more and more... until they can get to the largest content provider of all... the internet...

Roku is a leader in this area and I'll bet they are on top of it...
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby -LD » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:50 pm

I disagree. Nothing indicates the general consumer wants a web browser on their tv. Nothing. Google TV failed miserably. And content providers WILL block access, just like they did with Google TV.

Internet content by way of STBs like Roku will succeed. A web browser on the TV will not.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mbratch » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:18 pm

I wanted to browse the web on my TV. I hooked up a PC to my TV to do so, and found that, alas, the formatting of most web pages, even those hosting lots of video, are not designed to read from that far away. You can't read menu selections or button labels or informational text. The web page designs just don't account much for that setup. If I had a web browsing channel on my Roku I would find that I would practically never use it just for that reason.

I personally think that if websites start catering to a TV scenario, like they have more so now toward handheld devices, then perhaps interest in web browsing on the TV will increase. Certainly the bulk of the home PC market is for entertainment, and TVs are for entertainment. So it only makes sense that they merge somewhat. It's just not yet properly designed to do so.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby KennyJ » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:49 pm

Online is planning on releasing a server side browser that would process all the HTML, flash, etc on their servers and then deliver the pages via streaming video.
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mommom » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:27 pm

Try it again,but this time download KYLO first.

http://kylo.tv/
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby Robert99 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:59 am

mbratch wrote:I hooked up a PC to my TV to do so, and found that, alas, the formatting of most web pages, even those hosting lots of video, are not designed to read from that far away. You can't read menu selections or button labels or informational text.

I just use the "zoom" feature built into FireFox if/when I need to see text/buttons that are too small to read from a distance. As an added bonus, I even used a FireFox extension to add zoom in/out buttons to the main Firefox button bar, so I didn't even have to use the keyboard to zoom in/out (and can instead control zoom directly via my USB connected trackball).

NOTE: I occasionally need to grab the (USB connected) keyboard, especially when I want to do search (and therefore need to type something in). However, a lot of the time I'm just clicking on links/buttons/bookmarks/etc. And in those cases when the "mouse" (USB connected trackball) can do all the work, I often won't even bother bringing the keyboard next to me (but will instead leave the keyboard alone, and just control things with the trackball).

I admit that my setup isn't nearly has hassle free as the ROKU (which may be why I I use the ROKU a lot more often than the PC). However, that setup is functional, and seems to give access to a lot of media (web sites) the ROKU can't seem to access.

NOTE: I prefer a trackball (instead of a more traditional mouse) for controlling the video PC, as a trackball can easily be held in your hand (whereas a mouse needs some surface to walk over).

FWIW:
My PC setup isn't really fancy. And while virtually any "general purpose PC" it is more costly than the ROKU (and mine was no exception), my setup is still cheap by computer standards. What I did was take just about the cheapest Windows-XP netbook I could find (a really cheap and very small Acer model), upgraded its memory (to the 1.5gig max it would accept, since video playback is often sensitive to memory), and hooked it up to the LCD TV via VGA (many LCD TVs, including my cheap 32" model, have a PC/VGA input) and the stereo sound output to the TV via a cable plugged into the "headphones" jack of the laptop. I then configured the laptop to continue to run (i.e. NOT go into sleep mode) when the case was down, send it's video via the VGA jack (vs the built in display of the laptop), and controlled the laptop via a cheap keyboard and trackball (trackballs are easier to use while sitting watching TV than a mouse is) connected via "long" USB cables. I also tweaked the software settings to optimize the laptop for streaming (remove junk that you don't need to run constantly, move the Windows temp areas (often silently used for streaming video buffering) from the hard drive to a free ramdisk program, etc.).
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Re: Entire Internet Access by 1)Roku 2)BuiltIn TV functional

Postby mastermesh » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:06 am

mommom wrote:Try it again,but this time download KYLO first.

http://kylo.tv/

Is there a way to get kylo on the roku?!?
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=46566&p=359897#p359897 -channel lists/tools
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=63553&p=409506#p409506 -fta
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=64096 -linear channels
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