Using Roku with multiple tvs

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Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby medlibrarian » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:30 pm

I have a wireless network set up in the house; the router is in my office.. Up until recently I've been streaming Netflix through my wired blu ray player (which is hooked up to a now defunct internet access point). While I could replace the access point, I was thinking about getting a Roku.

I live alone, but would like the convenience of being able to use the Roku for Netflix in both my living room and in my bedroom without having to unplug the Roku each time. I would not be doing this simultaneously.

Is there a way to do this? If so, how? And lastly, which Roku would be best for my purposes? I do not at present own HD TVs.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby traal » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:10 pm

All you need is two Roku boxes. At $60 each, they're cheap, although not quite as cheap as one Roku box plus replacing your access point.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby Gilgamesh » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:21 pm

traal wrote:All you need is two Roku boxes. At $60 each, they're cheap, although not quite as cheap as one Roku box plus replacing your access point.


Or you can do what I do and distribute the output of the Roku using various video switches and running appropriate wires and using IR repeaters. It is a little more trouble but more flexible. By setting the system up correctly every device I have is available in three different rooms.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby medlibrarian » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:22 pm

Is there any way to use the 1 Roku for the 2 different televisions? I guess that's what I was hoping.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby Gilgamesh » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:34 pm

medlibrarian wrote:Is there any way to use the 1 Roku for the 2 different televisions? I guess that's what I was hoping.


Do what I suggested in my last post. Just get the correct long cables for your setup and run them from wherever your Roku lives to where you want your secondary (or tertiary) TV and get a switch or just a distribution box and an IR repeater hook them all up and your good to go.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby Mark12547 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:18 am

There are a few practical issues that would have to be taken care of to have a Roku box handle multiple TVs:

How will you control the Roku box from multiple locations? The remote uses an infrared signal, so it has to be line of sight, or use an infrared remote repeater of some kind, or use a program that communicates to the Roku over the network. There are several such programs, but it does mean that you would have to run a program on your PC or a select set of devices, give it the local IP address of the Roku, and it can then control your Roku over the LAN instead of needing the remote, which could be a convenient way of handling this when you are in a room other than where the Roku is located. (One problem I have with such programs that I experience is that each time I have to reboot my router or power off/on the router, the IP address of the Roku is likely to change--my router is too cheap to have a DHCP reservation--so I have to tell the software what the new IP address is.)

A second issue is getting the video signal to the multiple TVs. The good news is that all outputs on the Roku are active all the time. If you can use different video and audio connections to feed different TVs of the same aspect ratio, and if the cabling isn't too long, this may be no problem. (I have no idea how far "too long" may be--cable lengths in most settings is just 3 to 6 feet, not 20 to 40 feet.) However, if you find that an output has to be split, you might find that more hardware might be needed--amplifiers or the like. However, if you are driving TVs of different aspect ratios (a 16:9 "widescreen" TV and a 4:3 old standard TV), you will probably find yourself having to change the video setting in the Roku and waiting for it to reboot each time you switch TVs, in addition to the other issues mentioned above.

I suspect the cleanest solution just may be to have separate Roku boxes and thus eliminate a bunch of potential issues.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby medlibrarian » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:49 am

Okay, I can deal with getting 2 Rokus. That seems the simplest. Thanks for all the feedback (I'm a she by the way). :D
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby rettik » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:35 am

Not a direct answer to the question, but I thought I'd share my setup as food for thought....

I have 6 TV's in my house (3 std def / 3 hi-def) , and my Roku can be watched on all of them

2 of my 3 Hi-Def TVs can get the hi-def signal:
1) One uses the HDMI output - This is my main home theater which is physically next to the Roku box
2) Another Hi Def TV uses the Component output. It's the TV for my treadmill -- close enough to the Roku box to use regular component cables

The rest of my TVs can get the standard-def signal with this setup:
* Composite output from Roku goes into a Modulator which puts the Roku output on Channel 125 -- and outputs this signal on coax
* This is near the coax splitters for my whole house -- so I just send the Roku feed into the whole house feed, and can watch Roku from anywhere in the house on channel 125

As mentioned in a previous post, there is a problem actually controlling the Roku from around the house. Fortunately, I already had a Logitech Harmony 890 remote which works as a RF remote for the Roku. Still, I have to carry the remote to whichever room I want to watch Roku... And the remote costs more than a new Roku...

So for the other two rooms where I watch Roku the most... I bought 2 more Rokus :) That really just leaves 2 TV's to share the Harmony 890 remote. Not bad.
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby jhanson » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:37 am

rettik wrote:The rest of my TVs can get the standard-def signal with this setup:
* Composite output from Roku goes into a Modulator which puts the Roku output on Channel 125 -- and outputs this signal on coax
* This is near the coax splitters for my whole house -- so I just send the Roku feed into the whole house feed, and can watch Roku from anywhere in the house on channel 125.


Out of curiosity, which modulator do you use?
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Re: Using Roku with multiple tvs

Postby rettik » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:47 am

jhanson wrote:
rettik wrote:The rest of my TVs can get the standard-def signal with this setup:
* Composite output from Roku goes into a Modulator which puts the Roku output on Channel 125 -- and outputs this signal on coax
* This is near the coax splitters for my whole house -- so I just send the Roku feed into the whole house feed, and can watch Roku from anywhere in the house on channel 125.


Out of curiosity, which modulator do you use?


ChannelPlus 5515 http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdet ... er=180-786

It's really a pretty expensive solution when compared to just purchasing another Roku box. I already had the modulator from my days with Time Warner -- when each additional TV/DVR costs $16 per month for the hardware rental and DVR service. So it made sense then. Roku really changes the dynamics.
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