Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

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Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby ILoveCoffee » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:22 am

Hello folks,

My triple bundle with cable company is up for renewal and they want me to pay $40 extra per month. I am not willing to give them a dime over the current bill. Hence, preparing for once and for all switch. I have a few questions, glad if someone can offer light on it.

I STILL have a tube TV and it will stay until it dies out, with economy as it is, will have to live with it. Hence, I can not use Roku LT and planning to buy Roku HD. In addition to that I am considering lifetime license of PlayOn.tv (Actually they currently have a offer that combines both of these). PlayOn does not offer liver news coverage except BBC. We watch WABC and CNN regularly so I was wondering how do I get these channels on Roku? (Can you attach OTA antenna to Roku?)

We also watch History and ION channel a lot. Is there any way to get this channels on Roku?

I have a decent amount of movies ripped on my external HDD, is there any way to put these movies on SD card and play through Roku HD? If not, what other option do I have (except Plex)? (It doesn't have USB port :(

At the end of the day, my goal is reduce my monthly expenses as much possible as I can. Any help in this regard is most appreciated.

(P.S. - Meanwhile, I am going through the forum to check the threads of my interest.)
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby DBDukes » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:52 am

A few things. Let me get this out of the way up front: PlayOn questions should probably be directed to PlayOn's support forums. The relationship between PlayOn and Roku is ... "strained" would be an understatement. Many a thread gets locked on account of that topic.

On to the other questions...
The $49 Roku LT offers composite out. That's the red/white audio and yellow video. Many older tube TV have the RCA jacks for that; more likely than component or HDMI. So, LT would actually be the cheapest way to go.

Content? Tying in an antenna for OTA isn't easy or necessary. Use the composite inputs for the Roku and antenna in for an antenna. If you don't have composite input, you'll need an RF modulator (Radio Shack, Best Buy, Sears, etc) for that.

Amazon Instant Video might be the best way to get current content on a Roku outside of Hulu Plus. Most of the content is pay as you go (PAYGO). Figure $2/episode for SD, $3/episode HD. You can get discounts (5% usually) by purchasing a Season Pass. Older seasons cost around $1.60/episode SD, but that could vary.

Hulu Plus offers a lot of content for $8/month, but you can't watch Hulu standard (the free stuff) on a Roku, or any other set-top box (STB) without violating Hulu's terms of service (TOS). And, that's not so much a Hulu thing as it is the content owner (ABC, Universal, WB, etc) restrictions.

As for saving money, I went from around $60/month for basic cable to $16/month (Hulu Plus, Netflix), with additional PAYGO content from Amazon and other similar providers. No, I couldn't get everything. Nothing gets you everything you have today.

I don't watch anything live on Roku. For breaking news, I use the Internet or will watch a live broadcast OTA. Others can recommend channels from the Channel Store or private channels that offer live news feeds. There is a 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Fox News live feed on the Fox News Channel app. NBC also has some channels, but don't know about live feeds. Again, others may have suggestions.

Check out http://catastrophegirlsrokuchanneldata.blogspot.com/for a listing of private channels, plus tips. Another good one is http://streamfree.tv/

If you go Roku (I did and am happy), it will change how you watch TV. For me, it was a change for the better.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby catastrophegirl » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:44 am

i have rokus of all generations and several of them have been hooked up to very old tvs. sometimes an adaptor is needed, like to get composite out to coax in. i found an RF modulator that works quite well on amazon for ~$10, but on one of my tvs i use an old VCR to connect.
as DBDukes says, the LT has composite out, as do all the currently available models.
now check your messages for some additional details I won't go into here
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby ILoveCoffee » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:08 pm

DBDukes wrote: The relationship between PlayOn and Roku is ... "strained" would be an understatement. Many a thread gets locked on account of that topic.

I have been in touch with PlayOn's support but as other customer support, they 'can't' tell some info so I thought may be there are some users here and I posted here. I don't know when you mentioned 'worse' relations, is it between Roku and PlayOn as companies or among the users? Apologies if I offended anyone with PlayOn.
DBDukes wrote:The $49 Roku LT offers composite out. That's the red/white audio and yellow video. Many older tube TV have the RCA jacks for that; more likely than component or HDMI. So, LT would actually be the cheapest way to go.

I saw the comparison on cnet and the picture shows that LT has only HDMI out and I have to buy a cable, HDMI to composite cable to be able to use it and from the article. But just checked the pictures on Roku website and you are right, cnet probably had older model. Secondly, HD has a SD card slot which I thought could be used instead of USB stick for watching my ripped videos. Still I am not clear if thats possible. Looks like this is my ONLY unanswered question at the moment.
DBDukes wrote:Content? Tying in an antenna for OTA isn't easy or necessary. Use the composite inputs for the Roku and antenna in for an antenna. If you don't have composite input, you'll need an RF modulator (Radio Shack, Best Buy, Sears, etc) for that.

Seems like I have both as currently my cable box is connected through antenna point and a DVD player is connected through composite (red, black and white) connectors.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby DBDukes » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:44 pm

ILoveCoffee wrote:HD has a SD card slot which I thought could be used instead of USB stick for watching my ripped videos. Still I am not clear if thats possible. Looks like this is my ONLY unanswered question at the moment.

SD card is for storing extra channels, not for content. USB port would be for a thumb drive (etc). I've used that, plus the USB Player channel.

Oh, and about PlayOn, it's not that I or anyone was offended. It's just that Roku admins will lock most threads that offer advice on using PlayOn, etc. And, it's not just PlayOn, but any kind of app, service, or process that allows users to get around content providers' or content owners' terms of service.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby ILoveCoffee » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:50 pm

Ah, ok, the things are clear now.

One more question, the XS model claims to have a USB port so I presume, I could hook up my 1TB HDD on it, right? But where the heck is this port? The pictures of XS at http://www.roku.com/roku-products#4, I don't see any USB port. I see only MicroSD, HDMI, ethernet, power-plug and A/V (what is it?) What am I missing here? and how can this guy be hooked up with my CRT TV with composite in? Can you (or anyone else) link me to appropriate cable?

Again, thanks a lot for all comments and help.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby lion7718 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:57 pm

The USB port is on the right side on the XS.
As for the plug, it comes with the Roku...1 plug in & 3 out..red, white & yellow.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby catastrophegirl » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:00 pm

i just realized if you are looking at photos of the rokus and not the user manuals available from this page
http://www.roku.com/roku-products#3
you aren't seeing the usual red/white/yellow ports on the back of the XD and XS. the spot marked "a/v port" on those models is the composite port and the rokus come with a special cable that plugs into that port and splits into the familiar red/white/yellow cable ends. so all 4 currently available roku models DO have composite output, even if they don't look like it
N1000, roku1 XD/s, roku2 xs, roku3
wireless
speed range from ~18-20mbps
http://catastrophegirlsrokuchanneldata.blogspot.com/
twitter: catastrophegirl
PM or tweet me if you want a channel added to my list, a correction or to update a developers' credit
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby DBDukes » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:52 pm

catastrophegirl wrote:i just realized if you are looking at photos of the rokus and not the user manuals available from this page
http://www.roku.com/roku-products#3
you aren't seeing the usual red/white/yellow ports on the back of the XD and XS. the spot marked "a/v port" on those models is the composite port and the rokus come with a special cable that plugs into that port and splits into the familiar red/white/yellow cable ends. so all 4 currently available roku models DO have composite output, even if they don't look like it

Yeah, I've noticed that some Roku models do have the red/white/yellow RCA jacks, and can use the standard patch cords you can get from just about anywhere. All of my Roku devices, though, have the 2.5mm jack that require the special cable you mentioned.
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Re: Roku noob, live news coverage, Snowflake details inside

Postby vnzjunk » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:38 pm

Most people find that if they drop their cable tv package and keep internet service through the same provider that their over the air local channels are available over the cable wire even though you drop the tv service. I seem to remember someone saying that this is a must as a result of an agreement between cable providers and the gov't or something like that. Not only that but sometimes they even leave unblocked some of the channels that are not generally available OTA. I know of one system locally that still delivers E, ION-TV, INSP, and a few others along with the regular OTA network channels. You still need an OTA antenna to have access to all of the sub channels available via OTA but at least the main channel for each network should be available along with some community access channels. Your mileage may and will vary. Either check it out for yourself or ask around and see if anyone you know has info on this in your area.

It can be done but it isn't always as easy as writing a check to the cable company and then taking control of your cable TV remote... :D
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