Roku branded Netflix STB technical thread

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Roku branded Netflix STB technical thread

Postby Burkhardi » Tue May 20, 2008 11:02 am

I figured I would start a thread on the technical aspects of the Roku branded NetFlix STB. I think the model number is N1000 but wanted to include that since I am an optimist and hope there will be different flavors (more bells, whistles and options (like media streaming)) offered at a later time.

1: The literature says no hard drive, yet it can start in 30 seconds. I assume there is flash memory on board, anyone now how much 5GB?

2: The literature on NetFlix’s site says “near DVD qualityâ€
Last edited by Burkhardi on Wed May 21, 2008 4:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jillako » Tue May 20, 2008 12:00 pm

Yes, please. Can someone serve up the tech specs for this box?

I'm wondering about the wireless chip - 802.11n?

What is the OS? Is it a Linux variant?
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Postby RokuAnthony » Tue May 20, 2008 4:12 pm

the Wifi is b/g.

The box is "closed"; ie, not designed to be hackable, since it streams protected content.

There are other posts on the bitrate and upconverting.

beyond that, you'll have to take it appart. :-)
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Postby RokuAnthony » Tue May 20, 2008 4:12 pm

which will void your warranty.
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Postby MH2008 » Tue May 20, 2008 4:37 pm

can you tell us what processor its using? =)
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Postby TaylorH » Tue May 20, 2008 5:46 pm

1) There is very little memory on the board. Just enough to buffer a few minutes of video if your bandwidth gets congested temporarily. Just enough flash memory for the software. Instant viewing is done by buffering the minimum video the box thinks it needs to avoid interruption due to variable bit rate encoding.
Edit: The buffer is 64MB. 2-5 minutes of video, depending on the stream.
2) If you have Windows and IE, go to Netflix.com choose 'instant watch'. The video you stream to your PC is the identical stream we're pulling to the box. So you can preview the quality without even having the box.
Most videos, depending on the title, look quite good on my 60" Sony HD.
Actual DVD will be better, of course, if for no other reason than surround sound. Audio tracks on instant watch titles are stereo only. Surround sound will come with HD streams.
3) It will up convert to HD when HD is made available. At this time, it only output 480p 4:3, and 480p 16:9. You will only be able to get HD resolutions on HDMI with HDCP support. Component video outputs are limited to 480p for copyrighted content because there is no copy protection.
4) Bandwidth is a very complex subject I won't tackle now. But yes, if your cable modem is fast enough, it'll work. It has a few minutes of video buffer, so as long as it can catch up from time to time it'll work.
It really all depends on how you're using it.
5) It's a new chip made by NXP semiconductor. PNX8935
http://www.nxp.com/applications/set_top ... tb/stb225/
6) Not user expandable.
Last edited by TaylorH on Sun May 25, 2008 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Burkhardi » Wed May 21, 2008 5:16 am

Thanks for the reply RokuTaylor (you too El Jefe)!

So good info, thanks! It looks like making this box happen was a challenge and you had to walk a thin line due to the studios wanting protection (e.g. closed system, no HD via component out, etc); so even more reasons for Kudos on pulling this off.

I checked out the link on the CPU, looks really neat and has lots of options too (like SATA and USB) that other boxes could choose to use.

Two more tech questions…

Is the compressed data going to the N1000 from NetFlix’s server h.264?

The data from the Toslink connector, is it only Dolby 5.1 or can it do others?
Roku3 and Roku HD1000 [Rev B] on a Samsung HLP5674W DLP in the living room; a Roku2 and two Roku XS and a few SoundBridges.Win7; Kubuntu and XP via RT-N66U, E2000 and a switch or two. I own stock in Roku, it's just all in the form of hardware.Viva la Roku
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Power consumption

Postby davidp » Wed May 21, 2008 7:28 am

According to the user's guide there's no power button - the unit is always on when connected to a power source. This makes me curious about power consumption (I didn't see any specs in the user's guide). Does the unit go into a standby mode? If so, can you give us the power consumption figures for both active and standby mode?
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Re: N1000 power usage

Postby RokuGreg » Wed May 21, 2008 9:57 am

1) During main screen display: 4 Watts
2) During playback, using Wifi or Ethernet: 5 Watts
3) When screensaver is in standby mode: 4 watts

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Postby davidp » Wed May 21, 2008 10:16 am

Thanks for the quick reply, Greg.
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Postby zysurge » Wed May 21, 2008 10:32 am

Does this unit have a cooling fan, and if so, how quiet or noisy is it? I'm one of those people who's bothered by hums and whines, so if this is passively cooled, I'm much more likely to buy one.

Thanks!
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Postby RokuJamesL » Wed May 21, 2008 10:47 am

There is no fan in the box, so it is as quiet as a church mouse. :)
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Re: cooling fan

Postby RokuGreg » Wed May 21, 2008 10:48 am

There is no cooling fan. The unit is silent. Relatively speaking, it is a very low power box, which is why it doesn't need a fan.

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Postby zysurge » Wed May 21, 2008 10:54 am

Thanks guys, especially for the lightning-fast responses. I'll be placing my order tonight, as well as calling my Dad and telling him to order - I just finished configuring an old PC for him to use for Watch Now. He'll be thrilled to know there's a much simpler solution!
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Netflix Sound Options

Postby msm » Wed May 21, 2008 2:37 pm

Is there any indication from Netflix when a 5.1 sound option will be available for the Watch Instantly feature?
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