Photos from computer to Roku?

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Photos from computer to Roku?

Postby fbarthelme » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:51 am

Wondering if the Roku video player (Netflix and Amazon player) can be used as a general purpose connection to the computer (three rooms away) for showing photos, streaming music, etc. off the computer onto the TV? Seems like this would be a trivial exercise and would make the Roku a MUCH more desireable product?
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Postby eri3k » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:05 am

At this time the DVP does not access content on the local network. However, Roku has announced that they will be making the player's SDK open to the public so you will be able to complete the trivial exercise yourself. :wink:

http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.ph ... 472#123472

Edit: Changed SKD to SDK. SKD? What the <The entropy of a perfect crystal, at absolute zero kelvin, is exactly equal to zero. - Third Law of Thermodynamics> is an SKD?
Last edited by eri3k on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kc8pql » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:27 am

eri3k wrote:However, Roku has announced that they will be making the player's SKD open to the public so you will be able to complete the trivial exercise yourself. :wink:

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby eri3k » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:00 am

I wasn't trying to be a jerk, fbarthelme, but your question has already been answered on the forum several times. A quick search of the DVP forum for "local network" or "computer content" pulls up a relevant thread on the first page.

I believe the reason why Roku has not created a channel for content from the local network is that supporting it would be a nightmare. Diagnosing problems on all sorts of bizarre home network configurations would be a real challenge. Plus, I'm sure they would get deluged with calls like this.

Frustrated User: My Roku won't let me play movies off my computer.
Customer Support: Is your computer turned on?
FU: No. Should it be?
(5 minutes later)
FU: Still can't play movies.
CS: How is your network set up?
FU: I have a cord running from the back of my computer to the back of my Roku.
CS: (weeps bitter tears of frustration)

The SDK will enable individuals to develop this functionality and share it with the community without the need for Roku to take on the burden of support. That's why I mentioned it.
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Postby dupondt » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:52 am

eri3k wrote:I believe the reason why Roku has not created a channel for content from the local network is that supporting it would be a nightmare.

There is a standard for streaming audio, video and photos from computers or NAS boxes to digital media renderers. It's called UPnP and Roku have lots of experience with it. NXP who produce the "heart" of the Netflix/Amazon Wonderbox-Thingy (TM alanmc) are even a member of DLNA, which is the organisation promoting the use of UPnP. So where's the problem and why wasn't UPnP implemented from the beginning?

Diagnosing problems on all sorts of bizarre home network configurations would be a real challenge.

Why should Roku fear this challenge? They developed the SoundBridge devices which were designed to stream content on all sorts of bizarre home networks.

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Postby eri3k » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:55 pm

dupondt wrote:NXP who produce the "heart" of the Netflix/Amazon Wonderbox-Thingy (TM alanmc) are even a member of DLNA, which is the organisation promoting the use of UPnP. So where's the problem and why wasn't UPnP implemented from the beginning?

You make some good points, but UPnP and the DNLA are hardly solutions.

From what I have seen, DLNA falls somewhere between window-dressing and a cruel CE industry joke. For example, Sony's DLNA-certified laptops can be used as servers to playback media on DLNA-certified BluRay players made by JVC, LG and Panasonic but not on any of Sony's own DLNA BluRay players since they are all minimally certified as media servers only.

And if you take a look at the actual certifications for individual devices, boy is it a shock. Most of the non-computer devices certified as media players can only start video and stop video with no ability to seek or even pause. Quite a few have only regional certification for video, usually limited to Japan. UPnP has many of the same problems: even though it's in the name, UPnP is just not quite universal.

As for your question about why UPnP support was not initially included, I'm taking a guess here, but it was probably because UPnP was not needed for the N1000's first incarnation as the Netflix Player.

dupondt wrote:Why should Roku fear this challenge?

Speaking only for myself, I would fear it because the level of technical ability in the general population ranges from appallingly low to nonexistent. I know many bright individuals who couldn't set up a simple home network if their lives depended on it. My parents, left unattended with a networked device, can unintentionally reduce it to a gently smoldering paperweight in less than a minute. These are the people to fear.

dupondt wrote:They developed the SoundBridge devices which were designed to stream content on all sorts of bizarre home networks.

Granted, but I would say that the SoundBridge is a niche product for audiophiles and technophiles. Both groups have the inclination to shell out $200 for a device to stream music and the motivation to work out any kinks that may arise, whereas the average person would probably just say "Screw it," and throw in the towel.
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Postby fbarthelme » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:41 am

I withdraw the question.
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He's right it would be a tough nut to support

Postby Shlepzig » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:30 am

It makes a lot more sense for Roku to allow this to fall under a independently developed application from the SDK than to try a build it themselves.

I don't think that the Roku-box has the horsepower (so to speak) to run something as complicated as the Play-On application used on other systems.

So such a streaming application would have to exist in two parts. There would have to be a supported application on the server side, whatever that is, that can index and stream the media to the Roku-box. Roku (the company) has no control over the hardware that might be used and the communications specifics associated with it (allocating static IPs and potential local DNS issues). Each individual would have to set up some hardware to be their own Netflix (so to speak).

They probably have no interest in supporting so many user side application issues. At least with Netflix and Amazon they can work with specific large scale server teams, agree on and enforce communications standards.

As an SDK project, it would be on the onus of the user to navigate his own installation, management and communication issues. Which is certainly doable, community support might even make it relatively easy at some point. But it defintely gets more complicated than just supporting the Roku-box.

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Re: He's right it would be a tough nut to support

Postby kc8pql » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:11 pm

Shlepzig wrote:I don't think that the Roku-box has the horsepower (so to speak) to run something as complicated as the Play-On application used on other systems.

Correct. Here's an excerpt from a post by RokuTaylor about a year ago:

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.
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Re: He's right it would be a tough nut to support

Postby dupondt » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:09 am

Shlepzig wrote:I don't think that the Roku-box has the horsepower (so to speak) to run something as complicated as the Play-On application used on other systems.

A device which is capable of simultaneously decoding HD video and the accompanying audio definitely has much more horsepower and buffer memory than you would ever need to stream content from a local UPnP server or play internet radio (Roku's SoundBridges only have 16MB of DRAM and never miss a beat).

Here's what NXP state as regards the capabilities of the STB225 which is the "heart" of the Netflix/Amazon Wonderbox-Thingy (TM alanmc):

With media access anywhere, any time in mind, the STB225 can fulfill several different vibrant media technology roles in the Connected Living environment. Connected to a hard disk, it becomes a PVR (Personal Video Recorder). It can form the basis for a home media centre, exchanging content with other devices in the home network such as client STBs, audio systems, PCs and even portable devices. Alternatively, the STB225 can be configured as a low cost client, connected to your remote media server.

Greetings
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Re: He's right it would be a tough nut to support

Postby billc124 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:04 am

dupondt wrote:
Shlepzig wrote:I don't think that the Roku-box has the horsepower (so to speak) to run something as complicated as the Play-On application used on other systems.

A device which is capable of simultaneously decoding HD video and the accompanying audio definitely has much more horsepower and buffer memory than you would ever need to stream content from a local UPnP server or play internet radio (Roku's SoundBridges only have 16MB of DRAM and never miss a beat).

Here's what NXP state as regards the capabilities of the STB225 which is the "heart" of the Netflix/Amazon Wonderbox-Thingy (TM alanmc):

With media access anywhere, any time in mind, the STB225 can fulfill several different vibrant media technology roles in the Connected Living environment. Connected to a hard disk, it becomes a PVR (Personal Video Recorder). It can form the basis for a home media centre, exchanging content with other devices in the home network such as client STBs, audio systems, PCs and even portable devices. Alternatively, the STB225 can be configured as a low cost client, connected to your remote media server.

Greetings
dupondt


While I do think the box can do it, that NXP statement says that it "can be configued" to do that, which leads you to beleive that they offer different setups. Depending on what they ordered from NXP it may or may not be able to do it. For example, there is no way to connect the Roku to a HD, right?
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