Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
jlsoaz
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:05 pm

Rich Hamilton wrote:
So, while I still thoroughly enjoy my M1001, if a lightning strike took away that artful piece of internet tech that resides next to my cheap Sherwood receiver tomorrow, I would simply toss my M1001, box up my Sherwood receiver, sell it a garage sale and buy a new receiver that can do just what my SoundBridge/Sherwood combination did and so much more - all in the same package.



S80_UK provided one answer as to noting some of the deficiencies apparently that come with some one-box solutions. bregent provided another answer laying out some of the existing competition in two-box solutions: "...Logitech Squeezebox, or Sonos, Grace, Sangean...".

I have not kept up on either one-box or multi-box solutions, but I think that both answers had some merit (even if they sort of contradicted each other... if the competition is issuing separate-box solutions and-or building their audio tech into one-box receiver solutions, then this somewhat contradicts the argument that the field is basically an obsoleted novelty field).

The third answer is that maybe it would have been, and maybe it would be, a good idea for Roku to issue audio players anew, whether built in to A/V equipment and-or as separate equipment. I am personally not sure. I don't know as to the business calculation on that.

I have found myself not using my soundbridge (for several years now) but instead using one or more of the radio stations that I can bring in to my TV, and that has been sufficient for my audio listening needs. However, I couldn't speak to the wide range of needs and issues and customer interest that might come up if one tried to delve into that research amongst many peoople. There is I think also a bit of research to be done to understand the nearby business questions of the internet radio business and any synergies (or not) to be realized by hardware issuers in conjunction with the evolution of that business.

(One example of exploring synergies and business models would be that Radio Roku was a bit of a nexus point that helped pull the channels together and made the hardware more usable and improved the overall experience for everyone, and also built up a bit of a following/interest-level that may not have monetized but which built up some focus from Roku owners... (I suppose this could even be argued as a potential partial negative, if there is interest built up but which then does not monetize and ultimately requires pulling back)... a reason to mention it now would necessarily be to re-open the Radio Roku questions but to just review that there is almost inevitably some outside-the-box business model discussion to be had upon evaluating business opportunties, and even after decisions are made).

I did think a few years ago that one could question Roku's exit from the business, (and, separately, the manner in which they handled it). Having questioned it though, I didn't know the answer then. Years have passed since then and the market must surely have evolved a bit, but I personally still don't know the answer.
 
S80_UK
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Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:11 am
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:47 pm

The market's evolved quite a lot since Roku stopped selling the SoundBridge with stabilisation of some standards (UPnP improving with DLNA, but not "there" yet"), and with consolidation of radio station portal/database providers (vTuner and RadioTime being the major players today). In other areas though there is diversity with new streaming providers (as an example Spotify have taken over much of the roll previously filled by Last.fm, although they serve different needs). The companies that Bob (bregent) mentioned provide a range of products (and there are others too) and the numbers of products sold continues to grow.

Is it an obsolete novelty area? No, I don't think so. But today it is not mainstream either, and the wide range of applications of the technology and the diverse standards mean that it is not a trivial exercise to develop products and support them in the marketplace. Consumer awareness of the capabilities of these types of products is still low, but increasing with growing support from manufacturers, radio broadcasters and some retailers. Personally I don't question Roku's exit from this business - it is surprising to me that they stuck with it for as long as they did, given the cost base of the SoundBridge products.

So audio streaming is very much alive as a product category, and it will continue to grow with a mixture of standalone audio components, AV systems and as component in smart TVs, but it is very different from the video-on-demand streaming market that Roku have now successfully applied themselves to. I do not expect that they will go back to audio.
Roku M1000, M1001, M2000, R1000, Roberts WM-201, Stream 83i
 
tstroll
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:22 pm

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:03 pm

bregent wrote:
>I can't believe there isn't more of a market for the Soundbridge or
>some similar device, but I haven't heard of anyone else making an equivalent to it.

Really? You haven't heard of Logitech Squeezebox, or Sonos, Grace, Sangean? All big names in streaming radio players. There are many more.
At the time I bought my Soundbridges, I relied on The New York Times's review of six similar devices, which may have included some that you mention. The Times said the Roku was by far the best of the six. However, I admit that was perhaps 4 years ago, a geological epoch ago in technology terms. The Rokus continue to work (or have since I had them refurbished by the gentleman in Texas whom you can find on these pages) and I haven't looked around for replacements since. I'll check out the units you mention and read the other recent posts on this thread right now and see what I'm missing.
 
squashuax
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:51 pm

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:31 am

I'm a huge Roku fan too. I have 2 SoundBridges, a SoundBridge Radio, and 2 Roku HD TV units. It is unfortunate that they stopped making SoundBridge, and that they haven't really brought SoundBridge functionality to the TV units yet.

Like you, when I wanted to connect a new set of speakers and an amplifier when we remodled our kitchen, I had to deal with the fact that the SoundBridge is off the market. There are several other devices out there, but most are either poorly done (Linksys, etc.) or too expensive (Sonos).

I did find one that you should check out, however. It is called the Orb MP1 from Orb Networks. I have it set up and connected to an audiosource amplifier running the ceiling speakers in my new kitchen, and it works great. The interface is great from either my iPad, iPod, iPhone, or desktop PC, and the developers seem committed to continuous improvements. In fact, they recently released a firmware upgrade that offers "party mode," which is the ability to synchronize streams across multiple devices, which is pretty cool if you want the same mix playing in every room. Check it out. And it only costs $79.00.

Good luck!
Compaq SR1520NX,
Firefly on Maxtor MSS+
iTunes
Rhapsody
Soundbridge M1001 (2)
SoundBridge R1000
Roku Netflix Player
Rotel mono power amps and pre-amp.
 
lhgrubbs
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Location: Kansas City, MO
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Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:14 pm

Might it be possible to opensource the soundbridge project and technology? It really is a cool tool!
 
S80_UK
Posts: 1035
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:11 am
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:04 pm

lhgrubbs wrote:
Might it be possible to opensource the soundbridge project and technology? It really is a cool tool!


This has already been asked and answered many times. Much of the software in the SoundBridge product was licensed from various third party developers (codecs, the UPnP stack, etc), so even if Roku were able and willing to release their own code and hardware designs, it would not be practical to do anything with it. From Roku's point of view I very much doubt that it would be of any commercial benefit.
Roku M1000, M1001, M2000, R1000, Roberts WM-201, Stream 83i
 
jlsoaz
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:13 pm

S80_UK wrote:
lhgrubbs wrote:
Might it be possible to opensource the soundbridge project and technology? It really is a cool tool!


This has already been asked and answered many times. Much of the software in the SoundBridge product was licensed from various third party developers (codecs, the UPnP stack, etc), so even if Roku were able and willing to release their own code and hardware designs, it would not be practical to do anything with it. From Roku's point of view I very much doubt that it would be of any commercial benefit.


I think it's natural for folks to come across a good (or great) -but-abandoned product years later and ask what happened.

I also think it's natural for them to not want to spend over-much (in their opinion) time researching the forums to find past answers, so maybe that's what's happening here. I personally find some of these web forums a bit harder than others may sometimes project to research some topics.

In any event, the video player does seem to have some good music and local-media and internet radio channel accessibility built into it, so it is not overly a stretch (in my view) to point this out to those who lament the loss of the soundbridge. I'm not sure if the video player from Roku really captures every single aspect of it, but it does seem to allow for accessing a robust selection of radio channels (which is what I used to use my soundbridge for) and I guess local media (though I haven't done that part).
 
lubelira
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:27 pm

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:02 am

how do I reach the gentleman in texas for a refurbishment? lubelira@aol.com


tstroll wrote:
bregent wrote:
>I can't believe there isn't more of a market for the Soundbridge or
>some similar device, but I haven't heard of anyone else making an equivalent to it.

Really? You haven't heard of Logitech Squeezebox, or Sonos, Grace, Sangean? All big names in streaming radio players. There are many more.
At the time I bought my Soundbridges, I relied on The New York Times's review of six similar devices, which may have included some that you mention. The Times said the Roku was by far the best of the six. However, I admit that was perhaps 4 years ago, a geological epoch ago in technology terms. The Rokus continue to work (or have since I had them refurbished by the gentleman in Texas whom you can find on these pages) and I haven't looked around for replacements since. I'll check out the units you mention and read the other recent posts on this thread right now and see what I'm missing.
 
46jimbo
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:23 am
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Re: An open letter to Roku's CEO Anthony Wood

Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:10 am

how do I reach the gentleman in texas for a refurbishment?




You can contact Matt at burkhardi@hotmail.com

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