Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
swangdb
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:23 am

Roku Rookie Comments

Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:54 am

I received a Roku XDS box for Christmas. I set it up on Christmas Day and so far it's been working.

- From time to time a stream will stop to "catch up." My broadband connection is advertised as 12mbps down and 1mbps up. I've tested these speeds and they are fairly accurate. I have a wireless n router that is maybe 15 to 20 feet from the Roku box. There is a wall between the router and the roku box. I'm not sure if the bottleneck is due to the wireless connection or if my broadband connection (outside the home) gets clogged. I may run a cable to the router and see if I notice any difference.

- I activated my free one-month netflix trial. It's addictive and I'll probably continue using it after the free month. I amazed at the amount of non-hd content, but I suppose that is a netflix complaint (if a program can be in HD, it should be in HD). I know netflix is available through various ways but I don't want to watch on my notebook computer or smartphone and I don't have any gaming systems. Roku is fine for me (for now).

- I can't bring myself to sign up for Hulu+. I wish there was a channel for regular Hulu (and/or the videos on abc.com, cbs.com, etc).

- I'm not always crazy about the interface. For example, with Facebook Photos and Youtube channels, you have to scroll through the selections one at a time. If you're looking for video/picture number 100, it takes a while. I wish these (and other channels) had more of a netflix-type interface.

- Even though the Roku XDS supposedly plays 1080p HD video, the vast majority of HD streams seem to be in 720p mode. In fact, I'm not sure I've noticed any 1080p streams. Where are all of the 1080p streams?

Just some comments from a Roku Rookie. So far I like the Roku box very much.
 
destruk
Posts: 2720
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: Roku Rookie Comments

Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:48 am

I could go into great detail explaining why your connection lags to 'catch up' streaming material. The short answer is -
1) your bandwidth level isn't guaranteed anywhere in your service contract with your ISP - it is always 'up to' the limit, and for residential services they usually only measure bandwidth from the local server to your box.
2) any internet server that is between your local ISP and the source server the content is streaming from could cause lag -
ie
your isp is denver, CO. Netflix server for your package (I don't know where this is so we make up a server) is in New York. Your traceroute/packet path goes from colorado to the main hub in dallas, tx, and from there it shoots over to level3.net and then to netflix in New York. if Level3.net has a server problem or is under a (DOS denial of service) attack it will slow down all traffic going through their link.
In this case, your ISP can file a ticket with the affected server(s) and get it resolved, but usually within 24 hours the automatic routing system will filter/divert traffic through unaffected faster servers.

Your best possible choices to resolve this issue -
A) use a smaller bandwidth stream for your content, ie SD streaming,
B) change your internet connection/ISP to get a different path to your content,
C) purchase a business account package from your existing ISP where they will attempt to give you at least their business plan guaranteed speed at all times.
D) There is also a way to force the roku box to always use a set bandwith stream, rather than adjusting itself on the fly - it's one of the secret menus. Doing this would set it to say 1.5mbps at the beginning of streaming and it won't modify that during playback. If it continues to timeout you can set it to a lower setting. Home x 5 / REW x 3 / FF x 2
 
swangdb
Topic Author
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:23 am

Re: Roku Rookie Comments

Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:36 am

destruk wrote:
C) purchase a business account package from your existing ISP where they will attempt to give you at least their business plan guaranteed speed at all times.
D) There is also a way to force the roku box to always use a set bandwith stream, rather than adjusting itself on the fly - it's one of the secret menus. Doing this would set it to say 1.5mbps at the beginning of streaming and it won't modify that during playback. If it continues to timeout you can set it to a lower setting. Home x 5 / REW x 3 / FF x 2


Thanks for the response. I wonder how much a business account package would cost. My ISP has a faster plan (20mbps down/2 mbps up) that isn't much more than I'm paying now.

I wasn't aware of any secret menus, I'll check those out too.

Thanks again!

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