Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
daveb
Topic Author
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 1:08 am

Open Letter to RokuAnthony (Anthony Wood)

Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:11 pm

Anthony,

The purpose of this post is to chat about a follow-up product to the HD-1000. I’ve had a B model for over a year now. Just before Christmas, it died, and I realize what an important part of my media system it has become. I’ve found these forums to be a valuable source of information regarding the use of the HD-1000. One of the things that has been very interesting is how the HD-1000 has morphed from your original concept as being primarily an art based photo viewer to an mpeg HD media player. This is primarily because of setting up the unit for third party applications. There are some very talented people here that are responsible for making the unit a much more capable device than it was when it originally hit the market.

I read your comments about market demand for network based hardware media players. I’m not sure I agree with your conclusions there. There is a really strong demand for a network based hardware media player. The problem is that no one has really come out with a unit that does a first class job. To get an idea how much interest is out there, have one of your employees go to the AVS forums and look through the media player threads.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39

The two devices I’ve found that seem the most capable are the TivX 5000 and the Neodigits Helios X5000. There are hundreds of posts regarding these two media players; however neither seems up to the capability of the HD-1000.

What people (myself included) want is a network based media appliance that will hardware decode all the popular video and audio formats and handle high bit rate HD streams. When I say appliance, I mean a unit that can be run with non-proprietary firmware. This is a departure from your present company business model, but makes sense when you think about it. Look at all the uses the X-box has been put to. The idea is you make a capable, versatile, reliable device with your firmware on board. Your engineers support the firmware, but you also release the API and interface for third party applications. Sort of like a Dell Computer – it comes with an operating system, but you can put on anything you want. My take on this is if you build it, they will come! The Roku name means something, and I believe there is a major market out there lurking, waiting for something like this. Here is my wish list, and I’m sure other will add to it:

1. A physically rugged and reliable unit with a quiet heat activated fan to keep the electronic failure rate down.

2. Hardware decoding for all the popular video and audio file formats, including h.264 mpeg 4, Divx, Xvid, etc.

3. Ability to pass high bit rate HD streams, 18 Mb/sec and above.

4. USB support to read and write to external USB hard drives.

5. Connectivity to all popular network setups.

6. Output – S video, Component, DVI, HDMI, Coax Digital Audio, Analog Audio.

7. A well thought out remote control.

8. Good playback software that provides simple and universal aspect ratio control, programmable fast forward and rewind speeds, and time jumps.

9. The ability to play back DVD iso files with menu support.

10. Lots of memory on the unit, and swap file capability using compact flash cards.

Dave Bigelow
 
dj7675
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:48 pm

Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:41 pm

Dave,

Very well stated. The Photobridge was so nearly the perfect device. Considering how long ago it was conceived and developed it is amazing how well it still holds up in comparison to other media players. It is surprising that Roku appears to have abandoned the home media player market. Maybe we will be surprised later this year with a new device targeted for the home media player consumer. From the amount of interest in the sagetv forum alone for an HD extender there is a tremendous market along the lines you described. I too hope for a response from Roku to your letter. A similiar device updated with today's hardware....I would be there in a heartbeat.

Darin
 
stereoguy823
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:14 am

Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:56 am

More features:

Discrete IR commands available like other Roku products.
I'll call you tomorrow. Really.
 
jmsaul
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)

Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:58 am

stereoguy823 wrote:
More features:

Discrete IR commands available like other Roku products.


The PhotoBridge does have discrete IR commands.
 
stereoguy823
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:14 am

Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:03 pm

jmsaul wrote:
stereoguy823 wrote:
More features:

Discrete IR commands available like other Roku products.


The PhotoBridge does have discrete IR commands.


I know, I just said it in my post. Just wanted to re-iterate it so that such an underrated and important feature is not missed off, like so many other manufacturers products. As a CI I can't tell you how many times this happens.
I'll call you tomorrow. Really.
 
jmsaul
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)

Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:08 pm

stereoguy823 wrote:
jmsaul wrote:
stereoguy823 wrote:
More features:

Discrete IR commands available like other Roku products.


The PhotoBridge does have discrete IR commands.


I know, I just said it in my post. Just wanted to re-iterate it so that such an underrated and important feature is not missed off, like so many other manufacturers products. As a CI I can't tell you how many times this happens.


I misunderstood you. I agree completely. I'm considering replacing my DVD player for that reason alone.
 
igleaner
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:46 pm

Check out the new Netgear unit. Here's a link to the spec sheet.

http://www.netgear.com/upload/product/e ... 1dec06.pdf

The unit will release in about 6 weeks and sell for $349. It should be available at both BB and CC among others.
 
igleaner
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:49 pm

By the way, here's a link with pictures of the Netgear unit.

http://www.netgear.com/Products/Enterta ... A8000.aspx
 
jmsaul
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)

Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:24 am

igleaner wrote:
Check out the new Netgear unit. Here's a link to the spec sheet.

http://www.netgear.com/upload/product/e ... 1dec06.pdf

The unit will release in about 6 weeks and sell for $349. It should be available at both BB and CC among others.


If it's actually Windows-only, then it's of no use to me.
 
dgburns
Posts: 807
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:37 am

Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:12 pm

jmsaul wrote:
If it's actually Windows-only, then it's of no use to me.

Me either. ANY product like this that even HINTS at having to put software on the PC in order for it to work is totally out of consideration. The saving grace of the PhotoBridge is it's got SO much capability (when 3rd-party software extended) yet requires no software on a PC.
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oldhand
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 4:34 am
Location: Boston, MA area

Windows May Not Be Required

Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:50 pm

Based on the limited information on the Netgear site, it's possible that Windows won't be needed to duplicate the capabilities of the HD1000. It may be that Windows will only be necessary to utilize some of the additional features, like streaming U-Tube videos. As Netgear doesn't appear to have posted a manual yet, nor are there any postings by any beta testers, we'll have to wait and see.

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