Or to save on postage the next Roku box could use an Intell Atom chip instead of MIPS. Strange that they would choose MIPS instead of some x86 based chip to begin with. The embedded industry has clearly been moving away from the MIPS architecture at least for the higher powered devices. For years the makers of X86 based chips have been working hard to shrink them for mobile and embedded applications reducing power consumption and heat production. Many Atom based devices run with no ventilation for hours on tiny batteries, based on the Roku's size, wall based power source and ventilation, MIPS is really a poor choice. Clearly the choice was one of economics but I do not believe that the current boxes strike the proper balance between feature and cost, which produced a short term gain but will, unless there is a high power release in the wings, will result in a long term loss.
well put.. I completly agree that the atom would be the way to go in the future.. You have to think the basic hardware design was done with cost as the primary factor and availability of hardware (when it was designed) as another consideration.
My point on the use of Android is not because I like - or even own an android based device. My point is that in the VERY near future, there will be set top boxes and TV integrations with all the eye-candy and features of Android. Roku's tired looking UI and limited API as well as its content line-up will not be able to compete. We already own Roku boxes - we are not the market - but think of what the Roku interface looks like side by side with an android based device....
I do understand navigation is an issue but Android does not require a keyboard any more than the Roku UI requires a keyboard.
The Roku development team already has a compelte MIPS Linux build environment (the current box runs embedded Linux) with all the tool chains and drivers for the hardware. It would be a simple matter to complie the FREE android source and as Roku already knows the boot loader CFE format - boot it onto a Roku box.
I have been around modding of cable boxes, routers, cable modems, etc and seen how easy it is to do (in the right hands). I remember coming across some circuit board shots of the RokuHD and there are indeed JTAG header points on the board as well as serial console outputs.
If nothing else place yourself in the future consumer role - rememeber that side by side example.....