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candrews11
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Roku showing Photobridge at CES

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:10 pm

http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/01/05/roku/index.php

Interesting that they take time to talk about the PhotoBridge at CES but our mute on the topic here lately.

Did anyone go to CES this year?

Nothing new discussed only mentions features that we are curreently aware of being official once it comes out of beta.
 
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TheEndless
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Re: Roku showing Photobridge at CES

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:16 pm

candrews11 wrote:
http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/01/05/roku/index.php

Interesting that they take time to talk about the PhotoBridge at CES but our mute on the topic here lately.

Did anyone go to CES this year?

Nothing new discussed only mentions features that we are curreently aware of being official once it comes out of beta.

Just as with this post (http://www.rokulabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5914), that's an article from last year's CES.

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woodysd
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Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:18 pm

You're looking at an article and apparently unknowingly celebrating its 1 yr anniversary of posting. That's old news ... note the date of publish, 2005.

No I didn't go to CES, but also see my other recent posting in the General Discussion about my views of CES show and Roku demonstrating the Soundbridge vs. the PhotoBridge and lack of customer support.
 
candrews11
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Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:09 am

Ahh, my mistake.

Got excited about nothing.

Sorry for causing confusion
 
allyn
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Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:23 pm

i went to ces and met rokudave at the roku kiosk in the microsoft booth. this is the same place they were last year.

they were not showing the photobridge. they had a soundbridge and that new dorky looking internet radio.

i asked rokudave if the photobridge was dead. he said "no, it just seems like it.". he said he was the only engineer working on the photobridge right now and he was spending most of his time on the sound products because the market for those is much bigger.

they'd better step up to the plate with the photobridge soon because they have a lot of competition this year with HD media players. when the photobridge (HD1000) came out there was no competition. now it appears the photobridge has been left in the dust.
 
roopeshsheth
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Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:21 pm

Wow. If that's not a reason to sell your PhotoBridge, I don't know what is... One engineer who spends his time working on the SoundBridge.

Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

I almost wish you hadn't told me that, Allyn. I'll definitely be looking for a better (and supported!) product replacement soon.
 
jerd
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Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:04 pm

I was at CES also and asked the person at the booth (well, it was more of a pedestal with a couple products on it and a person standing next to it). I was so focused on asking the question when I finally found them that I didn't even notice his name (if you're reading this, sorry!).

First off, it seemed like he was kind of disappointed when I asked about the PhotoBridge. I guess that's to be expected since they weren't even showing it there. I asked if anyone else had come by asking questions about the status of the PhotoBridge and he said 'a couple'.

Anyway, he basically said they are finishing up work on the Soundbridge Radio and once that was done they expected to finish up some remaining bugs and have a final version of 2.0 out. He mentioned some issues with streaming left to work out and it would be out 'soon', which anyone who has anything to do with technology knows could really be 'not soon' depending on lots of factors.

I also asked about availability and he said they were shifting production to China, undoubtedly as a cost cutting measure. I don't know where the original PhotoBridge was made and I'm too lazy to go look at it right now, so maybe it's only a different factory.

After talking to him I've resigned myself to believing that the PhotoBridge is what it always will be and I don't have any hope for a new version of hardware or software. I'm disappointed, but not angry and I still hope Roku succeeds even though for music streaming I've bought the competition specifically because of the way the PhotoBridge was handled. Just some regular communication from Roku would have gone a long way.

It's obvious to everyone they are more interested in the sound products because that's what is selling and it only makes sense from a business standpoint. I don't know how many PhotoBridges they sell/have sold, but they were early on the curve and sometimes that ends up not working in your favor (or our favor) in the end.

I'll end on a more positive note. The person I was with who knows virtually nothing about Roku said he didn't get the same impression that I got about the end of the PhotoBridge and felt that it seemed like it was still a product they are interested in. So, it is definitely possible I'm just jaded, so take this all with a grain of salt.

Also, it doesn't make sense that they'd shift production if they were going to discontinue it anytime soon.

P.S. There were a ton of media streaming devices (from standalone to integrated with TV's and DVD players, etc), so there will be a lot of choices in the market very soon.
 
swingnstar
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:38 am

If Roku got out a stable v. 2 of the software and that included DVD menus and subtitles, then that would be enough for me. Sure, some other features would be good, like easy web browsing, but that would really be enough to keep me happy for a few years at least.
Because of the active involvement of the 3rd party developers, this isn't that far away from a successful product, IMHO.
 
roopeshsheth
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:40 am

I would agree with the addition of stable and documented (and open) UPnp support.
 
jmsaul
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:27 am

swingnstar wrote:
If Roku got out a stable v. 2 of the software and that included DVD menus and subtitles, then that would be enough for me. Sure, some other features would be good, like easy web browsing, but that would really be enough to keep me happy for a few years at least.
Because of the active involvement of the 3rd party developers, this isn't that far away from a successful product, IMHO.


I agree completely. I'm using it practically daily now to play music and watch videos in HD.
 
jimre

Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:37 am

roopeshsheth wrote:
...One engineer who spends his time working on the SoundBridge...
As opposed to TWO engineers who spend all their time working on the SoundBridge? Sounds like the Photobridge is getting the same amount of resources it always has :)
 
r111
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:55 pm

I don't understand why Roku doesn't offer the entire HD1K OS as open source and let the community provide the devlopment effort -- perhaps the window for that is gone. Also, I'd be surprised if Roku developers have time for the HD1K after the radio ships -- that is usually followed by a flurry of initial bug fixes followed by version 1.x of the radio software....
 
candrews11
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:32 pm

Same reason Turtle Beach wouldn't give out the source for the Audiotron.

They wanted to protect thier property and not give the upper hand to some other competitor even though they have no intentions what so ever to do further work on the Audiotron.

The user community begged them for months to give out the source code and no matter what they wouldn't do it.

We certainly have a capable user base that could do the work but I doubt that they would ever let go of that level of control.
 
jimre

Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:02 pm

r111 wrote:
I don't understand why Roku doesn't offer the entire HD1K OS as open source and let the community provide the devlopment effort -- perhaps the window for that is gone. Also, I'd be surprised if Roku developers have time for the HD1K after the radio ships -- that is usually followed by a flurry of initial bug fixes followed by version 1.x of the radio software....

I doubt Roku could do this even if they wanted to. The key chip that runs the entire HD1000 is the ATI Xilleon processor. And I doubt ATI wants to open-source their proprietary driver/SDK code.
 
dgburns
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Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:18 pm

jerd wrote:
It's obvious to everyone they are more interested in the sound products because that's what is selling and it only makes sense from a business standpoint. I don't know how many PhotoBridges they sell/have sold, but they were early on the curve and sometimes that ends up not working in your favor (or our favor) in the end.


I think you're right about "early on the curve" and "not working in your favor". The PhotoBridge was (and probably STILL is) too far ahead of high enough home saturation of truly HD capable TV's. The audio products are easy, market saturation of homes with PC's and wireless networking is WAY higher than HDTV TV sets. We can HOPE the market catches up to the product and it isn't orphaned before then, BUT ATI and others likely have newer/better chips out or soon to be released (can you say inegrated MPG4 decoding in hardware?) so the life of the current PhotoBridge doesn't appear to be long.

And considering how poorly they've supported this iteration, can Roku think those people who feel 'burned' by the PhotoBridge will buy into a new product???
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