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shelleyp
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Measure Roku Use

Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:10 pm

With Comcast's new broadband cap (see DSLReports), is there anyway to get a bandwidth usage counter for bandwidth consumed via the Roku device?
 
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RokuMarkn
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:22 pm

If you just want to estimate in advance how much bandwidth you'll be using for X hours of viewing, you can easily calculate this based on the 4 bandwidth numbers for each title. Four star quality is 2.2 megabits per second (1.0 GB/hour), 3 star is 1.6 mbps (0.7 GB/hour), 2 star is 1.0 mbps (0.45 GB/hour) and 1 star is 0.5 mbps (0.22 GB/hour).

--Mark
 
robby69l
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:07 pm

So you can watch about 4 movies a day, and still have bandwith leftover for heavy surfing and music downloading.

Of course bandwith caps stink, but atleast 250GB is reasonable, if it is inevitable. Compared to 40GB at time warner, might as well sell your Roku now. I remember when I lived out in the sticks, I had wireless DSL with a 4GB cap, and went over it all the time, and that was just heavy surfing, voip and no downloading.

I would bet that you would have to go way over that to get a reprimand. I think they are just looking to get rid of the bandwith hogs out there. It is probably 10% of its customers using 80% of its bandwith.
 
shelleyp
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:22 pm

RokuMartin, thanks. I was kind of hoping that Roku might provide some form of running count, eventually. But guestimate looks the way to go.

Robby, "So you can watch about 4 movies a day, and still have bandwith leftover for heavy surfing and music downloading. "

Actually, currently the Roku is set up against my roommate's TV, because his doesn't have all the computer, AppleTV, et all attachments mine has. So while he's watching the 4 dot movies, I'm watching movies downloaded from iTunes, or the HD content over at Hulu, CBS, ABC, Joost, etc.

Once upon a time, we couldn't imagine needing over 1GB of hard drive space, or memory over 64k. Never forget the Henry Ford quote, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Innovation is based not on what the average person wants now, but on what people don't know they want, until they see it. A bandwidth cap is the equivalent of a speed limit set based on what a fast horse can run in Ford's time--which would have limited the development of the car rather quickly.

I guess I have a hard time understanding what exactly a "bandwidth hog" is. Some people would say I am, just because I get most of my entertainment from the Internet.

Anyway, thanks for the info RokuMartin.
 
Leo Valiant
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 1:07 pm

Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:58 am

RokuMarkn,

What's the quality bandwidth numbers for the HD content we know the Roku box can do for the future, or is that still getting tweaked?
 
Mark Knecht
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:01 pm

Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:33 am

shelleyp wrote:
RokuMartin, thanks. I was kind of hoping that Roku might provide some form of running count, eventually. But guestimate looks the way to go.


Nahh....this needs to be on the NetFlix Watch Instantly queue. Roku has no way of knowing (as far as I know) how much bandwidth I've used watching movies on my PC which is likely larger than I actually use on my Roku.

I don't suspect this is a real large problem. We are on Comcast and for the last two months I've used Watch Instantly on my PC for 6-8 hours/day on weekdays, and probably half that much on weekends. Throw in maybe 20 movies/month on the Roku and I figure we're pretty high bandwidth users. I talked to Comcast this morning. They told me they've been quietly testing the policy for the last 2-3 months in deciding the 250GB limit. They supposedly have been calling offenders and I haven't been called so I figure this will take some more work to break through and become a bad guy. ;-)

Cheers,
Mark
 
pnaulls
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:36 pm

Limits

Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:56 am

Comcast's value is more than reasonable, and well above what even the most avid movie watcher could take in. They're targeting the top few percent whose downloads really are excessive.

To give an idea, a 2 hour movie at the highest rate is about 2GB. So that's about 250 hours or well over 100 movies. TV episodes tend to be smaller, since they're 4:3 rather than wide screen, perhaps 500MB per hour.

And to be honest, if you watched 100 movies right now, you'd be well and truly through all the good stuff that they have.
 
celving
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Re: Limits

Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:29 am

pnaulls wrote:
To give an idea, a 2 hour movie at the highest rate is about 2GB. So that's about 250 hours or well over 100 movies. TV episodes tend to be smaller, since they're 4:3 rather than wide screen, perhaps 500MB per hour.

On the Netflix Player by Roku, the high quality encodes of TV episodes and movies are both about 1GB per hour.

As for 250GB being over 100 movies, that's true at the moment. However, I seem to recall Roku mentioning something about upcoming HD support...
 
PirateKatz
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:35 pm

I'm still curious to how much data I actually download in a month. We don't do any peer-to-peer file transfers but I suspect my wife and I use a lot of bandwith. In addition to the Roku/Netflix, we have Vonage for a home phone, use Tivo Unbox a few times a month, and generally have two laptops going when we're in the living room.

There was a time last week when we were doing all of this at once :-) Sometimes, I'm amazed that our $50 wireless router can handle it all at one time.

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