Rich Hamilton wrote:So, while I still thoroughly enjoy my M1001, if a lightning strike took away that artful piece of internet tech that resides next to my cheap Sherwood receiver tomorrow, I would simply toss my M1001, box up my Sherwood receiver, sell it a garage sale and buy a new receiver that can do just what my SoundBridge/Sherwood combination did and so much more - all in the same package.
S80_UK provided one answer as to noting some of the deficiencies apparently that come with some one-box solutions. bregent provided another answer laying out some of the existing competition in two-box solutions: "...Logitech Squeezebox, or Sonos, Grace, Sangean...".
I have not kept up on either one-box or multi-box solutions, but I think that both answers had some merit (even if they sort of contradicted each other... if the competition is issuing separate-box solutions and-or building their audio tech into one-box receiver solutions, then this somewhat contradicts the argument that the field is basically an obsoleted novelty field).
The third answer is that maybe it would have been, and maybe it would be, a good idea for Roku to issue audio players anew, whether built in to A/V equipment and-or as separate equipment. I am personally not sure. I don't know as to the business calculation on that.
I have found myself not using my soundbridge (for several years now) but instead using one or more of the radio stations that I can bring in to my TV, and that has been sufficient for my audio listening needs. However, I couldn't speak to the wide range of needs and issues and customer interest that might come up if one tried to delve into that research amongst many peoople. There is I think also a bit of research to be done to understand the nearby business questions of the internet radio business and any synergies (or not) to be realized by hardware issuers in conjunction with the evolution of that business.
(One example of exploring synergies and business models would be that Radio Roku was a bit of a nexus point that helped pull the channels together and made the hardware more usable and improved the overall experience for everyone, and also built up a bit of a following/interest-level that may not have monetized but which built up some focus from Roku owners... (I suppose this could even be argued as a potential partial negative, if there is interest built up but which then does not monetize and ultimately requires pulling back)... a reason to mention it now would necessarily be to re-open the Radio Roku questions but to just review that there is almost inevitably some outside-the-box business model discussion to be had upon evaluating business opportunties, and even after decisions are made).
I did think a few years ago that one could question Roku's exit from the business, (and, separately, the manner in which they handled it). Having questioned it though, I didn't know the answer then. Years have passed since then and the market must surely have evolved a bit, but I personally still don't know the answer.