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mellowcalico
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Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:29 am

I am considering getting a Roku with Netflix (and a digital antenna). I really don't watch a lot of TV and am sick of paying $120 a month for cable that I don't watch.

I am not very tech savvy and I don't own a Roku yet. What I would like to know is if I can use the internet and a Roku at the same time (for those times my child watches a kids movie or show and I want to catch up on e-mail or something). If so, how do I do that (will I need some sort of wireless router in addition to a Roku?). Do I need a faster internet connection to do this? If so, what's the recommended connection?

Is there some kind of comprehensive Q&A for Roku noobs like myself?

Thanks!
 
texashildy
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:37 am

You can absolutely use internet and Roku at the same time. I'm surfing while the kids are watching Sesame Street right now. :) As for the technical specs, I'll let others that are more experienced answer that.
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KennyJ
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:38 am

I think 1.5 Mbps is the recommended speed for high quality SD on Netflix. You probably want about 3 Mbps for HD and 5 Mbps for Hulu HD. I have 15 Mbps through Verizon FIOS and have watch 3 simultaneous streams (2 on Roku and 1 on PC). We regularly surf and watch TV.

If your speeds are closer to the minimums you may run into problems when you do anything bandwidth-intensive on the internet (downloading files, etc). Though, even when I used to have 3 Mbps DSL we would watch streams and use the internet without issue.
 
robertm
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:46 am

Yes, and you do need a router.

Over wireless you can make do with less but I think 6mbps will give you a stable HD stream and leave a little extra for other internet usage. If you ever plan to add more roku boxes more is always better.
 
ApK
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:49 am

Right, what else you can do while watching a Netflix stream, depends on your available bandwith.

If you have 1.5 Mbps DSL connection and try to download a large file at the same time, you will probably not have a great viewing experience.

We have DSL service that gives us around 3Mbps actual speed most of the time, and we can watch two different simultaneous SD movies and still do light web browsing and email without a problem.

As for needing a wireless router, you will need some way to hook more than one device to your network, just as if you were hooking up a second computer. If your existing cable or DSL equipment doesn't provide a way to do that as is, then yes, you'll need to add it.
You don't NEED wireless. You MAY use wireless or wired connections.
 
ddevonb
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:49 am

mellowcalico wrote:
I am considering getting a Roku with Netflix (and a digital antenna).




By the way... there is no such thing as a digital antenna. You just need a good TV antenna. Check with a local antenna company to find out how much antenna you need to get the channels that you want to get.
 
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kc8pql
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:02 pm

...but there are antennae optimized for the UHF bands, which is where most of the DTV signals are.
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mikebdoss
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:34 pm

kc8pql wrote:
...but there are antennae optimized for the UHF bands, which is where most of the DTV signals are.


The 30+ year-old antenna on my roof pulls in digital signals like no one's business. Others may be "optimized", but good 'ol antennas work very, very well as well.
 
ApK
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:51 pm

mikebdoss wrote:
kc8pql wrote:
...but there are antennae optimized for the UHF bands, which is where most of the DTV signals are.


The 30+ year-old antenna on my roof pulls in digital signals like no one's business. Others may be "optimized", but good 'ol antennas work very, very well as well.


Most people took theirs down 20 years ago. :wink:
But, seriously, can we allow that when someone says "digital antenna" around here, they mean "a suitable antenna for receiving digital TV broadcasts in their location?"
 
mikebdoss
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:55 pm

ApK wrote:
mikebdoss wrote:
kc8pql wrote:
...but there are antennae optimized for the UHF bands, which is where most of the DTV signals are.


The 30+ year-old antenna on my roof pulls in digital signals like no one's business. Others may be "optimized", but good 'ol antennas work very, very well as well.


Most people took theirs down 20 years ago. :wink:
But, seriously, can we allow that when someone says "digital antenna" around here, they mean "a suitable antenna for receiving digital TV broadcasts in their location?"


Yeah, if that's what they mean. But I think it's important for people to know that they don't NEED to buy a new antenna if they've got an old one on their roof, or if they've got a good pair of rabbit ears and get a good signal. Lots of people assume that they need a special "digital" antenna since the changeover, but their old ones will often work just fine.
 
ApK
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:00 pm

mikebdoss wrote:
Yeah, if that's what they mean. But I think it's important for people to know that they don't NEED to buy a new antenna if they've got an old one on their roof, or if they've got a good pair of rabbit ears and get a good signal. Lots of people assume that they need a special "digital" antenna since the changeover, but their old ones will often work just fine.


True.
 
mellowcalico
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:05 pm

Thanks for all the tips and advice!

I never had an antenna since I've always had FiOS (cable). I see antennas advertised as "digital antennas" so that's what I think of them as. Basically I am talking about one of those flat little $20 boxes I can put by my TV and pick up a couple of local stations. But if rabbit ears would work, I'd gladly get those (assuming I could find them).

I just need to figure out what kind of router I will need. I think I want to go wireless for the sake of not having to run cable all over the place. Still Roku + router + antenna = a one time cost that is just a smidge more than what I currently pay per month for cable. I can hardly wait! I am sick of paying for cable that I don't watch (usually because there is "nothing I like" on).

As for internet, I am looking at getting 25 Mbps download, so I should be good to surf while my daughter watches streaming Scooby Doo.
 
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kc8pql
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:51 pm

mellowcalico wrote:
But if rabbit ears would work, I'd gladly get those (assuming I could find them).


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SuetyStanes
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:24 pm

mellowcalico wrote:
As for internet, I am looking at getting 25 Mbps download, so I should be good to surf while my daughter watches streaming Scooby Doo.


Oh my golly yes. You'd be fine with a much lower speed than that.
 
vmps
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Re: Can I use internet and Roku at the same time

Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:34 pm

kc8pql wrote:
...but there are antennae optimized for the UHF bands, which is where most of the DTV signals are.


And boy do people get a nasty surprise if they're in an area with VHF channels, which did not all go away. That said, if you're buying a new antenna in an area that is UHF-only, you can get a much smaller antenna.

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