Official Roku HD/XD/XDS Owners Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 646 Old 12-01-2010, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hps70w View Post

I have successfully streamed local video content to my Roku using the MyMedia private channel, but that was a LONG time ago, when it first came out. Back then people were still trying to figure out the correct encoding settings in Handbrake to get the files to play past 1 hour -- I think they've got that solved now. Anyway, the 1 hour "bug" that was present back then combined with the tedious effort of re-encoding all my content quickly drove me away from using my Roku for playing back local video content. It's just too much of a hassle, frankly. Especially when you consider there are so many other players out there that do it WAY better and easier. Roku is great for Netflix and other online content, but is severely lacking when it comes to playing local content - especially video.

Sorry I can't be of much help. I would suggest taking your questions to the Roku forums, if you haven't already. There are (very long) threads for each of the private local content channels, where in most instances you can interact with the developer directly.

Thanks; I think that gives me the answer I'm looking for. I have the Roku at a Bedroom location; low-demand. I have extensive, SD TV-on-DVD files that I'd like to be able to stream at that location. My XBMC on XBox does so beautifully, but when I got the Roku, I was so impressed by the little box, that I thought "what the hell...if I can bend it easily, to stream those files, and cut one box down to two...great".

But it hasn't been easy, and I'm an experienced streamer, who's been doing so for years. I'm not interested if it's going to be a big, complicated deal...re-encoding, or transcoding on the fly, etc...and I hate Play-On.

So, I'll go back to just letting Roku do what it does best; stream Netflix, and Hulu Plus, and other native applications.

CD

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post #182 of 646 Old 12-01-2010, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Thanks; I think that gives me the answer I'm looking for. I have the Roku at a Bedroom location; low-demand. I have extensive, SD TV-on-DVD files that I'd like to be able to stream at that location. My XBMC on XBox does so beautifully, but when I got the Roku, I was so impressed by the little box, that I thought "what the hell...if I can bend it easily, to stream those files, and cut one box down to two...great".

But it hasn't been easy, and I'm an experienced streamer, who's been doing so for years. I'm not interested if it's going to be a big, complicated deal...re-encoding, or transcoding on the fly, etc...and I hate Play-On.

So, I'll go back to just letting Roku do what it does best; stream Netflix, and Hulu Plus, and other native applications.

CD

Yeah, it's one of those cases where technically the box can do what you want it to do, but it takes so much extra effort if you don't already have all your media in a Roku-friendly format. Because in the end, it's not whether the application is public (native, as you put it) or private that's the issue -- it's the file container and codec support of the firmware. The Roku is just too limited to be of any use, in my opinion. That is, unless you just so happen to have all your media in the correct format, but with the fairly strict settings required, the chances of that happening are probably pretty slim.
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post #183 of 646 Old 12-01-2010, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by XJ6 View Post

Thanks, I was afraid to hear that.

I've got the new model XDS so its remote has the 3 additional buttons: REPLAY, BACK and OPTIONS. Apparently, there is no INFO button. REPLAY skips back your program 7-10secs (really cool); BACK is useless as it is only a 'subset' of UP; and OPTIONS allows you to add/select/remove a channel (sometimes it works like the SELECT button, other times it does nothing).

For people who are shopping for a Netflix player, comparing to the Sony BDP 570 that I've had for 5 wks and the WDTV Live+ that I returned after 1 day, I like the XDS the most. In facts, I am very happy with it so far. The Sony has better than average UI and the best upscaling of the 3. It does not allow you to search as it is mainly a BDP. The deal breaker is it has bailed out on me a few times while watching a movie. It shows 3 big horz. bars that add up to half of the screen and then only a reboot will fix it. The WD Live+ was horrible IMHO. The screen flashes/blanks out during power-up and when starting a new operation that leaves you wonder what it is doing. However, the main reason it got returned so quickly was that it would not 'connect' to my pj via HDMI at all. Meanwhile, the XDS does everything I need and prolly more so it is a keeper. Thanks for reading.

All I get is conflicting data: I use a Roku XDs box for Netflix streaming, by means of a DSL Extreme 3MB connection over an ATT phone line here in L.A.(best DSL available at my location). Netflix says a 5MB connection needed for 720 "hidef", while DSL Extreme says the 3MB will do that - and SOMETIMES it does, other times just a VHS quality image. So what gives? When is the streaming quality for a film determined? At start? During playback? Why the different response from Netflix vs DSL Extreme?
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post #184 of 646 Old 12-01-2010, 09:55 PM
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DSL speeds are typically quoted as "up to xx Mbps" in the marketing and sales material. It is not a "commited information rate" as you would get on a business oriented T1 service connection. Netflix likely recommends 5 Mbps, knowing that you'll realistically
experience less (3 Mbps) most of the time. My home DSL runs at 6Mbps during he business day, but drops to 3 or less when school closes, and even more at dinner time. Around 6PM, I have dropouts in just a 128kbps audio stream from my PBS local affiliate.

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post #185 of 646 Old 12-02-2010, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mrsmith View Post

All I get is conflicting data: I use a Roku XDs box for Netflix streaming, by means of a DSL Extreme 3MB connection over an ATT phone line here in L.A.(best DSL available at my location). Netflix says a 5MB connection needed for 720 "hidef", while DSL Extreme says the 3MB will do that - and SOMETIMES it does, other times just a VHS quality image. So what gives? When is the streaming quality for a film determined? At start? During playback? Why the different response from Netflix vs DSL Extreme?

A few things to note here:
  1. Netflix does not offer HD streams for all Instant Watch titles. Some are only available in SD.
  2. For the Roku, there are generally two different Netflix HD quality streams. One at 2.5mbps, and the other at 3.5mbps. Some HD titles will have both streams available; others will only have one (I believe it's usually the higher bitrate). You are probably able to get the 2.5mbps stream sometimes, when it's available, and when you're 3mbps connection is running under near-optimal conditions.
  3. The stream quality that is selected by the Roku box is determined when you start the stream. Netflix and most other channels do not use the HLS adaptive streaming available on the "live" Roku channels (MLB, NHL, UFC), so the bitrate will not change unless your network slows down, in which case the stream will be interrupted and it will rebuffer down to a lower quality stream. It will never rebuffer up to a better quality stream automatically.
  4. From what I've read, the quality that is selected at the start of the stream is based on calculations the box does internally, which are based on the performance of the last few streams you've watched. Some other less accurate calculations are performed after a reboot to estimate the optimal stream quality to select for the first stream you watch, since there is no past performance available to analyze. This is why it's fairly common to get a lower quality stream than you usually get when watching the first stream after a reboot. After a reboot, I usually watch a few minutes of a stream, and then force a rebuffer by rewinding a bit or restarting the stream, so it uses a more accurate calculation to determine the optimal stream, which usually results in it selecting a better quality.
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post #186 of 646 Old 12-03-2010, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by hps70w View Post

A few things to note here:
  1. Netflix does not offer HD streams for all Instant Watch titles. Some are only available in SD.
  2. For the Roku, there are generally two different Netflix HD quality streams. One at 2.5mbps, and the other at 3.5mbps. Some HD titles will have both streams available; others will only have one (I believe it's usually the higher bitrate). You are probably able to get the 2.5mbps stream sometimes, when it's available, and when you're 3mbps connection is running under near-optimal conditions.
  3. The stream quality that is selected by the Roku box is determined when you start the stream. Netflix and most other channels do not use the HLS adaptive streaming available on the "live" Roku channels (MLB, NHL, UFC), so the bitrate will not change unless your network slows down, in which case the stream will be interrupted and it will rebuffer down to a lower quality stream. It will never rebuffer up to a better quality stream automatically.
  4. From what I've read, the quality that is selected at the start of the stream is based on calculations the box does internally, which are based on the performance of the last few streams you've watched. Some other less accurate calculations are performed after a reboot to estimate the optimal stream quality to select for the first stream you watch, since there is no past performance available to analyze. This is why it's fairly common to get a lower quality stream than you usually get when watching the first stream after a reboot. After a reboot, I usually watch a few minutes of a stream, and then force a rebuffer by rewinding a bit or restarting the stream, so it uses a more accurate calculation to determine the optimal stream, which usually results in it selecting a better quality.

Thank you for your valuable, prompt response. Begs the question as to whether there is any way either through Netflix itself, or via the Roku XDs box, to determine which films are available encoded 720? If so, exactly how without a hit & miss approach?
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post #187 of 646 Old 12-03-2010, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mrsmith View Post

Thank you for your valuable, prompt response. Begs the question as to whether there is any way either through Netflix itself, or via the Roku XDs box, to determine which films are available encoded 720? If so, exactly how without a hit & miss approach?

Netflix titles that are available in HD are denoted with a little "HD" symbol in the description bubble in the Netflix grid. See the following image:

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post #188 of 646 Old 12-06-2010, 08:08 AM
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Question about the $60 Roku player. How's the wireless sensitivity?

We're thinking about getting her parents the roku (and a year's subscription to Netflix) for Christmas, but their wireless router is sitting in the back room (25 to 30 feet through multiple walls.)

They live in the sticks so I doubt there is much in the way of competing network signals, and it is only looking to move 2 Mbps max over their wifi.

Any thoughts on how reliable this will be?

Also, what is involved with the setup of these boxes? I mean, can I hook the roku box up to my LAN here to configure it and get it running under their account, then have them take it home and just plug it in? Does Netflix tie their players to the network they are on in any way (I don't want it to wonk up my Netflix subscription and I don't want it to start acting funny when they get it home either.) I realize the setup is probably pretty straight forward, but I'm sure you have that technically challenged relative too, so you know what I'm dealing with. It would be great if they could just get it home, plug it in and see the same menu selection screens that I showed them before they left our house...

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post #189 of 646 Old 12-09-2010, 02:25 PM
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I'm really confused regarding network speed and the Roku XD. I have TW cable for broadband, and when I run speedtest.net I consistently get over 14Mbps down. My wireless-N router (Engenius) connects to my computer at 270Mbps so I do not think I have any data throttling. Furthermore, I am running the OpenDNS servers at the suggestion of a Roku tech to eliminate any bottleneck caused by my ISP. I get an excellent signal at the Roku box, but when I enable diagnostic mode (Thanks hps70w) and try to run a Netflix HD movie, it says I am running a .7Mbps network. Ouch. I enabled the speedtest channel and got under 200kbps. That's kilo not mega, so its no wonder I can't stream HD. Just for a sanity check, I ran a Cat5 cable between my router and Roku. The speedtest channel then reported a dowload speed of around 6 to 7Mbps. This is half what I get on my computer, but at least it is workable for HD. So the question is Where did all my performance go?. By the way, my connected Vizio TV runs just fine off the same wireless network and streams Netflix in HD without a problem. Sounds like the Roku box is at fault, but I'm open to suggestions.
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post #190 of 646 Old 12-09-2010, 02:53 PM
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I think I may be on to something. I reset to factory defaults and left all settings alone --screen 4:3. Ran speedtest channel and got 10Mbps. Now we're talking. I then changed the screen resolution to 720P and ran speedtest again. Now it is 100kbps -- 100X lower. Changed back to 4:3 and the speed is back to 10Mbps. I guess it's up to Roku to fix this one!
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post #191 of 646 Old 12-15-2010, 07:16 AM
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One wierd thing I have found.
I have a XDS which supports 1080p.
I have a Sony Bravia TV that supports 1080/24p.
I can not find one HD stream on YouTube, Vimeo, etc even though they say 1080p or 1080/24p that works.
My TV just gives me a a black screen and the message 'unspupported signal, please check the device output', but sometimes I do hear sound.
720p is all I can get.
Has anyone found a clip that works in 1080p (24fps)?

thanks
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post #192 of 646 Old 12-15-2010, 12:55 PM
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I did the update last night, but didn't think about trying a 1080p youtube clip. I'll give it a shot tonight.

I hope Netflix starts sending something better than stereo to the Roku players like they do with some of the PS3 content. That's what I'm really waiting for.
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post #193 of 646 Old 12-16-2010, 03:35 PM
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I tried the wifi conn myself, 3300 sq ft home with router on the other side and one floor up, but it was flakey. Broke down and tried a powerline adapter and now roku is great. We just use it for netflix. And maybe hulu + but meh the programming choices are weak. Time to add an hd antenna...
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post #194 of 646 Old 12-16-2010, 06:07 PM
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I tried the wifi conn myself, 3300 sq ft home with router on the other side and one floor up, but it was flakey. Broke down and tried a powerline adapter and now roku is great. We just use it for netflix. And maybe hulu + but meh the programming choices are weak. Time to add an hd antenna...

What model Roku and what WiFi? I ask because I use the XDS with Dual Band N. My home is also about 3300sqft and my router is one floor removed from my Roku. The performance is flawless. So that others can make an accurate assesment it might help if they knew your EXACT setup. If you also have the XDS with Dual Band N I'm clueless as to why mine works so well and your doesn't. I'd bet you have one of the other models and thus you aren't on dual band.
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post #195 of 646 Old 12-16-2010, 08:19 PM
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Wifi has so much to do with the construction of your house. I have a 1946 house with plaster walls, that's about worst case for wifi. You have to take interior obstacles into account when you position your devices if you live in such a house. Moving a wifi device a few feet can make a huge difference. I have dual band n too.
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post #196 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 09:55 AM
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Does anyone have any experience with comparing the wireless reception of the various settop devices? I have a Roku which picks up the signal from our Netgear N150 router just fine when connected to one of our TVs; however if used with our main TV (which is further from the router), it is unable to connect to the network. I have a MacBook which I sometimes connect to the same TV which gets a strong signal and can stream video no problem, but I don't want to have to connect up my laptop every time I want to stream a movie. I was wondering if Apple TV or one of the other systems might get a better signal than the Roku HD box?
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post #197 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 12:36 PM
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I'm happy to report the latest firmware update for my XD|S has FINALLY fixed the MSNBC/NBC podcast glitch, where they would all stall at the 28 minute mark. Roku has been promising to address this for at least six months .... this firmware update did the trick. I have to go test my original Roku to be sure it works on the older models, too, but at least I can catch an NBC podcast if I miss the show. Apparently it was something to do with interleaving audio processing that tripped up the roku, but not exactly sure about the details. Regardless, the problem now (finally!) seems solved. They said they would do it and they did ...
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post #198 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hps70w View Post
Yeah, it's one of those cases where technically the box can do what you want it to do, but it takes so much extra effort if you don't already have all your media in a Roku-friendly format. Because in the end, it's not whether the application is public (native, as you put it) or private that's the issue -- it's the file container and codec support of the firmware. The Roku is just too limited to be of any use, in my opinion. That is, unless you just so happen to have all your media in the correct format, but with the fairly strict settings required, the chances of that happening are probably pretty slim.
I gave up on the media streaming, but the USB playback has proven to be handy. Just pop what you want to watch on a stick and it seems to play nicely using the usb media browser.
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post #199 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 01:17 PM
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I gave up on the media streaming, but the USB playback has proven to be handy. Just pop what you want to watch on a stick and it seems to play nicely using the usb media browser.
Really? I love my Roku for what it does best (i.e. Netflix and other channels) but local media playback has always been very poor for the movies I have (i.e. mkv, iso, avi). Has a recent update allowed for compatibility with more file types and containers?
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post #200 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by monitormaven View Post

I think I may be on to something. I reset to factory defaults and left all settings alone --screen 4:3. Ran speedtest channel and got 10Mbps. Now we're talking. I then changed the screen resolution to 720P and ran speedtest again. Now it is 100kbps -- 100X lower. Changed back to 4:3 and the speed is back to 10Mbps. I guess it's up to Roku to fix this one!

I disconnected my XD a couple of days ago and just reconnected using a different HDMI cable. Either the cable improved things or Roku did, because I now get the full bandwidth of my network when streaming Netflix. Diagnostic mode reports that HD streams use 3.8Mbps from my 12.1Mbps network. HD streams perfectly with no rebuffering. Kudos to Roku.
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post #201 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 02:01 PM
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I have an original Roku HD XR unit in my theater. My biggest complaint is that when streaming Netflix content, FF And Rewind take forever. I was hoping that if I upgraded to the XDS with wireless N , does the FF and Rewind feature improve?

If it doesn't I wont wast my money upgrading to the new XDS model.
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post #202 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wish View Post

Really? I love my Roku for what it does best (i.e. Netflix and other channels) but local media playback has always been very poor for the movies I have (i.e. mkv, iso, avi). Has a recent update allowed for compatibility with more file types and containers?

I had trouble with a few pre-processed files I had downloaded from youtube, I was getting an audio dropout every few seconds when playing through Roku (not on the computer). No idea why.... people have suggested faulty or problematic compression -- the ones I captured myself on mac were playing back fine. It still wont play all the file types I'd like, but I had by accident, I guess, saved/compressed them in the right format (mp4), so they played fine after I transferred them to a USB stick. I think it's still a work in progress. It will be great if they expand the options to at least include avi...

How do you go into diagnostic mode? I'm curious to check the rate on mine, too. I haven't had a stall since the new firmware, but... that's not exactly a 'scientific' analysis!
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post #203 of 646 Old 12-17-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wish View Post

What model Roku and what WiFi? I ask because I use the XDS with Dual Band N. My home is also about 3300sqft and my router is one floor removed from my Roku. The performance is flawless. So that others can make an accurate assesment it might help if they knew your EXACT setup. If you also have the XDS with Dual Band N I'm clueless as to why mine works so well and your doesn't. I'd bet you have one of the other models and thus you aren't on dual band.

I have the XD. The router is an older apple airport extreme b/g/n not dual band.

N seems to have a very limited range, g works better in my house. We have lots of legacy g only devices, laptops, squeezebox duet.
Wifi 'worked' but it was slow and I never got the 4 bars I wanted. I could have upgraded the router probably, or added an access point, but the powerline just works.
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post #204 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wish View Post

What model Roku and what WiFi? I ask because I use the XDS with Dual Band N. My home is also about 3300sqft and my router is one floor removed from my Roku. The performance is flawless. So that others can make an accurate assesment it might help if they knew your EXACT setup. If you also have the XDS with Dual Band N I'm clueless as to why mine works so well and your doesn't. I'd bet you have one of the other models and thus you aren't on dual band.

does your FF and rewind lag? I am considering upgrading to the new XDS from the legacy HD XR Roku because of wireless lag when ff and rewinding.
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post #205 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wish View Post

Really? I love my Roku for what it does best (i.e. Netflix and other channels) but local media playback has always been very poor for the movies I have (i.e. mkv, iso, avi). Has a recent update allowed for compatibility with more file types and containers?

IF you convert to MP4 with HandBrake at the recommended settings then local playback is beautiful, as good as anything out there. We use Roksbox to play it back. If you take any old MP4, mov, etc your mileage will vary wildly.
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post #206 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 12:31 PM
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What file systems will it read? It's hooked to my projector and it's too bright out to check...
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post #207 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 01:40 PM
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How do you go into diagnostic mode? I'm curious to check the rate on mine, too. I haven't had a stall since the new firmware, but... that's not exactly a 'scientific' analysis!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post19505132

See #2 (playback debugging).
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post #208 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by john barlow View Post

does your FF and rewind lag? I am considering upgrading to the new XDS from the legacy HD XR Roku because of wireless lag when ff and rewinding.

What do you mean by "lag"? If you are referring to the stream rebuffering after a FF/REW, that is normal and there's really no way around it. Or do you mean it actually lags before it starts to rebuffer?
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post #209 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 01:49 PM
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What file systems will it read? It's hooked to my projector and it's too bright out to check...

If you're refering to my statement about local file playback, from Roksbox, it's an HTTP stream of an MP4 from a web server (in my case IIS on Win 2003 Server). Seems to work very efficiently even over wireless G with HD mp4s (no rebuffering at all..).
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post #210 of 646 Old 12-18-2010, 05:31 PM
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What do you mean by "lag"? If you are referring to the stream rebuffering after a FF/REW, that is normal and there's really no way around it. Or do you mean it actually lags before it starts to rebuffer?

I was hoping that the N speed would just speed up the process. I guess you're right, there's no way around it with the buffering. I'ts distracting and I wish they'd come up with a better way.
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