Official Roku HD/XD/XDS Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 646 Old 10-11-2010, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm kind of surprised there wasn't an "official" Roku thread already. Sometimes that's a good thing, like it's so easy to use...who needs help. But I have a feeling, with the price reduction, and hint at Hulu+ coming soon, these are about to make a jump in popularity; I know I just bought my first one, and love it for what it is.

Again, it's not like it's hard to set-up and use...IMO...but I have seen a few questions popping up here and there, and I myself tried to set-up a SqueezeServer app that didn't seem to take. So why not start an official thread to share info.

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post #2 of 646 Old 10-11-2010, 02:25 PM
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Since you started the thread, let me ask you (and others) a question. What sold you on the Roku over AppleTV, GoogleTV and Boxee? I'm currently trying to decide. I've always been a Mac guy, but I'm not opposed to a different device. I have a large iTunes music library, but very little video. I have a growing DVD and BD collection. I have a 100" screen so resolution is important. I can't imagine watching YouTube videos on a screen that size. I watch sports and movies and just a few TV shows, all in HD. I'd like to free myself from cable, but quality is important to me.
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post #3 of 646 Old 10-11-2010, 03:04 PM
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If you are interested in a comparison between Roku and Apple TV, I'm sure there are several articles out there in internet-land to read. Here's one for instance:

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_b...he-winner.html

You mentioned iTunes (audio) -- the Roku can interface directly with the audio files in your iTunes library using a "Private" channel that is available. I can give more specifics if you're interested, just know that it's possible. Although, audio support for the Roku in general is primarily limited to mp3.

I own two Roku boxes - one of the newer XDS models and one of the original HD models. They are great little internet streamers (Netflix, Amazon VOD, etc.), but aren't really suited for playing content off your local network. You can do it, but supported file containers and codecs are severely limited (primarily mp4 and h.264), and the overall experience is not really very user-friendly, especially since it requires a server to serve up your content instead of being uPnP/DLNA compliant or being able to access SMB shares. So, if playing back local content is important to you, I'd suggest using some other STB, since there are several out there to choose from that do it much better and easier than Roku.

One of the main differences between the new Roku boxes and the AppleTV is that the Roku supports 1080p, while the AppleTV does not. HD content is primarily available from Netflix and Amazon VOD, although not in full 1080p at the moment. Netflix has said in the past they plan on providing 1080p at some point in the future.

There are a few live-streaming sports channels available on the Roku, including MLB.TV and I believe NHL Gamecenter is slated to come to the box very soon.
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post #4 of 646 Old 10-11-2010, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R o d View Post

Since you started the thread, let me ask you (and others) a question. What sold you on the Roku over AppleTV, GoogleTV and Boxee? I'm currently trying to decide. I've always been a Mac guy, but I'm not opposed to a different device. I have a large iTunes music library, but very little video. I have a growing DVD and BD collection. I have a 100" screen so resolution is important. I can't imagine watching YouTube videos on a screen that size. I watch sports and movies and just a few TV shows, all in HD. I'd like to free myself from cable, but quality is important to me.

I resisted for the longest time, because I kept chasing that one box that does it all. But nothing I found did both local streaming and Internet content very well.

To be honest, when Roku lowered the price to $60 is when I decided to give it a try. I figured, at that price, what's there to lose? It does Netflix wayyy better than any other device I've tried, and it's so small it makes having 2 boxes instead of one pretty insignificant.

Now, that being said...if you're looking for music, and local-file playback; a more all-around performer, I don't think the Roku is it. It is what it is, it's good at its one thing...and when they add Hulu+, and maybe some other content, it'll be even better.

CD

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post #5 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 06:22 AM
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For the wired (I guess also wireless) how is Netflix picture quality? We're currently using a Wii for Netflix but I've been playing with the idea of picking up the Roku. What drives me nuts is the poor picture quality of the Wii. I avoid watching movies with it because I'd rather get the disk for better picture quality.
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post #6 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 06:42 AM
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How much better is the new Roku over the old? Are there any major differences besides 1080P output?

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post #7 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

How much better is the new Roku over the old? Are there any major differences besides 1080P output?

There really isn't that much difference, aside from the looks of the box, 1080p support, and the new remote. Even then, all of the older boxes will support the added functionality of the new remote (you just need to buy one separately), and the older HD-XR will even be software upgradeable to 1080p. So, the differences aren't really all that significant. Roku doesn't readily release information about the innards of their boxes, so it's a bit difficult to tell how the component specs differ between the old and the new.
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post #8 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 05:53 PM
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I would like to be an owner but still waiting for Amazon to change my XDS from a preorder to now shipped. Yes I know I can order straight from Roku but I am an Amazon Prime member and hate paying for shipping.

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post #9 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone try to install Main Squeeze? It completely locked my HD up, and I had to pull the plug.

CD

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post #10 of 646 Old 10-12-2010, 07:15 PM
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How much better is the new Roku over the old? Are there any major differences besides 1080P output?

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post #11 of 646 Old 10-13-2010, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Anyone try to install Main Squeeze? It completely locked my HD up, and I had to pull the plug.

CD

I'd suggest reading the MainSqueeze thread on the Roku forums, if you haven't done so already.

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=31915

I must admit I don't know the first thing about this channel, but at least you'll be able to interact with the developer directly via that thread and hopefully get your issue resolved. Just be aware that the MainSqueeze channel is a finalist in the Roku developer contest, so the developer is not allowed to release updates until the judging has been completed, which should be this week or maybe next week. So, if there is a bug, it may be a little while before the fix is released for the official channel.
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post #12 of 646 Old 10-13-2010, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hps70w View Post

I'd suggest reading the MainSqueeze thread on the Roku forums, if you haven't done so already.

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=31915

I must admit I don't know the first thing about this channel, but at least you'll be able to interact with the developer directly via that thread and hopefully get your issue resolved. Just be aware that the MainSqueeze channel is a finalist in the Roku developer contest, so the developer is not allowed to release updates until the judging has been completed, which should be this week or maybe next week. So, if there is a bug, it may be a little while before the fix is released for the official channel.

Thanks; I try to keep the forums I need to read to about a baker's dozen or so...lol...but it look like I'll have to take a peek. It's not that big a deal; I don't expect to need access to my Squeeze from the Roku...but I saw the channel and figured I'd check it out.

CD

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post #13 of 646 Old 10-13-2010, 08:54 AM
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The only thing stopping me from getting a Roku is that fact that the fall TV season has started, and as such I already have a backlog of DVRed shows to watch that keeps growing every week...

Possibly late winter I will feel the itch, ...if it doesn’t end up being a Christmas present to myself.

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post #14 of 646 Old 10-18-2010, 03:11 PM
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Looking for something that can be PURELY used as a Musica player through my HT. All FLAC. Would this do the trick?

Would like something with a nice slick UI.
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post #15 of 646 Old 10-18-2010, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kopkiwi View Post

Looking for something that can be PURELY used as a Musica player through my HT. All FLAC. Would this do the trick?

Would like something with a nice slick UI.

In a word, NO. What's your budget? If you're looking at the inexpensive Roku's, I might suggest you look at an ATV2...but I don't think Apple plays nice with FLAC.

IMO, Squeezebox and Sonos are the two best dedicated music players, but they might be more than you want to spend.

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post #16 of 646 Old 10-18-2010, 04:33 PM
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I'll disagree with CD and say apple iTunes + Airport + ipod/iphone is a better solution to me than the squeezeboxes. I have far too many issues squeezecenter that just dont exist in iTunes. I find the apple solution cheaper and more robust than the logitech solution. Yes I have owned both for over 2 years. One is at one house and the other is at my vacation home. I play mostly local content. if you want stream content like internet radio, pandora, rhapsody, radioIo, etc. The Logitech solution is far better than the Apple solution. The Sonos solution which I just installed my 3rd system at a friends house hands down beats them all. It provides the most features and functionality and just works. If I were to do it all over again I would just bite the bullet and buy the sonos. Its that good...

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post #17 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 01:01 AM
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i want to get rid of comcast (grrr) and have already been using the Boxee app with great success on my quadcore iMac 27" - i have a nice 42" Panasonic 780p HDTV that i'd like to use to watch content from my Mac as well as various content streaming from the interwebs.

Boxee Box looks interesting, although $199 is not worth it. However, the Boxee app is quite nice and I'd like to see if I can install it to run on the Roku device.

Is anyone aware of the considerations, obstacles, limitations or otherwise idiosyncratic complications that would suggest against doing so?

i currently have a Hulu Plus and Netflix account.

your input is greatly appreciated.

thanks!
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post #18 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pram9 View Post

i want to get rid of comcast (grrr) and have already been using the Boxee app with great success on my quadcore iMac 27" - i have a nice 42" Panasonic 780p HDTV that i'd like to use to watch content from my Mac as well as various content streaming from the interwebs.

Boxee Box looks interesting, although $199 is not worth it. However, the Boxee app is quite nice and I'd like to see if I can install it to run on the Roku device.

Is anyone aware of the considerations, obstacles, limitations or otherwise idiosyncratic complications that would suggest against doing so?

i currently have a Hulu Plus and Netflix account.

your input is greatly appreciated.

thanks!

I have yet to see info on Roku being hacked for ANYTHING.

CD

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post #19 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 11:04 AM
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I have yet to see info on Roku being hacked for ANYTHING.

CD

Roku is all about being "hacked". There's a contest right now for new "channels"

There is a PlayOn app out there now, where you can watch Hulu and ESPN3. Why couldn't someone develop one for Boxee? Unless Boxee would not allow it.
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post #20 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Roku is all about being "hacked". There's a contest right now for new "channels"

There is a PlayOn app out there now, where you can watch Hulu and ESPN3. Why couldn't someone develop one for Boxee? Unless Boxee would not allow it.

Why indeed? I hear what you're saying about developing the channels, but do you really think if the $59 Roku...and older models certainly must go for a fraction of that...were a suitable carrier for Boxee, that wouldn't be a KILLER combo that would be plastered all over the Net?

Glaring oversight, or explanation for why it hasn't been done to this point?

CD

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post #21 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaz96 View Post

Roku is all about being "hacked". There's a contest right now for new "channels"

There is a PlayOn app out there now, where you can watch Hulu and ESPN3. Why couldn't someone develop one for Boxee? Unless Boxee would not allow it.

Play on is a program that aggregates, transcodes and sends out video streams in a DLNA suitable stream (although the Roku stream they support is not DLNA) that a basic Roku can recognize and play back. This isn't really hacking. This is just providing the basic Roku box a format it can understand (in simplified terms.)

To get boxee to run on the Roku, you would pretty much need to rip out the Roku firmware and replace it with hacked Boxee firmware.

That's two different things entirely.

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post #22 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 12:56 PM
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Hi guys,

I have a question for existing owners. That is, can the XDS output 1080p at all? Specifically, if you set the output to 1080p does it actually output 1080p when you're traversing the menus, for example? I could only spent a very limited amount of time with my newly arrived XDS last night and the best it would do was 720p.

Pardon me if something like that has been posted already. TIA.
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post #23 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 01:38 PM
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Hi guys,

I have a question for existing owners. That is, can the XDS output 1080p at all? Specifically, if you set the output to 1080p does it actually output 1080p when you're traversing the menus, for example? I could only spent a very limited amount of time with my newly arrived XDS last night and the best it would do was 720p.

Pardon me if something like that has been posted already. TIA.

Yes, the XDS can output 1080p. However, the Roku UI is currently only 720p.

http://support.roku.com/entries/2683...my-roku-player

Note that 1080p24 and 1080p30 are supported, but 1080p60 is not.
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post #24 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for the quick response and the link. The last part of it says "...Also, 1080p is supported on video playback only, the Roku user interface will be displayed at 720p". That will prevent users from using the "1:1 mapping" aspect ratio. I guess I will have to learn to live with it.
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post #25 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ6 View Post

Thanks for the quick response and the link. The last part of it says "...Also, 1080p is supported on video playback only, the Roku user interface will be displayed at 720p". That will prevent users from using the "1:1 mapping" aspect ratio. I guess I will have to learn to live with it.

Not really. At worst, the tv just has to resync when going from menu to movie.

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post #26 of 646 Old 10-21-2010, 03:43 PM
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Not really. At worst, the tv just has to resync when going from menu to movie.

-Suntan

I know what you mean but I have a particular preference and my setup is a little bit different (ie, no HDMI-capable receiver). Til now, I have all sources output either 1080p or 1080i and the projector's AR set to 1:1. That way I would never have to change the pj's AR when switching sources and more importantly, double up-conversions would be avoided.

Anyway, I just have to modify the remote's "jump-to-Netflix-activity" macro to additionally send the pj's "WIDE" key code and other jump macros the "1:1" code.

On another topic, without Amazon VOD and multimedia files (such as those archived on a HDD), you guys know if there is a way to verify that the optical SPDIF will actually send out 5.1 signals? IOW, are there other internet channels with 5.1 contents that I can use to test the XDS?

Thanks again.
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post #27 of 646 Old 10-22-2010, 06:27 AM
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Anyway, I just have to modify the remote's "jump-to-Netflix-activity" macro to additionally send the pj's "WIDE" key code and other jump macros the "1:1" code.

I don't understand? Why would you have to switch aspect ratios? The aspect ratio between 720p and 1080p are the same, 720p is just smaller. You're PJ would just automatically scale the 720p up to full screen, then revert back to playing the 1080p native, without scaling, once the show starts.

As for 5.1, I don't know. But you could always wait for Netflix to open up the 1080p/5.1 offering to the Roku (I have to think they will be right behind the PS3.)

-Suntan
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post #28 of 646 Old 10-22-2010, 11:20 AM
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I don't understand? Why would you have to switch aspect ratios? The aspect ratio between 720p and 1080p are the same, 720p is just smaller. You're PJ would just automatically scale the 720p up to full screen, then revert back to playing the 1080p native, without scaling, once the show starts.

As for 5.1, I don't know. But you could always wait for Netflix to open up the 1080p/5.1 offering to the Roku (I have to think they will be right behind the PS3.)

-Suntan

Hi Suntan, thanks for the responses.

With 1:1 mapping, the highlighted statement above is no longer true, ie, a 720p picture will only occupy 4/9 of the image area on a 1080 display. Sorry, this is sort of out of topic so let just stop it here.

WRT the 5.1 output, I think I can try one of Amazon VODs.

Onto another question, while watching a Netflix program, or any other provider's for that matter, which button do you push to get the program info? I am puzzled as the remote does not have a 'display' or 'info' button.

Thanks again.
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post #29 of 646 Old 10-22-2010, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by XJ6 View Post

Onto another question, while watching a Netflix program, or any other provider's for that matter, which button do you push to get the program info? I am puzzled as the remote does not have a 'display' or 'info' button.

Thanks again.

Unfortunately, there is no way to view program info while watching a video on the Roku. Presumably, that's one function the "info" button on the new remote for the latest models will fill someday, but that's just speculation. People have been clamoring for this functionality pretty much since the beginnings of the box...and for good reason.
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post #30 of 646 Old 10-23-2010, 11:05 AM
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Unfortunately, there is no way to view program info while watching a video on the Roku. Presumably, that's one function the "info" button on the new remote for the latest models will fill someday, but that's just speculation. People have been clamoring for this functionality pretty much since the beginnings of the box...and for good reason.

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.
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