*Official* Roku 2 Media Streamer Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming > *Official* Roku 2 Media Streamer Thread
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 04:37 PM 07-19-2011
There has been a bit of buzz in the blogosphere about the upcoming refresh of Roku's media streamer lineup:

Roku 2 Launching with Angry Birds (from Dave Zatz)

Roku 2 - Nearly Upon Us? (from Dave Zatz)

It appears as if the devices are slated to appear in stores on July 24. Let us use this thread to discuss the features of the Roku 2 and share tips and tricks.

Brajesh's Avatar Brajesh 06:44 PM 07-19-2011
That video in your first link has to be a marketing gimmick (LOL). So for Roku 2 itself, other than the addition of Bluetooth & ability to play 'Angry Birds', anything exciting about it?
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 08:24 PM 07-19-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

That video in your first link has to be a marketing gimmick (LOL). So for Roku 2 itself, other than the addition of Bluetooth & ability to play 'Angry Birds', anything exciting about it?

NDA lifting in 3 - 4 hours time.

But, you can catch a glimpse of what Roku posted on their blog (and later took out) here:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...www.google.com

I think the exciting thing about the Roku 2 is that it will be the second media streamer after PS3 to fully support Netflix 1080p + English subtitles + DDPlus 5.1 audio track.

Stay tuned for more coverage at 12:02 AM PST
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 08:59 PM 07-19-2011
The thing about the PS3 is that it can't pass-through DD+ (outputs DD 640k) or 24FPS on anything other than Blu-Ray playback, so I guess going to the Roku would be a logical choice for me. It's frustrating, otherwise the PS3 would be perfect.

That said, are the older Roku models getting the Netflix 1080p update? If so I won't have to shell out $100 for the new ethernet model, I can get the older $80 one with ethernet.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 09:53 PM 07-19-2011
Our coverage is here:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4513/r...-gaming-to-tvs

I don't think the 1080p Netflix is going to be available on the older Roku boxes (but that is just my guess)
darklordjames's Avatar darklordjames 04:37 AM 07-20-2011
I was out of HDMI ports. So I just ordered up a 5x1 HDMI switch, some new cabling for it, and a Roku 2 XS. The fact that the Roku 2 HD only does 720p, and the Roku 2 XS comes with the $30 remote makes it a pretty big "no-brainer" choice over the Roku 2 XD for me.

I've watched the original Roku grow over the last 3 or 4 years from the first CE device to stream Netflix, and nothing else. Through a dedicated software update team they now offer up 300 channels of content. This has always made me respect the company and their offering, but it was never quite enough to get me to pick up a Roku. My 360 and PS3 were doing just fine. Throw in some games and update the hardware though? I'm sold!

Now to wait patiently. And shop for a 16GB MicroSD card to pop in to it.
davezatz's Avatar davezatz 07:32 AM 07-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I don't think the 1080p Netflix is going to be available on the older Roku boxes (but that is just my guess)

I heard back from Roku PR this AM. The NEW Netflix app is for Roku 2 hardware only, as you suspected.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 10:26 AM 07-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post
NDA lifting in 3 - 4 hours time.

But, you can catch a glimpse of what Roku posted on their blog (and later took out) here:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...www.google.com

I think the exciting thing about the Roku 2 is that it will be the second media streamer after PS3 to fully support Netflix 1080p + English subtitles + DDPlus 5.1 audio track.

Stay tuned for more coverage at 12:02 AM PST

Will the Roku2 have native resolution output? So 720P netflix will be output as 720P and 1080P Netflix will be output as 1080P.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 10:30 AM 07-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by davezatz View Post
I heard back from Roku PR this AM. The NEW Netflix app is for Roku 2 hardware only, as you suspected.
Thanks Dave. I guess it's the 2 XS for me. I only wish they would have kept the ethernet port in the cheaper model.
RTK's Avatar RTK 11:23 AM 07-20-2011
Dlna?
b_scott's Avatar b_scott 12:10 PM 07-20-2011
too bad - if this played MKV's and passed through HD audio, I'd buy one today. No DLNA either. But as it stands, worthless to me.
Brajesh's Avatar Brajesh 12:45 PM 07-20-2011
Agreed. Even if it didn't HD audio, I'd get one as a secondary streamer.
Hamilcar Barca's Avatar Hamilcar Barca 01:13 PM 07-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post
So for Roku 2 itself, other than the addition of Bluetooth & ability to
play 'Angry Birds', anything exciting about it?
I don't see any mention of IR-receiver capability on Roku's product page or
the various previews. I'd like to have this for a Harmony (IR) remote.

Is it reasonable to assume it's RF only? Maybe I should try to order a current
model although Amazon's out of stock of the XD at the moment (and maybe
forever.)
b_scott's Avatar b_scott 01:20 PM 07-20-2011
the two low models say "IR" on them. I assume the XS has it too.
darklordjames's Avatar darklordjames 01:37 PM 07-20-2011
They all have IR. It's on the product page. Also, the exciting part is to see where the community development goes with it. Maybe they will allow someone to build a DLNA client for it. Maybe they'll allow XBMC to be ported to it as an app. It depends on how strict they want to be, and if their licensing deals with content providers call for local streaming restrictions.
Hamilcar Barca's Avatar Hamilcar Barca 02:44 PM 07-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

They all have IR. It's on the product page.

After a couple of corrections here and a quick review, I find I was mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

Maybe they'll allow XBMC to be ported to it as an app.

That would be nice. I use (Windows') XBMC except for streaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

It depends on how strict they want to be, and if their licensing deals
with content providers call for local streaming restrictions.

If the box still runs Linux, they'll have to Tivoize it to prevent third-party
extensions.
darklordjames's Avatar darklordjames 04:30 PM 07-20-2011
"If the box still runs Linux, they'll have to Tivoize it to prevent third-party
extensions."

I'm not even referring to aftermarket modding of the device, but more about authorized 3rd party apps. I'm thinking along the lines of "Where does the game service go from here?". It's pretty obvious that Roku has had great luck building internal channels, growing the device from one streaming service to 300. They also seem to be eyeing what Apple is doing in their App Stores, and have started to emulate that with their initial handful of casual games. Ease of 3rd party development is also something that they are trumpeting with the release of Roku 2, I'd guess with the intention of selling 3rd party apps through their own version of an App Store.

So, the question is "What will they allow?". Will it be strictly regulated to games, will Roku allow productivity apps, will Roku's content licensing deals allow local network streaming apps, and do they want to allow those in their app store?

The 300 apps that they have right now justify it's purchase for me today, but I also see a lot of potential there that follows in line with Roku's track record thus far of extending a simple device as far as possible with great software support. If none of that potential is ever realized? That's fine. It will still be a great little streamer. Hopefully though, they build up a great little 3rd party app service, in turn giving Apple the kick in the pants they need to bring App Store ideas to the AppleTV, which will of course feed back in to the Roku.
IRJ's Avatar IRJ 05:51 PM 07-20-2011
I think I will stay with my XDS for now as the improvements aren't that well supported with streaming material yet. Also I paid money for the Playon software and I am guessing it's not transferable to another machine.

Maybe it's a 2012 buy for me I do like my Roku.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 06:30 PM 07-20-2011
I'll end up buying this and probably a dedicated media streamer besides. I'll have like 5 media boxes.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 08:15 PM 07-20-2011
I'll consider getting the Roku 2 for Netflix streaming if it has Native resolution output, so my external scaler/processor can do the work. Picture qulaity takes a big hit when I view Netflix from the PS3, Boxee Box and other players when they do the scaling. I typically use my TiVos for Netflix since they have Native resolution output. But I figure Roku will also give me access to some things that my other devices don't have.

Hopefully BestBuy will get them quickly. I have over $100 available in reward zone dollars so if I do get a Roku 2, my out of pocket cost will be zero.
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 09:01 PM 07-20-2011
I doubt it will do native output for Netflix. Probably just upscale everything to 1080p (or whatever your set resolution).

I'm more interested in if it will output 24FPS and DD+.
Myren's Avatar Myren 10:53 AM 07-21-2011
The Roku 2 XS has a USB port for attaching storage to... is there any kind of sharing setup, so other systems on the network can read content off the Roku 2 XS?
krisbee's Avatar krisbee 07:43 AM 07-22-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myren View Post

The Roku 2 XS has a USB port for attaching storage to... is there any kind of sharing setup, so other systems on the network can read content off the Roku 2 XS?

I am going to assume not - you can't do that now, and I don't see the usb as much of anything other than a convenience for some users that you happen to have a thumb drive with stuff, and you stick it in and see whats on there.

You can always get a third party app and use your computer to stream content to the roku though (that's what I do - I keep my content on my main machine and can access it on the roku).
DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi 10:51 PM 07-22-2011
http://support.roku.com/entries/2029...y-roku-player#

It appears the older Roku models can output 1080p/24, 1080p/30 while the Roku2 cannot. The wording there is a little unclear on what exactly they mean. Hopefully it will be cleared up.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 05:11 AM 07-23-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post
http://support.roku.com/entries/2029...y-roku-player#

It appears the older Roku models can output 1080p/24, 1080p/30 while the Roku2 cannot. The wording there is a little unclear on what exactly they mean. Hopefully it will be cleared up.
What*****????

Quote:
.............NOTE: Only 1080p24 and 1080p30 playback is supported on non-Roku 2 player models. Also, 1080p is supported on video playback only, the Roku user interface will be displayed at 720p
That seems pretty clear. Although it makes no sense for the newer player not to support those.
darklordjames's Avatar darklordjames 05:17 AM 07-23-2011
"Only 1080p24 and 1080p30 playback is supported on non-Roku 2 player models."

You guys seem to be putting the word "only" in the wrong place in your reading comprehension.

This says "Old Roku doesn't do 1080p60". It doesn't say anything about which variants of 1080p the Roku 2 does aside from "1080p".
darklordjames's Avatar darklordjames 05:23 AM 07-23-2011
http://support.roku.com/entries/2028...-definition-hd

This explicitly states that Roku 2 decodes 1080p24 and 1080p30 just fine, though there is still wiggle room in the wording as to actual output. And what's up with the exclusion of p60, given the implication from the other FAQ?

"The Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS models are capable of playing 1080p video (24 and 30 fps) on a 1080p capable HDTV."

Anyone get theirs yet? Mine shipped today.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 05:26 AM 07-23-2011
Well I guess that is typical for a company to say two different things.

I'm not the one that worded that quote. the way that quote was worded was wrong then.

Since it certainly makes more sense for the newer box to support 1080P24.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 08:07 AM 07-24-2011
So did anyone pick this up? I see the upper two models are available at one of my local Best Buy stores.
Charles R's Avatar Charles R 10:27 AM 07-24-2011
I picked up a XS for the fun of it. First time with a Roku so I can't compare it against the earlier models. First few points...

- I hate that the Ok button isn't located in the middle of the arrow keys.
- Bones via Amazon displays in 1080p60.
- Bones via Netflix displays in 1080p60.
- Netflix outputs DD+ (if the title supports it).
- Netflix buffers quite a while before starting.
- Netflix's image starts out very low resolution and progressively gets better (same as the PS3 I believe).
- Hulu Plus displays in 1080p60 (haven't played around).
- Overall the contrast ratio seems very hot (overly so) with blacks being crushed (compared to my TiVo). It will certainly need to be tweaked.
- Both Amazon and Netflix images look more 3D than my TiVo (some of it is probably the torch mode).

Under settings you can only pick 1080p. Nothing about 1080p24. It's a shame they don't support VUDU. It appears Plex is currently not compatible with the Roku 2... along with some other 3rd party channels so I couldn't test out streaming via my Mac Mini.
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