Roku, Revue, + other Internet Movie Streaming? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Pardon me for being so long winded, but I want you to understand my circumstances.

I live in a very small town and the local Blockbuster (5 miles away) closed down recently, consequently, to rent anything other than the latest blockbuster movies I have to drive roughly 25 miles. With the price of Gas, that makes renting a movie financially unpleasant.

Also, my small town does not have cable, though Cable over the phone lines is available, but I don't think I can justify the on-going cost of cable. I get maybe a dozen TV stations over the air, and that is enough to satisfy me, at least until I win the lottery.

I have a US$4000 Stereo AV system which I am happy with, and I do love movies. I considered joining NETFIX, but I have no NETFLIX enabled devices. I have a new Universal DVD player ($280) that I use strictly for CD's. I have a new Universal BluRay ($480) that I use for movies. I have a new VIZIO 42" TV. None of these device are Netflix enabled, and it seem pointless to buy a cheap BluRay player just to get the Netflix access.

So, I'm looking at a Set Top Box like Roku or Logitech Revue (and others) to connect to Netflix. But I'm not sure which is the best to buy, nor are the websites very clear about the available content, which content is free and which is paid, etc....

On a side note, I find the endless hollow happy-talk ad-speak of these website infuriating. They do a lot of talking, but do their best to not convey any useful information in the process.

The Roku seems fine, and they were originally Netflix own set-top box. Plus, the Roku box seems to allow access to a certain amount of other free content. Though again, which is free and which is not is unclear.

The Logitech Revue has a full keyboard, which is nice, using the Chrome browser it allows full access to the Internet including YouTube which is a plus. But again, exactly what you get is not that clear, nor which is paid and which is not.

Plus, hints are that the Logitech Revue's days are numbered. It seems as if Logitech is going to stop making them. That doesn't bode well for long term support.

Essentially, the Logitech Revue is Google-TV, but even the Google-TV website is very vague about what you are getting.

For the most part, I want access to Netflixs for movies, but if other free contents is there, and one has an advantage over the other, then that would be appealing. But it is difficult to determine, which has any advantage when the website are so long on talk, but so short on actual information.

If anyone has any comments about the advantages and disadvantages of these devices (or other devices), or about the available content, ease of use, likelihood of being around in a year, video quality, or any other relevant information, it would be greatly appreciated.

I like the full keyboard of the Logitech, and the full Internet access, though I'm not sure how much I would use them. But, I'm not sure if the Logitech devices or even Google-TV have any longevity. I don't want to be stuck with a £100 boat anchor a year from now.

Sorry for rambling on but any advice on Internet Video Streaming Devices in general would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

Pardon me for being so long winded, but I want you to understand my circumstances.

I live in a very small town and the local Blockbuster (5 miles away) closed down recently, consequently, to rent anything other than the latest blockbuster movies I have to drive roughly 25 miles. With the price of Gas, that makes renting a movie financially unpleasant.

Also, my small town does not have cable, though Cable over the phone lines is available, but I don't think I can justify the on-going cost of cable. I get maybe a dozen TV stations over the air, and that is enough to satisfy me, at least until I win the lottery.

I have a US$4000 Stereo AV system which I am happy with, and I do love movies. I considered joining NETFIX, but I have no NETFLIX enabled devices. I have a new Universal DVD player ($280) that I use strictly for CD's. I have a new Universal BluRay ($480) that I use for movies. I have a new VIZIO 42" TV. None of these device are Netflix enabled, and it seem pointless to buy a cheap BluRay player just to get the Netflix access.

So, I'm looking at a Set Top Box like Roku or Logitech Revue (and others) to connect to Netflix. But I'm not sure which is the best to buy, nor are the websites very clear about the available content, which content is free and which is paid, etc....

On a side note, I find the endless hollow happy-talk ad-speak of these website infuriating. They do a lot of talking, but do their best to not convey any useful information in the process.

The Roku seems fine, and they were originally Netflix own set-top box. Plus, the Roku box seems to allow access to a certain amount of other free content. Though again, which is free and which is not is unclear.

The Logitech Revue has a full keyboard, which is nice, using the Chrome browser it allows full access to the Internet including YouTube which is a plus. But again, exactly what you get is not that clear, nor which is paid and which is not.

Plus, hints are that the Logitech Revue's days are numbered. It seems as if Logitech is going to stop making them. That doesn't bode well for long term support.

Essentially, the Logitech Revue is Google-TV, but even the Google-TV website is very vague about what you are getting.

For the most part, I want access to Netflixs for movies, but if other free contents is there, and one has an advantage over the other, then that would be appealing. But it is difficult to determine, which has any advantage when the website are so long on talk, but so short on actual information.

If anyone has any comments about the advantages and disadvantages of these devices (or other devices), or about the available content, ease of use, likelihood of being around in a year, video quality, or any other relevant information, it would be greatly appreciated.

I like the full keyboard of the Logitech, and the full Internet access, though I'm not sure how much I would use them. But, I'm not sure if the Logitech devices or even Google-TV have any longevity. I don't want to be stuck with a £100 boat anchor a year from now.

Sorry for rambling on but any advice on Internet Video Streaming Devices in general would be appreciated.

Steve/bluewizard

Roku or ATV will do the job nicely. GoogleTV is a whole different can of worms....
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Could you explain why Google-TV is a different can of worms?

And what is ATV?

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I should also add, though it might be obvious, that I have no need for in-house streaming of any media. Strictly Internet Streaming of movies and other free content.

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:50 AM
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ATV = Apple TV
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 07:55 AM
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I believe the roku supports streaming DD 5.1 from Netflix. If this is important be aware that ot all players do.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-16-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by LVS View Post

I believe the roku supports streaming DD 5.1 from Netflix. If this is important be aware that ot all players do.

It supports it but last I heard, it still sends the 5.1 audio in a 7.1 wrapper when you use a 7.1 sound system. And if it's a stereo encode on netflix, it will send the stereo in a 5.1 wrapper in a 5.1 system and send the stereo in a 7.1 wrapper for a 7.1 system. Which prevents any post processing from being done. So the end result is audio like in the 80s, stereo, instead of using post processing like in the 90's and later to create a multi channel soundfield.

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post #8 of 25 Old 03-17-2012, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

It supports it but last I heard, it still sends the 5.1 audio in a 7.1 wrapper when you use a 7.1 sound system. And if it's a stereo encode on netflix, it will send the stereo in a 5.1 wrapper in a 5.1 system and send the stereo in a 7.1 wrapper for a 7.1 system. Which prevents any post processing from being done. So the end result is audio like in the 80s, stereo, instead of using post processing like in the 90's and later to create a multi channel soundfield.

I know my Logitech Revue does that but are you saying the Roku is the same way?
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-17-2012, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by betterdan View Post


I know my Logitech Revue does that but are you saying the Roku is the same way?

I was talking about the Revue. I don't know what happened. I may have quoted the wrong post.

The Roku works fine with stereo and 5.1 content.

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post #10 of 25 Old 03-17-2012, 06:34 AM
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neither the ATV or Roku do that.

thats googleTV stupidity and one of the reasons its another can of worms...

Sean
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-21-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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sorry, I didn't mean to abandon this thread, I thought I would get email notification when people replied, but that didn't happen.

There is no doubt that the RoKu-2 will do what I need done, and Radio Shack has them in stock for pretty much the standard Internet price.

Still, the Logitech Revue with full Internet acess seems appealing, but if it is not going to be supported in the future, and it the fate of Google-TV is uncertain, appealing as it is, I'm not sure I could pull the trigger on that. It does Claim 1080 via HDMI 1.3a. I hate to spend a $100 on something I'm not going to be happy with. The problem is, by the time I know I'm not happy with it, it will be too late to return it.

As much as I like the logitech, I'm thinking the Roku-2 XS is probably the way to go. It was so much easier to just go to the video store and browse around.

Is there a better video service than Netflix? I can only afford one, but there are some that don't require membership, you sign up, and from that point you rent and pay per movie.

Like I said, it was so much easier just to browse the local video store. Still, in my small town, the selection wasn't really that great.

I'm still open to any advise anyone wants to give, and I will check back sooner this time. Again, I thought I would get email notices of replies.

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post #12 of 25 Old 03-22-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

sorry, I didn't mean to abandon this thread, I thought I would get email notification when people replied, but that didn't happen.

There is no doubt that the RoKu-2 will do what I need done, and Radio Shack has them in stock for pretty much the standard Internet price.

Still, the Logitech Revue with full Internet acess seems appealing, but if it is not going to be supported in the future, and it the fate of Google-TV is uncertain, appealing as it is, I'm not sure I could pull the trigger on that. It does Claim 1080 via HDMI 1.3a. I hate to spend a $100 on something I'm not going to be happy with. The problem is, by the time I know I'm not happy with it, it will be too late to return it.

As much as I like the logitech, I'm thinking the Roku-2 XS is probably the way to go. It was so much easier to just go to the video store and browse around.

Is there a better video service than Netflix? I can only afford one, but there are some that don't require membership, you sign up, and from that point you rent and pay per movie.

Like I said, it was so much easier just to browse the local video store. Still, in my small town, the selection wasn't really that great.

I'm still open to any advise anyone wants to give, and I will check back sooner this time. Again, I thought I would get email notices of replies.

Steve/bluewizard

Huh? netflix is the only subscription plan for movies right now so I dont know what you mean when you say you can afford only one. Vudu, amazon and apple all have VOD which allows you browse titles just like you would at the store except you dont have to drive to the store and you dont pay money unless you rent a movie. To me thats infintely better than going in the car to a local store that has a smaller selection, potential out of stock issues on popular movies and potential late fees... None of these issues exist with VOD.

email notification of replies is an option in your user settings here on AVS.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Huh? netflix is the only subscription plan for movies right now so I dont know what you mean when you say you can afford only one. Vudu, amazon and apple all have VOD which allows you browse titles just like you would at the store except you dont have to drive to the store and you dont pay money unless you rent a movie. To me thats infintely better than going in the car to a local store that has a smaller selection, potential out of stock issues on popular movies and potential late fees... None of these issues exist with VOD.

email notification of replies is an option in your user settings here on AVS.

What about BlockBuster on-line and Amazon?

Still, I can afford Netflix, and I do have the option of renting one video on demand as needed from other sources, though the price is higher.

I'm not real crazy about how Netflix displays their video selections, but maybe that is strictly for browsers, it might improve once you are a member.

From what I can tell, the simplest method is to track down movies from other sources (IMDB, whatever), the search them on Neflix. But again, search and browse might be more comprehensive once you are a member.

For current blockbuster movies there are a couple of Red Box Kiosks in town and that is cheap enough, but I like a lot of indie and obscure movies. It was so hard to come by that I bought "December Boys" and "Hesher" on disk. I recently watched "Vitus" which is a charming Swiss/German film about a boy prodigy. Very obscure film though, still if you get a chance, certainly worth watching.

I think Roku-2 is my only real option, but the full keyboard and Internet access of the Logitech Revue is very very appealing. So much so that I can't quite decide what to do.

Maybe I'll have to browse Radio Shack again, and see if I can pull the trigger.

Thanks for the replies.

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post #14 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

What about BlockBuster on-line and Amazon?

Still, I can afford Netflix, and I do have the option of renting one video on demand as needed from other sources, though the price is higher.

I'm not real crazy about how Netflix displays their video selections, but maybe that is strictly for browsers, it might improve once you are a member.

From what I can tell, the simplest method is to track down movies from other sources (IMDB, whatever), the search them on Neflix. But again, search and browse might be more comprehensive once you are a member.

For current blockbuster movies there are a couple of Red Box Kiosks in town and that is cheap enough, but I like a lot of indie and obscure movies. It was so hard to come by that I bought "December Boys" and "Hesher" on disk. I recently watched "Vitus" which is a charming Swiss/German film about a boy prodigy. Very obscure film though, still if you get a chance, certainly worth watching.

I think Roku-2 is my only real option, but the full keyboard and Internet access of the Logitech Revue is very very appealing. So much so that I can't quite decide what to do.

Maybe I'll have to browse Radio Shack again, and see if I can pull the trigger.

Thanks for the replies.

Steve/bluewizard

again full internet access on GTV is a fantasy. the revue is awful.

The UI is very different from browser to settop box.

still have no idea how driving to blockbuster is better than any of these options except for quality.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I like browsing because I'm usually not sure what I want to watch until I'm looking through the collection of the videos in the store. Still the stores are going the way of the horse and buggy. So we move on to bigger and better things.

I did pick up a ROKU-2-XS. I'll install it and try it out.

Just one thing, I'm reading the instructions -

- connect, etc...
- Get the latest Software.
- Select the video output resolution.


Then -

Link the Roku player to your Roku account on your computer.

Roku account? Why do I need a Roku account? And why on my computer?

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post #16 of 25 Old 03-23-2012, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

I like browsing because I'm usually not sure what I want to watch until I'm looking through the collection of the videos in the store. Still the stores are going the way of the horse and buggy. So we move on to bigger and better things.

I did pick up a ROKU-2-XS. I'll install it and try it out.

Just one thing, I'm reading the instructions -

- connect, etc...
- Get the latest Software.
- Select the video output resolution.


Then -

Link the Roku player to your Roku account on your computer.

Roku account? Why do I need a Roku account? And why on my computer?

Steve/bluewizard

because thats how they designed it.
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-24-2012, 05:12 AM
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How else will you be able to download and purchase the apps(or channels as Roku calls them). Although many are free, others require a fee.

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post #18 of 25 Old 03-24-2012, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Seem to be getting more complicated by the moment. I've got everything setup, but I haven't turned it on yet. I think both Radio Shack and Roku offer a 30-day return policy, so we will see how it goes.

Thanks.

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post #19 of 25 Old 03-24-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

What about BlockBuster on-line and Amazon?

I have Blockbuster Total Access and think it's great. They mail movies directly to you - and have a great selection of bluray movies. You can have up to 3 movies at home at a time and keep them as long as you want. I have a nearby Blockbuster, so in store exchanges are convenient. So, if you are not thrilled with the state of online rentals, or have slow internet, this is a sound alternative.

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post #20 of 25 Old 03-24-2012, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

Somebody shoot me!

Ok, no don't shoot me.

I spend over 3 hours trying to get Roku on line. Eventually figured out that my ISP has shut off all the ports on my DSL modem/Router but ONE.

So I disconnected my computer network line and plugged in the Roku to the working port. Almost there, but Roku requires BOTH an Internet connection AND a Roku connection.

Drove to my mothers and entered the Link Code there. Came back and ROKU was on line.

Now I needed to resolve the single network port access. Rushed off in the other direction and bought a Belkin N450DB wireless router. Didn't need the wireless part, but it seems to more or less come free.

So well over an hour to get it up and running. Need Dynamic IP address and Dynamic DNS.

Then Roku wouldn't work any more. Shut it down, and when it started it seemed to be completely initialized. Just to try it out I connected to PANDORA, and am listening to Buddy Guy right now.

Still need a Netflix account, and will probably try a movie tomorrow.

I'll check out the BlockBuster DVD-by-Mail option too.

So, a $170 later, plus 5 hours of blood, sweat, and mostly tears, it seems to be up and running. Hopefully.

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post #21 of 25 Old 03-24-2012, 06:43 PM
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you really dont want two routers. that can just cause headaches, its a bad idea unless you configure it in bridge mode where the router is disabled. what you need is an ethernet switch (4-5 ports, $20-30)
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-25-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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you really don't want two routers. that can just cause headaches, its a bad idea unless you configure it in bridge mode where the router is disabled. what you need is an ethernet switch (4-5 ports, $20-30)

They had a low cost SWITCH at the store, but it seemed more limited that the Routers.

The Belkin Router I have is specifically made to connect to a DSL modem, or other network accessed box. It has (somewhat figuratively) four Network inputs, and one yellow output (again figuratively) marked INTERNET.

I wasn't sure what to buy, so I just picked something at a price I was willing to pay.

I've signed up for Netflix, and activated it on my ROKU box, but haven't down loaded a movie yet. I'll do that later tonight.

My Internet and Roku are working fine, though it took some doing.

The Belkin box, is a wireless Dual-Band "N" Router with speeds up to 150+300 Mbps. Simultaneous Dual-Band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz which means little to me since I don't have any wireless devices. Plus it has the ability to Prioritize Network Traffic, which I assume means it puts the bandwidth on the active channels rather than uniformly multiplexing through them.

Keeping in mind my Internet speed is 5Mbps.

Though I honestly don't know the speed of my computer network card, it is built into the Dell Inspiron 530 motherboard, and is a 1394. Still my computer access is fast enough.

Sorry, the 1394 seems to be FIREWIRE. The real network adapter is Intel(R) 82562V-2 10/100 Network Connection which I assume mean it will adapt to either 10Mbps or 100Mbps depending on what it is connected to.

The Internet box is really a 4 channel ADSL Modem with only one of the network channels activated, or at least only one of the four work. BEC Technologies 7402TM

I don't know why they bother with only activating one of the channels when the obvious work around is to simple add a switch or a router.

Anyway it is working and I'll try a movie later and see how well it works.

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post #23 of 25 Old 03-25-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

again full internet access on GTV is a fantasy. the revue is awful.

The Revue is an odd thing. It streams fine with Plex and Netflix and Crackle. But it's fundamentally a nightmare. I keep thinking it can't be this awful, but it is.

The Roku2 is quite nice.

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post #24 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry to revive this old thread, but I've had the ROKU-2 XS Box for a while now, and I thought I would report back for anyone else who might be in the same situation.

Generally Netflicks works well. The picture quality is about standard TV quality, and the sound quality is fine. Only on the rarest of occasions does a movie stop in the middle to buffer, and I suspect that is really a problem with my ISP and not Netflix.

But the selection on Netflix sucks. I've had an Amazon account for a long time, I simply transferred it over to ROKU. I like indy, foreign, and generally obscure movies, and the Netflix selection is there, but nothing special. But, the rental fees on Amazon are a bit high, though the selection is better. Typical to in-store rental prices, but still a bit high. They range from $1.99 up to $4.99 for a 3-day rental. They come in SD, HD, and XHD, each costing a bit more.

Further, there are many DVDs that are Disk Rental only from Netflix. I tried to get the Vampire movie "Let Me In" (2010) with Cloe Grace-Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee. I've seen the original Norwegian version, which is available on Netflix, (Excellent movie by the way) but wanted to compare the two. Netflix has it on Disk Rental which mean another $8 per month. It seem easier to just purchase "Let Me In" from Amazon, rather than wait a year for Netflix to move it to on-line viewing.

One thing I don't like about ROKU is the fact that they don't have YouTube access as many newer Disk Players with streaming services built-in do. There are a few movies that I want to watch that are available on YouTube (unofficially I suspect) that I can watch, but it is a pain to sit at my computer for an hour and a half watching them when I could be watching them on the big screen and listening to them on my $3500 stereo system.

There is one problem with Roku though. Though I confess I don't know if this is unique to me or generally common. The HDMI connection between The ROKU box and the TV loses it's "registration". That is, I go to use Roku and the connection has been lost even though it is physically plugged in. I have to disconnect the HDMI connection for about 15 seconds then plug it in again to get the ROKU and TV talking to each other again. This happens about 1 out of every 5 times that I try to use the Roku box. Beyond that, I'm generally satisfied with Roku itself.

With one exception, it would be nice to have YouTube access from ROKU.

There are other services that claim to have massively more Movies available and to have them available sooner than Netflix, but going to their websites, I did not find the sites especially helpful. I think this is something of a conspiracy. They think if they only give you the most scant of real information and tons of "Happy Talk", you'll join out of curiosity. That might work for some, but not for me. I want details, and I want to browse and seartch the full library before I join.

VUDU claims they get DVDs first day of release, and to the extent I can determine seem to charge a flat $2 per movie. But the organization of VUDU's website leaves something to be desired. I don't think they have enough categories, nor do they have Sub-catagories. For example, FOREIGN - Yes; Foreign Drama, Foreign Action, Foreign Comdy - NO.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #25 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 02:24 PM
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You missed Let Me In by ~1 year......It expired 2/28/2012 from the information I can find......

If you ahve NetFlix and are looking for Instant Films to watch I HIGHLY recommend goign to Instawatcher (they also have a app for that ;-) ) and checking things out, you are able to sort and search much more than you can on NetFlix....It will usually give you known experation date as well....
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