Originally Posted by Taperwood
Here are my experiences with a Roku HD and a LG 570 BD player:
First, the Roku will stop and rebuffer during playback. So, for about 10-15 seconds playback stops and you are looking at a progress bar. I also noticed that once it buffered to a lower speed, it would not resume a faster stream until I either stopped playback completely and restarted or chose something else to watch. On the other hand, the LG never rebuffers but the picture quality will change during playback, sometimes drastically. It can get pretty bad for a minute or two but it never stops playback. As soon as the stream rate increases, the picture quality will improve. It's all done in real time. So for ease of playback, I give the nod to the LG. For picture quality, I give a slight nod to the Roku at lower stream rates, but at the highest stream rates the picture quality is equal.
Third, the Roku's interface is much nicer than the LG. Both do essentially the same thing, but the Roku is much easier to navigate. The Roku remote is really cool, too. It's so simple a three-year-old could use it.
I agree with the above. I have a ROKU HD(older model that outputs ONLY at 720p HD), and a Panasonic BD-65 Blu-Ray player which is set at 1080i. Both are connected to my 40" LCD through HDMI.
With the ROKU, if there is a drop in download bandwidth, it will go to the loading screen, drop from 4 dots(or 4 dots HD) down to two(CRUD!), and sometimes one(BLECH!), and then start playing again. Kind of annoying.
The Panny BD-65 won't do this, and also offers to boot:
This is a wide variety to choose from. But when using CinemaNow, I noticed that the movie will keep playing, even if the level(4 green square dots means Best/max picture) drops during playback.
You can notice it in the picture, but the movie does not stop, and only after a few minutes(not all the time), the picture goes back to it's best after being down around 2, or 1 green square dot filled.
I have TWC broadband which is "supposed" to be at 7Mbps download, with bursts up to 10Mbps. I live in a pretty rurual area, so I guess it must depend on how many people are on the line, but it averages I would guess around 3-5Mbps. Usually more, but if I had to make an average on it, that would be close.
Anyway, they are connected hard wire via Belkin Powerline adapters(200MB max pass through, although real world numbers are at around 40Mbps max dowload passthrough. MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR ANYONE!).
This setup has worked fine, for the most part. I was thinking on moving BOTH the router(Belkin G), and cable modem(ZOOM Docisis 3.0) to another part of the house so that they will be closer to one another to see if that helps with speed going through the Powerline adapters(also, it would cut out a splitter or two from the incoming cable. The original router/modem are on the other side of the house from teh Blu-Ray/ROKU, so I would them both to be more centrally located).
Anyway, that is my experience with them. I say go for BOTH
You can get a leftover/Open Box(shelf display usually) Panny BD-65 or BD-85 now at Best Buy for next to nothing. And the ROKU XD(this one does 1080p) for only $80+tax+shipping. The HD(720p only) version is even cheaper at $60+tax+shipping. If you have a 42" LCD/plasma TV or smaller, you really won't notice much of a difference between 720p, or the 1080p model, but that is my opinion. Others will disagree.