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Roku - how to make most of it? Any expert around?
Old 01-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Roku - how to make most of it? Any expert around?

Based on several threads on this board I bought a Roku2 XS on sale from Newegg. Through Twonky, I was able to stream YouTube, however, I am more interested in finding shows that I am currently getting from Ditectv such as The Broadwalk Empire etc.

I visited the website Rokufordummies, learned more stuff there but still feel that I am missing something.

What about those private channels? Anything worth subscribing to?

Also, it looks like the Roku is more of an interactive device as compares to Directv (much more passive).
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:54 PM   #2
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I am more interested in finding shows that I am currently getting from Ditectv such as The Broadwalk Empire etc.
The show you mention was on the Playboy Channel for a while but is is no longer available.

Kidding aside, I'm a new Roku user as well and interested in learning how to best use the device to find programs I want to watch. I think the search feature is really great, letting you know where you can find a particular show, if at all.

In the case of Boardwalk Empire, it is an HBO production and they appear to be rather possessive when it comes to making their program content available unless you are willing to pay for a subscribe to a provider (DirecTV, HBO GO, etc.) or pay to stream individual shows (Amazon Instant Video).
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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I just got my new Roku 3. Since I've been working out of town, but just moved back home full time, I've so far only used it to stream a couple of Netflix & Amazon Prime movies, plus briefly checked out a few YouTube videos. The Youtube thing is kind of a hassle (for me) because instead of a keyboard, you have to do everything with just one or 2 buttons, so slow & clunky (again, for me). I haven't really had a chance to explore what else it will do. Might check out Hulu Plus & some other things. Thanks for the tip about the RokuforDummies site, I'll be checking that out as well.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #4
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I did the free trial offer on Hulu+ and was very disappointed to learn the programs are interrupted with commercials. No thanks. Decided to go with Netflix and Amazon Prime.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
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I just got my new Roku 3. Since I've been working out of town, but just moved back home full time, I've so far only used it to stream a couple of Netflix & Amazon Prime movies, plus briefly checked out a few YouTube videos. The Youtube thing is kind of a hassle (for me) because instead of a keyboard, you have to do everything with just one or 2 buttons, so slow & clunky (again, for me). I haven't really had a chance to explore what else it will do. Might check out Hulu Plus & some other things. Thanks for the tip about the RokuforDummies site, I'll be checking that out as well.

My gal uses her Iphone as a Roku remote - way faster keyboard vs. one letter hunting, enter, one letter hunting, enter.... Android phones also have free Roku apps. I have used the plug in earbuds on the R3 remote several times - nice if you don't want your listening to intrude on another's sleep, for instance.

You got this?
Roku

I'm enjoying Premier, which has bizarro old movies.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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Do people use this primarily for netflix? Any DVD player can do that including YouTube. Am I missing something ?
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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Do people use this primarily for netflix? Any DVD player can do that including YouTube. Am I missing something ?
We would tell you what you're missing but you'd be Disappointed...

We are using the Roku for DW's "non-smart" TV. We have both a DVD player, a smart TV and even a Wii with the capability to stream these programs but the Roku interface is easier to use than any of them. Plus, the Roku has a nice search feature where you can enter the TV show or movie you are looking for and it will tell you where you can find it (on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu+, etc.) You can then stream the program with a single click - provided you have a subscription to the source, of course.
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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I borrowed a friends old one after they upgraded to check it out. easy to setup but not really much to look at. Can't get Hulu, Hulu+ is subscription ( as netflix, amazon ). Seems most of the free stuff is just clips you can find on the web. I think you can do about the same with an old laptop plugged in to the TV.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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I think you can do about the same with an old laptop plugged in to the TV.
You obviously don't know my DW.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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I use it primarily for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Pandora, but DW also loves many of the TV channels as she enjoys documentaries. (PBS, Smithsonian, Discovery? etc)

PS
She has her own Roku in her girl cave
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:55 PM   #11
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I use it primarily for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Pandora, but DW also loves many of the TV channels as she enjoys documentaries. (PBS, Smithsonian, Discovery? etc)

PS
She has her own Roku in her girl cave
Girl cave? You mean the kitchen .

I just downloaded the Roku app to my tablet and it works great! Much nicer than trying to use the little remote.

We have a Roku 2 xs, maybe a year or two old? I have noticed Roku getting much better all the time. They are constantly making it easier to use it seems.

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Old 01-11-2014, 06:07 PM   #12
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I have had Roku's of various capability for several years now. I tend to agree that the free channels are of limited interest.

The one exception though is the ''Nowhere TV'' channel- They stream a number of channels. I watch regularly including ''Blomberg TV'' which streams live starting 30 minutes before the market opening bell. Nowhere TV also has a month or more of Conan O'Brien shows without commercials-

As you have probably already noticed, there are lots of news channels.

Search online for Roku favorite channel guides. There are many lists. You'll just have to see what interests you.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
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.... Seems most of the free stuff is just clips you can find on the web. I think you can do about the same with an old laptop plugged in to the TV.
Yes, I mentioned this in an earlier post somewhere. We have a couple Roku (Roki?), a netflix enabled wii, and a 'Smart TV'.

A computer connected through HDMI to a TV is (IMO) 100x easier to use, and everything is there. Using a remote is so clunky, versus a full keyboard and touchpad/mouse. And no waiting for roku or the smart-tv group to update their firmware for some new feature.

If you set up a laptop specifically for this, you can make it very easy. Have it autoload a browser open to the pages you want, and you are set.

I did something similar on the music side. After spending many hours looking over reviews for a full sized music player (so I didn't have to squint to try to read the titles from a little ipod-sized screen), I finally realized that just using my old netbook would be ideal. I set it to auto-boot to a user w/o any password, auto-load my music player program, and I'm set. A full keyboard, a 10" screen, a mouse if I want. And routine stuff can be done with simple keystrokes, no mousing required. And the netbook was re-purposed, I wan't using it anymore anyhow. Any old one will do.

And I use a USB DAC for hi-quality sound, and it has an old-school volume control. Can't beat that - just grab it and turn it up/down as needed. No button pushing, menu finding issues.

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Old 01-12-2014, 06:04 AM   #14
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I did something similar on the music side. After spending many hours looking over reviews for a full sized music player (so I didn't have to squint to try to read the titles from a little ipod-sized screen), I finally realized that just using my old netbook would be ideal. I set it to auto-boot to a user w/o any password, auto-load my music player program, and I'm set. A full keyboard, a 10" screen, a mouse if I want. And routine stuff can be done with simple keystrokes, no mousing required. And the netbook was re-purposed, I wan't using it anymore anyhow. Any old one will do.


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I learn something new from you frugal ERers everyday. I have a currently unused HP mini I can easily re-purpose as a media streamer. Excellent 2nd life concept.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:04 AM   #15
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We use Netflix on the Roku ($8.59 a month now). Also have a Smart TV with Netflix built in. All Netflix programing is commercial free and you can use it for 30 days without charge. Have not used any other channels so can't comment.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:45 AM   #16
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A computer connected through HDMI to a TV is (IMO) 100x easier to use, and everything is there. Using a remote is so clunky, versus a full keyboard and touchpad/mouse. And no waiting for roku or the smart-tv group to update their firmware for some new feature.

If you set up a laptop specifically for this, you can make it very easy. Have it autoload a browser open to the pages you want, and you are set.


-ERD50
Actually I have already done this, just looking to see what the fuss about ROKU. I have several laptops that I have gotten for free, people didn't to pay to repair them. I set one up to stream the Thursday NFL games from a euro website ( the commentators were Brits ), as I don't get NFL network here. I was thinking about taking the LCD off and driving it with one these mini wireless keyboards, Amazon.com : Favi FE01-BL Mini Wireless Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad-Black : Computer Keyboards : Electronics

The chromecast thing looks like it does both, broadcast from the internet ( limited ) or display web content from a chrome browser.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #17
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I tried to add the Lifetime channel to my ROKU but it want me to verify my cable company before entering the activation code. Problem is Comcast is not listed. I think Comcast is one of the largest cable providers in the USA. What gives? So I also tried to add A&E and same result. Any ideas what i am doing wrong?
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:41 AM   #18
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So, it looks like most people use it for streaming Netflix?
Now I wonder if I should keep the Roku, I have a Panasonic DVD player attached to my TV that can stream from pretty much all providers including You Tube.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:55 AM   #19
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I use Roku devices in my guest rooms because it uses our home 's wireless network and we don't have cable jacks in those rooms. We use Netflix , Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and Pandora mainly.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:34 PM   #20
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So, it looks like most people use it for streaming Netflix?
I bought my Roku two years ago to stream MLB.TV baseball games to my HDTV. MLB.TV had all the games in HD, allowed you to watch either the home or away feed, and all of the games were archived, for about two-thirds the cost of MLB Extra Innings, the cable premium package.
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