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ROKU stuff
Old 02-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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ROKU stuff

With the landslide movement towards streaming media, and ROKU being the most forward looking player, perhaps it deserves it's own thread.
Public channels are coming on board at a rapid rate... so fast that it's a challenge to keep up.

For those who currently have a Roku media player, if you haven't checked out the updates, it might be worthwhile to do so. One of the new added channels is "My Favorite Movies"... To add it or many of the other channels, you are directed to the website for that channel, where a code can be input to allow the channel to be added to your available channel list.

That is also the case for some of the cable or satellite channels that you may be already be paying for. To add these channels, and be able to watch some of the syndicated shows "on demand"... you get the code from Roku, then go to the Channel site, and input that code. This enables access, any time, to many of the shows that you are already paying for.
It's not as complicated as it sounds, and worthwhile since you only have to do it once.

Back to the "My Favorite Movies" channel... minimal 3 or 4 20 second ads in a one hour show. Many hundreds of older movies from the 40's 50's and 60's that never see light of day on cable.

I just finished watching an unusual multi segment documentary series of US Government produced films, from 1942... that documented the US position on the entry into the second world war... Separate segments for the different military services (Army, Navy, Army Airforce etc.) , and actual extended coverage movies of the Pearl Harbor attack, the aftermath, and the reconstruction and raising of much of the sunken fleet... to fight again in the South Pacific. Riveting coverage...live government produced films that were doubtless shown as newsreels in the movie theaters at the time... with all of the propaganda, and slanted bitterness of the Nation at the time. Brought back memories of the hate that was inculcated in US citizens at the time... and explains some of the bias that many of our older citizens felt.

There is a already Netflix thread for recommended movies... Perhaps this can serve as a thread for info and recommendations on Roku.... channels, special shows and changes to the system, as well as recommended movies on the alternate channels.

BTW... I have had some success in adding and enjoying these two Servers based on my computer...
Plex
Media Browser 3

Much the same as Windows Media Player, highlights, movie posters, dates, running times and formats are automatically shown on the screen for easy browsing... for any movie, not just for Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.

It's a lot to throw at anyone all at once, but my expectation is that this type of streaming video content will be the rule, rather than the exception in a very short time. Not that there will be much in savings, as the FCC is likely to protect the content providers, but for those with time to explore this phenomenon, an interesting exercise.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
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The PBS app on Roku is great. I can miss Frontline, Sherlock and Downton Abbey and view them later in the week streaming from the Roku.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:55 PM   #3
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I've had two Roku streaming devices for a couple of years now that have only been used for Netflix and MGO movies.

I am looking forward to explore some of the other entertainment channels.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:30 PM   #4
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I bought a Roku recently but have not used it that much. Will have to fire it up again to see what's new.

Thanks for creating the thread.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:53 PM   #5
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I've bought every generation of Roku, even the old tube-shaped ones, with the VFD displays, that played audio only. Man, those were cool.

The newer video streamers have done their duty fairly well. The Roku 3 is the only one I like right now, since the other two feel old and slow now. The 3 gets along with Plex, nicely, too. The Apple TV sits nearby, unplugged, with a furrowed brow, like he's really bothered by it, but he doesn't want you to know that he's bothered by it. Occasionally when I walk by, he blurts "Just sell me then!!! I didn't like it here anyway."
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
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Meant to include this link in the first post.
182 Channels available:

https://www.roku.com/channels/#!brow...-tv/by-popular

A click on the "Details" for each channel gives an overview of the offerings.
If you have a cable or satellite account like HBO, A&E Showtime etc..., you can access many of the movies and series on your computer or non connected TV's using Roku for FREE. Eliminates the need for the extra rental receivers in other rooms in the house.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
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Add ESPN to Roku Channels.
Free ... Live as well as past shows.
When I went to the ESPN ROKU Channel I was able to watch FIFA soccer matches live. Currently watching Korea v. Germany.

ESPN, ESPN1 ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU

I am not quite sure how this all works... After watching some of the other shows, there was a sign up confirmation that asks for your TV provider. Since I have Comcast, I signed up.

The Roku ESPN Channel says watch FREE... and that worked before I did the signup. A little bit confusing, but either way, it's nice to be able to watch whatever sport you are interested in,
Lacrosse, Softball Tennis, Volleyball, Boxing, Auto Racing and all of the National Baseball, Hockey, Football, Golf etc.
Even Cricket, Track and Field, Field Hockey, Poker College Sports, XGames and Skateboarding.

Even if you have to have a TV subscription, its nice to be able to watch any of these, on-demand.

Will be interesting to watch all of this scrambling for the future of TV and Streaming Media.

While we have not... and probably will not... cut the cord, we're turning more and more away from live TV and more to Streaming. Not all channels are commercial free, but it sure beats the 20 minutes out of every hour that the regular TV channels force on us. Just imagine... we pay for the Cable/Satellite provider... and are then forced to watch one minute of commercials for every two minutes of content...
Twice Blessed

OH... and by the way... Plex continues to improve. The interface now provides IMBD type information... even on movies that you have on your computer. Also search by year, actors, genre, director etc. Within the interface, you now have access to many more national channels, like the Smithsonian, History, A&E, HGTV, and most of the Major Channel news shows... So, even if you don't have a media player like Roku, you can get all of this for free on your computer.

It's time to get into this stuff... As the shakeout continues, you'll be more comfortable in the options.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Even if you have to have a TV subscription, its nice to be able to watch any on these, on-demand.
This makes it unavailable to us 'cord cutters'. Plus, paying an additional $10/mo to stream something you are already paying $xx (or even $xxx) a month to watch via cable or sat is simply pouring more money down the drain.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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I use my ROKU to watch/listen to the Red Sox while living here in Florida. Almost makes it feel like a summers day in New England. Don't think they'll have another trophy year this time.

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Old 06-13-2014, 08:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RHLnFLA View Post
I use my ROKU to watch/listen to the Red Sox while living here in Florida. Almost makes it feel like a summers day in New England. Don't think they'll have another trophy year this time.

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3 in the last 10 years is not too shaby considering the prior 86 years drought. I don't mind waiting a few years for another one.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:58 AM   #11
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I recently bought Andriod MX2 box, and just tried out Roku 2 which a friend of mine wasn't using. Roku is far more convenient to use (add, remove channels). But after using an Andriod box, I can't get used to commercials that comes with many Roku apps. Same few commercials repeat over and over again which drives me even madder. Perhaps, after I RE and have more time, I will develop patience to watch the commercials ....... NOT.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:57 AM   #12
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There are also 100's of "Hidden" or Private Channels on Roku that don't appear in the Roku store. Google it. There are some mainstream channels for the "cord cutters" as well as some really obscure ones and of course the "Adult" ones as well.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:28 PM   #13
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One thing I found out with Roku is that if you have an older device some of the newer channels that are added may not be available on it. I wasn't able to add PBS to mine, was told by Roku that it wasn't compatible with my device. No explanation was given, not sure if there are valid technical reasons or just a way for Roku to get you to buy new hardware.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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It takes a while to get to know Roku... Netflix and Amazon Prime are commercial free, but of course there is an up front cost. That said, it takes a while to understand just how it works with other channels.

some have a single upfront commercial
some have commercials interspersed in the content
some specialty channels, as health, yoga, exercise or privately provided content are commercial free.
My favorites... mostly commercial free, are :
-The Smithsonian
-PBS (in particular, has enough viewing choice archives and series to keep one busy for a year.)
-A & E
-ESPN
-NPR
-History (some wonderful historical series.)
-Weather underground
-HGTV
-Pandora
-Slacker
(there are about 90 more music channels)

Hundreds more specialty channels, from aviation, to fishing.... some subscription, some limited commercials, some full commercials.

The news channels are very varied.. besides all of the MSM channels, there are dozens of local channels.

... and of course my favorite Plex. After using this for some time, I am much more comfortable with the capabilities... Since I have a video library of over 1000 movies and TV series, I like the way it works to provide information, from theme music, to Actors, directors, plots ratings, and many more facts... Plex becomes a virtual IMDB in many ways. it takes a while to get through what seem like geeky details, but when you understand the framework, it's excellent. If you don't have a Poku, but have a different media player, like Sony or Linksys etc, Plex offers a way to integrate many of the Channels in the Roku Channel store into your player.
.................................................. ........................................
The more I watch cable/satellite tv, the more frustrated and angry I become. I watched "Shutter Island" on AMC a few nights ago... the first 20 minutes were without commercials. The last 30 minutes were 1 minute of commercial for 1 minute of movie. Except that I like Aljazeera News, and a few select news programs, (and except for my DW), I'd probably cancel.
.................................................. ...........................
For those with older Roku players that seem not to integrate the newer channels, if you spend a little time on Google, you'll probably find a "developer workaround"... I did this with UTUBE, before Roku offered it on my player. Takes a little bit of "clicking", but worked first time.

Here's a listing of the current "Popular Roku Channels"... not all of the choices... just the most popular.
http://www.roku.com/channels/#!brows...-tv/by-popular
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
It takes a while to get to know Roku... Netflix and Amazon Prime are commercial free, but of course there is an up front cost. That said, it takes a while to understand just how it works with other channels.

some have a single upfront commercial
some have commercials interspersed in the content
some specialty channels, as health, yoga, exercise or privately provided content are commercial free.
My favorites... mostly commercial free, are :
-The Smithsonian
-PBS (in particular, has enough viewing choice archives and series to keep one busy for a year.)
-A & E
-ESPN
-NPR
-History (some wonderful historical series.)
-Weather underground
-HGTV
-Pandora
-Slacker
(there are about 90 more music channels)
The bummer, of course, is that many of these require a supported cable/satellite subscription to receive... which largely defeats the purpose in most cases, IMO....

Still, not all of them do.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:08 PM   #16
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FWIW, I don't recall having to go to my provider to verify any of the ones I mentioned...
Yes, on HBO, and some others... and maybe the ESPN was freebie during the FIFA games.
In any case, most of the channels that either require subscription or a fee, have a 30 day free trial.

This is all a work in progress.

BTW, I've read that there are currently more than 1000 channels available... Again the Tyranny of choice.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:07 AM   #17
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FWIW, I don't recall having to go to my provider to verify any of the ones I mentioned...
Yes, on HBO, and some others... and maybe the ESPN was freebie during the FIFA games.
In any case, most of the channels that either require subscription or a fee, have a 30 day free trial.
On my Roku 2, History and A&E definitely require a qualifying cable or satellite subscription. WatchESPN does as well, at least for much of the content. ESPN3, on the other hand, where available, is "free" if you have a participating ISP (we have AT&T DSL -- it's all we realistically have available -- and ESPN3 is included in that. It just has to be streamed from a computer or such into your TV's HDMI input if you want a big screen. At least I haven't found another way.)
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-26-2014, 08:27 AM   #18
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I guess I'm missing something. What's the advantage of watching a channel via Roku if you need cable also? I have Apple TV and it works the same way. I have my cable box with all my subscribed channels, why would I need to switch over to my Apple TV to watch a channel there instead of thru my cable box?


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Old 06-26-2014, 09:06 AM   #19
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I have my cable box with all my subscribed channels, why would I need to switch over to my Apple TV to watch a channel there instead of thru my cable box?
Convenience. Streaming via Roku allows you to pick and choose which programs/episodes you want to see, when you want to see them - on demand. No need to record the program when it airs over the channel for later playback.

That said, we cut the cord in January and have no qualifying cable or sat subscription to allow watching these programs through our Roku(s). Haven't missed any of the channels mentioned and absolutely love no longer having to pay for all those sat channels we never watched.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:46 AM   #20
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A partial listing of the major channels available for free, for a subscriber Fee, and for partially free watching as for Hulu.

Best Roku Channels of 2014 - Movies, TV, Music, Kids, Sports

As far as paying... while I do have Directv, I pay for nothing except Netflix. I pay for Netflix, my son, who lives 300 miles away pays for Prime... I use his Prime, he uses my Netflix... It's legal. Also, we have 2 media players Roku, and Sony.. and can stream same or different movies from any of the channels, at the same time. Different rooms.

The other part ... about paying... is that I am very careful to run away from any page that comes up that requires an OK to charge, In fact, going to the main Roku page, there is a note that says "You have not signed up for any subscription charges".

A side note... my house is wired for network connections in the main rooms. Using the wireless Roku 2 in the far bedroom means the connection sometimes slows. As far as I know, the only Roku that has a network connector is the Roku 3.
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