Quantcast

Added a Roku LT to my stack of equipment

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by ChrisG8, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    During a recent Amazon sale, I ordered the Roku LT and have it connected to a 720p plasma. It is an up to 720p streaming box and very inexpensive but as far as I know for the things I wanted from it, no different than the more expensive Roku boxes. It came with a $5.99 Vudu credit and $5 Amazon Instant Video credit, my favorite movie rental sites, really the only two I use to rent movies for streaming. I think any new streaming box on my account would get the Vudu credit but in total, the box was really cheap after deducting the movie rentals I would have bought anyway. This is the first Roku I have owned but I have played with the boxes before and I already knew how well Roku works and how limited it is so no surprises really. It is so simple to use and works so well that for the things both Google TV and Roku do, stream video from the same few hundred sites, I am likely to use Roku. The list of things Google TV does that Roku does not do is very long, first on the list would be the Google TV YouTube app, so Google TV will still get most of the use in that location. The only things I can find that I can do with Roku but not with Google TV right now, Amazon movies in HD, Vudu, and Hulu Plus, all of which are hopefully coming to Google TV but if not, I now have all of them covered at all displays in the house. I didn't have enough room in the den for anything I could think of better than Roku and nothing this small is as good.

    Overall, Roku is a terrific little box in my opinion, not remotely comparable to Google TV for my needs but for someone dropping cable and not wanting to jump through hoops to watch TV, I can't imagine a simpler solution. OTA and Roku together provide a lot of content for the cord cutter.
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    877
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks for the information. Just curious does Roku have any good free channels in which the equivalent content cannot be reached with the GTV Chrome browser?

    Some problems in my area for cord cutting. 1) poor antenna reception 2) Verizon FIOS no longer offering stand-alone internet service without a phone or TV subscription. 3) Comcast offers stand-alone internet service - however without a TV subscription they charge a higher rate for internet.

    Comcast and Verizon are my only choices for home internet service. I think the Roku sounds interesting. Currently I subscribe to Comcast limited basic TV service for only $10/mo - so that enables me to get the lower internet price. The internet providers are making it harder to cut the cable cord. In my particular case - it would not really be beneficial to drop my $10 TV service. However a Roku box might supplement it nicely.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I just noticed that Verizon FIOS internet service in my area costs about $60/mo. Then one must add on a digital phone or TV subscription. However currently Verizon is offering their Triple Play service special (internet, phone & TV) for only $79.99/mo. IMO they are well aware of Roku and cord-cutters - as their "special subscription packages" bundle TV & or phone with the internet at not much of a higher fee than stand-alone internet service.

    It looks like Time-Warner is doing something very similar:

    http://stopthecap.com/2012/05/15/ti...-runner-new-speeds-higher-standalone-pricing/

    "Time Warner Cable's a-la-carte pricing for broadband is designed to make their bundled service offerings more attractive in comparison. The company will sell you Internet-only service for $73.95, or sell you a triple play package of phone, Internet, and television service for just $16.04 per month more on a 12-month promotion."
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  3. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The 3 services I mention are the only streaming sources I have discovered that can't be accessed by Google TV, either as a native app or with the web browser. I would hope all 3 are coming to Google TV. There may be others that Google TV can't play, I haven't found any yet. One thing is that the Roku will load the video, play it quickly at very good quality while accessing the same site with Google TV is somewhat of a struggle, maybe switching user agents, maybe just waiting for it to load and even then Google TV might not play it as well. I might find a few examples where the Roku handles a service better as a result of being optimized for the site. I know the more expensive Roku boxes use a Broadcom chip, I researched hardware before buying Google TV a year and a half ago and was certain the Google TV Intel Atom chip was better, more powerful. I don't know if the Roku LT uses an even less powerful Broadcom chip or the same as the Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS which can do 1080p. I sure wouldn't have purchased this little box for use with a 1080p display but I plan to use this 720p plasma for as many years as it will last, hopefully a lot.

    The Roku would work great with an inexpensive basic cable service, that would beat OTA anyway and not be very expensive. I can get good OTA reception only by putting an antenna on the roof, which I have done. Comcast Xfinity and AT&T U-verse are my only options for internet and it is the same situation, better deal if bundled with cable but I use only internet now and my contract with U-verse will be up in a few months and I dread seeing what the rate will be. If it is going way up, I will see if Comcast will welcome me back with a good deal for a period, I still have a cable modem for the service which I would hope is still supported.

    If going with only Roku or Google TV and a basic cable service, my choice would still be Google TV based on the web browser, apps including those to download to an attached drive and HDMI input but both together are better than either alone. Roku is a really good simple box and I have seen enough complaints from Roku users that have tried Google TV to know a lot of people aren't willing to learn how to use the more complicated Google TV to benefit from its greater ability. Plug Roku in, connect to the internet, select the channels you want to use and start watching TV is all that is necessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  4. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
  5. overtimeman

    overtimeman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Clemson,S.C.
    You'll really enjoy your Roku!I purchased the 2XS on black Friday cause it had the port to run wired.I use my Sony GS7 for mostly browsing and a few apps like the classy fireplace which Roku doesn't have anything close to match it.Everything in the living room is wired but both bedrooms are wireless and never had any problems since I do use a cranky Belkin router.Just waiting to see what Microsoft does with it's XBox TV based on Windows8.Hope it does utilize a browser then I can add something else to my collection!
     
  6. JonWillieNelson

    JonWillieNelson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Shouldn't be long until the new Amazon app to be released on gen 2 GTVs. Hopefully Google adding this "PlayReady" feature will get more developers on board. I'm still waiting on more sports app (Watch ESPN, FoxSoccer2go, MLS Matchday).
     
  7. revue5

    revue5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Sounds good. :)

    (the OP has 4 Gen1 GTVs, btw).
     
  8. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    And no Gen2 GTVs. Do we know for certain the first gen won't get an Amazon app? If Gen1 can't be updated with the app, I am afraid that also means Gen1 will never be updated for Amazon Instant Video movies in HD. Fortunately I have devices with a proper Amazon app and access to HD movies, TiVoHD can download and play Amazon rentals in HD, PS3 can stream and now Roku so I won't rush out and buy a new Google TV device for that purpose.
     
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Yes, the Roku LT is everything I hoped it would be. Of course wired ethernet is best but all of my devices are connected by Wi-Fi and I am not having serious issues. The only service I use that I see any issues related to speed is Vudu and even then very rarely, we watched a Vudu HDX movie last night using the Roku and it played flawlessly. I don't know if I will bother with 1080p HDX for the Roku and the 720p display but I wanted to see if it was up to the task. For the future I will compare it with 720p HD and see what I think, there is a pretty good chance the higher bitrate with HDX will result in better quality, even with a 720p player on a 720p display.

    Still without Google TV, internet TV wouldn't be close to acceptable for me. With Google TV, I find news, live sports, YouTube, and so much I can't find with Roku. Still the combination of both delivers an even better experience.
     
  10. overtimeman

    overtimeman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Clemson,S.C.
    You're exactly right about needing both to complete the experience.Got my first roku in 2010.They went from 200 channels to over 600 channels in these two years.They list some links in the Roku forum to add the private channels not listed in stores but was approved by the Roku team.But still I use my GS7 about as much as the other.At one time all my toys were wireless but even with a 12/1 internet speed when my son would stream from his room it would cause my movie to buffer sometime.Of course mine were sitting under the TV stand while his was on the top of an entertainment system.I just wish Google/Sony would upgrade our honeycomb browser as on some sites I get the you need to upgrade your browser or using an outdated browser.One good thing about being wired I feel safer since I use the Sony GS7 to do all my banking and bill pay and keep my 4O1K updated.
     
  11. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    After a couple of weeks, the Roku is definitely a keeper even if I don't use it often. We were watching a movie on Crackle last night using Google TV, at about the 58 minute mark, it quit playing. I started it again and moved back to the 58 minute mark, it would not play past that point. I switched to the Roku, FF to the 58 minute mark and it played flawlessly. I guess there is some kind of Google TV Crackle bug but I haven't researched it yet.
     
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I wasted an hour and a half of my time trying to add private, beta and special Roku channels from this alleged list of such channels. I copied codes and went to my account page and entered the codes, nothing I tried was worth having, most didn't work and the ones that did work weren't of interest to me.

    Roku Channel Database

    There might be a couple of worthwhile channels in that list but I won't find them without somebody telling me about them.
     
  13. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Norfolk Va
    Geeze!

    That listing looks like the ole rabbit channel line-up. You remember the free TV sites that had all the garbage channels w/maybe a few legitimate news sites. Most of the links were dead for all the USA channels.

    Thanks

    Carl
     
  14. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The Roku Channels in the Channel Store are real, that list of 1,531 channels is not real despite the fact it is at the Roku site. I know those channels come from third party developers but I don't think Roku should even have such as list at the company site. A thorough review and pruning is desperately needed. I might go back and try again but no time soon.
     
  15. overtimeman

    overtimeman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Clemson,S.C.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  16. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
  17. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I added the Nowhere.tv channel to my Roku channels and have read a little about adding private channels, is this a good way to get additional content of interest to Roku? I have been spending more time with Roku and love it. I wish one of two things would happen, Google would just buy Roku and add a Roku app to Google TV, just have it do everything and work exactly as it does with Roku now or Roku would develop a Roku app for Google TV, sell it for whatever price made sense, $15 maybe. I know Google TV would have to be licensed for Hulu Plus and Vudu and a few other things that currently aren't available with Google TV.

    I don't think that is going to happen so I am going to have to live with both. Although there is a lot of redundancy between the two products, most of the things both do, Roku does better or easier. Google TV does a lot more so I can't dump Google TV but I am starting to use Roku for more and more, it just works.
     
  18. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Norfolk Va
    Sadly, I think that if Google made the mistake of buying out any of these platforms be it Roku, Vudu, or Hulu, the same licensing limitations would apply. Broadcasters are simply not convinced that Google is not trying to kill them. Until Google changes their earlier philosophy of destroying rather than working w/the broadcast networks our media content will always be limited.I am a firm believer that Google will ultimately win this battle. But the casualty rate in terms of viewable content is already an obvious negative factor for GTV.

    Compromise doesn't seem to be an option...

    Carl
     
  19. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,846
    Likes Received:
    462
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I don't have any reason to believe Google TV will add Hulu Plus, Vudu and then acquire Roku but I think a smart TV platform that combined the best of Google TV with the ease of Roku would be ideal. As far as content, the other platforms are no better than Google TV, in fact with the full web browser, I suspect Google TV has access to more, not less than the others overall. Of course key services such as Vudu and Hulu Plus are more important than all of the obscure websites I can reach with Google TV so that wider selection doesn't mean better selection.

    Since nothing is likely to happen, Google TV with Roku is a dynamic pair for my needs and I can live with two boxes, rather than one.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Norfolk Va
    Chirs

    I want to thank you for sharing your Roku experience. And you are right. No other platform can match GTV.

    But, there is a war going on. It is not based on Google TV, per say, but on the future identity of network TV. The networks wanna keep their boring format & presentation alive w/no modern facilitators like Google. But this is not what consumers are looking for. Google has only speeded up the process of a major transformation in how and where we get our entertainment.

    Roku, and other streaming devices are the future. But Google and the GTV platform are way ahead of all the attempts to mass market a new and heretofore unheard of, mult-corporate platform that allows for cable/satellite customers to merge w/cord cutters. Who else is out here. Apple? The computer industry? Microsoft w/their subscription services. What, another Webrtv? I don't think so.

    Dude, there is no one else out on this limb...

    JMHO

    Carl
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page