Thinking about buying a Roku box

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by mikeler, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    We are mainly looking to get Netflix streaming. Any tips, suggestions and/or recommendations about which unit to buy and what other services to purchase?
     
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  2. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    If price is not an issue, look at the Apple TV. You can integrate it so easily with your ipad and iphone. For example the free remote app will control your AppleTv with your iphone.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Does it have Netflix?
     
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  4. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    I have the apple TV 2 720p version and its great. Jailbreaking the Apple TV 2 can unlock you a great library of movies/tv shows *Hint*Hint* :) And yes the Apple TV does have Netflix as well as Hulu. The new Apple TV that just came out a while ago can go as high as 1080p as long as your TV can go that high.

    EDIT : Look at this link, i just read over it and there is some pretty good comparisons. http://www.electronichouse.com/article/apple_tv_vs_roku_2_xs_streaming_media_showdown
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  5. Jeebs

    Jeebs Rookie

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    I've got a boxee which is great. Pretty sure that works with Netflix.
     
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  6. jonnyboi09

    jonnyboi09 New User

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    I have a Roku and it works pretty well. I basically bought it for Netfix but ended up using it for Hulu Plus and my brother in law works for Amazon so free Amazon Prime!
     
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  7. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    So far I have used...
    • Roku 2 XS
    • Logitech Revue (Google TV)
    • Western Digital TV Live
    • Samsung Blu-ray

    Other things being similar, 2 main differences with Roku and Revue --

    Roku 2 XS comes with a motion remote with which you can play few games like angry birds (although not sure if anyone wanna play that anymore ;))

    Logitech Revue (Google TV) comes a full keyboard which makes it so easy to search stuff on youtube, plus Google TV has full browser (Chrome) -- so for those reasons, it is my fav of the others above
     
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  8. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    @Above, I connected my bluetooth Apple keyboard to my Apple TV. You can use any bluetooth keyboard to pair with the box. Though, i have to say it, but a jailbroken Apple TV would be a cheaper alternative if you use Netflix. I used Netflix for quite a while and found out about the free streaming you can get from a Jailbroken Apple TV and i immediately canceled my subscription and bought the box. Ever since, its been doing me wonders!
     
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  9. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Andy, I have the same ATV2. How hard is it to jailbreak? I would love to have access to all the movies..espically if you are hinting at newer releases as well.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Interested in this as well. I've never jailbroken Apple products before just because I like the way they work out of the box.
     
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  11. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    I've used Netflix on the Roku 2 XS, Western Digital TV Live, and Apple TV. The Roku is the best way to do Netflix with minimal other hassle.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Call me a hassle hater. I'm pretty sure Roku is the way I want to go but since I've got an Apple centric place, I still want to explore Apple TV some more.
     
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  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Netflix is not an issue for me on the apple tv at all. the integration is awesome. It just matters how your stereo is set up through your TV. For example, if you had pandora or spotify and your tv is running through good speakers, you can control your music with your iphone or ipad. you can do a photostream through your tv, show your iphone videos on tv..put your web browser up there..its really versatile.

    I got mine as a gift, and didnt really start using it much until I figured this stuff out.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    All those are very cool features but I'm just not sure if I would use any of them.
     
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  15. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    If you do have an Apple-centric place, the AppleTV is the obvious choice. It's a great little box and the Netflix experience on it is pretty much on par with Roku. I would recommend a Roku for someone who won't be using it to connect to iTunes or iPhones or anything, but if you do have other iProducts definitely go with the AppleTV. Airplay by itself is reason to get one if you have other Apple stuff.
     
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  16. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

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    Apple TV works brilliantly at home for me. Best part is using Watch ESPN on the iPad and AirPlay streaming to put tennis coverage on my tv when none of the networks are carrying the event.
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Oooooh, now you have me sold. I'm big into watching college football and the ability to have anything on Watch ESPN is very appealing. Thanks for the info.
     
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  18. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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  19. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

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    Just to clarify, we have Watch ESPN through our cable provider (Optimum/Cablevision) and I assume yours does to. The Apple TV itself doesn't magically give you the service, it just makes it dead-simple for you to take the stream from an iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Mac and put on a much larger screen.

    Hope you enjoy whatever purchase you make.
     
    #19
  20. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    Raspberry Pi. Runs XBMC and is insanely cheap to obtain.
     
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  21. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    RPi is the opposite of "no hassle." No enclosure, no remote, no built-in software. XBMC has no Netflix integration (the plugin simply launches Netflix in a browser window).

    Fun times!

    Raspberry Pi is very cool, but it is a cheap tinkering or embedding platform. It is not a plug and play Netflix box.
     
    #21
  22. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    You are right probably not for Mikeler based on his want to run netflix. One could argue that if you have XBMC you don't really need Netflix.
     
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  23. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    How else are you going to watch movies on an RPi if not Netflix or another streaming service?
     
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  24. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I used WatchESPN on my iPhone, sometimes even while at home this fall. So I've paid for the cable service that allows me to watch it. Thanks for adding that clarification though because I can see where others might think it comes with that feature already.
     
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  25. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    Jailbreaking the Apple TV 2 wasn't hard at all. Though i would suggest not getting the TV 3 because they didn't have a released working jailbreak yet. Make sure to check your version number. I.E 4.4.4, 5.0.2 and such. The jailbreaking process took just about 3 minutes. The way "Jailbreaking" sounds is pretty intimidating but its just hitting a few buttons on the remote and connecting the apple tv to your computer. That's all. but you would have to download some stuff in order to jailbreak it obviously.
     
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  26. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    And you get some of dem Apple stickers! Who doesn't love those! :)
     
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  27. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    A person on youtube made a guide in literally 3 1/2 minutes on how to jailbreak it. And yes, they do have access to all of the newer movies, well most. The latest movie i watch a while ago was the dark knight rises.
     
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  28. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    I have 3 Roku boxes in my house. They all work perfectly. I would suggest Roku cause it's cheap.
     
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  29. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Does Apple TV have a monthly fee? I'm pretty sure Roku does not.
     
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  30. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Neither of them do. It's a simple connection. I just like Roku because you don't have to tie it in with you iTunes account.
     
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  31. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Do you game Mikeler? I stream Netflix from my Xbox 360 all the time.

    If you want to go super cheap and have a laptop and a TV with an HDMI connection all you need is an HDMI cable and you're good to go.

    Also IIRC - TennisMonkey in the TWMAC has a Roku.
     
    #31
  32. theyhatethecans

    theyhatethecans New User

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    I have a Roku(and we still play angry birds and galaga on it:)) and I got apple tv and for whatever reason (maybe the Apple tv has a better antenna) the apple tv connects to the wifi much better than my Roku. If you won't be connecting by wifi it won't be an issue. We just got a Wii U which also has Netflix, so I have a lot of redundancy now. Apple TV has a lot of cool bells and whistles we use it often to view home movies.
     
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  33. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    I am buying an Apple TV, soon.
    Apple does not do everything well, but what they do well is integrating their products. With Apple TV I will be able to use the features of the iCloud, iTunes Store, games, apps, Youtube, Netflix and Airplay, etc. My three year old who is good on the iPad will now be able to take control of the TV. Be warned that Airplay mirroring only works with Mountain Lion and not all iOS 6 devices but does work with iPad2 and 3 and iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. If you don't have all the Apple gadgets that I do, get whatever.
    Here is a comparison between the Roku and Apple TV:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBgck_QrOK4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_GUuJyyyRQ
     
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  34. GS

    GS Professional

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    Will a Koku box allow me to get ESPN for free? Please tell me yes.
     
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  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I would like to game but the wife knows better than to let me get a console. :-?
     
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  36. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You can only get espn for free if you have a login and password from a cable provider and the espn app on your ipad that you can airplay on your atv.

    Jailbroke the atv last night and installed xbmc. Game changer. I was going to watch cloud atlas but it was too late.
     
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  37. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    ^^ Wasn't hard right? :)

    PS : Did you get 1Channel yet? It's going to be a lot more handier than IceFilms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
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  38. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Oh man this is how I run Netflix all the time! PS3/computer is the way to go for myself!

    -Fuji
     
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  39. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Bummer... I brought mine home after I got a new job with a pay raise. Wife didn't complain about it. Otherwise I'd probably be in the same boat ;)
     
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  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Since I can't make a decision and I got a decade changing birthday coming up, I'm going to get both.
     
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  41. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    My Roku (1) box broke and I find the netflix on the kids XBOX to be a real pain, so I'm looking around also. My TV only has 2 HDMI outlet though, is there a way to "split" an HDMI outlet ? Also, has anyone tried this $50 device ?

    http://gizmodo.com/5947223/this-50-stick-turns-any-hdtv-into-an-android+powered-smart-tv
     
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  42. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Have you tried using smart glass (iphone or android app) for entering search terms on the Xbox? Makes it a bit easier.

    I tend to set my streaming queue from the computer anyway on average though.
     
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  43. theyhatethecans

    theyhatethecans New User

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    They've got nice cheap hdmi splitters at a big on line store that offers prime that detects which device to sync to based on which device is on. If more than one device is on, you can change the switch manually.

    HDMI 3-In 1-Out HDMI Auto Switch with 1.5 ft. Cable

    Works pretty good.
     
    #43
  44. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for both the smartglass tip and the HDMI splitter info, downloaded the app tonight and ordered the splitter.
     
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  45. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    Get a blu ray player. You can watch or listen to any kind of disc, play any kind of file through usb, or stream through dlna, and have access to not only netflix but just about every other streaming service out there.

    With a sony, I can watch blu ray or dvd, I can listen to sacd and blu ray audio disc, stream most files from my computer, watch them via usb and stream just about anything through a service like vudu, amazon and of course net flix.
     
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  46. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    It's not a splitter like analog cable which degrades the signal with an increasing number of 'splits': it is an hdmi switch for multiple inputs. I have a 3/1 and the signal looks absolutely perfect. $10 should do the trick.
     
    #46
  47. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Is that Sony with Google TV?
     
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  48. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Few BD players are nearly as good at streaming as a Roku or AppleTV. The ones that are are much more expensive than $80-$100.
     
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  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    And why do I need a DVD player once I'm streaming everything online. :)
     
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  50. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Blu-ray, not DVD. And the reason is that Blu-ray quality is much, much better than even the best online streaming. If you don't care about picture or sound quality it doesn't matter.

    Also, Netflix and other streaming services tend not to have newer movies. Dark Knight Rises? Avengers? Ted? Total Recall? Trouble With The Curve? None of these are on Netflix.
     
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