Roku Users - Your view of the product

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by Yamaki, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    It's time to up the streaming game here and I am seriously considering adding a Roku unit of one sort or another to my system.

    My A/V server has been outpaced by technology. I cannot stream at the higher specifications available but my monitor can accept a higher bitstream than the server can pass so it has become a bit of a data bottleneck. The server won't go away, however, as it is my Roon Endpoint and does an excellent job for digital music management.

    I believe one benefit is that I can use the Roku as my central point of control for video streaming. In the past it was a matter of selecting my cable box for some On Demand content, the Oppo for other On Demand and the server for streaming some online content such as YouTube and music concerts on the web. Simpification here would be a big plus for me.

    So my questions for all you Roku users are:

    1. What Roku product do you currently use?
    2. How do you use the Roku product? What streaming services, channels and networks do you use it for?
    3. Are there any services you don't use the Roku for?
    4. Any lessons learned on setting up and using Roku that you can pass along?

    Thanks for your input!
     

     

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  2. bryblob

    bryblob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,090
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I bought a B stock Roku stick with remote on amazon for $40. It has worked great, it accepts my 5g wifi, I downloaded the spectrum app and can watch tv and on demand. Then netflix etc..
     
  3. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,242
    Location:
    Aggieland
    I've got the 4k steaming stick and have it plugged into my AVR. IT works great and having a volume control on is is super convenient.

    Some of the apps are the usual culprits, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Tunein and many others and it's GUI is at least as good as those on my smart TV's and Blu'ray players.. There's thousands out there to choose from and you can search for them.

    There's a lot of apps I don't use because I don't want 'em. No other reason.

    And, when we travel, I can bring it with me and use it on any TV with HDMI and internet.

    Setup is super easy and intuitive. It's the best gizmo I've bought
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  4. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    1. What Roku product do you currently use?
    2 Roku Sticks; wifi only
    1 Ultra with both wifi and ethernet port (which I use to hardwire the masterbedroom unit to our wifi router)


    2. How do you use the Roku product? What streaming services, channels and networks do you use it for?
    I use DirecTV Now base package (sports, local channels, other interest channels)
    But my wife also has an Amazon Prime account for all the stuff she orders, but we get access to the Amazon Prime video content (a mind numbing number of content choices, which we do watch)


    3. Are there any services you don't use the Roku for?
    ??

    4. Any lessons learned on setting up and using Roku that you can pass along?
    The Roku devices themselves are easy to setup (and I'm the poster child for if setup can go wrong it will, but these are pretty idiot proof).
    However, picture quality and consistent content delivery will depend on your internet service provider and to some extent the hardware devices used. When streaming I have gotten periods of degraded picture quality which can be corrected by rebooting our cable modem. Oh, and sometimes streaming will buffer if the program content is a popular one. I remember watching the Olympics in Feb 2018 last year and the picture would stop and buffer occasionally. I'm expecting the same for the Superbowl tomorrow (I'll report back on this).
    (edit) The buffering is not a function/fault of the Roku device but in the service content provider being overloaded with the number of people streaming the event/program.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  5. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I could have been clearer here. It was getting late... ;)

    I was asking are there any video streaming services that you don't use the Roku to stream?

    I appreciate your responses.
     
  6. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    You're still not too clear. I have not found any streaming service that Roku couldn't handle. From my experience, I'd say it it can download it, it can run it, and there are several thousand of apps available. Here are some. https://channelstore.roku.com/browse

    Maybe there are some it can't handle but I've not encountered any.
     
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  7. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    571
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I got the Roku Express, mostly b/c I just hated the various amazon 'sticks' which were forever DLing 'updates' and being generally burpy (and the Oppo's apps were getting long in the tooth, though they still work, in a pinch!) - and don't care to talk with my remote.
    Mostly YT, Prime, Netflix - works like a champ, no complaints. Works with both Wifi speeds.
    I've tried a few of the 'free' offerings/apps that come up with it (for movies, mostly), and they are ok, but nothing super special IMO.
    Nothing else I want to stream that isn't on there - yet.
    Mostly, it Just Works, and as such has been a major improvement over The Stick (and various remotes).
    I'll get another one if I ever upgrade the other systems.
    Install was stupid simple, no tricks, issues or gotchas.
     
  8. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Yeah, still ?? on that question.

    I suppose with Roku + DirecTV Now + Amazon Prime the answer would be all others for me (like Hulu, Sling, Youtube-paid, etc)

    What's cool with Roku is that is comes with Pluto TV and I've loaded the app for Tubi TV and between those two, there are enough 'free' shows to last several lifetimes of constant viewing.

    Just last night I was on Tubi TV and watched a 2 hour documentary on Duane Allman and the history of the Allman Brothers Band; totally fascinating. There were a couple of commercial breaks, but only 2 to 3 briefs ads per break.
     
  9. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I'll try again.

    Are there any streaming services you use that you don't stream through the Roku device?
     
  10. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    Location:
    Aggieland
  11. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    @the skipper Thanks. I couldn't find one that I'd use that isn't compatible so I'm good to go. I appreciate it!
     

     

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  12. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Indispensable. Fabulous. Have two.

    We use ours primarily for video duty streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, PBS, YouTube, Formula One, et. al. There is also a media player that can stream movies or music from my LMS server. Instantly watch over 300 videos. Occasionally stream music from server to bedroom. Can also stream SiriusXM, but not Qobuz as service in the US is too new.

    Setup is pretty straight forward. Just review all of the available apps understanding many are pay based or require validation that you're already paying for it via cable.
     
  13. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

    Messages:
    2,921
    Location:
    Tega Cay
    2 Roku Express (garage & LR) and 1 TCL TV with integrated Roku. (Deck)

    Amazon Prime Video
    Hulu (Commercial Free)
    HBO GO
    Netflix
    YouTube
    CNN go
    CBS News
    News ON (local news everywhere)
    BBC America
    Pluto
    Radio Paradise
    SomaFM
    TED
    PBS
    VUDU
    Redbox beta
    Spotify
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  14. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Thank you all for your input, Gents. It is appreciated!
     
  15. teal'c

    teal'c Moomber Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,615
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    I've got the ROKU TCL 55P604 4KTV. Most of the time it's use for OTA TV. For the most part it's a great TV. Beautiful pic quality and color, great channel guide, and streams as well as my computer does. Amazon, YouTube, Twitch, and Pluto mostly. I tried other services when I first bought it a year+ ago without issue, but those four are the ones I stuck with.
    The main issue I have is the ability to play MKV files. About 50% crash on mine but work just fine on my Dad's TV.
    That and the crappy remote.
     
  16. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    To be honest, I think that's a TCL TV problem, not a Roku issue.

    To tout my ignorance here, what's a MKV file?
     

     

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  17. charles 1973

    charles 1973 Super Member

    Messages:
    3,125
    It looks like my decision is made. I'll be picking up a Roku box from Best Buy soon. I'm basically looking for a way to cut the cord, and my $77/ month cable TV bill, Avoiding commercials and getting more relevant content for me. I like the old shows and movies. From cable I need an extra $10/month for a PVR that only works on one TV just to time shift programs and speed through commercials + the $67 for channels.

    I don't have much internet bandwidth now, So it will cost me an extra $22 or so for that, But even if I add Netflix, I'll still be ahead. And I can watch what I want, When I want without commercials. I do get about 20 local OTA TV channels for news and other programs, And can use my laptop for local news too. Perhaps subscribe to the local papers on-line edition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  18. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Congrats.

    With the Roku you get the Pluto and Tubi "app" (channels) for free; between those two, there are so many viewing choices to make you can be frozen in indecision on what to watch.
     
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  19. teal'c

    teal'c Moomber Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,615
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    Video file. App used on the TV is ROKU media player.
    Screenshot from 2019-02-19 22-46-26.png
     
  20. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,242
    Location:
    Aggieland
    Mea culpa. That's the first app I've heard of with problems. Have you contacted them about it? Since they depend on apps as their bead and butter as opposed to a mere add-on, like other "smart TV's", they would be more prone to act on it.
     

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