I wish you said at the top of an article which country it was written in. I have no idea whether any of this is relevant to the UK. I haven't heard of HBO so I'm assuming it's American.
If you are going to buying a streaming media box – and you really should if you want to watch TV shows or movies on a big screen – then you should buy a Roku. It really is as simple as that. Apple fanbois will, of course, point to the latest Apple TV with its little touchpad. Googlers will swear by Chromecast. And Jeff Bezos …
At the top of the article it says: "By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 28 Oct 2017 at 13:56"
Do you need a link to Google Maps to tell you which country San Francisco is in?
Also what cave have you been living in for the last 20 years if you have never heard of HBO? Ever watched an episode of The Sopranos?
I've never watched The Sopranos. Gangster flicks don't interest me. I've watched the first Godfather movie once and that's it. So noone is wholly good or wholly bad, so knock me down with a feather.
I do know what HBO is but not because I've watched the Sopranos. A lot of US TV that others seem to like leaves me cold. I had my fill of US TV growing up in NZ. Big Bang Theory, yes, much of the rest meh. We like The Brokenwood Chronicles from back in NZ though.
At the top of the article are just name and date (mobile version)... and even if it was apparent to the reader that the article was written in the US it still would nice to know where the product was available (not only UK vs US, but also elsewhere - international readership etc.)
Ever watched an episode of The Sopranos?
Not me. I know the lead character is called Tony and I know the spoiler for how the final series ends. Game of Thrones might have been a better reference, though I've not watched that either.
I know "HBO"; it pops-up at the end of some programmes shown on UK channels. As to what "HBO" is beyond "Home Box Office"; I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it's more than a production company. I don't know what "Hulu" is either and I have had no interest in finding out because last I heard it still wasn't available in the UK.
I have a Virgin Media TiVo which supports iPlayer and other catch-up services, subscription free Sky, Freeview, Freesat, Chromecast, a PC desktop, a huge DVD collection, and an Android TV box in a drawer somewhere, so I haven't felt the need for subscription streaming services. I'm also guessing anything decent will eventually find its way to DVD, then into CeX and charity shops so I will eventually get to see it.
There's a BBC iPlayer plugin for Kodi. I think it's called WWW iPlayer, so it's in the wrong place in the download list. I run it on my Pis. Can't check just now because the kids are watching The Crystal Maze, and I can't be arsed going upstairs to look at another :P
I believe there's a mechanism for Netflix and Amazon that doesn't require Windows, but I've not looked into it in any depth.
There are two ways to do it. You can either have Kodi launch an external application for Netflix (which is hardly in the spirit of the thing), or in the v18 builds there's a new feature called "inputstream.adaptive" which allows plugins to run Amazon Prime and Netflix.
v18 is still in development, though, so you're on the potentially unstable nightly builds for that. Give it a little time until Leia is released, and you should be good.
"Ummm, right at the top it says by K.... in San Fran."
... so wihch San Fran?
San Francisco, Córdoba
San Francisco Glacier
San Francisco de Mostazal
San Francisco, Pichilemu
San Francisco, Antioquia
San Francisco, Cundinamarca
San Francisco, Putumayo
San Francisco de Dos Ríos District, San José Canton
San Francisco de Macorís
San Francisco de Quito, formal name of the capital city
San Francisco, Atlántida
San Francisco, Lempira
San Francisco de Opalaca
San Francisco, El Petén
San Francisco El Alto, Totonicapán
San Francisco Zapotitlán, Suchitepéquez
San Francisco de Campeche
San Francisco de los Romo, Aguascalientes
San Francisco del Mezquital, Durango
San Francisco Coacalco, State of Mexico
San Francisco Cahuacúa, Oaxaca
San Francisco Cajonos, Oaxaca
San Francisco Chapulapa, Oaxaca
San Francisco Chindúa, Oaxaca
San Francisco del Mar, Oaxaca
San Francisco Huehuetlán, Oaxaca
San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca
San Francisco Jaltepetongo, Oaxaca
San Francisco Lachigoló, Oaxaca
San Francisco Logueche, Oaxaca
San Francisco Nuxaño, Oaxaca
San Francisco Ozolotepec, Oaxaca
San Francisco Sola, Oaxaca
San Francisco Telixtlahuaca, Oaxaca
San Francisco Teopan, Oaxaca
San Francisco Tlapancingo, Oaxaca
San Francisco, Nayarit
San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Tlaxcala
San Francisco de Cuapa
San Francisco, Panamá
San Francisco, Veraguas
San Francisco, Agusan del Sur
San Francisco, Cebu
San Francisco, Quezon
San Francisco, Southern Leyte
San Francisco, Surigao del Norte
San Francisco, San Pablo, Laguna
San Francisco, Bohol
San Francisco (Bilbao)
San Francisco (Puerto Rico), a sector within the township of Old San Juan in the capital of San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Francisco, Minnesota, an abandoned town
Mission San Francisco de Potano, a Spanish mission to the Timucua Indians of Florida
Mission San Francisco Solano (California), a Spanish mission in Sonoma, California
San Francisco Peaks, a set of mountains in Arizona
San Francisco Plantation House, a historic plantation near New Orleans
San Francisco volcanic field, Arizona; includes above peaks
La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís (the original Spanish name of Santa Fe, New Mexico)
San Francisco, Colorado, a small town at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
San Francisco de Yare, Miranda
Costs almost 3x than my Amlogic based android box which has features the Roku Ultra lacks, such as Dolby Vision support, and matches it for everything else with HDR, HDCP 2.2 and audio passthrough of DTS-HD etc.
A family member has a Xiaomi Mi box which supports every streaming service and of course the whole play store apps and games goodies available, also at a fraction of the price of the Roku.
I really don't see why the Roku has such a following beside being available to buy in the high street shops.
"I really don't see why the Roku has such a following beside being available to buy in the high street shops."
Have to agree with you there. I just checked out their website and from what I read it can't even access media from your local LAN. Which, for me at least, is a must-have feature in a mediabox.
Think about showing some of your vacation pictures or movies to your friends; I usually do that using my TV and the trustworthy AC Ryan mediabox.
LAN Content - works fine:
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a standard technology that enables sharing of content between devices connected over a network. To play content stored on another device or computer on your Roku device using DLNA, the other device must be running DLNA server software and must be on the same network as your Roku device. Some routers and NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices have a built in DLNA server.
Roku Media Player has been tested to work with the following DLNA servers:
Windows Media Player/Center
For information on setting up a DLNA server, consult the associated online support site.
My local shopping centre keeps slapping "exciting new shopping experience coming soon" stickers on its (increasingly) vacant spaces. Would it be intolerant of me to suggest that perhaps we should gather up everyone who finds it exciting to exchange paper tokens for prosaic merchandise, or to have every detail of their life history assimilated in order to be told which fictional entertainment to pay for, and fire them into the sun?
We have three Roku boxes in the house. They're the quickest and easiest way to get smarts in a TV. Plug them in and they work.
Started with Roku3 so we could stream Netflix, then a Roku1 to smartify an old projector to watch movies outside on the garage. Just upgraded a couple months ago to a Roku Stick ($45 USD), and honestly it does everything the Roku1 it replaced did, just a little bit faster. And that's about it. I loaded Plex on a machine and serve up a hundred or more movies for watching around the house. I specifically didn't go all the way up-range since they all do basically the same thing.
I am waiting for some of the usual cable channel providers to de-couple themselves from cable and allow direct subscriptions. Roku may be in the best place with their content-agnostic strategy, any provider could come up with their own app and you subscribe directly (many offer streaming apps and for now you authenticate using your cable TV account, which is really strange.) PBS has an app but it could be better, and as you mention the Roku is blind to it. The overall user experience becomes handicapped by the quality and eccentricities of the app itself (Netflix's app is both good and frustrating at the same time). The Roku search function does well to find a certain show across all of the online libraries. In general it works but the seems to be nothing breathtaking about it. Casting is convenient but my Android phones don't seem to support it.
You may not have experienced the oddities of the Roku app and how it struggles for control with the included remote. There's just something about how it is a dumb remote rather than an extension of the interface that is baffling to me. In my experience Tivo has a much better Android-app remote where it acts as a smart extension of the controls.
I am waiting for some of the usual cable channel providers to de-couple themselves from cable and allow direct subscriptions. Roku may be in the best place with their content-agnostic strategy, any provider could come up with their own app and you subscribe directly (many offer streaming apps and for now you authenticate using your cable TV account, which is really strange.)
Unfortunately, since most of the "usual" cable channels are owned by the largest US service providers, the resistance to decoupling them is very high. You'll likely be waiting a very long time.
"I am waiting for some of the usual cable channel providers to de-couple themselves from cable and allow direct subscriptions. "
Probably never going to happen. Cable channels that license content, only get a license for broadcast. They they sub-license the channel and content it to a cable system. Cable channels that make their own content (ex. HBO) are a bit trapped. They would like to direct steam to subscribers, but it kind of cuts the legs of their licensing to cable systems. So they do this weird thing, where you if you have HBO on a cable system, you can stream it direct from HBO too. What is going to happen, is new guys will have to start making their content, and direct stream it, as Netflix and Amazon are doing. As soon a significant percentage of available content is produced this way, the other content producers will have to go full on with a digital-first strategy. Basically, cable networks will have to die.
It is going to take a while to sort this out. Plus, a lot of license deals have to expire. Some of those licensing contracts can be renewed perpetually, as long as the licensee keeps paying (right of first refusal). In Canada, we have this weird issue where Bell Media has direct licenses for broadcast AND streaming for vast amounts of US TV content, but doesn't stream anything except to cable customers. They are basically paying yearly to to ensure the license doesn't fall to someone else, like Netflix. It isn't sustainable to pay to prevent people from watching stuff, that you can't fully monetize.
If I were just starting out I'd probably stream but...I still prefer downloading.
My wife also has just about every streaming device, streaming services and cable services so... I have been able to experience A LOT of media types. She gave me a Roku last Christmas. While I saw the potential I still felt like it was not "quite there" yet. Navigation felt clunky, limited personalization. Even with all that variety available to me (that is basically free)... I still prefer downloaded content.
Granted downloading requires more gear, waiting time and storage space, etc...
I have a couple of Roku 3's, a 4, and a Stick & mainly use them all with Plex to view my content library from my NAS. All are great, although the Roku 4 refused to do 4K on my HDMI 1.4 TV until I got an HDCP converter box (fuck you very much, HDCP and Roku for going along with that crap). The Stick, I find, has awful wifi performance - constantly dropping out or buffering where my previous Roku 3 in the same location performed perfectly.
@Geoffrey W NO. Warming up for twenty seconds is what vacuum tube TV sets did when the dinosaurs weren't born yet. My twenty-year old CRT set Just Turns On when I press the button. Fuck boot times sideways, I'm not going back to that shit. The MythTV box I use hasn't been off or sleeping for about a decade now excepting power cuts and incidentally plays whatever I want played - from local sources, without the headache of figuring out which shitty "sorry unavailable for you" service I never heard of has exclusive rights to whatever I happen to fancy watching - not that I do all that much of that anyway.
It seems unlikely that the existing content oligarchs would allow a single aggregator to offer a universal service without a disruptive change in the market. Apple nearly managed it with music (£10/month for 40 million songs) - Could someone do something similar for TV and Movies without intrusive advertising?
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