back to article Roku tweaks Apple's nose with telly-friendly vid-streaming boxes

Roku today responded to Apple with a new range of streaming boxes and an updated operating system that tightly integrates broadcast TV. The company is still leading the streaming media box market, in large part because it is simply better and offers more than its main competitors in AppleTV, Amazon's Fire TV, and Google's …

  1. DougS Silver badge

    This is only for TVs running Roku software

    AFAIK no Roku set tops have an ATSC input, so all they could do is tell you what's on broadcast TV - not actually let watch it! There aren't any TVs running tvOS, so integrating broadcast channel guides in this way would be pointless for Apple. The article is truly comparing apples and oranges.

    Not sure what Apple's failed deal with Comcast would have consisted of. The Apple TV would have required a QAM input to connect to Comcast's cable system. Without that all it could have done would be to act as a "client" to one of Comcast's whole home DVRs. Not sure what Comcast charges for those, and if paying $150 for an Apple TV would have had payback after a few years of not paying Comcast monthly fees.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: This is only for TVs running Roku software

      But Apple's "Apple TV" product has no screen and no tuners. Also always been inferior to the Roku product. Essentially "Apple TV" profits are a rounding error compared to iPhone profits.

      Comparing Apples and something not even a fruit.

      If your TV has no local compatible broadcast tuner it is a Monitor. Most Monitors are very limited in TV broadcast video mode support, especially the majority of the world which uses 25i and 50p. Also Broadcast HD is often not 1920 x 1080.

      Silicon Valley products have in Analogue and now Digital TV era been poor or zero support for outside North America / Japan. Which is the majority of the world.

      Support for program guides is good.

      Re: ASTC.

      I'm sure important for those in North America without cable / satellite. US Cable is DVB-C, most Satellite is DVB-S (or S2) and outside China, Japan and NA, most Broadcast TV via an aerial is DVB-T (or T2).

      It's true though that Digital is worse than Analogue Broadcast for multiple standards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not only for TVs running Roku software

        There are models have have an antenna input.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Have they fixed the frame rate issue?

    Earlier Roku boxes only supported 60Hz frame rates, so while they're fine for North American content, there are complaints of significant motion artefacts for content originated elsewhere.

    1. Any mouse Cow turd

      Re: Have they fixed the frame rate issue?

      The NowTV boxes are nobbled Roku kit and the currently available NowTV Smartbox has an aerial input and works at 50Hz (even the normal Roku kit works at 50Hz if you buy the ones with the EU chipset)

      It's a shame that they are locked down and you can't load up apps from providers other than Sky and they've even locked out the developer mode so that you can't sideload Plex anymore but it does show the level of quality that Roku produce.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Have they fixed the frame rate issue?

        I thought I read articles of people flashing the Sky variants with Roku firmware.

        Did they lock that out as well?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Have they fixed the frame rate issue?

          The only time I have heard of this being done was a guy who resoldered the memory from a Roku onto a NowTV version 1 box. But that was most likely just a hoax. Not sure why you would bother.

      2. The Valeyard

        Re: Have they fixed the frame rate issue?

        The US hardware is identical to the hardware sold in UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore. Only the country profile changes which determines app access and themes.

        The model number changes for the same hardware refers to the preflashed firmware that can lock to a given providers config restricting the apps, themes, compatability with enhanced remotes etc further than the country profile. So a US Roku can receive a.country profile.for the UK if activated with a UK Roku account but can't get the NowTV profile.

        The 50/60hz thing is a distant memory.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope....

    All the pro UK tv licence fee folks on the other register story see this story and realise how last century their reasoning is!

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Murdoch

    We aren't allowed Rokus in the UK. Rupert Murdoch owns a sizable chunk of Roku and won't let them be sold over here in case they take business from Sky.

    Bastards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Murdoch

      Complete nonsense. Roku in its full form is available in the UK. NowTV is powered by Roku but you can still go buy a full version from roku.co.uk

      Also there is no difference between the hardware sold in the UK or US. The country profile and apps depend on which Roku website account you use to activate it. But that only counts for branded Roku and not powered by Roku devices such as nowtv or Telstra TV. Those are locked to their respective providers

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Murdoch

      Rubbish.

      Go look at Roku.co.uk to buy a Roku. You can even use a US Roku and load a UK profile by registering with a UK Roku user account.

      1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        Re: Murdoch

        Try buying a Roku 4 in the UK.

        Fucking idiots.

  5. Simon Liddicott

    UK Lineup not updated

    The UK line up hasn't been updated for 3 generations.

  6. Lotaresco

    I'd like a Roku but...

    There are two versions available (officially) in the UK, the Roku Express and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. That's it. The American versions don't officially support iPlayer. It seems that Roku really don't want to bother with the UK market other than via sales of the Now TV box.

    Adding insult to injury the Roku web site declares "There's a Roku player for everyone". Unless of course you want 4K and something other than a WiFi streaming stick, in which case you're stuffed.

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