Roku 2 delivers cheap, easy video streaming
Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:44 AM
Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:47 AM
You have to go to the mlb website to activate mlb.tv on your Roku device
Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:10 AM
Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:14 AM
I'm surprised jsnell didn't reiterate in the conclusion how important AirPlay has become in the Apple ecosystem. The Apple TV isn't just for people who have purchased iTunes videos. With any iOS device, the content you can play on your Apple TV becomes almost limitless. Including Hulu Plus. (Just this week Hulu updated their app to support display mirroring. Combine that with iOS 5 in about a month, and you have Hulu on the Apple TV!)
One more advantage the Apple TV has is network streaming from your PC/Mac. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Roku doesn't support this feature. It's super simple on the Apple TV. You can add any movie, tv show, music, podcast, etc to your iTunes library and it's available on the Apple TV. It will even play photos. Our family uses this feature all the time, and are moving away from DVDs all together.
There are also many apps on iOS (like Plex and Air Video) that allow you to stream video in ANY format to iOS or your Apple TV. I used this for watching divx and other video formats on my TV. Works great!
Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:24 AM
Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:33 AM
Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:15 AM
Sometimes I wish it had Hulu, but then I remember that I have no time to watch TV anyway. Game over!
Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:49 AM
I switched to the AppleTV 2, and in most regards it does things just as well...except Netflix. My Apple TV just does not stream Netflix well at all: constant buffering (with the screen image frozen while the buffering is going on). This problem seems to be wide-spread enough to garner lots of support posts, so it's not just me.
(Note that the ATV does just fine for me on other kinds of content, this is an Apple-Netflix issue only. There is a suggested fix involving hardcoding your DNS server in the ATV settings; this fix seems to help some people but not others, and I'm in the latter group. As wonderful as the Roku has been, I would love to reduce my device count by one, and I would love to be able to use Remote on my iPhone to control Netflix interaction. )
Meanwhile my first generation Roku does Netflix faster than anything else we have that also does it: ATV, blu-ray player or Wii.
Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:36 AM
This is how Apple and Roku have made their new small boxes so cheap. Neither have a DAC built in!
Also, there are new features offered by the extra button on the newer remotes that will work on the old Roku. But Roku has no trade in your old remote for a new one program or even a web site way to an account that can do some of the features like rearrange positions of services - which I really want to do!
Having said all that, Roku has much more to offer than Apple TV 2. I have both and mainly got the Apple TV 2 (refurb) cheap so I could access my iTunes music on screen with my high end stereo speakers. Roku also has private channels. Yes, there is paid porn but there is free CNN (International version), the BBC, ESPN 3, and other live and recorded options. Mostly free but some paid. Google Roku private channels to find web sites that list them and codes to access.
BTW: There are ways to listen to iTunes on the Roku via other channels. The main company that did it, did a terrible job and, sure enough, they are now out of business. But I recently noticed others getting in on it. There is even a way to access a home server on a Roku. But it was all still pretty geeky. I'm too lazy.
Apple needs to start Apple TV 2 apps for real and open it up. Many of the apps on iPhone/Pad could transfer right over with some tweaking to Apple TV 2. There are also things specific to the home, like recipes, health, news, etc. that could work great if Apple let anyone develop apps for Apple TV 2.
Roku calls apps Channels. Apple calls channels Apps. I am looking forward to that Apple TV TV!