|Posted on May 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
Sounds like a great deal, right? But perhaps you need to learn more about Roku before spending $50 - $100 on a streaming media device.
In the United States, Roku owners have access to over 300 channels, including top picks like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Roku also just recently launched in Canada with over 100 channels, and they have stated that they plan to be just as aggressive in offering Canadians great channel options like their southern neigbors have.
The Roku player handles standard and high definition streaming up to 1080p. The top of the line model, Roku 2 XS, even throws in a free copy of Angry Birds, which my kids just love. While there are other streaming devices available at similar price points, Roku is still considered to be the industry favorite for giving consumers more bang for their buck.
|Posted on April 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
There is a lot of things to celebrate in the streaming world today, particularly how the Roku Player is changing the way people consume entertainment. And when you compare streaming media players, it really makes sense for the majority of people.
Big Changes in the United States
For starters, in the United States Roku is adding channels so quickly, it is topping out at over 300 so far, including NBC News programs such as NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (America's #1 evening news program), Meet the Press, TODAY, and more. Featured channels are big names like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Crackle and more. Read the Roku Player Channel Review for more information.
Roku UK More Than Doubles Channels Since January Launch
Starting out with 40 available channels, Roku UK now has over 100 channels. Clive Hudson, VP and General Manager for Roku Europe noted "In the US we are adding about one new channel per day and this gives us enormous appeal to a wide variety of audience segments. We aim to follow this model in the UK with content for different communities and special interest groups in addition to mainstream channels like Netflix and BBC iPlayer." Roku UK supports the Netflix UK platform. Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/04/roku-100-channels-uk-ireland/
Roku Canada Launch "Imminent"
Two models are allegedly on tap for the Canadian market, including Roku 2 XD, and Roku 2 XS. (Source: http://gigaom.com/video/roku-canada-xd-xs-amazon/)
Check out our comprehensive Roku Player Review for details on this unique, innovative device.
|Posted on April 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
There are a variety of ways to facilitate streaming movies and TV shows to your television set. One of the most popular ways is through a gaming console. Some of the best parental controls are integrated into gaming consoles, like Netflix's "Just for Kids" lets concerned parents feel a measure of safety that their kids are watching wholesome content. However, if you are not planning on also playing games through PlayStation3, Wii, or Xbox 360, it is a very pricey option just for video streaming.
Another popular way to access streaming services subscriptions is through an internet-connected blu-ray player. But again, unless you already have a vast blu-ray collection, it doesn't make sense to turn to this option because of price, as blu-ray & DVD technology will be slowly phasing out in the next decade. Google TV is being integrated into a variety of blu-ray players and HD Television sets, so it may make sense to turn to that option if you are in the market right now for an upgrade.
Streaming media players are one of the best ways to get into streaming without breaking the bank. There are several good options out in the market right now that should meet your needs.
One of the most popular choices today is the Roku player. Starting at $50, and with a variety of price points that offer different functionality, Roku is simple tos et up, and offers hundreds of genre-specific Channels so that you can target your choices specifically to your preferences. There are streaming players that support virtually any television set, including HD. If you don't own an HD set right now, but are planning to get one in the future, you can purchase a Roku player that will easily transition when you are ready to make your HD purchase.
Apple TV is based on iOS, so it interacts well with devices like iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Supporting1080p playback, this streaming player only supports High Definition TV sets,which limits people right there if they do not yet own an HD set. Through Apple TV you can access the iTunes store to rent or purchase movies, as well as Netflix and YouTube. So - in terms of streaming services selection options, there aren't a lot of choices. But for the price ($99), it's a solid choice.
There are some cool features you can add, though. For $25 a year, you can subscribe to iTunes Match, which lets you access music that you already own, whether digital files,or CD (including ripped CDs). You can also utilize AirPlay to view any photos, video, or music that is stored on your iOS device to play directly on your TV set. Apple TV doesn't support apps, which makes it very limited in terms of being able to customize, other than what is mentioned above.
Powered by Android, there is amazing functionality with any products based on Google TV technology. For starters, it supports virtually any app you can download from the Android Market. It also comes with a full version of Google Chrome for web browsing capabilities, and utilizes a keyboard and touch pad to control it. You can access information on the Internet Movie Database, or your music library through Google Music.
Google TV comes with products like the Logitech Revue set-top box ($99), certain Sony HD TV sets and blu-ray players, and other manufacturers are expected to integrate this smart TV technology later this year. Price points are varied. What it excels at in functionality, it is known to have an interface that isn't as clean or polished as Roku or Apple TV.
At a price of $200, this streaming media set-top box is pricier than Apple TV and Roku, but it has greater functionality, similar to Google TV. There are lots of services offered, including the ability to stream HD content from Vudu, and live television programming via Boxee Live TV USB tuner. Boxee has less functionality than Google TV, but a bit of a cleaner interface.
|Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
Maybe you want to enjoy some YouTube or other online video, or perhaps you want to watch your home movies or view your pictures in a more comfortable place than having the whole family crowd around your computer screen. Or if you've just signed up for Netflix and don't wish to purchase a Roku player at this time. It's easy to connect your laptop computer to your TV set and enjoy anything that your computer's digital media capabilities can handle right on your TV screen. We'll show you how via a wired connection.
There are also ways to connect wirelessly - that's for a different article! Stay tuned.
|Posted on March 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
On March 16, 2012 the official Roku blog reported that they have a new software update for the Roku player, specifically Roku 2 and Roku LT. The improvements mainly centered around a more positive Netflix experience, as well as improved apps. There's nothing that Roku owners need to do - the software will be pushed automatically to your players as long as they are currently connected and in use. But if you want to make sure, you can check the Settings option on your interface, and then select Software update, and then "check now from your Roku player."
Improvemets and fixes include:
The beauty of Roku, of course, is the ability to select Channels that appeal to you. In other words, you only pay for what you actually want to watch, unlike cable TV subscriptions for which you pay for myriads of channels that you never view. More control over your content that comes into your home means less cost and more satisfaction. Roku is regularly listening to its customers and making software impovements in their technology.
|Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
More and more people are finding out that they don't have to access streamed content through their computer any longer, and a big reason for this is Roku. This post will provide an in-depth, comprehensive Roku Player Review so that consumers can get a helpful snapshot to determine if it's a good choice for them.
|Posted on February 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM||comments (0)|
If you think your Roku Player is just for Netflix and Hulu, think again! Here's a short list of what's available in the extensive Roku Player Channel Store:
These are the highlights, but there is so much more to Roku. Are you a fitness buff? There are tons of available channels where you can work out, hone your skills, and soak in your favorite sport. Check out The Gym Box for kickboxing, yoga, step aerobics, strength training and more. Live Exercise has live & on demand workout shows with no dumbells required. Pilates Anytime enables you to follow hundreds of quality pilates classes, with a new class added everyday.
Can't do without a trusted news source? You might be interested in WSJ Live to enjoy live & on-demand footage from thousands of Wall Street Journal reporters across the globe. You can select news sources that favor either side of the aisle, or even gain access to an eclectic collection of podcasts with extremely diverse topics. Other featured categories include kids, sports, music, games, tech, lifestyle, internetational, and spiritual.
|Posted on January 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
In case you missed last month's announcement via the official Roku blog, Roku has released a software update (version 3.1) for their 1st generation Roku player. Several improvements (as well as minor bug fixes) were included: The Amazon Instant Video channel was updated with a new design, and in order to run the channel you will need the update. 3.1 also interacts with the Roku iPhone app (available through the iTunes app store). The update also promises improved MP4 playback streamed over the internet, as well as over the USB Media Player channel. Some seriously cool enhancements include being able to purchase accessories in the Roku Channel Store. Need another player for the home, or some cool toys for it? Let's go shopping! Finally, the update includes improved grid performance, eliminating the issues encountered when navigating channels displayed on a grid screen.
|Posted on January 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
Saratoga, CA - January 4, 2012 (Business Wire) - Today Roku announced a stunning new way to stream content on High Def television sets without the standard set-top Roku player. The Roku Streaming Stick is a wireless device that is the size of a standard USB flash drive that plugs into the HDMI port on a mobile high-definition link (MHL) enabled television set to transform it into an internet-connected "Smart TV". Utilizing your home Wifi system, you will be able to access Roku's entire collection of nearly 200 streaming entertainment channels in a fully-integrated high-definition experience.
Director of Exclusive Brands at Best Buy, Scott Jacobi, also indicated that Insignia television sets will be bundled with a Roku Streaming Stick. "The Roku Streaming Stick provides an elegant and easy over-the-top streaming solution for customers who want the full experience of a Smart TV without adding an external set box, HDMI cable and power adapter to their TV. Insignia looks forward to rolling out our first MHL-enabled TVs compatible with the Roku Streaming Stick in 2012 at Best Buy."
Greg Peters, Vice President at Netflix, applauded Roku for taking streaming innovation to the next level. "The Roku Streaming Stick is a great solution for Netflix because it allows us to deliver the Netflix experience found on the Roku platform to potentially any TV."
Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Parks Associates says "Smart TV manufacturers have struggled to find an application platform that sticks with consumers especially since software is not their area of expertise. The Roku Streaming Stick is a game changer for the Smart TV market. It takes the leading streaming platform and integrates into the TV in a way that no one has been able to do before."
|Posted on December 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
Roku announced on it's official blog a few days ago that it is now making available to iPhone and other iOS devices a free app that provides enhanced functionality and convenience of your Roku player experience. An app for Android is in the works, according to the popular streaming media player provider. The Roku iPhone app turns your iOS device into "the most powerful Roku remote ever!" The app allows you to browse the channel store, select, rate, add or remove a channel to your Roku player with easy touch-and-swipe functionality. The app displays three tabs; Home lists all of the channels that you have access to on your Roku home screen, where you can easily launch, or view details about the channel, and even rate it. Remote launches the app so that you can use your phone as a remote control, including the selection of shows, instant replay, skip, play/pause and skip back or forward. Finally, Store allows you to subscribe to and add new channels to your Roku home screen. You can organize channels in categories, including "free" and 'paid" subscriptions.