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Old 02-11-2011   #1
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Anyone use a Roku?

Back on Thanksgiving, Barb and I went to visit my sister who lives in P'cola. They ranted up a storm about a little device called Roku. If you don't know, Roku is a special streaming video rig that you hook up to your regular or hi-def TV and can (allegedly) view hundreds of channels of stuff available on the web...
Ahem, yeah, right.

We ordered one. Physically, it is a breeze to connect. Getting the rig to connect wirelessly thru the DSL modem was another issue entirely. I called the tech support number and was greeted by an outsourced-to-God-only-knows-what-third-world-country "tech support specialist" who, over the next 45 minutes, gave me utterly useless and incorrect information on how to get the stupid thing to read the modem's wireless signal. I hung up with no resolution to the problem and went instead to Google where I located a website which had nothing to do with Roku itself and DID have the correct procedure for getting a wireless connection.

OK... I was connected. Now to browse all the "great channels" in the channel store...

Garbage. Total garbage. There are a couple of dozen free channels which contain several streams each... and NONE of them had anything worth watching (sound familiar? Like basic cable or satellite, maybe?). To make things worse, the only two channels which MIGHT have been acceptable (even as a paid service) I couldn't get because they (Namely Netflix and Hulu Plus) only accept CREDIT cards... not debit cards!!

Roku doesn't access Blinkx, TheWB, Megavideo, YouTube or CBS. It doesn't even get regular (read: "free") Hulu.

It only took 3 days to come to the realization that Roku is overhyped crap so I called to get an RMA number for a refund. Back to the outsourced CSRs who all sound as if they've failed their ESL classes twice. It took two calls to get the RMA because the number which was read off to me (which I read back to Habib or whatever his name was and he verified) and the one I received in an email a while later DIDN'T MATCH! Soooo... back on the phone yet again to try and determine which RMA was the correct one. After 15 minutes on hold - complete with unlistenable elevator music, I think I've gotten the correct RMA. I'll be sending the stupid thing back (and guess who pays for shipping?) tomorrow. Hopefully those clods at Roku won't drag their feet at refunding that $80 we spent on the damn POS.

Roku sucks. I'll stick with watching my shows on the computer.
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Old 02-11-2011   #2
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

Quote:
We ordered one. Physically, it is a breeze to connect. Getting the rig to connect wirelessly thru the DSL modem was another issue entirely. I called the tech support number and was greeted by an outsourced-to-God-only-knows-what-third-world-country "tech support specialist" who, over the next 45 minutes, gave me utterly useless and incorrect information on how to get the stupid thing to read the modem's wireless signal. I hung up with no resolution to the problem and went instead to Google where I located a website which had nothing to do with Roku itself and DID have the correct procedure for getting a wireless connection.
You should always do this from the beginning.

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Anyway, I just download all my TV shows from EZTV and MVGroup. I never exceed my bandwidth cap. Although I came close last month but that was mostly from also downloading games, movies, and LiveCD ISOs.
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Old 02-12-2011   #3
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

Well, I don't need or want to download any given TV show; I am content to watch whatever strikes my whim when said whim strikes. The only reason I was struggling with Shareaza was it was the only way to get these shows or movies because none of the sites I now use (Loombo, Blinkx, Megavideo, etc) would have even worked on dialup. Now that I have a decent bandwidth connection, I've pretty much retired Shareaza in favor of watching what I want when I want. If that Roku thing had been able to access ALL the file host sites I use and display them on our TV, that would have made the thing worth the $80 it cost us.
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Old 02-12-2011   #4
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

ch131.com Any show is watchable, literally 30 minutes after it shows on TV. You can usually find shows here for a few month afterwards too.

Otherwise, use yidio.com or tvduck.com for older episodes, or whole seasons.
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Old 02-13-2011   #5
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

Thanks; I'll check it out. I already found quite a number of sites that have a good list of shows I like to watch. I've already mentioned them in other posts, but it bears repeating:
Blinkx Remote (TV and movies)
Hulu
Letmewatchthis.com (for movies, mostly)
zmovies.com (movies again)
google video has quite a lot of cool stuff

My issue was hoping that stupid Roku box could access any streaming source available on the web and display it on our TV but I was badly mistaken.

{EDIT} I just checked it out. Not bad but Blinkx has waaaayyy more shows than 131 does. I did bookmark it, though.
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"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


Bent Ears Audio Laboratories - Better Music Through Chemistry

MUSIC IS LIKE CANDY. IT'S ONLY GOOD WHEN YOU GET RID OF ALL THE RAPPERS.
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Old 02-13-2011   #6
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

I used to use Hulu, but have grown to hate the ads. Waiting for days after the show actually aired kinda sucked too.

Ill have to spend more time checking out blinkx. I kinda like that ch131 is so simple, and you can easily see the shows that aired that day.
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Old 02-13-2011   #7
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

I should mention that Blinkx Remote doesn't *show* the programs; it *finds* them. For instance, Barb and I are watching Babylon 5 (she never watched it straight through episode for episode). We go to Blinkx, locate the B5 page, select the season and episode and when we click on that, the menu will drop down and say (for instance):

Watch this episode on Loombo

Watch this episode on Megavideo

Watch this episode on Tudou

We usually choose Loombo just because it seems to work smoother than the other sites. I like Megavideo too, but unless you are a paid user, you are limited to 72 minutes of video access then it stops playing. That's fine for a single episode of something (especially if Blinkx says that particular episode is ONLY available on Mega) but as you can imagine it isn't the best choice to view a movie although if you wait a couple of hours, you can go back to that particular file and resume from where you left off (manually; it won't remember where the progress bar was...).

Tudou was also a good choice but its basically the Chinese version of YouTube. I used to use it but in recent months, it has become unavailable in the US. I think they got wise to all the non-Chinese traffic they were getting and started blocking IPs.

My only bitch about Loombo is that you have to click several times on stuff before you finally get the show to play. Until I installed AdBlockerPlus (STRONGLY recommended - I can't imagine why anyone doesn't have it installed!!) on Firefox, there were dozens of dating site ads and online video game ads which were a major distraction with all of their blinking and flashing all around the one tiny part of the screen you need to look at in order to get the show to play but now that I have ABP "trained", those are gone now. However, I still have to click 2 or 3 times on the player to get the show started.
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"There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth." - Motto of the Theosophical Society

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


Bent Ears Audio Laboratories - Better Music Through Chemistry

MUSIC IS LIKE CANDY. IT'S ONLY GOOD WHEN YOU GET RID OF ALL THE RAPPERS.
))#####D~~~~ (_l_)

Last edited by ablethevoice; 03-08-2011 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011   #8
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HA!! A a lttile fussing goes a long way sometimes

I sent Roku an email on Sat morn outlining the thing about the two different Return Merchandise Authorization numbers asking for further confirmation that the one sent to me in the email I mentioned was, in fact, correct. I was actually expecting an email in reply but instead, I got a phone call from yet another broken-English speaking CSR. He verified that the number I got in the email was correct. He then asked if there was anything else he could do...I said YES, as long as you asked! I didn't think it was fair that I had to pay for return shipping and asked for a prepaid return label. Much to my surprise, he agreed (!!) and sent me an email containing a Fed-Ex prepaid label which I need only to print and attach to the box. The only catch with that is I'll have to physically drop it off at an authorized drop location. In other words, even if there is a Fed Ex driver who shows up at Barb's work every day, the refund wouldn't happen if she were to hand him the otherwise properly labelled package...

The email stated that we would get our refund "within 10 days" of receiving the return. We'll see...

I'll keep you posted.
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"There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth." - Motto of the Theosophical Society

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


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MUSIC IS LIKE CANDY. IT'S ONLY GOOD WHEN YOU GET RID OF ALL THE RAPPERS.
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Old 03-08-2011   #9
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

Final report on ROKU:

They finally refunded us for what we spent on the unit but not for the shipping. Ah well... I've read some bad reports about Roku putzing around until the 30-day money back guarantee expires. They didn't with us. It was just as they stated: "about 10 days" after receiving the returned device. In this case, it was exactly 10 days. So we're all through with Roku. (hehe; I'm a poet and didn't know it)...
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"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


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Old 03-14-2011   #10
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Re: Anyone use a Roku?

RE: post #7 above.

The more I look, the more I find. I just wanted to tell you about yet another video host locating site like Blinkx. It is called Motion Empire. Like I said above, Barb and I are watching Babylon 5 all the way through (something she never did... and she's liking it). We were using Blinkx to get to the shows but every once in a while I was running into gaps in the series - certain episodes missing so I went on another online search for that particular episode which is how I discovered Motion Empire. They locate more sources than Blinkx does. Using Blinkx, any given episode's sources were usually listed as available through Loombo, Megavideo or Tudou. When I went to ME, besides the host sites I was already familiar with, I was made aware of a couple of new host sites I'd never heard of before: Frogmovz and Karambavidz. ME is a pretty comprehensive site. I watched a great National Geographic documentary a couple of nights ago which I found by searching the DOCUMENTARIES category. I haven't even begin to look at what movies they have available.

Just thought you'd be interested in this...
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"There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth." - Motto of the Theosophical Society

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." —Albert Einstein

“It's fortunate for governments that people don't think." - Adolph Hitler

Sturkis akidit ("shit happens") - Latin


Bent Ears Audio Laboratories - Better Music Through Chemistry

MUSIC IS LIKE CANDY. IT'S ONLY GOOD WHEN YOU GET RID OF ALL THE RAPPERS.
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