Tell me about using Roku

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by head_unit, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    I'm looking at Roku TVs, since I think that will be a more flexible platform to get various providers like Philo, Spectrum, YouTube, etc.

    I noticed the remotes don't have numbers or alphanumeric-isn't that a drawback? How do you search? How do you go direct to a bunch of different channels by number? (The remotes on like TCL and Hisense that I see are NOT voice enabled, nor is that how I like to search thing. And my wife not for sure!). I see four colored buttons, presumably I could program as "antenna" and "Amazon" and "Netflix" and "Spectrum" or whatever. It's certainly not enough buttons to store the maybe dozen favorite channels we watch between us.

    I used to have a Roku box but it was long ago, and supplemented by the TV remote, which had a numeric+alpha keypad on the front and a full alpha keypad on the back.

    Appreciate your input, I'm pretty close to getting a TV before they sell out, but don't want to get into something that will be daily annoyance.
  2. softl

    softl Well-Known Member

    New England
    My main TV viewing is in my living room where I use a Samsung SmartTV. It is a PITA if you as me. The kitchen is a ROKU stick and the bedroom is a ROKU TV. The remotes are different and odd, but they work better than the Samsung remote. Look at my posts here for more info.

    I'm still frustrated with my Samsung......

    I need to edit. I do not have any other media connected to the ROKU sets, with exception to the over-the-air input.
    humanbeing likes this.
  3. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    That's good to know, since Samsung is the only alternative if I want to try Spectrum via internet...
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I recommend them very highly. The main reason is that Roku will keep updating the platform because hardware isn't their main business. The TV makers don't have any interest in maintaining their "Smart" firmware, because they would you buy a new TV set.
    There are codes for each channel. I have programed a whole bunch of Logitech Harmony remotes, and once you have added all of your Roku channels, it puts them on the Harmony screen and access them directly.

    If you want to search, there is a free app for iPhone and Android that will allow you to use the phone's keyboard or to use speech to search. Some Roku remotes have voice search built in, but I've never bothered to try it.

    I love my Roku and am a huge fan of it.
  5. JerolW

    JerolW Senior Member

    I agree with Chris and have two Roku units.

  6. Joey Self

    Joey Self Red Forman's Sensitivity Guru

    I got a Roku in January, switching from DirecTv to YouTubeTv for my local and "cable" stations. My experience so far has been great.

    Pros: Cost is about half what we were paying for DirecTv, and that is including Netflix and Amazon Prime. I absolutely love having all the "Free" channels, like Pluto, Tubi, Xumo and the Roku Channel. The DVR is unlimited in space and 6 months in duration. The global search feature is great if you'll looking to see if a movie or TV series is available for free or on one of the premium providers I have. If I want to see a documentary on David Bowie, for instance, I just type in his name and all the ones across the platforms come up--even ones I don't have (that's how I have found additional free stations).

    Cons: Well, you sort of hit on it. The remote or the platform does not allow you to "run the channels to see what's on" as you can with cable or satellite, or to do the flashback. If I'm watching a ball game (not that there any now) and want to go back and forth between games, I have to go back to the menu on YouTubeTv and scroll for it. I don't think I'm going to like it as much during college football season, as I do a LOT of back and forth on Saturdays, especially the Saturday night games. You can go to the YouTubeTV website, log in and rearrange your stations. The wife wanted HGTV moved up from where it was, and I put it right under the local stations.

    Adding a station on one Roku does not always mean it gets added to all in the house.

    Now, some use Hulu or Sling for their local stations, and I can't speak to the utility of those as far as running the stations.

    My bottom line is: I love Roku, and despite the drawbacks, I can't see us going back to cable or satellite, EVER.

    Tim S, chili555, willy and 5 others like this.
  7. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I've used Roku for years, we have three Roku units and an RCA 4K Roku TV. Roku only gets better while the "smart" apps on every Blu ray player I own or have owned has just been neglected.
    head_unit, Chris DeVoe and Joey Self like this.
  8. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    I have 2 Roku TVs and a Samsung TV. The Roku TVs are so much better for all my streaming channels. There’s been so many problems using streaming channels with the Samsung TV that I just use an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku Streaming stick with the Samsung.
    chili555, head_unit and Chris DeVoe like this.
  9. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Senior Member

    Carbondale, IL USA
    Do you have to have WiFi to use it? I don't have WiFi and not really wanting to upgrade. I'd run a cable if it's capable of just using that for internet access.
    head_unit likes this.
  10. jimbutsu

    jimbutsu WATCH YÖUR STEPPE

    You can run cables to a lot of smart devices, so if you research ahead of time you ought to be fine there.

    I personally prefer to run a TV and a separate set top box like an Android TV/Fire or a Roku so that I can swap out one or the other without having to start over, plus it makes a home theater setup easier to manage (I've never cared for ARC through the TV all that much).
    Lownote30 and head_unit like this.
  11. bradman

    bradman Forum Resident

    As far as Rokus, only the Ultra has an ethernet port.
    head_unit, audiomixer and cwitt1980 like this.
  12. jkauff

    jkauff Senior Member

    Akron, OH
    I have a TCL Roku TV, the Best Buy model that has no voice control on the remote. I don't use the remote, because the Roku phone app gives me a keyboard to type on, voice control if I want it, and a few extras you don't have access to with the physical remote. It also gets updates, which of course the remote does not.
    head_unit, Chris DeVoe and dlokazip like this.
  13. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
    Last I checked there was no Spectrum app available for the Roku. There are some instructions posted on the net about how to get Spectrum with the Roku, but I couldn’t make it work.
    head_unit likes this.
  14. I have a Roku Premeire+ and use it for almost all of my streaming. It has an Ethernet port.

    Love it.

    HATE the remote. Loses sync all the time. Gave up after having to “Pair” it every time I used it, and frequently multiple times in one viewing. I use the Android & Apple. Apps w/o problems.
    head_unit likes this.
  15. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Ottawa, Canada

    Getting close to cutting the TV cable...
    head_unit likes this.
  16. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA
    I have always had the Spectrum app on Roku. It works fine. It has a delay of about 40 seconds behind the cable boxes, but that's to be expected.

    I have three Roku Expresses. I use Spectrum, Prime Video, Plex, YouTube, Spotify, newsy, FreeSpeech TV, PBS, and Filmrise. It's great.
    head_unit and Chris DeVoe like this.
  17. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Most of the larger Roku televisions have wired ethernet.
    Tremaindous, head_unit and unclefred like this.
  18. DaveySR

    DaveySR Forum Resident

    All the hidef stuff has a much better picture from Roku than from my cable provider Comcast, which downrezes for transmission then uprezes with inferior cable box processing since they went to the X1 platform.:shake:
    Chris DeVoe and head_unit like this.
  19. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    My TCL tv has an ethernet port. I've had a roku for years, but the app on the roku tv is much better than the box. It has never lost sync nor stop to buffer.
    buzzzx, Chris DeVoe and head_unit like this.
  20. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    That could be a downer. Also rereading, I believe my impression of this was mistaken, I thought is was a separate service like YouTube TV but it's just a way to access via IP. So I have to check what happens to pricing after a year.
    is where the app supposedly is, if you have a moment to check again I'd be really curious.
  21. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles CA USA
    Are you referring to Roku here, or YouTube TV, or both? (I saw a video review, the YouTube TV channel guide was really weird. Well, it just showed like the next hour, you could keep scrolling across. Can you search via app or laptop to find shows to DVR?)
  22. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    The Roku is a device and operating system for the device. It can also be built into a TV set. It was originally intended as a way to make any TV into a "Smart TV."

    Firestick/FireTV and Apple TV are competitors.

    There are a variety of apps available for Roku that are also available for Apple TV and the Fire devices. On Roku, they are somewhat confusingly called "Channels".

    Netflix is an app to access Netflix content, like how HBOGo allows you to access HBO content.

    YouTube TV
    is another app to access traditional Cable TV content. It basically puts all the functionality of the box that the cable TV company normally supplies into a single app. The DVR capability actually happens off-site on YouTube servers, so unlike the traditional Cable TV box which has a 1 terabyte hard drive and finite space, each YouTube TV subscriber has unlimited storage for (I believe) nine months.

    The search capability is Google's search. For instance, I searched TV listings for "Todd Rundgren" and it found Dumb and Dumber who has a song on that film's soundtrack. "Kate Bush" found the SNL episode "on demand" as well as a bunch of YouTube videos. Searching something popular like "Kanye" found an SNL from six months ago that was in my library, then a ton of on demand, then YouTube links.

    The most important and best part about YouTube TV is that one login works on apps on your Roku...and your desktop...and laptop...and you can set recordings from anywhere. It's so superior to anything any of the cable companies have written that it's not even in the same universe.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    Tim S, audiomixer, Tanx and 1 other person like this.
  23. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
    Errk, my bad. I got confused between Roku and the Kindle Firestick. It’s the Kindle where I can’t find a Spectrum TV app. Sorry for spreading misinformation :hide:
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  24. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Austin, TX, USA
    No problem. My son has a Fire TV box. That can't get Spectrum, either.
  25. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    I just have some basic Roku device I got for joining the Metropolitan Opera’s streaming service for old video and audio broadcasts. One oddity of it is when I accidentally hit it, it will switch my tv’s HDMI input to the Roku. Which is both convenient and a pain.

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