Tell me about using Roku

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

  1. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    It's a game of Corporate Chicken.

    Roku wants HBO to pay them money to make the channel available to all their customers, and HBO doesn't want to pay Roku any money.

    It's like all those times when one of the giant broadcasting companies pulls their channels from DirecTV or Dish Network, and then runs ad asking their victims customers to "contact your cable or satellite company".

    I'm confident that HBO is going to lose this game, because realistically they need Roku a whole lot more than Roku needs HBO.
     
  2. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Peacock too.
     
    Bender Rodriguez likes this.
  3. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    what is the monthly charge for this? Don't know anything about it. Thanks!
     
  4. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    So how does HBO make their money? From cable channel tier level upgrade package fees?

    When it was just one or two content delivery systems (DirectTV satellite and cable TV), there wasn't that much competition. Now internet wi-fi opens the flood gate for endless competitors through streaming using relatively smaller USB hardware receiver/sender devices like routers and Roku Firestick instead of all the satellite dish and digital cable box hardware shared between the two old school competitors.

    It appears Roku is operating at lower cost. They can wait it out. But I do think the downside of streaming is the navigation menu systems employed. Cable TV channel surfing is so easy and convenient. There's so much content now and the search and menu navigation will have to become more efficient and easier to use in order to find content through streaming services.
     
  5. Chip Z

    Chip Z Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    We have 2 roku tvs and 3 other roku devices in the house. Have had them for years. Really can't think of any drawbacks. I really like the roku tvs.
     
  6. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Is Peacock any good?
     
  7. Brenald79

    Brenald79 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Crave is Canadian equivalent of HBO Max. It’s been available on FireStick for a few years but only for about 1 year in Roku. It was really annoying have to always plug in the FireStick anytime you want to watch Crave.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  8. AppleCorp3

    AppleCorp3 Forum Resident

    I’ve got all Samsung TVs and they all have Roku sticks. Yes, we could use the apps for Netflix, Prime, and YouTube via the TV, but the interface on the Roku is so much easier and better why bother?
     
    head_unit and rogertheshrubber like this.
  9. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    How's the search for content using Roku's menu navigation? Is it quick? Are there delays? Can you forward advance channel to channel or movie and TV show title?

    Found this YouTube demo for those wondering the same as myself about Roku's navigation experience.

     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  10. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Don’t know have not tried it yet. It will have NBC and Universal content at least so you most likely would like something it offers.
     
  11. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Just watched the Roku vid I posted above and a second one in the recommend column on YouTube that pretty much told me I'm going to have to buy a new TV just to use the Roku or Firestick. The reason is I'm forced to use my Samsung's speakers that point toward the back wall. And there's no way I can hook up one of those speaker bars bought at Best Buy.

    And I almost fell asleep watching the vid I posted above on how to navigate and find content while noticing I'm going to have to pay from $3 to $9 for each viewing of one TV episode and movie.

    I think I'll just stick with Spectrum cable where I have their digital analog RCA audio out connected to my computer speakers. I can also use the cable box volume control quite easily using the supplied remote.

    It's just all fatiguing trying to figure out all this just for entertainment purposes. I'll stick with Redbox for renting BD movies or buying the disc on Amazon.
     
  12. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I figured out a workaround. There's a version of the HBO Max app for Android, and it can "cast" to a Chromecast. I'm a Roku fan, but it's worth getting a cheap Chromecast and hooking it up to a different input on the TV.
     
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  13. Stereosound

    Stereosound Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If you are asking about Peacock it has 3 tiers. The free tier has 13,000 hours of content with ads. The second tier offers 20,000 hours of content with ads for $4.99/month The third tier offers 20,000 hours of content without ads for 9.99/month.
     
    Michael likes this.
  14. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    thanks...
     
  15. dharmabumstead

    dharmabumstead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle area
    I standardized on Roku some years ago, and really love it. We did a gut and remodel of our home theater room two years ago, and I decided to take the 4K plunge and build a new reasonably-priced system* for it. Part of the gear I bought includes a Roku Ultra, which performs brilliantly with a 65" LG OLED TV set, particularly on 4K HDR content.

    I've also been quite pleased with the TCL Roku TVs, which are screamin' deals at <US$300. I ended up getting 3 of these - two 43" sets for my office and the youngest kiddo's room, and a 50" for the main bedroom. The picture quality is really pretty impressive with the 43" panels (the 50" is decent doesn't wow as much, and I'm planning on replacing it with one of the new 55" or 48" LG OLEDs) and the Roku interface is snappy and responsive. The cheapo IR remotes that come with the TCL sets are kind of a drag, but (hot tip!) you can spend $20 on Amazon and buy real-deal WiFi-enabled Roku remotes that work great with the TCL sets.

    I *think* that Roku is the only streaming hardware that remains pretty much agnostic - Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, and Netflix all coexist nicely on the Roku (hopefully HBO and Roku will work out their differences, otherwise HBO is leaving the Roku as of 7/31). With the Plex server I've got running downstairs for hand-ripped content (Plex also has great built-in DVR functionality for pulling in OTA HD signals from our roof antenna), Vudu for buying movies, and YouTube TV's great live TV service, I feel like there's very little content that the Roku can't handle.

    --------

    * The home theater system I put together (my budget was $5K):
    • LG OLED65B7A 65" OLED TV
    • Onkyo TX-RZ810 Dolby Atmos home theater receiver
    • Oppo UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray player
    • Roku Ultra streaming box
    • Sonos Connect
    • Xbox One X
    • Polk Audio 265 6.5" in-wall speakers (front)
    • Polk Audio 80F/X-RT 8" Surround in-ceiling speakers (rear)
    • Polk Audio Signature S35 BK center channel speaker
    • "Vintage" Velodyne CT-120 subwoofer, originally purchased ~1998
     
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  16. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Yeah, F on HBO, I could care less.

    Meanwhile, as I posted elsewhere, I too got a TCL Roku TV, or should I say I too got two. A 43" for my kid to exercise outside which I liked enough to get a 55" to replace my Vizio M60-C3...I have a few more days to decide whether to up to 65" (which would be too big for the current console nightmare and a bunch of other factors so it's not a simple decision).

    If anyone can tell me how to put favorite live antenna TV channels onto the Roku home page, or at least the top of the program guide, you'll be my hero. Searching the interNOT has not been fruitful for that...

    Also any movie channel recommendations for renting stuff not on Netflix nor rentable via Amazon. I want to see Saturday Night Fever and the wife and kid want to see Grease.
     
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  17. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Yeah, I'm for simplicity, but the Roku remote seems TOO simplistic. Um, hey guys, a page up/down option for paging through the billion antenna channels I get with my line-of-sight to Mt. Wilson would be nice! And isn't there a keyboard option? (I admit I downloaded the app but haven't tried it for search)
     
  18. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    We've had the premium one, I think, for some five years on.
    It's good, very few streaming problems despite a ridiculously
    inadequate pipe.

    Search: Doesn't include most of the Bo-Peep channels
    available for download. The majors, yes.

    Channels: Many are fly-by-night deals. Some are listed
    but inactive. Most are poor copies of PD movies. There's
    a decent enough collection of good channels to keep you
    happy, but don't expect cable.

    Control: Easy to use but my poison ivy-ridden paws
    have difficulty holding the thing.

    We alternate between The Roku and OtA. We live
    in a topographical dead zone.
     
  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    if you want to watch HBO's content you either have to have a cable subscription to HBO, or pay a monthly fee to HBO for HBO Max. They're definitely getting enough from those fees to pay Roku whatever they are asking to make the channel available to Roku's consumers. It can't be all that much given how many channels there are on my Roku system, including a whole bunch of free ones.
     
  20. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Recently as I was surfing through what few channels I have on Spectrum's Basic Limited for $53/month total when the question came up of whether it's possible for anyone (corporation/marketing outfit) to know what one is watching and searching for using Roku or any other streaming service that utilizes the internet, something like tracking in order to provide recommendations like YouTube does when I go searching music vids and tuts.

    IOW are there privacy issues to be concerned with. With Spectrum there's no way to track what I'm watching or searching using its channel menu system on their digital box receiver.
     
  21. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I don't know why you would think that. Every digital cable box has a two-way data connection. The only cable channels that would be totally untrackable would be analog ones that are tuned by your own television set, and those basically don't exist anymore.

    If you're concerned about Roku tracking, there is a Raspberry Pi tool to monitor the communication happening both directions, and to block targeted advertising.
     
  22. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    The reason I would think that about my digital cable box is that I don't see any signs of recommendations of "If you like that you'll like this". I don't sense my cable box is talking to me or that there is some kind of two way communicating about my channel surfing habits unless I pay for On Demand channels (not part of my Basic Limited package) where I'ld assume the charges get placed on my cable bill. The only communications is the normal Spectrum junk mail sent to me asking if I want internet and phone. And junk mail is just another dumb machine. I can't type or talk to my cable box and get a response not to send junk mail and/or unsubscribe from my email in box.

    Cable box operates like a dumb machine. At least it appears that way and is unobtrusive. Unlike my browser on my computer connected to the internet.

    It's always flashing some kind of alert visiting any random site I've never been to or with some sites I frequent like YouTube where it keeps asking me if I want a free trial. The internet pipeline seems more two way than my cable box.
     
  23. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Just because they're very bad at monetizing information doesn't mean they aren't collecting it. Every digital "cable box" is basically a modem with Java based software. I suspect that's why they're so bad at collecting and monetizing information - they're stuck with a terrible platform that takes 2 to 3 minutes just to boot. I'm quite confident your cable company has quite a lot more information about you than Roku would. You can set a Roku up with a disposable email address, and if you're quite concerned get an account with privacy.com in order to have a non trackable (or at least unconnected to anything else) debit card.
     
  24. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    What's Spectrum cable collecting? They already have my name, address and phone number on my bill. They don't record what I watch. And if they were, no one could prove it.

    I'm talking about collecting viewing habits, things I like to watch which others may disapprove or find suspicious or invoke flagging by authorities. I suspect that's not happening on Basic Limited cable TV.

    Not sure what you mean about Spectrum having a terrible platform that takes 2 to 3 minutes to boot. Maybe you're referring to On Demand stuff which I don't use. My digital box always stays on except on the rare occasion when it re-initializes which takes about 5 minutes. The remote is programmed to turn on my TV and cable box without fail most of the time. Point & click and it's on.

    Anyway I'm just making comparisons on which is the most hassle to deal with in actual use of the TV viewing services from my limited experience streaming content through the internet. I know there's going to be a learning curve for me figuring out how to setup and use Roku I'm not looking forward to. And then there's having to buy a new TV that has audio out for a speaker bar setup.
     
  25. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Just got a TCL Roku TV. We ran an antenna channel scan for Live TV, got like 120 channels here in L.A. How can we store antenna channels as favorites either to the top of the antenna channel guide, or to the Roku home page? I've been searching a LOT and cannot find this information.
     

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