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MacRumors
Mar 6, 2013, 08:46 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/06/roku-announces-roku-3-set-top-box/)


Roku yesterday announced (http://www.roku.com/why-its-cool) their third-generation set-top box, and Apple TV (http://www.apple.com/appletv/) competitor, Roku 3, with new features like a brand new interface and motion gestures for its remote.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/roku3.jpg
Like previous Roku boxes, the newest version also hosts entertainment apps like Hulu Plus (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hulu-plus/id376510438?mt=8), HBO GO (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hbo-go/id429775439?mt=8), Amazon Instant Video (https://itunes.apple.com/app/amazon-instant-video/id545519333?mt=8), Netflix (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/netflix/id363590051?mt=8) and more, in addition to music streaming apps like Spotify (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spotify/id324684580?mt=8) and Pandora (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pandora-radio/id284035177?mt=8).

The big new addition, however, is a brand new interface with a new search function. Search now allows users to search by movie title, director, actor and more and pulls in information from all of the installed apps. Once the user finds something they're looking for, they're able to watch it on whichever app they like.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/roku_3_interface.jpg
The company has also included a motion controller, much like the controllers for Nintendo's Wii game console (http://www.nintendo.com/wii), so that users can play games like the bundled Angry Birds Space. The controller also has a headphone jack that allows users to plug in the included earbuds and listen to their programming without disturbing others.

Roku also claims that the box consumes less power than a nightlight when streaming, has dual-band wireless for fast streaming and is the most powerful box they've built.

Although the Roku has 750 apps, more than the handful available on Apple TV, Business Insider says (http://www.businessinsider.com/roku-3-announced-2013-3?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Falleyinsider%2Fsilicon_alley_ insider+%28Silicon+Alley+Insider%29&utm_content=Google+Reader) that Roku doesn't have a feature similar to AirPlay.
On the flipside, Roku doesn't work as well with mobile devices as the Apple TV does. You can't wirelessly beam content from your smartphone or tablet to your Roku like you can with Apple TV.The new Roku 3 is $99, in line with Apple TV pricing, and will begin shipping in April.

Article Link: Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/06/roku-announces-roku-3-set-top-box/)



madsci954
Mar 6, 2013, 08:47 AM
My first thought: that remote looks like a Wii-mote.

JaySoul
Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!

DDaddyx2
Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM
Please, Apple, add more service providers to Apple TV so I am not jealous of Roku. Amazon Instant, Spotify, Pandora....come on!!

justperry
Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM
Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.

Xenomorph
Mar 6, 2013, 08:51 AM
I have a Roku, and a few people I work with got one as well.

Biggest issues:

- That D-pad on the remote? It's one of those really crappy ones. There is no pivot point in the middle, which means you can push all 4 directions at the same time.

- No YouTube app.

- Poor indication of if anything was "happening" in an app, menus, interface, etc. Is something loading? Did it hang? Who knows! There's no activity indicators.


Galaga is actually my favorite thing on Roku. It's a nice, arcade-perfect game that even saves my high score between plays. But that D-pad is horrible. If they fixed the D-pad on the new Roku, I would get one.

thederby
Mar 6, 2013, 08:55 AM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).

ikev85
Mar 6, 2013, 08:56 AM
With the Roku iOS app you can stream music and pictures from your phone to your TV. it isn't Airplay but it's something

leon44
Mar 6, 2013, 08:58 AM
Plleeaassee put the iPlayer on the Apple TV
and 4OD,
then the UK will really listen :)

UnfetteredMind
Mar 6, 2013, 08:58 AM
Galaga is actually my favorite thing on Roku. It's a nice, arcade-perfect game that even saves my high score between plays. But that D-pad is horrible. If they fixed the D-pad on the new Roku, I would get one.

OMG! Galaga is one of my all-time favorite games. Even more tempting now to get a Roku. I'd really like to stick to one strategy for streaming though (and I have a 3rd gen AppleTV right now). I really wish Apple would open Pandora's box by opening up the AppleTV to third party app developers. For this I keep waiting and hoping.

Xenomorph
Mar 6, 2013, 09:05 AM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).

The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

----------

Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.

JaySoul
Mar 6, 2013, 09:06 AM
Plleeaassee put the iPlayer on the Apple TV
and 4OD,
then the UK will really listen :)

Just AirPlay the BBC iPlayer from your iPhone/iPad to the Apple TV. It works well now, even "Africa" looked beautiful through this.

Jamie Clay
Mar 6, 2013, 09:10 AM
- No YouTube app.



There is (now) a dandy YouTube app on the Roku called VideoBuzz, works quite well.

Also, PlayOn in conjunction with a desktop can serve local (on your home network) media, (Free Hulu) and most of the popular streaming sites.

The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 09:14 AM
The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

----------

Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.

I know it would never happen - but apple should really create an iTunes app so people can use their Roku and watch movies/tv from their iTunes account.

While it might make Apple take a hit on hardware - they would be getting revenue from media consumption.

HobeSoundDarryl
Mar 6, 2013, 09:24 AM
See the kinds of little niceties that can be innovated when you have a team focused on a product line instead of treating it as a hobby? I wish Apple would take a tiny fraction of that war chest and put a dedicated team together that focuses on nothing but :apple:TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.

milo
Mar 6, 2013, 09:29 AM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

It can with the Plex software plugin. And it's pretty amazing, I'm doing it with the last Roku and it's way better than any apple media software I've used.

I don't know specifics on codecs, it probably doesn't play iTunes store content because of DRM but it has played any other files I've tried.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 09:29 AM
I don't have a roku - but two things would make it "perfect" for me

1 - ability to add a tv tuner or built in tv tuner
2 - be able to use usb to attach a hard drive to record (DVR)

charlituna
Mar 6, 2013, 09:36 AM
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.


Because of what the Roku can't do and you can't 'jailbreak' to get that to work since it's hardware based.

As for my Apple TV, it has around 300k apps thanks to my being able to Airplay anything I want off my devices. For me, and many, that's good enough. We don't need them onboard the set box

----------

See the kinds of little niceties that can be innovated when you have a team focused on a product line instead of treating it as a hobby? I wish Apple would take a tiny fraction of that war chest and put a dedicated team together that focuses on nothing but :apple:TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.

1. That's basically their only product. So yeah they are focusing on it
2. You don't know that Apple doesn't have a team. They could have 1000 folks working in this. And you still won't like the results because they didn't do it the way you (and most of this board) want them to. But it will probably still sell hand over fist to 'the sheep'

Tiger8
Mar 6, 2013, 09:45 AM
The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

----------

Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.

You speak the truth! I love my Roku 2 nothing else comes close in terms of Apps and flexibility.

One often overlooked feature of Roku is how WELL it streams netflix over low-speed connections. Not all network streaming devices are the same.

Ptjones1968
Mar 6, 2013, 09:47 AM
"The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell".

Airplay has a huge advantage over Roku. I can convert my HDTV to a giant monitor by activating Airplay on my iMac. The Bluetooth keypad and trackpad easily work in a different part of the house. I can then watch Amazon TV or play Angry Birds or whatever else takes my fancy.
Face Time is also great through Apple TV.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 09:48 AM
The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

----------

Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.


You can also get a 1080p version for $79. http://shop.roku.com/ offers the comparison in models.

Hastings101
Mar 6, 2013, 09:49 AM
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!

Probably sarcasm but I think it is a good idea :p

blueroom
Mar 6, 2013, 10:01 AM
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!

I use my iPhone as an ATV3 remote, it's also got a headphone jack...

Carlanga
Mar 6, 2013, 10:07 AM
Headphone jack in the remote umm I would prefer bluetooth headphone support .

JaySoul
Mar 6, 2013, 10:09 AM
Probably sarcasm but I think it is a good idea :p

No not sarcasm at all.

Honestly, when watching TV in bed my partner will invariably fall asleep within 5 minutes, leaving me to watch the rest of the program at a miniscule volume.

This would solve that brilliant. I'd literally use it every night.

topmike
Mar 6, 2013, 10:10 AM
Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.

Well this is true, if you don't have a US iTunes account.

Let's approach a purely theoretical argument here, not a recommendation for anyone to do.

Hypothetically, you could have a US iTunes account, just by creating a new itunes account with any US address. You will need a US credit card OR an itunes gift card (from the US) or a friend from the US who will give/trade you itunes credits.

Then you would need a way to change your DNS settings on your router so it looks like you are coming from the US, like Unblock-us (http://www.unblock-us.com/) (www.unblock-us.com/).

While this is all somewhat complicated, hypothetically you would be able to enjoy Apple TV or Roku from Europe or Asia, although it violates the terms of usage and agreements with Netflix, HBO, etc.

:)

JaySoul
Mar 6, 2013, 10:10 AM
I use my iPhone as an ATV3 remote, it's also got a headphone jack...

Can you listen to the audio on the iPhone whilst watching the AirPlayed video on Apple TV?

Xgm541
Mar 6, 2013, 10:12 AM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).

You can with plex media server. Other apps are available but don't have good native codec support. Plex requires a computer to be running to stream because the roku supports very few codecs natively. I got rid of my roku for this very reason. I don't need to pay electricity bills for my pc which draws 400 watts idle to watch shows.

gleepskip
Mar 6, 2013, 10:32 AM
Honestly, when watching TV in bed my partner will invariably fall asleep within 5 minutes, leaving me to watch the rest of the program at a miniscule volume.

Maybe you should turn up the TV louder so they don't fall asleep in the first place! :D

UnfetteredMind
Mar 6, 2013, 10:34 AM
You can with plex media server. Other apps are available but don't have good native codec support. Plex requires a computer to be running to stream because the roku supports very few codecs natively. I got rid of my roku for this very reason. I don't need to pay electricity bills for my pc which draws 400 watts idle to watch shows.

You can also use Plex media server on NAS devices (which should in theory have lower power draws): http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/FAQ:_Plex_Media_Server_and_NAS

Xgm541
Mar 6, 2013, 10:36 AM
You can also use Plex media server on NAS devices (which should in theory have lower power draws): http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/FAQ:_Plex_Media_Server_and_NAS

Yeah I have plex media server on my nas but most nas devices do not have nearly the processor power to transcode media. The ones that do, from what I've researched, go for over $1k. My $399 ds213 by synology certainly cannot transcode.

blueroom
Mar 6, 2013, 10:40 AM
Can you listen to the audio on the iPhone whilst watching the AirPlayed video on Apple TV?

No. But if I'm using headphones I might as well use my MacBook or iPad instead of the TV.

It's neat but not a must have.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 10:53 AM
Yeah I have plex media server on my nas but most nas devices do not have nearly the processor power to transcode media. The ones that do, from what I've researched, go for over $1k. My $399 ds213 by synology certainly cannot transcode.

time for a mac mini or cheap windows laptop.

Kissaragi
Mar 6, 2013, 10:57 AM
No. But if I'm using headphones I might as well use my MacBook or iPad instead of the TV.

It's neat but not a must have.


So by your own words, its a good feature and nice to have.

Xgm541
Mar 6, 2013, 10:58 AM
time for a mac mini or cheap windows laptop.

My nas uses an 8th of the power a Mac mini uses and neither of those you mentioned can give me 8tb of storage like my nas. The nas has no ambient noise, it's very small and does everything I need it to.

It works for me.

Plutonius
Mar 6, 2013, 11:02 AM
- No YouTube app.

Install Plex for YouTube on the Roku.

interconnect
Mar 6, 2013, 11:04 AM
I wonder if they've fixed MKV playback via USB. A major drawback (for me anyways) is that to play back a large array of file types, you need to use Plex (which is great, I love Plex btw) and have to transcode most of them.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 11:13 AM
My nas uses an 8th of the power a Mac mini uses and neither of those you mentioned can give me 8tb of storage like my nas. The nas has no ambient noise, it's very small and does everything I need it to.

It works for me.

Ok. But you just wrote that it won't transcode media. If that's not important - no need to change. I was putting tongue-in-cheek to say that if it wasn't - there are always other options.

I was "lucky" enough to have a 3 year old pc laptop I wasn't ever using. Hooked that up to my tv along with an HDHomerun. That + jailbroken Apple TV = Plex, Hulu, Broadcast TV, DVR, etc.

JaySoul
Mar 6, 2013, 11:23 AM
No. But if I'm using headphones I might as well use my MacBook or iPad instead of the TV.

It's neat but not a must have.

If you use your MacBook or iPad to watch something, you subsequently can't use it for much else.

I have the TV on and do stuff on my MacBook or iPad at the same time.

Failing to understand your original point here.

----------

Maybe you should turn up the TV louder so they don't fall asleep in the first place! :D

Maybe they should make better TV programmes! :D

Navdakilla
Mar 6, 2013, 11:30 AM
For me I prefer the Apple tv, and I'll tell you why:

The UI to be is intuitive and much easier to use (dummy proof, not all of the people that use my Apple tv are tech people). For them the folders and the way it's set up is alot easier than any other system I've tried.

Ya it's inconvenient to have to re-cod all my videos and put them into itunes. Ya I wish there was a little more structure where I could group all my tv shows by show and not by season.

But at the end of the day, the pros very much outweigh the cons, so I'm sticking with the apple tv.

curmudgeon32
Mar 6, 2013, 11:33 AM
These things are so cheap, there's no rule that says you're limited to one streaming box (provided you have a spare HDMI port in your TV). Sure, both do Netflix and Hulu, but Apple TV has amazing iTunes streaming media support and a great YouTube app. Roku has Amazon video rentals, and a ton of other channels Apple will probably never offer natively.

I actually keep an old first-gen Roku alongside my Apple TV and it works just great for certain functions.

gotluck
Mar 6, 2013, 11:43 AM
PLEX is awesome on my Roku. Transcoding is almost never necessary (unless you want desktop hulu) and streaming has a minimal impact on cpu usage on the host machine

I like the Apple TV (jailbroken) as well, but IMO it's garbage without a jailbreak. ATV 2 is getting ridiculously expensive.

----------

I wonder if they've fixed MKV playback via USB. A major drawback (for me anyways) is that to play back a large array of file types, you need to use Plex (which is great, I love Plex btw) and have to transcode most of them.

I haven't used many mkv's lately (although I have used a few), but I hardly ever have to transcode.. the only thing that comes to mind is desktop hulu.

milo
Mar 6, 2013, 11:44 AM
For me I prefer the Apple tv, and I'll tell you why:

The UI to be is intuitive and much easier to use (dummy proof, not all of the people that use my Apple tv are tech people).

Have you actually used a Roku (with Plex)? It's hard to imagine anyone not being able to figure that out.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 11:44 AM
I prefer Plex for media organization. I have over 500 movies and scanning up and down the list instead of being able to search (am I missing something?) for a movie title via the Apple TV interface is a pain

From A Buick 8
Mar 6, 2013, 11:53 AM
For me I prefer the Apple tv, and I'll tell you why:

The UI to be is intuitive and much easier to use (dummy proof, not all of the people that use my Apple tv are tech people). For them the folders and the way it's set up is alot easier than any other system I've tried.

Ya it's inconvenient to have to re-cod all my videos and put them into itunes. Ya I wish there was a little more structure where I could group all my tv shows by show and not by season.

But at the end of the day, the pros very much outweigh the cons, so I'm sticking with the apple tv.

I have set up playlist folders and smart playlist. So i have a folder for the show and then inside that folder i have eash season. So as i add each show to iTunes it will show up in the right playlist. Adds an extra click or two of the remote to get to the folders but all of the less techie folks in the house like it.

These things are so cheap, there's no rule that says you're limited to one streaming box (provided you have a spare HDMI port in your TV). Sure, both do Netflix and Hulu, but Apple TV has amazing iTunes streaming media support and a great YouTube app. Roku has Amazon video rentals, and a ton of other channels Apple will probably never offer natively.

I actually keep an old first-gen Roku alongside my Apple TV and it works just great for certain functions.

Nope only allowed one device :)

I also have one of the last gen Rokus, it was not a big hit in our house, it is now a dedicated netflix device in a back room.

Fofer
Mar 6, 2013, 12:14 PM
Install Plex for YouTube on the Roku.

Or install Videobuzz:

http://streamingtvguide.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-personalize-youtube-on-roku.html

And a "real" (official) YouTube channel (in HTML5) will be coming to Roku soon. Might only be for the newest models that can handle it though...

----------

The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell.

And it looks like Roku will be getting something like AirPlay soon enough, via Miracast technology: http://gigaom.com/2013/02/27/roku-airplay-miracast/
Hopefully this won't require new hardware and will work on Macs and PCs.

I have both AppleTV (jailbroken) as well as Roku and I use both for different purposes. And now I've just upgraded one of them to the new Roku 3. I love this stuff!

----------

I don't have a roku - but two things would make it "perfect" for me

1 - ability to add a tv tuner or built in tv tuner
2 - be able to use usb to attach a hard drive to record (DVR)

Along these lines I have just installed the TWC TV channel on my Roku:
http://www.roku.com/channels/#!details/23048/time-warner-cable
Pretty cool!

Also, ustvnow.com (now requires subscription) and FilmOn.tv both offer live TV streaming.

So we're getting closer!

FightTheFuture
Mar 6, 2013, 12:34 PM
There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.[COLOR="#808080"]I'll wait until October for Apple to update ATV iOS to install Apps. If that doesn't happen, I'll ditch it for this new Roku as a Plex client. There are a few HD movies I paid for on the iTMS but everything else is Plex - Plex - Plex.

I need something reliable because jailbreaking has made my AppleTV a constantly restarted powder keg.

samcraig
Mar 6, 2013, 12:43 PM
Along these lines I have just installed the TWC TV channel on my Roku:
http://www.roku.com/channels/#!details/23048/time-warner-cable
Pretty cool!

Also, ustvnow.com (now requires subscription) and FilmOn.tv both offer live TV streaming.

So we're getting closer!

Ahh but don't you need a cable plan to get TWC TV via their app? So you can't really cut the cord (using that)

sfrancis928
Mar 6, 2013, 01:05 PM
See the kinds of little niceties that can be innovated when you have a team focused on a product line instead of treating it as a hobby? I wish Apple would take a tiny fraction of that war chest and put a dedicated team together that focuses on nothing but :apple:TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.

Apple is dedicating an extreme amount of attention to Apple TV. You just haven't seen the results of it yet. Patience, young padawan.

"It's an area of intense interest." - Tim Cook on TV

vartanarsen
Mar 6, 2013, 01:27 PM
Why is no one talking about the 50 pages of Apple TV issues re 20 hour downloads????'

https://discussions.apple.com/message/21436028?ac_cid=tw123456#21436028

fhall1
Mar 6, 2013, 01:37 PM
I'd be all over this if it would stream directly from my NAS (no computer in between) like my old WD HD TV Live+

ALMF
Mar 6, 2013, 02:51 PM
I'm streaming the songs from my iPhone to my tv through my roku box n iphone roku app. It does pictures too

Truckondo
Mar 6, 2013, 03:22 PM
Ahh but don't you need a cable plan to get TWC TV via their app? So you can't really cut the cord (using that)

It can be used in place of a cable box. My HOA doesn't allow wiring to the 2nd story of my townhome and I don't want coax stapled across the house so this TWC app is a godsend. It's a shame AppleTV does not have a deal with Time Warner.

E3BK
Mar 6, 2013, 03:43 PM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).

I've been using my Roku w/ Plex and it is wonderful.

----------

I'd be all over this if it would stream directly from my NAS (no computer in between) like my old WD HD TV Live+

Yep. Plex is what you should look into.

Movies stored on NAS
Install Plex server on selected NAS
(not all NAS are supported but I know Synology is http://www.plexapp.com/getplex/)
Scan your library w/ the Plex Media Manager
Add the Plex Chanel to Roku
Enjoy!

HobeSoundDarryl
Mar 6, 2013, 05:58 PM
Apple is dedicating an extreme amount of attention to Apple TV. You just haven't seen the results of it yet. Patience, young padawan. "It's an area of intense interest." - Tim Cook on TV

Pretty much, that's the same lines used about :apple:TV since 2007. Meanwhile Roku has gone from nothing (:apple:TV-like) in 2008 to this. First Roku HD was launched in late 2009.

It's not a hobby to Roku. They take it serious. I wish Apple would too. And if they are, I wish it would show... you know... like it shows with Roku.

I own an :apple:TV3 but covet the richer options of other devices from companies that don't have the deep, DEEP war chest to at least compete head-to-head on cutting deals with Studios. It's not a money obstacle with Apple; they could easily outspend a smallish company like Roku to strike similar content deals, etc. It's just a choice... a choice to not compete head-to-head (perhaps for now anyway) by calling it a "hobby".

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2. You don't know that Apple doesn't have a team. They could have 1000 folks working in this. And you still won't like the results because they didn't do it the way you (and most of this board) want them to. But it will probably still sell hand over fist to 'the sheep'

Apple certainly has the financial resources to dedicate a team at least as big as Roku's to the very same tasks Roku has driven with their own team and limited resources. Now compare the breadth of offerings. Sure :apple:TV does a bunch of proprietary things only such a product from Apple could do but Roku has a bunch of content offerings that are not available on Apple. Why not build a Roku-sized content negotiating team to offer the proprietary offerings plus everything a little company like Roku can offer? Best of both worlds in a box we want to buy from Apple.

It's just a choice with Apple. They choose not to compete head-to-head (yet). Maybe someday.

And too bad. It's a big market begging for an ideal solution. Right now, you need 2 or 3 boxes to reach that ideal. Apple could easily blend those unique advantages into an :apple:TV if they would just choose to focus on it (beyond the hobby level of focus). Sometimes I imagine Apple is the biggest company in the world being run like it's a small company where only a guy or two at the top can make the decisions: thus :apple:TV requires just a bit more bandwidth than they have (so it only gets some attention when they get a free moment from focusing on other iDevices and Macs... and lawsuits).

Fresh Pie
Mar 6, 2013, 06:31 PM
Sometime I worry that I'm at risk of becoming an Apple fanboy, but then I see a work of art like this. I think I'll actually get it. It's cheap, functional, and beautiful; Apple can usually only manage 2/3.

KylePowers
Mar 6, 2013, 09:18 PM
I have no issues with my AppleTV. It's not as particularly versatile as the Roku, but with having all my media in iTunes already, having two Macs, an iPad, and an iPhone... the AppleTV just fits best in my entertainment flow.

I do, however, wish it had a Spotify or Pandora app. Yes, you could argue that I can just AirPlay from any of my Apple devices (and I do!), but you could do the same thing with Netflix... case in point, there's a Netflix app, so Spotify/Pandora should be equally likely.

Also, I wish I could extend my desktop to my AppleTV instead of simply mirroring it. That way, I could still peruse the interwebz (for example) whilst having Hulu on in the background.

Navdakilla
Mar 6, 2013, 10:38 PM
I have set up playlist folders and smart playlist. So i have a folder for the show and then inside that folder i have eash season. So as i add each show to iTunes it will show up in the right playlist. Adds an extra click or two of the remote to get to the folders but all of the less techie folks in the house like it.



Good tip. I'll try that out. Thanks!

MacAddict1978
Mar 6, 2013, 11:41 PM
My first thought: that remote looks like a Wii-mote.

Or the Roku remote that's been out for a few years....

"The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell".

Airplay has a huge advantage over Roku. I can convert my HDTV to a giant monitor by activating Airplay on my iMac. The Bluetooth keypad and trackpad easily work in a different part of the house. I can then watch Amazon TV or play Angry Birds or whatever else takes my fancy.
Face Time is also great through Apple TV.

Airplay isn't all that great of a feature. Beaming ANgry birds to your TV is great... if someone wants to watch you fling birds. Most ios apps/games still require you to look down at your iPhone/iPad.

Airplay is streaming via your router... which at times is a total suck fest with buffering and load times. It's a nice feature, but you wold almost be better off plugging in your laptop to the hdmi port.

Most people are just trying to stream some video. The Roku is 100 times better for this than the Apple TV for content choice. How often does anyone use Airplay? There's the exception to ever rule, but most people play with it once or twice for the novelty and never have any practical reason to use it again. The Apple TV already connects to your photos, music, videos, etc on your Mac... and unless a friend has an Apple TV, that sharing content on the go doesn't work so well.

I do like Airplay when playing certain kinds of games on an iPad (board games, family feud type stuff, etc) with multi-player.

Apple TV will come up in my rankings when it gets native HBO Go app.... airplay is not the experience I want.

highdough
Mar 7, 2013, 01:34 AM
No. But if I'm using headphones I might as well use my MacBook or iPad instead of the TV.

It's neat but not a must have.

I don't believe there are any features on either the Roku or Apple TV that are must haves, other than the ability to watch something with them. Everything else are just extra features. Now that I think about it, neither the Roku or Apple TV, or MacBook or iPad are must haves. They are neat and some are quite useful, but mankind survived without them for thousands of years.

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Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.

You can get Apple TV in Canada, which, last time I checked, was not part of the US.

Kissaragi
Mar 7, 2013, 06:42 AM
I don't believe there are any features on either the Roku or Apple TV that are must haves, other than the ability to watch something with them. Everything else are just extra features. Now that I think about it, neither the Roku or Apple TV, or MacBook or iPad are must haves. They are neat and some are quite useful, but mankind survived without them for thousands of years.

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You can get Apple TV in Canada, which, last time I checked, was not part of the US.


Got out of the wrong side of the bed today huh?

What he means is, theres far more content available for the ATV in America than Europe or other countries such as Canada so its less viable to choose an ATV over something like Roku if you live anywhere else.

anthony11
Mar 7, 2013, 10:18 AM
The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
What about a plain SMB/AFP/NFS mount?
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.
But STILL no AVI/DivX support. Having to use Plex to convert stuff on the fly every time is a kludge, relies on continued availability of client/server on both sides, and requires that a computer be present and running. Does Plex allow one to forward/rewind, or does it only stream?
There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.
And yet the Roku dorks refuse to do what my Boxee Box has done for a couple of years: simply mount a network volume of video (and photos and music I believe) and allow one to browse and play -- including DivX/AVI. No kludges needed. And for those who really want, there are still hundreds of worthless apps.[COLOR="#808080"]

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Most people are just trying to stream some video.
I'd really prefer to watch without being limited to streaming.
The Roku is 100 times better for this than the Apple TV for content choice. [/quote]
And still worse than the Boxee Box. Pull your heads out of your collective ass, Roku.
The Apple TV already connects to your photos, music, videos, etc on your Mac...
That is accurate but not precise. ATV connects to media stored in iTunes. Unless something has changed since I last looked it won't do just a plain friggin mount. I don't want to have to format-convert everything, especially transient stuff, and import it into iTunes just to be able to watch it once.

Darrin Bell
Mar 7, 2013, 10:57 AM
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).I'm not entirely sure if this answers your question, but you can stream your media to Roku using the Plex server on your computer and the Plex app on Roku. That's what I do.

noisycats
Mar 7, 2013, 11:08 AM
nothing to add. sorry.

highdough
Mar 7, 2013, 12:30 PM
Got out of the wrong side of the bed today huh?

What he means is, theres far more content available for the ATV in America than Europe or other countries such as Canada so its less viable to choose an ATV over something like Roku if you live anywhere else.

Uh, no. I was simply pointing out that the term "must have" is kind of ridiculous. Who's to say what's a "must have" feature? How do you measure that? Personally, I don't have either the Roku or Apple TV, but see the advantages to both of them. I think being able to plug the earphones in the remote it a very good idea. People keep saying that you would just watch it on your iPad or laptop, but that kind of skirts the issue. If you want to watch on your TV, then earphones in the remote are a good idea. Arguing whether they are a "must have" feature is pointless.

Plutonius
Mar 7, 2013, 01:34 PM
I see no compelling reasons for upgrading my Roku 2 to a Roku 3.

sensel
Mar 7, 2013, 06:57 PM
It still looks like the best option is to buy an Apple TV refurb (or a new one) and a Roku refurb (or this new model). Then you have it all!
That's what I did.

APlotdevice
Mar 8, 2013, 09:13 PM
Headphone jack in the remote umm I would prefer bluetooth headphone support .

Initially I thought the headphone jack was kinda silly. However reading into the specs I learned that the remote actually uses WiFi Direct technology, which potentially means better audio quality and range verses BT headphones.

thehustleman
Mar 8, 2013, 09:48 PM
Roku is what apple tv should be

Fofer
Mar 11, 2013, 12:26 PM
Also, I wish I could extend my desktop to my AppleTV instead of simply mirroring it. That way, I could still peruse the interwebz (for example) whilst having Hulu on in the background.

Check out the excellent ClickToFlash plugin for Safari (Mac and Windows: )
http://hoyois.github.com/safariextensions/clicktoplugin/

Not only does it replace Flash web video whenever it can with less-resource-hungry HTML5, it also lets you AirPlay that video to your AppleTV, just like you can from iOS devices. This is not AirPlay Mirroring, it's just sending the video itself, which means you can keep using your laptop while video plays.

KylePowers
Mar 11, 2013, 02:01 PM
Check out the excellent ClickToFlash plugin for Safari (Mac and Windows: )
http://hoyois.github.com/safariextensions/clicktoplugin/

Not only does it replace Flash web video whenever it can with less-resource-hungry HTML5, it also lets you AirPlay that video to your AppleTV, just like you can from iOS devices. This is not AirPlay Mirroring, it's just sending the video itself, which means you can keep using your laptop while video plays.
I actually use ClickToFlash, but had no idea it did this! I'll have to test it out. Thanks!

Fofer
Mar 11, 2013, 02:17 PM
I actually use ClickToFlash, but had no idea it did this! I'll have to test it out. Thanks!

Yep. It's pretty much my favorite thing, ever. Make sure you're using the newest extension version of CtF (or ClickToPlugin) I linked above (as opposed to one of the older (http://clicktoflash.com) incarnations.)

Set it up so that it's sending to your AppleTV. One of my devices has a hostname formatted thusly: bedroom-apple-tv.local
You can also use IP address.

Also install Media Center (http://hoyois.github.com) from the same developer, as it gives your Safari toolbar a "stop" button for the videos you've sent via AirPlay for playback.

Fofer
Mar 11, 2013, 05:20 PM
Install Plex for YouTube on the Roku.

Yep. I'm surprised this doesn't get more attention. This channel, once added inside Plex, appears to be a full-fledged YouTube client, too -- no weird workarounds with third-party apps and "public" playlists. So with Roku, I'm now logged into my YouTube account on my TV, and I'm watching videos from my playlists, and browsing around. Working pretty well