Archives For Roku

roku-screen-mirroring-settings

By way of several support notes, perhaps posted a bit early, we learn that Roku is set to unveil mobile device screen mirroring. It’s not clear if these are the Miracast capabilities originally predicted by GigaOm in 2013 or something entirely different, but we do know the feature is currently limited to Roku 3 and Roku Stick (HDMI) hardware and it’s suggested both the Android or Windows Phone streaming device and Roku reside on the same network for best performance. Beyond straight up screen mirroring, Firefox Video Casting is also revealed and is more Chromecast (DIAL) in presentation. Desktop mirroring is referenced too, but a mechanism to pass the content has yet to be described… also, noticeably absent is iOS. I expect we’ll learn more shortly! Continue Reading…

roku-credit-card

While Roku remains our go-to streaming player, gifting still leaves something to be desired. And, as the company eclipses 10 million units and pressures streaming partners, Roku continues to solicit credit card information for the small number of apps that require it and to take a cut of every M-Go video rental or purchase. Of course, this isn’t unusual given Apple and Amazon streaming devices that also have credit cards on file. But, for whatever reason, it seems out of place on Roku and not everyone is comfortable or capable of complying. Whereas the company once suggested folks that object create fake PayPal accounts, they now direct customers to a non-publicized link. Instead of registering new Roku boxes via the standard workflow, by going through the link below, customers are provided a convenient “Skip” button to bypass the payment form.

https://owner.roku.com/signup-nocc

Accessing Roku’s Secret Menu

Dave Zatz —  September 23, 2014 — 4 Comments

roku-secret-screen

While I’d been vaguely familiar with a prior version of Roku’s service menu, I hadn’t yet stumbled upon the one associated with their newer user interface… Until a co-worker mentioned he’d had some issues resulting in Roku support directing him here. While there’s not a whole lot of interest for most of us on any sort of regular basis, I do believe it’s my digital media civic duty to document its existence. So, to bring up the Roku Secret Screen:

  • Click the Home button 5 times
  • Click the Fast Forward button three times
  • Click the Rewind button twice

It’s not Konami Code difficult, but remember to use the transport controls versus the directional arrows. And I should probably warn you that selecting the wrong option in this menu could possibly brick your device… although I doubt that’s likely.

(Thanks Keith!)

The A&E Streaming Infographic

Dave Zatz —  September 22, 2014 — 4 Comments

aande-infographic

In conjunction with the A&E, History, and Lifetime Channel apps launching on Fire TV, A+E Networks hit us with an interesting infographic. And, while it’s far too large to run in its entirely, we’ve chopped up a portion above. Beyond the numbers, and without knowing how exactly they measure an Apple TV “download,” A+E elaborates:

On average, XBOX 360 users watch 292% more videos per user than Apple TV and 21% more than Roku. Roku users watch 224% more than Apple TV users.

Further, reinforcing data previously provided in regards to the Verizon FiOS Xbox app, A+E Networks report viewing peaks each evening about 10-11PM. And 88% of connections by those running “mobile” apps occur over WiFi versus cellular.

roku-theme-settings1

Roku’s gone ahead and pulled a TiVo, having crossed that ill-defined advertising obnoxiousness line. Whereas TiVo pause menu ads layer spam atop your television content, Roku now overrides the box “theme” for full screen sponsorship like the Lego Movie or AMEX concerts (shown above). I only recently noticed this, but it’s been in play since at least late last year. To Roku’s credit, while default box behavior will swap out even a theme that you specified, they allow you to suppress the takeover. Within the Theme options area you’ll find Custom Settings that house a Featured Theme On/Off toggle.

roku55-update

At a press event earlier this week, Tom’s Guide learned that Roku will be rolling out software updates beginning June 24th. And the key improvement appears to be support for a faster-loading Netflix channel. The firmware and Netflix updates are earmarked for the Roku 3 and Streaming Stick, with vague references to potential support of other models down the line. While we’re obviously not opposed to a speed increase, I’d say the Roku 3 already provides the fastest Netflix STB experience and is my go-to streamer. For reference, my Roku 3 currently runs version 5.4 build 3340, with the demo-ed model sitting at 5.5 319 – we’ll keep our ears to the ground regarding any additional changes.

roku-slingbox

Roku Mania has returned to Woot with three refurb streamer models up for grabs. Of course, we’d suggest the no-comprise Roku 3 – that clocks in at a record low $62. Per Woot’s standard operating procedure, all orders ship for 5 bucks… regardless of how many Roku’s you stick in your cart. Roku remains our go-to streamer, ahead of our Fire TV, Apple TV, and Xbox One, featuring the widest array of apps along with a quick, clean user interface. (Thanks Adam!)