Archives For Roku

The A&E Streaming Infographic

Dave Zatz —  September 22, 2014

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!)

NFL Now Amazon Roku

Amazon and Roku are officially on board as distribution partners for the National Football League’s soon-to-be-launched digital network NFL Now. That’s good news if you’re a football fan because it means there will be a lot more ways to watch NFL Now when it debuts in August that don’t include maxing out your mobile data plan.

When NFL Now was first announced, the League highlighted Verizon as a partner (and later Microsoft and Yahoo), and the ability for consumers to download the Verizon NFL Mobile app for video viewing over the company’s LTE network. Verizon plans to stream NFL Now content using multicast technology. However, while multicast streaming should mitigate bandwidth concerns on Verizon’s side, it presumably won’t lessen the impact on subscribers’ data plans. A few hours of mobile TV watching could easily take you right over your data cap.

As a reminder, here’s how NFL Now will work… now on Kindle Fire TV, Kindle Fire, and the Roku platform: Continue Reading…

roku-media-player

Yesterday’s news, today! While we patiently await smartphone search from our Rokus, two notable updates worth sharing slipped my radar late last year. First, the originally anemic “USB Media Browser” has steadily improved as it evolved from a private app into a Roku-branded initiative… now featuring DLNA support, in addition to the new “Media Player” label. Next, the formerly free Plex channel has implemented a one-time $4.99 fee. Fortunately, those of us who’d previously installed the channel have been grandfathered and Plex provides new users a free 30 day trial – so folks can see for themselves how useful it is in handling our digital media libraries ahead of a purchase.

Roku

As the once humble library continues its digital metamorphosis, a few outposts have begun lending actual Roku streaming boxes. And, starting this week, residents of Sandusky, Ohio will have 12 units to pick from. Given the small number of boxes versus anticipated interest, library patrons will be able to borrow a single Roku just once for up to two weeks. Units will be pre-loaded by staff with a variety of channels, from multiple genres, including IndieFlix, Vevo, and Smithsonian. All in all, not a bad preview service funded by a local foundation. Related, later this year, OverDrive will be launching a Roku channel that enables library partners to offer their patrons audio books and streaming videos.