Archives For Roku

Roku Misses Exit, Plots IPO?

Dave Zatz —  February 22, 2014

rokutv

According to Bloomberg, Roku is contemplating a 2014 IPO but… “a decision to move ahead hasn’t been made, and the company hasn’t selected a lead banker.” Personally, I still believe their best exit strategy remains an acquisition and that they passed on the most prominent of suitors in Amazon – to both companies detriment. Roku’s largest challenge on the business side is that they pimp low cost, low margin hardware with insignificant recurring fees (on video/channel affiliate earnings). But licensing their appilicious platform itself may provide a way out. And, while the Streaming Stick is a failure, Roku TV looks to have legs and, pre-release, is already more noteworthy than Vudu’s similarly attempted pivot. As to others that might benefit, well LG is out having landed webOS. And Samsung’s already solid smart TV platform will be bolstered by Boxee skunkworks. Not to mention their best bet isn’t a sole television manufacturer but, rather, a company like Echostar/DISH (a Roku partner) or Rakuten (think Kobo) looking to expand into new markets.

The CES 2014 Posts

Dave Zatz —  January 27, 2014

Now that the Vegas dust has settled, we’re finally caught up on the bloggable topics and have collated the bulk of our CES coverage in this handy bulleted list. Until next year!

Meta

Smart TV & Streaming

Continue Reading…

TiVo Coming To Roku?!

Dave Zatz —  January 15, 2014

tivo-roku-folders

From CES, The Digital Media Zone got their hands on some very interesting screengrabs… showing what looks to be a TiVo app running on Roku. No, not the full-fledged, cloud-based TiVo UI ported by ActiveVideo that we filmed at the Cable Show. Rather, this sports a more traditional Roku interface that appears to replicate TiVo Mini functionality in piping both live and recorded content to another television. However, given what I know of Roku’s platform, I’d imagine the technology at play is more akin to TiVo’s iOS apps in requiring a TiVo Roamio or Stream to transcode the content into something a bit more efficient than the raw MPEG2 that TiVo DVRs record. This would be a huge win for customers, such as myself, even though a service fee isn’t out of the question for the virtual client, as seen with DirecTV and DISH. Stay tuned?

tivo-roku-myshows

Update: As Takeagabu points out in the comments, the Roku channel may just be an endpoint for TiVo’s network DVR to be offered by cable companies and not necessarily an option made available to retail customers. I know I’d pay for it…

mywaytv-closeup

First announced at CES 2013 as a sleek looking Terk antenna paired with a Roku Streaming Stick, the now named MyWayTV has been reintroduced in a more frumpy form with an anticipated Spring 2014 ship date. And at $170, I’m having a hard time finding value in this solution.

mywaytv-remote

While it’s pitched as single device to competently handle both over-the-top Internet apps along with high definition over-the-air broadcasts, MyWayTV doesn’t provide the clean integration we’d hope for… as it lacks a tuner, requiring two television output cables: HDMI for Roku content and coaxial to feed the television an over-the-air signal. So you’ll be flipping inputs. Ideally, this sort of device would include its own tuner, along with a Roku Live TV app (which we’ve seen in relation to the new Roku Smart TV) for a true all-in-one experience (better yet, a USB storage option for DVR capabilities). Terk/Voxx tells me they’re evaluating such scenarios, but if/when they bake that all in, perhaps it becomes cost prohibitive? In their defense, MyWayTV does ship with a universal remote and a stand, should you be better served by vertical antenna placement. But, for $170, I’d say buy a decent antenna, buy a decent Roku, and save yourself 50 bucks.

Roku TV Launching This Fall

Dave Zatz —  January 6, 2014

roku-smart-tv

Nearly two years after announcing their MHL Streaming Stick designed to make dumb TVs smart, Roku has now inked deals with Hisense and TCL to produce Roku TVs — in sizes ranging from 32″ to 55″ that are expected to ship this fall. It’s a great win for manufacturers looking to integrate a mature and continually updated platform. But, like LG, Roku and their partners will soon learn if a television operating system matters to shoppers the way it does in mobile as these guys collectively work to shorten the consumer television refresh cycle. Continue Reading…

Roku finally lands YouTube! But just one model.

Get Your Free Movies On Roku

Dave Zatz —  December 5, 2013

Roku-mgo

As anticipated, Roku recently began exerting control over their home screen, post UI refresh, with initial updates consisting of massive banner ads (boo) and a video store (yay)… via M-Go. A joint venture of DreamWorks and Technicolor, M-Go offers video rentals and purchases on a variety of platforms – similar to an Amazon Instant or iTunes (but including UltraViolet linkage). And, as M-Go attempts to grow their userbase, both new and existing Roku owners are entitled to 2 free HD movie rentals. To partake, all you gotta do is register a new account here prior to 12/31.