Archives For Roku

ACC Digital Network Roku ads

No one was more excited than I to see that the ACC Digital Network had created a Roku channel. And my excitement lasted just long enough to download the channel and fire up highlights of former Duke basketball player Mike Dunleavy. Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ended.

Where to start? With the video quality? Horrific. How about the overall selection of clips? Lame. And then there’s my favorite: the advertising.

You see, the ACC Digital Network has partnered with a company called adRise, which describes itself as “the largest content distribution and advertising monetization engine for streaming and connected TV devices.” The “monetization engine” throws up an advertisement before every single clip available on the ACC channel. It doesn’t matter if the clip is 30 seconds, or if you exited out of a clip and are trying to return to resume play. There’s an ad. And not just any ad, but the same ad, over and over and over. (Thanks, Progressive lady.)

It’s 2013. Streaming video companies should know by now not to over-saturate content with pre-roll ads, or to stock only a single commercial in the ad inventory. That’s not monetization. It’s scaring your audience away.

In good news, however, the ACC network says it plans to expand from the Roku to other streaming boxes and smart TV platforms. I can’t wait.

tivo-mini-netflix

While I’ve been quite satisfied with my TiVo Mini as a DVR extender, it shipped crippled in terms of third-party streaming apps. And, after 6 months with no movement, I picked up another Roku today. Perhaps ironically, Sam Biller just discovered TiVo has (accidentally?) published Netflix and Amazon Instant icons to our Minis. Netflix appears to be fully functional, although possibly crashy dependent on output resolution, and feels significantly faster than my Premiere XL4/Elite — although just about every other app platform is. Unfortunately, Amazon is met with a V301 error which suggests the backend isn’t active for us non-beta testers and it’s not yet known if we’ll be treated to an entirely new Amazon implementation (to include Prime streaming). But both apps are clearly on their way and this lines up with news of a scheduled September TiVo Mini update to include dynamic tuner allocation.

Stream iPhone Video To Roku

Dave Zatz —  August 8, 2013

roku-video-phone

By way of The Verge, we’ve learned Roku’s iPhone app has been updated to wirelessly stream video from smartphone-to-TV and Android support is “coming soon.” This joins previously released music and photo beaming, and “Play on Roku” is quite the handy feature. In fact, we’re hopeful the long in the tooth TiVo Desktop will be replaced by similar touchscreen flicking to move personal media to the television.

Roku Channels Redbox Instant

Dave Zatz —  August 5, 2013

redbox-roku

While Verizon’s Redbox Instant reps were a bit cagey at CES as to when, or if, we might see a Roku client for their burgeoning streaming service, the channel has just launched. And, based on the image above, it looks to have been in final testing the last month. As a refresher, Redbox Instant is something of a hybrid service providing both physical discs and online movies, with many included via the monthly fee and others available via pay per view. In talking with the Redbox Instant folks, the service isn’t geared towards the sort of early adopter who frequents ZNF and their initial target audience is folks new to online streaming – exposing those currently familiar with the DVD/Blu-ray kiosks to an economical way to expand their video options.

roku-streaming-stick-remote-audio

RC03 and RC04 RF remote control models are mechanically and electrically identical except that RC03 contains audio codec IC (U11) and several additional passive components needed for its proper operation, as well as it’s equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack for headset connection.

The clever remote control audio out capabilities introduced with the Roku 3 will be making their way to the Roku Streaming Stick according to today’s FCC filing. Despite new MHL-compatible partners, we can’t imagine Streaming Stick sales have been significant… as it’s often cheaper and always conceptually simpler to bring “Smart TV” capabilities to a HDTV via a set-top. And we suspect Roku would be better served by integrating their platform directly into the television, as Vudu once attempted, should they find any takers. (Thanks Brad!)

camby-roku

Next month, Canby Telcom will begin offering their Oregon customers a $15 plan that serves up local broadcast programming via an “EZVideo” Roku app:

The solution is comprised of Elemental Live video processing systems used to adapt traditional MPEG-2 broadcast channels to multi-bitrate Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). The eight local live broadcast channels are packaged into an authenticated channel on the Roku platform called EZVideo which is then delivered by Canby over a secure broadband connection to Canby subscribers who have Roku players.

Canby’s upcoming Roku solution is in addition to their more traditional IPTV packages (and STBs) and is obviously limited in the content provided (compared to say a full-fledged STB or even the TWC Roku app). But it could be an economical and compelling service for those with poor OTA reception. And with Aereo available in only two (major metro) markets, EZVideo would be the only game in town for many. Continue Reading…

Roku2-UI-Refresh

After a March tease, Roku 2 streaming players are finally entitled to the updated interface (that ships with the Roku 3). While Roku has staggered the rollout over a two-week window, you can manually trigger an update via Settings > Software update > Check now… as I did. While I’ve only had the new UI a few days, I’m glad to see the modernized look & feel largely retains the speed and simplicity of the original interface. Further, while Roku has displayed advertising for some time and the new primary unit is significantly larger, the visual integration is improved over the prior layout. Unfortunately, Roku still doesn’t provide the sophistication of on-screen widgets as the WDTV Play offers – but at least you can change the color of your theme?

Your Roku player is about to get a free upgrade to our all-new interface. Glide through screens, fly through channels and search thousands of titles instantly. With its simple design and quick reflexes, the redesigned experience never stands between you and your entertainment. We think you’re going to love it!