UFC PPV Comes to Roku

Later today, Roku will make a UFC channel available to owners of their $99 box. While the highlight is obviously HD pay per view fights ($45ish?), freebie Octagon-related video content will also be available. Additionally, live event archives will be made available to PPV subscribers several days after the fact – which worked out well for my trial of Roku’s UFC service.

It’s my understanding that various press and bloggers were given advance access to the UFC113 event held on May 8th via Roku. However, given the coverage, it looks like I may be one of the few with an appreciation for combat (as a former wrestler and judoka). Quality was good. But probably not good enough. Granted, this was a beta encode of the live event and I do expect the picture quality to improve. As it has with Roku’s NBA Game Time. Also, the transport controls are limited. For this kind of action, we’re going to need a trick play function.

Fortunately, as I mentioned, live events are archived and available for a week after the fact. And given the late start time, I ended up saving the title fight (Machida vs Shogun) for Sunday. The video replay does come with full transport controls, although they aren’t as smooth as say a TiVo. Plus, I’d like to see some sort of per fight bookmarking to quickly hop around the undercard or skip to the main attraction.

All in all, Roku just keeps getting better. And while the UFC video quality (thus far) isn’t amazing, they provide a solid option to bypass cable or satellite options when unavailable. Plus, the Roku travels well. Bring your UFC fights on the road or to a friend’s home. Next up: UFC 114, May 29th.

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5 thoughts on “UFC PPV Comes to Roku”

  1. UFC 114 at Dave’s place! Count me in. Fight by fight bookmarking is a great idea. (Please take note @danawhite)

  2. I am seriously thinking of buying one of these Bad Larry’s. For $99, sounds like a good deal. My bro in law pays for the MLBTV already so I wouldn’t have to come out of my pocket.

  3. I haven’t watched UFC on Roku, but whatever you do don’t get Roku if you’re planning on watching streaming MLB games. It’s been a disaster for many customers, with frequent reloads and permanent dropouts plus the repeated need to reboot the unit (which you can only do by unplugging it). The image quality varies from near-HD when all is well and the action is slow to sub-SD sludge. Oh, and with about a quarter of the regular season done, it’s still in beta (they plain missed the first two or three weeks of the season despite advertising it all winter). There’s a 78-page discussion of the issue in one of the Roku forums. Roku representatives participated there, erratically and without providing much information on the nature of the problem, but we haven’t heard a peep from them in over two weeks.

    Without any advance advertising that I am aware of, the PS3 guys started streaming MLB on opening day and there are some indications it’s a more reliable service, and with a much more useful interface with scoreboards and the like.

    I just now checked Roku’s NBA game time and though I don’t notice any difference at all in the image quality compared to the first week, it is watchable. The rest of my experience with Roku is mostly very good; Netflix streaming movies are very reliable and with excellent image quality most of the time, for example.

  4. Correction: I went back and checked around, and I may have been wrong about being able to watch MLB on the PS3 starting opening day.

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