Archives For Roku

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!

redbox-googletv

Despite the sudden glut of video streaming services, the joint Redbox-Verizon initiative presses on. And, according to GigaOm, up next for the $8/month service will be Google TV and Roku clients. Given the Android set-top’s limited penetration, having failed to land on the “majority” of televisions, and upcoming retirement of Flash I’m somewhat surprised Redbox Instant has prioritized gTV ahead of 5 million Rokus… but perhaps it’s a simple(r) matter of porting their existing Android app over developing for a new platform (that I know has caused significant challenges for another manufacturer in this space). At the moment, Amazon Prime Instant meets most of our all-you-can-eat streaming needs and I’m not aware of many Redbox Instant subscribers in my circle. Perhaps, if they build it, the customers will come.