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Any Roku Users Out There?

Discussion in 'Computers, Science & Technology' started by Judge, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Took the plunge yesterday and installed a "Roku Ultra" device (Model 4800R) to my 2013 Samsung "Smart" tv.

    Up to now as I posted elsewhere, I've been using "screen mirroring" to simply transfer what was on my computer screen and web browser to my tv set. Nice to be able skip commercials on all the various online video channels, but I was seldom getting resolution beyond 720p if at all.

    Truth is, in using screen mirroring, while my computer's video card reads HD video, I don't think it translates well when processed to another device wirelessly. My tv is so old it only uses the 2.4 Ghz band. The last time I tried a lesser and older Roku device, it was one dedicated only to 2.4Ghz. Didn't stream well at all.

    I'm using the Roku Ultra making use of its Ethernet port, so I get rock-steady streaming, plus striking 1080p image quality. No concerns of wifi signal dropoffs or buffering in the middle of a show. Sweet. :cool: Turned out to be a great investment, especially with a premature "Black Friday" sale price. For me it's a good tradeoff- having to see commercials but with a much better and steadier picture.

    Now I have access to hundreds of free channels, rather than the mere 70 I pay for through cable televi$ion. This device also has a USB 3.0 port, and is supposed to play MP3s on a flash drive. Hopefully that works too given I can run the audio through my Sony/Dolby 5.1 audio system. The 3.5mm minijack on the remote is great as well, so I can plug in my headphones rather than use the earbuds that came with the Roku Ultra. (No minijack or USB port on my audio system.)

    Something that actually lives up to the advertising. I'm stoked!

    Interesting tidbit I picked up directly from Roku's site. They claim that 100 megabits per second is adequate to drive even a 4K video source. A basic reason why they see no reason to increase their Ethernet capability to the gigabit range (1000 rather than 100 mbps). Though personally I'm fine with a clear and steady 1080p picture.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  2. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    We have Roku, too, but subscribe to only Netflix and BritBox. Netflix works pretty well; BritBox is terrible in the afternoons and early evening but performs okay in the middle of the night when I'm usually asleep and not watching the tube.

    So..... I'm going to check out Roku Ultra and probably buy a new router for our house. Maybe I can improve Roku's performance without buying a new television. Our TVs are pretty old, too.
     
  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    For what it's worth, Roku claims their most recent version of the Ultra model increases their wifi capability by 50%. Not sure if this pertains to their other most recent and less expensive devices. I got the Ultra model mainly because I preferred to run it off Ethernet rather than wireless. But having a USB port and a Minijack on the remote seems like a bonus.

    One thing too, the Ultra doesn't seem to emit much external heat compared to earlier devices. Something this old underwriter really appreciates.

    Having a more robust router working farther distances and handling many devices at the same time capable of either AC or AX protocol will help as well. "N" protocol may not cut it anymore depending of so many variables when using wifi. Keeping in mind that your Internet provider's absolute top speed in your home may be a finite issue unto itself. One you may not be able to do much about.

    The cool part about a Roku device is it can take a tv void of any "smart" features and potentially make it a formidably "smart" device. Nice too that Roku continually updates their software. Something that not all smart tv manufactures do themselves.

    My 2013 Samsung tv doesn't update much at all any more. Guess they expect me to buy a new one. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    People still use this?

    I had that filth exorcised long ago.

    Dunno how I ever put up with it. It's like .0000000000000005 seconds of actual show, and then 200 years of commercials. Gimme Youtube and a suite of adblockers any day.
     
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  5. WildCat

    WildCat V.I.P Member

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    Also got a Roku Ultra as well. It's a step up from the Express model as the wireless signal is (I've noticed) stronger and more stable compared to the Express. There's also the option for Ethernet to bypass the hassle of wireless, yet another reason I switched. Everything I'm subscribed to or want to subscribe to is there, and then there's The Roku Channel which is basically a cable substitute with tons of free streaming content.

    I fiddled around with some settings on the wireless router...once again, lost track of how many times...and so far so good. Disabled beamforming on the router and switched to "neighbor-friendly mode" which may or may not have done the trick, but then there is and was the issue of the cable signal dropping out. That's out of my control however. It's all about the wireless router since everything connects to it, so if something doesn't work it's back to the settings again.

    I've had issues with picking up the 5ghz signal from the router, but I'm not surprised since the range is supposed to be shorter than 2.4ghz and it looks like the signal has trouble penetrating through multiple walls or something else. A bit frustrating, because I can pick up other wireless networks that are clearly 5ghz with a strong signal, but whatever. I've disabled the 5ghz band because of that, but I might try getting it to work some other time. 2.4ghz works well for the Roku and the rest of the devices here so nothing further to complain about really.
     
  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm guessing "neighborhood friendly mode" means reducing a band's transmission power to medium rather than defaulting to the maximum. Maximum isn't always better and in fact allows for greater possibilities of interference from other devices.

    I just got tired of so many considerations of what can go wrong with wireless. Went some time back and simply lined the top of the wall trim with an 80ft. Ethernet cable going from one end of my apartment to the other. No more concerns of dropouts or line of sight issues with objects that can blunt a signal. Or so many neighbors surrounding me with their routers all operating at maximum power.

    Yeah, both 2.4 and 5.0 bands have their pluses- and their minuses. :oops:

    2.4Ghz users where I live....shown using a freeware program called "Matt Hafner's WiFi Analyzer":

    2.0Ghz Wifi.jpg

    Much more traffic later in the day, though most everyone leaves their routers on all the time. I still use wireless, but only for one printer. I may just revert that back to USB as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  7. WildCat

    WildCat V.I.P Member

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    Just for reference, the wireless router is a Netgear Nighthawk R6700. Forgot to add that, but it's excellent for what it can do and I'd hate to have to replace it in the future.

    Yeah, there are three power modes: legacy (54mbps), neighbor-friendly (217mbps), and performance (the full 450mbps). Netflix for example only needs at least 5mbps for HD and 25mbps for 4K, so no need for performance mode is what I figured. That could explain a lot too, all of the interference from everyone else. It sucks, but it is what it is.

    As far as routing Ethernet cable, that seemed like a good idea and not just for my Roku, but the router is in the living room where the cable outlet is and it has to pass through the bedroom doors somehow. There's space for 4 Ethernet cables, but it's a hassle to do so - rented apartment here plus figuring out how to best do it, otherwise I'd be more keen on the idea. So, wireless it is unfortunately.

    A lot of the signals here are from people with ISP provided modem/router combos - ATT and Spectrum - and I'm betting very few of them know how to or can even configure anything. Can't do much about it if everyone else's routers are cranked up to full blast, but my Roku works well in spite of all that.

    Thread went well off topic, I know this is supposed to be about Roku users, but what can I say? I'm a tech geek. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  8. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ ugh idk lol

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    I’m surprisingly tech-illiterate for the most part lol.
    Is Roku similar to the Amazon Firestick? I use the Firestick. Unfortunately I still get commercials.
     
  9. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think our main problem is that AT&T is our internet provider. That company couldn't make up its mind whether it was in the entertainment business or a phone company for a long time. They don't have adequate bandwidth here for services they offer. But I'm stuck - there is no other viable provider in our area, out in the sticks so to speak.