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Any Reason to NOT Use Roku?


Best Answer gcw07 , 05 December 2013 - 09:13 PM

For the most part yes it can do the same things. It really depends upon your Roku and your setup. One thing that a full HTPC running MBC/MBT can do is they playback directly all file types. Meaning they access the file as if it was actually sitting on the machine itself. Roku can't do this. The Roku can only directly play mp4 and mkv files (assuming you are running the latest version of the Roku software).

 

The other thing is that the Roku is limited on bitrate playback for direct play files. A Roku 3 for instance that is brand new can't really handle much over 20 mbps files. I have blu-ray rips that are over 30 mbps, so for those it would have to transcode the files. Not saying that trancoding is bad and it isn't, just something to be aware of.

 

Overall I would just say it depends upon your setup and the contents your watching. It can be a very good replacement for an HTPC if it meets all your needs.

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#1 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:05 PM

Hi all,

I was wondering if there was any reason to NOT use Roku as my main device for watching my movies and TV shows?

 

I have always had an HTPC connected to my TV for all of this, but if MB can work on Roku, why do I need an HTPC? Can't Roku do pretty much the same things as MB on an HTPC in terms of watching my content?

 

Thanks for any input in advance!



#2 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:13 PM   Best Answer

For the most part yes it can do the same things. It really depends upon your Roku and your setup. One thing that a full HTPC running MBC/MBT can do is they playback directly all file types. Meaning they access the file as if it was actually sitting on the machine itself. Roku can't do this. The Roku can only directly play mp4 and mkv files (assuming you are running the latest version of the Roku software).

 

The other thing is that the Roku is limited on bitrate playback for direct play files. A Roku 3 for instance that is brand new can't really handle much over 20 mbps files. I have blu-ray rips that are over 30 mbps, so for those it would have to transcode the files. Not saying that trancoding is bad and it isn't, just something to be aware of.

 

Overall I would just say it depends upon your setup and the contents your watching. It can be a very good replacement for an HTPC if it meets all your needs.


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#3 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for your fast reply!

Most of my collections are bluray folders. Will this be a huge problem? I have the Roku 3 and the media server all on its own network so there is not other traffic.

#4 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:32 PM

Yes if your collection is blu-ray folder rips and not single files like MKV's, etc. then yes it could be a problem. For starters all folder rips would be transcoded because the Roku doesn't understand those types of files. Then also our folder rip transcoding is purely experimental. Most programs don't even attempt to transcode them. They just ignore them all together. We do try, but we can't say 100% that they will always work. If your collection is mainly folder rips I would not suggest the Roku for playback.



#5 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:16 PM

So if I were to use only single file movies, like MKV and AVI, a Roku would be fine for me? I am getting sick of using an HTPC and a keyboard etc etc The Roku I can power on and anyone can use it. 



#6 Tikuf OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:20 PM

So if I were to use only single file movies, like MKV and AVI, a Roku would be fine for me? I am getting sick of using an HTPC and a keyboard etc etc The Roku I can power on and anyone can use it. 

 

Yes. What Grant is saying is that while we try to do folder rip and iso streaming sometimes we fail depending on the layout of the disc. That said I have iso and folder rips that perform perfectly on the roku. But single files are the prefered method.



#7 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:27 PM

That is what I was assuming. My ENTIRE collection of almost 350 movies is folder rips, so I am using DVDFab to queue everything and convert them all into MKV files and while it will take a while, so far it is working great.

 

On an unrelated note, does the Roku support trailers? I can't find the option...

 

Thanks fpr everything guys!



#8 sfnetwork OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:28 PM

On an unrelated note, does the Roku support trailers? I can't find the option...

 

Thanks fpr everything guys!

Not yet.



#9 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:30 PM

Not yet.

 

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

 

Anyways, any ideas on which response should I mark as the "solved" answer? Everyone is right!


Edited by mfranzel, 07 December 2013 - 11:30 PM.


#10 sfnetwork OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:32 PM

So if I were to use only single file movies, like MKV and AVI, a Roku would be fine for me? I am getting sick of using an HTPC and a keyboard etc etc The Roku I can power on and anyone can use it. 

Based on your needs mentioned, you will appreciate the Roku.

And there are also all other channels (Netflix, etc..)

 

I personally even travel with it (hotel, etc..)

 

And most important; around 100$ (Roku3). Can't go wrong at that price with what it can do.


Edited by sfnetwork, 07 December 2013 - 11:35 PM.


#11 sfnetwork OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:37 PM

Anyways, any ideas on which response should I mark as the "solved" answer? Everyone is right!

I would say gcw07 first post: #2 


Edited by sfnetwork, 07 December 2013 - 11:37 PM.


#12 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:39 PM

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help! 



#13 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:50 AM

On an unrelated note, does the Roku support trailers? I can't find the option...

Would depend upon what type of trailers you mean. There is currently support for the trailer plugin and the streaming ones, but not for local trailers in the movie directories. I haven't had a chance to add that. Should be easy enough of a feature to add once it makes it into the Roku store. Still going back and forth with Roku to get it live, hopefully soon.



#14 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:56 AM

Would depend upon what type of trailers you mean. There is currently support for the trailer plugin and the streaming ones, but not for local trailers in the movie directories. I haven't had a chance to add that. Should be easy enough of a feature to add once it makes it into the Roku store. Still going back and forth with Roku to get it live, hopefully soon.

 

I am talking about local ones. I love the feature, don't know why. Any testing you need help with or anything related to the Roku, let me know. I would love to contribute back to you guys. I have donated, but I would love to do more! Thanks for the awesome work.



#15 mfranzel OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:56 AM

I am talking about local ones. I love the feature, don't know why. Any testing you need help with or anything related to the Roku, let me know. I would love to contribute back to you guys. I have donated, but I would love to do more! Thanks for the awesome work.

 

I am talking about local ones. I love the feature, don't know why. Any testing you need help with or anything related to the Roku, let me know. I would love to contribute back to you guys. I have donated, but I would love to do more! Thanks for the awesome work.



#16 scharbag OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:56 PM

I have been using MB Server and MB Classic for a bit now and they are awesome.  

 

Tried a Roku 3 today as I was thinking of adding another HTPC client.  They are really neat units, low power draw, easy to setup, and fast.  Unfortunately, I think I have been spoiled with the MB Classic themes!!!  There are a few features I really like that were not present on the Roku interface.  Personal preference that I am not sure that I could do without.

 

Also, I have virtualized my MB Server and when I played AVI files on the Roku, the VM went to 90-99% CPU usage on all 4 vCPUs.  Bit of a CPU pig right now, although another post discussed that this will be looked at in the future.  Everything still ran well but my other MB Classic clients suffered a little bit of lag due to the high server side CPU usage.  Not horrible, but enough to notice.

 

Another thing that gets me is the lack of analog output on the Roku 3.  I am one of those fools who installed an HDMI matrix (8X8) in my house along with an audio matrix.  Problem is, I need the stereo outputs for most rooms as I only have 1 room with full 7.1 surround sound.  The Roku 3 does not have analog out but this could be solved with an HMDI to HDMI+Audio converter, although this only adds cost.

 

Bottom line for me, Roku is very very cool but I do not think I could go without the added features currently offered in the Classic package.



#17 rkone OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:40 PM

I'm in a similar boat.  I bought a Roku 3, it was kind of neat, but finding a movie in my collection of over 950 is too much to deal with.

Secondly, and far worse, I was having issues with the audio transcoding - 3:10 to Yuma (the remake with Crowe) has nonstop audio pitch changes.  To be fair I think it's a MB Server issue, but since my entire collection needs to be transcoded for Roku, it wasn't happy.

 

I ended up going with a standard HTPC I had used before, but if I was buying I'd get a NUC.  MBT has a far better interface anyway.



#18 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:04 AM

I'm in a similar boat.  I bought a Roku 3, it was kind of neat, but finding a movie in my collection of over 950 is too much to deal with.

Secondly, and far worse, I was having issues with the audio transcoding - 3:10 to Yuma (the remake with Crowe) has nonstop audio pitch changes.  To be fair I think it's a MB Server issue, but since my entire collection needs to be transcoded for Roku, it wasn't happy.

 

I ended up going with a standard HTPC I had used before, but if I was buying I'd get a NUC.  MBT has a far better interface anyway.

Just a note, we can't fix things like audio glitches unless they are reported (if you did report it ignore this).

 

I do think finding things will be a little better once search gets implemented, but yeah for now, going through 950 would takes a 30 seconds or so to track down a movie.

 

And yeah I agree about the MBT UI. It is by far the best one available.



#19 rkone OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:22 AM

I just read in another thread that they've already got the solution for the audio, in fact it may be fixed already in the current server..  Seems it was a transcoding bug. 

http://mediabrowser....android-client/

 

I'll probably hook the roku up to a secondary TV once search (or at least remote play) is enabled... 



#20 whitestrat13 OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

@gcw07 Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have a related question. You said the roku is limited on bitrate. I have recently started ripping all new blu rays into 1:1 mkv files. Most seem about 30-40 Mbps. I assume this means the server will have to transcode these to a more acceptable bit rate. I only care about this since my server has a lowly i5 650 and can *maybe* do two hd streams at once. I am on a gigabit lab though. What has your experience been playing high bit rate mkv files on the roku 3?




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