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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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#21 Koleckai Silvestri OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:48 PM

You can play with the bitrate in the MediaBrowser (app/channel) settings on your Roku. The default is 3.2 Mbps but you can try higher values to see if they work. Might end up with a lot of buffering.

 

Transcoding doesn't occur the entire time you're watching a movie though. The server transcodes and stores the results in a cache temporarily. You probably won't notice unless you're starting several HD transcodes at the same time.


Edited by Wayne Luke, 30 January 2014 - 04:52 PM.


#22 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:05 PM

Basically if your direct playing a mkv or mp4 file, it will only be able to direct play that video up to a bitrate of around 20Mbps on the Roku 3. Anything beyond that becomes unstable and that is why it is limited. So yes, if your ripped files are in the 30Mbps range then the server would have to transcode them.



#23 Embiggens OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:59 PM

Basically if your direct playing a mkv or mp4 file, it will only be able to direct play that video up to a bitrate of around 20Mbps on the Roku 3. 

Hi, I'm looking into Mediabrowser as part of the next step in my home media layout. I used Mediabrowser a while back, well prior to this (interesting) mb3 reboot. I currently have 2 (wired) roku 2 XS's. Do you have any sense of whether the 20Mbps bitrate limit you're stating fora roku 3 is similar for a 2 XS? Or would it be wise to upgrade to a roku 3 if I plan to watch a lot of high-def content on a particular TV? 

 

I was looking at the roku website and all it says is 8Mbps average, 12Mbps peak. I'm not clear what units they're referring to. 



#24 Koleckai Silvestri OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 05:06 PM

Mbps refers to megabits of network traffic.

The channel is free in the Roku store so best thing you can do is install the channel and try it out with your content. The server will transcode the media to fit. I'd say it works great but only have a Roku 3.

#25 Embiggens OFFLINE  

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 05:34 PM

Thanks for the reply. I apologize that my last sentence was not clear, what I meant was I was not sure what "roku units" those limits referred to.

 

Currently I have only a NAS, so I can't really do any testing. I am just hoping to do a little advanced planning on what my next setup will require, and comparing likely costs for a couple different options.



#26 Embiggens OFFLINE  

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:42 PM

Well just to throw in what I've found at this point. There's a website titling itself "rokoding" that outlines best settings for handbrake to allow direct play to roku. It really distinguishes between gen 1 roku and gens 2 and 3 for settings, but not between gen 2 and gen 3.

 

So it doesn't sound like there'd be a huge difference between a 2XS and a 3 as far as unit decoding capability.



#27 Scott750 OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:23 AM

My movie collection of about 500 movies consists of 70% DVD rips (Video_TS files using CloneDVD) and the rest as BluRay rips (mkv files using MakeMKV). I'm looking at getting a Roku 3 for a second TV in the bedroom (wife likes movies playing while she sleeps).

Will I not be able to watch those DVD rips?

I'm hoping I don't have to convert everything to mkv's like mentioned above.

#28 Koleckai Silvestri OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:25 AM

The server should transcode the media into formats the Roku can understand.



#29 Scott750 OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:26 AM

Sweet baby J! :)

#30 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:29 AM

it will but remember that transcoding of folder rips and iso's are considered experimental features. what we're doing with them now is more than what other apps can do, but it's not at a point yet where it can be relied upon to work every single time.



#31 Scott750 OFFLINE  

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:37 AM

Ok will keep that in mind.

#32 foghat OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:58 PM

I am thinking about a roku for my second tv.  All of my movies are mkv.  I used to have 1:1 bluray rips, but just recently went through the process of transcoding them all via handbrake.  So, I an not worried about the 20mb limit the roku has.

 

My question is, even if MBS does not have to transcode the video, all of audio is either flac or DTS Master/Dolby True HD.  I assume the server will just transcode the audio (and direct play the video) so it works with roku? 

 

And that doing just the audio should be less cpu intensive than doing both audio and video?

 

Thanks.



#33 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:28 PM

I am thinking about a roku for my second tv.  All of my movies are mkv.  I used to have 1:1 bluray rips, but just recently went through the process of transcoding them all via handbrake.  So, I an not worried about the 20mb limit the roku has.

 

My question is, even if MBS does not have to transcode the video, all of audio is either flac or DTS Master/Dolby True HD.  I assume the server will just transcode the audio (and direct play the video) so it works with roku? 

 

And that doing just the audio should be less cpu intensive than doing both audio and video?

 

Thanks.

Yes, it would copy the video and transcode the audio to a compatible audio stream. It is a lot less intensive and usually does it very quickly.



#34 WarrenH OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:02 PM

My Roku3 wired on a GB network works without any issue or lag. I'm only accessing .avi and .mp4 files, stored however on a NAS. I assume the PC server has to access the media off the NAS, then transcode on the PC, then transport the stream to the Roku. As a result I get network stutter if I access the NAS media from a second PC - even with a wired GB network.



#35 foghat OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:41 PM

may or may not be a network issue.  While playing a movie check out task manager on the pc with the server.  see if there is an ffmpeg.exe (I think that is what it is called) process running - if it is, then the server is transcoding.  You should see one for each transcode taking place.

 

It could be the case that you cpu is maxing out when trying to transcode 2 movies at once - assuming that it is transcoding in the first place.



#36 Koleckai Silvestri OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:16 PM

On a wired network, you can increase the bitrate of playback for the Roku. It defaults to 3.2 Mbps so anything above that will transcode. If you increase this, then you will transcode less data. In the case of DVDs, you might not even need to transcode anything. I have it set to 10.7 Mbps on my Roku, also on a gigabit ethernet connection, without problem. One note here is that the Roku only supports 2-channel AAC audio so if all your content has high definition video, this will be transcoded but uses fewer resources.

 

For other computers if you use MediaBrowser Classic or MediaBrowser Theater, they will direct play from the NAS after getting the location from the server. No transcoding usually takes place. If you're using the Windows 8, iOS, or Android Apps, then they will transcode as needed.

 

Finally, if you go into the server, you can adjust the Transcoding settings on a macro level. The default is "Auto" but you can adjust for quality or speed so it fits your needs. Advanced -> Transcoding in the Server Dashboard.



#37 foghat OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:52 PM

One note here is that the Roku only supports 2-channel AAC audio so if all your content has high definition video, this will be transcoded but uses fewer resources.

 

 

The roku does not support 5.1 ac3? If not, that is kind of a major shortcoming...



#38 gcw07 OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:17 PM

The roku does not support 5.1 ac3? If not, that is kind of a major shortcoming...

It supports pass through only of ac3. So that means you would need to be able to direct play the file itself for it to pass through the audio properly. Make sure you turn on surround sound in the Roku itself.



#39 Cheesegeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

OP's question...

Answer- No, i live by the MB and ROKU lt (sky now tv) for bedroom client and its flawless ;) Very happy

#40 foghat OFFLINE  

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:07 PM

It supports pass through only of ac3. So that means you would need to be able to direct play the file itself for it to pass through the audio properly. Make sure you turn on surround sound in the Roku itself.

So you are saying if mbs has to transcode my hi-def audio, I will not get 5.1 surround on the roku?  Only 2 channel aac?  Guess I have to rethink getting a roku. 






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