Computers & Electronics

Pls explain Roku (on TV)

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Jan 30, 2008
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Swansea
RMP in my TCL can't do audio over 5.1 (need to downmix, doesn't failover to stereo or anything) and only srt subs reliably work. That being said it handles 4K and HDR fine....
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Oct 27, 2004
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I have an older "Smart TV" from Samsung. I don't use any of the built-in apps, as the processor on the TV is painfully slow. My TV provider is Bell Fibe, so I use the built-in Netflix channel right from the Fibe guide (even have it programmed into the Harmony remote).

I have a Roku stick in the TV expressly for Plex. The Roku version of the Plex app is fast, reliable and plays every file I've thrown at it.

If you don't use Plex, look into it. It easily turns your home computer into a Media Server.
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FrostyWinnipeg wrote: And Roku's Media Player couldnt handle some videos?
Roku's media player is pretty limited in format support. You pretty much have to stick to the most common standard, something like mp4 file with H.264 video and one aac stereo audio track, the same sort of file that plays on iOS and Android. Also the Roku media player has very little ability to handle large media libraries. So best to go with something like Plex on a separate server and just use Roku as the player client.
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Jun 26, 2005
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So my RokuTV has CBS (button) and channel.

This is free forever?
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What also makes me curious is the TV remote looks like this (pic)

No number keys. So how does one go between channels?? Up, up, up, up, up, all the way from channel 4 to 55?

Good thing I am using an antenna and don't have a lot of channels!
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rfdrfd wrote: What also makes me curious is the TV remote looks like this (pic)

No number keys. So how does one go between channels?? Up, up, up, up, up, all the way from channel 4 to 55?

Good thing I am using an antenna and don't have a lot of channels!
I guess all the manufacturers have forgotten about the ATSC tuner users.

If you didn’t have an antenna, the options would be cable, which has its own box and remote. Satellite which has its own box and remote, Bell which has its own box and remote. IP TV which is an app and has an on screen guide that you can sort by categories.
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Feb 6, 2003
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Scote64 wrote: Roku's media player is pretty limited in format support. You pretty much have to stick to the most common standard, something like mp4 file with H.264 video and one aac stereo audio track, the same sort of file that plays on iOS and Android. Also the Roku media player has very little ability to handle large media libraries. So best to go with something like Plex on a separate server and just use Roku as the player client.
Like Scote64 said
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rfdrfd wrote: What also makes me curious is the TV remote looks like this (pic)

No number keys. So how does one go between channels?? Up, up, up, up, up, all the way from channel 4 to 55?

Good thing I am using an antenna and don't have a lot of channels!
That's a standard Roku remote. In Roku terminology, "channels" are what other platforms call "apps". They aren't similar to TV channels. If that's the only remote for the TV, I would wonder about accessing cable TV channels too!
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Jul 21, 2005
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Riffer wrote: VLC.

I have everything organized into folders on my sever so I don't really need a groovy app like Plex to find stuff. The server uses Elementary OS which has a reliable DLNA sharing app.
I have everything organized in the same way myself, back from the old days when I used DLNA with WD Media Players, doesn't mean you can't throw Plex on top of it and get you a much nicer interface that's accessible on every platform worldwide. I watch my plex when I am away for work, in other countries when travelling, or on my phone. It's the same library, same files, the files are never touched when Plex does it's organization, it just puts cover art and such to existing files into it's own little database. Plex also has a DLNA server built in if you really just want to continue using that for some things. My parents and my sister in another city watch my Plex media, so it's a single source of truth for everything.

I was of the same opinion for a long time, but since I have went to Plex, I never looked back, things just work.
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eblend wrote: A fire stick would just be another input on your TV, switch to that input and use the fire stick. If you going to do that, you could just use the fire stick for everything.



You need a Plex server....relying on built in codec support is so 2000s. Plex on Roku will play every format under the sun pretty much. The default format support on Roku is useless.
Yes and no. Thats the problem with both roku and plex. Plex will have to transcode everything it can't natively playback on the roku so the roku becomes the bottle neck for things it can't use native hardware accel to playback. While on android you do have the option to use an external player within plex which can negate the need to be stuck using transcoding or relying on a pc to wast power to do it.Plus many types embedded subs or older mp4 codec support and even ac3 are no longer natively supported by modern socs anymore. Remember you don't transcode 4k unless you don't want hdr. The days of using a pc fpr plex is archaic because its just so much more affordable to purchase and run 24/7 set top devices that can playback everything.
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lead wrote: Yes and no. Thats the problem with both roku and plex. Plex will have to transcode everything it can't natively playback on the roku so the roku becomes the bottle neck for things it can't use native hardware accel to playback. While on android you do have the option to use an external player within plex which can negate the need to be stuck using transcoding or relying on a pc to wast power to do it.Plus many types embedded subs or older mp4 codec support and even ac3 are no longer natively supported by modern socs anymore. Remember you don't transcode 4k unless you don't want hdr. The days of using a pc fpr plex is archaic because its just so much more affordable to purchase and run 24/7 set top devices that can playback everything.
While yes it is true regarding transcoding, it's on the fly and transparent and 99.9% of people won't notice any difference. Yes it might be more affordable to run these boxes, but you still got to store content somewhere. I run a server at home that stores all the media, and a VM that runs Plex on top of the same server, so it's no extra overhead in terms of hardware. If you have to use a desktop that you power on and off all the time then yah, not ideal. Also with these devices you speak of, you are still locked to local playback. Yes you can copy a movie to a phone and watch it that way, but then you are travelling internationally with illegal content, especially to the USA, it's pretty sketch. I just stream, and if I can't stream, I just do an offline sync within Plex and it's available to view offline. Anyways, to each their own, but as someone who has been doing media PCs since back when Windows Media Center was a thing, nothing is easier then Plex to get going and playing in my opinion, assuming you have dedicated Plex hardware running 24/7 anyways.
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I use roku channels to borrow movies and shows from public libraries.
These are Kanopy and Hoopla. You need a free local library card only.
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eblend wrote: While yes it is true regarding transcoding, it's on the fly and transparent and 99.9% of people won't notice any difference. Yes it might be more affordable to run these boxes, but you still got to store content somewhere. I run a server at home that stores all the media, and a VM that runs Plex on top of the same server, so it's no extra overhead in terms of hardware. If you have to use a desktop that you power on and off all the time then yah, not ideal. Also with these devices you speak of, you are still locked to local playback. Yes you can copy a movie to a phone and watch it that way, but then you are travelling internationally with illegal content, especially to the USA, it's pretty sketch. I just stream, and if I can't stream, I just do an offline sync within Plex and it's available to view offline. Anyways, to each their own, but as someone who has been doing media PCs since back when Windows Media Center was a thing, nothing is easier then Plex to get going and playing in my opinion, assuming you have dedicated Plex hardware running 24/7 anyways.
I haven't run a pc server in years. I don't even bother with standalone nas's anymore.

I do it all and act as a nas on my my media players and don't need a pc at all. I use jellyfin which is open source and no plex subscripton for premium services either nor reliance on internet/ cloud or authentification if of grid at the lake and still have all the cover art and media info vs relying on just upnp and tweaks like plex needs off grid its just way too much hoops and even ridiculous for something you may have paid for where jellyfin does automatically because its free opensource. Even on a firetv with no internet I can still just load the jellyfin app and its all the same off grid no modifications to anything.
https://forums.plex.tv/t/howto-use-plex ... net/383325

Plus its all in back ground running docker. Sbc's are plenty powerful enough these days and ones like even the nanopi neo 3 only run headless at 5v 1amp and can share up a plex or jellyfin in docker/act as a nas thru usb 3.0 no problem even transcode upto 1080p but honestly most phones and tablets today have plenty of power for direct play with vlc external player.
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I myself run a s905x3 android tvbox with coreelec on a 4gb ram with usb 3.0 external multiple bay drives at around 50 bucks it can playback equal if not better than the shield upto 4k and atmos if needed. But the real beauty is you can house the drives through out your network on each box sharing and acting as a mirror redundant backup with no main server since the sbc's are so powerful and act as media players they can easily run in docker everything one could ask like next cloud media servers to wireguard,homeassitant and some even run an omada controller in docker if you wanted it. My favorite is a rk3399 with 4 sata ports and 4 usb 3.0.

I have firetv's and while they are great for 4k subscription subs and do direct play for 4k no problem. In android...like roku on native app...its a sh1t show for proper playback for all codecs/ older re-encodes etc without a smarter external player like vlc or transcoding because the native apps are just too inflexible. Worse for closed inflexible eco system like roku which prevents it vs another os which doesn't.
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Jul 21, 2005
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lead wrote: I haven't run a pc server in years. I don't even bother with standalone nas's anymore.

I do it all and act as a nas on my my media players and don't need a pc at all. I use jellyfin which is open source and no plex subscripton for premium services either nor reliance on internet/ cloud or authentification if of grid at the lake and still have all the cover art and media info vs relying on just upnp and tweaks like plex needs off grid its just way too much hoops and even ridiculous for something you may have paid for where jellyfin does automatically because its free opensource. Even on a firetv with no internet I can still just load the jellyfin app and its all the same off grid no modifications to anything.
https://forums.plex.tv/t/howto-use-plex ... net/383325

Plus its all in back ground running docker. Sbc's are plenty powerful enough these days and ones like even the nanopi neo 3 only run headless at 5v 1amp and can share up a plex or jellyfin in docker/act as a nas thru usb 3.0 no problem even transcode upto 1080p but honestly most phones and tablets today have plenty of power for direct play with vlc external player.
Image

I myself run a s905x3 android tvbox with coreelec on a 4gb ram with usb 3.0 external multiple bay drives at around 50 bucks it can playback equal if not better than the shield upto 4k and atmos if needed. But the real beauty is you can house the drives through out your network on each box sharing and acting as a mirror redundant backup with no main server since the sbc's are so powerful and act as media players they can easily run in docker everything one could ask like next cloud media servers to wireguard,homeassitant and some even run an omada controller in docker if you wanted it. My favorite is a rk3399 with 4 sata ports and 4 usb 3.0.

I have firetv's and while they are great for 4k subscription subs and do direct play for 4k no problem. In android...like roku on native app...its a sh1t show for proper playback for all codecs/ older re-encodes etc without a smarter external player like vlc or transcoding because the native apps are just too inflexible. Worse for closed inflexible eco system like roku which prevents it vs another os which doesn't.
I work in IT and deal with complex systems and setups all day long, and used to very much be into messing around with many different things in my past, but now, I just need something that always works with 0 complexity, because the last thing I need when I come home is to screw around with open source linux software. What you described is all fine and well but 99.9% of people won't have a clue and will struggle to get things working consistently, especially those with little IT knowledge.

To each their own as I said before, so do what you like, but for the OP who asked about Roku and what it is... Everything you said will go right above his head, as will be the case for majority of the people. I setup my plex like 10 years ago or something and never looked back. I take comfort in knowing I can be anywhere in the world (i travel a lot for work and pleasure) and most any smart tv will have Plex support... So I can always get to my media anywhere, on any device, simply by signing in, it doesn't get much easier than that. I also used to be anal about only getting MKV files for example, now I don't care at all, as long as its good quality the format is irrelevant to me, as I know it will work. Also a Plex lifetime subscriber for forever, so no extra costs for me to get all the features.

Anyways could go back and forth forever, but I personally like Plex because it's 0 touch and just works, unlike lots of the shit I deal with at work..
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Scote64 wrote: That's a standard Roku remote. In Roku terminology, "channels" are what other platforms call "apps". They aren't similar to TV channels. If that's the only remote for the TV, I would wonder about accessing cable TV channels too!
Well cable box comes with remote so not a biggie but if you were cutting the cord and accessing OTA I could see it being a problem depending where you are. Obviously in WPG with just a handful of channels it's no deal killer.
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FrostyWinnipeg wrote: Well cable box comes with remote so not a biggie but if you were cutting the cord and accessing OTA I could see it being a problem depending where you are. Obviously in WPG with just a handful of channels it's no deal killer.
True, i forgot cable box has its own remote.

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