Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Using Roku: Week 4

By Dennis D. McDonald

General observations
  • I’ve been using the Roku box for over a month now.
  • I like this product a lot.
Where it’s used
  • Primary connection is in the living room with the 36” TV. This TV no longer has a digital cable tuner and is used only for occasional DVD’s and Roku streaming.
  • Secondary connection is in the kitchen. (I like watching TWiT netcasts while washing dishes. Go Gina!)
  • Easy to move around and connect to different devices.
  • Easy-to-navigate interface takes advantage of straightforward categorization, for the most part. 
  • Navigation is significantly simpler and more convenient than various Comcast Cable menuing systems.
  • When available for a channel, text search works nicely.
  • Amazing variety of programming.
  • Access to YouTube, CNN spots, Al Jazeera English daily reports.
  • Synchronization between web and Roku program configuration — e.g., YouTube and Pandora channels.
  • Still amazed at variety of programming available via Netflix.
  • Wish there were a display panel on the front of the device so I could use it to tune radio or audio only channels without having to turn on a TV.
  • Individual channels have widely variable program descriptions.
  • Can’t search across all programs from top level.
  • Having to “subscribe” by typing a code into a web site on some channels.
  • Variable performance streaming — e.g., YouTube often stutters when I move the box to the kitchen.
  • Amazing how awful some of the amateur series are (“Mommy XXX”? “Space Hospital”?)
Next steps
  • Check out Hulu Plus programming; haven’t tried so far since I have little interest in series.
  • Keep trying out different subcategories of obscure channels.
  • Check out DIY programs (woodworking, knitting, building, etc.)
  • Investigate Amazon services.
  • Figure out why ANYONE cares what Penn thinks.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald

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