Friday, February 05, 2010

Mixed Results with Roku

I have had mixed results with my Roku video streaming device. When it works it delivers really nice video to my TV and sound system. But, the problem is the device is totally dependent on the quality of your network connection. Sometimes I can stream an entire HD movie from Amazon with no problems. Other times I get reloads and stumbles. Searching the Roku forum revealed that there were some settings that might help. These settings set the minimum bandwidth for the device rather than leaving it to be automatically set. I received mixed results from those tweaks as well.

I am still testing and tweaking trying to find the optimal setting for my network. My ISP is AT&T. I pay for 6mbps DSL which should be more than adequate for most people. I think the problem might be that I have five computers, a Wii, the Roku and an Iphone grabbing bandwidth from my network. Not all of them are on at the same time but I did find that when my Iphone is using WiFi in my house that it grabs a big chunk of bandwidth.

My results with the Roku are mixed. When it works it is very nice delivering 5.1 sound from Amazon and HD video. I can stream my Netflix Instant Que and watch a lot of techie video podcasts such as TWIT.TV and others. Because of my network situation it is not a spontaneous experience since one never knows what quality video one will get. When the device has to rebuffer because of problems with the network it drives me crazy.

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