Podcast 50: Barb Gonzalez

Barb Gonzalez, aka the Simple Tech Guru and the first female geek to appear on the podcast, shares her extensive experience with network media players and streamers, downloading to own or rent versus streaming, why she doesn't like Roku but does like Apple TV and Western Digital's Live Hub, the ins and outs of various online content providers such as Netflix and Vudu, getting content from one place to another around the home, physical media versus online streaming, and answers to chat-room questions.

Run Time: 51:21

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uavwrinklefree's picture

I'm a big fan of the podcast however I have to respectfully disagree with Barb's rip on the Roku both in terms of content and video quality.

My job as a home theater consultant means I use all of the different streaming boxes, and I've never noticed any problems with the Roku's 720p or 1080p output, particularly when it comes to Netflix streaming on my 50" Pioneer Elite or 94" projector screen. In addition I find the content MUCH more compelling on the Roku when compared to Apple TV. Roku is the only box under $100 that does Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus, Pandora and MLB league pass on top of a terrific Netflix interface. Apple TV is great if you're invested in the iTunes ecosystem, however it's extremely lacking when it comes to affordable content. Sorry I don't consider $5 movie rentals affordable.

She also criticized the way Roku makes you log into a computer to add some channel content. However when she didn't point out was, entering username and passwords with a remote control is even worse and should be outlawed as cruel and unusual punishment. I'd much rather grab my ipad and enter a code on a web site.

I do agree that google TV shows much promise even though the initial offerings are poorly received. This is definitely the way we're headed though, and hopefully all of the content companies like Comcast and DTV will wake up and see the revenue potential.

Hippo Tech Solutions

WazNeeni's picture

I was just coming in here to say the exact same thing. Thankfully, James said it better than I would have done. I'm guessing a bad Roku box, because my 1st gen Roku is just about rock solid, and only gets better w/ firmware updates. Picture quality is excellent, though I do have only a standard def TV (unless someone else is willing to foot the cost...please! :-D ).

There was also the bit about TV manufactures putting out their own routers to make streaming content setup free. Well, that's great and all, but it's also incredibly insecure! There was no mention of what type of protocols they would be using (UPnP; Hard-coded SSID & Access Key; WEP/WPA2?), but that type of convenience equals security nightmare.

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