Podcast 66: Barb Gonzalez

Barb Gonzalez, aka The Simple Tech Guru, updates her impression of Roku as well as other media-streaming devices and services such as Vudu, Google TV, Apple TV, and the Sony SMP-N100, which has the best picture quality of all, though not the widest selection of content. She also talks about how content providers present different user interfaces and content to different devices, and she explains a new service called Zediva, which streams the playback of actual, physical DVDs to get a jump on the release of streaming movies. Plus answers to chat room questions and more.

Run Time: 56:07

Click here to listen to this podcast.

Barb Gonzalez is a freelance writer who translates technology for the average consumer. She has written two books: "The Home Electronics Survival Guide" and "Home Theater Made Simple." Dubbed the Simple Tech Guru, her tips, step-by-step how-to's, and explanations simplify everything from iPhones to home theater and home networks. She is currently the expert contributing writer for about.com on the subject of network media players and networked home theaters.

Here's the YouTube video of this podcast:

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WazNeeni's picture

Barb definitely made some good points about where the Roku is lacking; her credibility restored after getting a new Roku box. It's obviously not the perfect solution. It just works really well, and is so incredibly simple.

I think Barb's only real fault is that she tends to come across as "elitist," regardless of her true viewpoint. I think it's simply due to how she presents what she's trying to say.

Anyway, much better show this time!

brad.clarkston's picture

I didn't find Barb to be any better this time than last but then I am not listening to this podcast for a journalists opinion (that goes for Leo as well, tho I like him). I would much rather listen to a true geek or at least a solid tech which is the main problem I think most people have had with her episodes, at least that was my issue.

I think the part that rankled me the most was the feeling that I got from the way she talked that she is somehow deserving of free handouts from the hardware makers and that Roku didn't jump fast enough to make her happy so she "blasted" them until they caved in and sent her a new upgraded unit and now she's willing to give them a little credit. This is the same problem I have with other journalists like John C. Devorak and Cory Doctorow.

I could easily be wrong about that opinion and I apologize in advance if that is not the case but that's the overall feeling I took from the episode instead of the review information.


I own the original Roku and the new XDS (along with the Boxee Box) and I can say without a doubt installation is everything. A poorly setup AV unit along with a wireless only connection will produce exactly what she was describing.

A proper setup with a Ethernet connection and a understanding of which device is doing the video processing on the signal and it will sing as well as any of the other set-tops on the market. I have installed most of them over the last year for people and I would not hesitate to recommend a Roku as strongly as any other unit.


She made some good points if you can make it though the gloss but overall I would rather listen to a stereophile.com/hometheater.com writer/editor or even one of the main reviewers from 6moons.com if you need filler episode.

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