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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Sep 29, 2013 0 comments
The ReQuest media server and media player system has added a new 3D media player and has improved it web-based controller for easier discovery and playback of movies.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 21, 2015 2 comments
The new Amazon Fire TV streams beautiful 4K video but it doesn't yet have all the features listed in its product description.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 19, 2016 3 comments
In the past year, TVs and streaming services have upped their game adding HDR (high dynamic range) for a broader color display. Roku is keeping pace with the Roku Ultra ($130) that streams 4K video and supports the HDR10 format.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Sep 27, 2013 5 comments
Two-year old RipWave has come out with the ultimate media streaming machine. Not only can it rip your Blu-rays and DVDs to its hard drive, you can add a cable card or off-air antenna and use its hard drives as a DVR. It can also stream videos from most any video streaming website using the PlayOn server or stream to other devices using the Plex DLNA server.

Models names follow the surf theme. They are offering a dedicated movie player model, the Tsunami for $2000. The media player line can also play music and photos and includes the Stingray with 3 to 12 TB of storage, the Barracuda, and the Orca with 9 TB up to 30 TB of storage. The software menus are as impressive as the hardware features. Users can choose from a number of graphic menus from a carousel to a grid to extensive information about a movie that displays metadata from 7 different sources. The menu options make it one of the truly intuitive devices as each user can choose the view that is easiest for them to use.

The Ripwave is the best media server I've seen yet. Let's see if it performs as well as its first impression.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 03, 2014 2 comments
The Rocki WiFi adapter connects to any speaker or sound system that has a line-in or RCA connection. Find out if this funny-looking little device is the next gadget you'll need to add to your streaming arsenal.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 16, 2011 9 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $99 At A Glance: Vastly improved picture quality • More responsive, motion-sensitive, Bluetooth remote • Tiny footprint • Wide variety of content providers

Roku has released its newest generation of media streamers, including the top-of-the-line Roku 2 XS player. Perhaps you haven't given Roku much thought as a serious addition to your home theater. Its earlier models gave more attention to the quantity of media-streaming partners than to the quality of the pictures they were streaming. The Roku 2 XS may change your mind as it changed mine.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jul 15, 2013 Published: Jan 31, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $100

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Remote control with headphone jack
Global movie title search
Zippy processor for quick navigation and search
Minus
Can only be connected via HDMI

THE VERDICT
Performance improvements and a new interface make streaming easy and keep Roku ahead of the competition.

Where other companies that make media players seem stuck in endless delays in the release of new models, it seems that Roku rolls out a new option every few months. I’m not complaining. Its newest release, the Roku 3, is my favorite so far. I use a Roku box with my bedroom TV because my tech-challenged partner can easily understand how to navigate its menus. Roku 3 has now added a headphone jack in the remote that mutes the TV when you plug into it. No longer do I have to endure listening to explosions, gunshots, and car-chase scenes while I’m trying to fall asleep. Performance improvements plus a new interface and box design continue to keep Roku ahead of its competition.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Nov 04, 2015 28 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
4K streaming to UHDTV
Agnostic search finds titles in multiple services
Notifications when specific movies become available

Minus
Remote mic is inaccurate
Search can’t find specific episodes of specific seasons

THE VERDICT
If you own a 4K TV, this is a slam-dunk. If not, the advances in hardware are still enough to step up from a Roku 2.

One must wonder if Roku waited to release its fourth-generation media streamer until the aptly named Roku 4 was capable of streaming 4K content. The newest Roku box can connect to compatible UHDTVs to stream 4K movies, TV shows, and videos from Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, M-Go, and a growing number of 4K streaming sources. And though 4K streaming is the Roku 4’s main appeal, improvements in hardware and the software interface make it the best Roku box yet.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2012 2 comments
Roku showed a network media player that is simply a large dongle that connects directly to your TV set. Shrinking the already small Roku 2 design even more, the new device doesn’t reduce the content or experience.

The Roku dongle will connect to an HDMI port on your TV. It will not come with its own remote. Instead, once connected, you can use the TV remote to navigate the Roku’s home screen, channels and to control playback.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 22, 2013 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Price: $100 At a Glance: Small stick connects directly to HDMI input on TV • Same menus and channels as full-sized Roku Box • No additional power connection; requires MHL-enabled TV

That Roku box is shrinking…again. The Roku Stick looks like a thumb drive and is only about 3 inches long. For the most part, it provides the same experience as the standard Roku boxes—same menus, same performance. But to use one, you’ll need an MHL-enabled TV or other device.

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