Minor update for original Roku players released

Today, we released a minor update for original Roku players. Roku software version 3.1 build 1017 includes the following fixes:

  • Fixed issues that can cause freezes and crashes in Hulu Plus
  • Improved SSDP device discover support used by mobile applications, including Roku’s iPhone app and Android app, to find and connect to Roku players on home networks
  • Other minor bug fixes

The Roku software update will be pushed automatically to all connected original Roku players over the next 48 hours. To get it now, select Settings > Player info > Check for update from your Roku player.

Information on the previous 3.1 software release can be found here. If you have a Roku 2, Roku LT or new Roku HD, you can learn about the recently released 4.7 software here.

Posted in Announcements, Roku News | Tagged , | 33 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for May 25

Happy Friday! We’re kicking off this epic extended weekend with some familiar classics and great new releases. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Ready, set, stream!

Netflix New Releases:

  • Them Idiots! Whirled Tour- Blue Collar Comedy Tour vets Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy deliver some gut-busting laughs in a hilarious sold-out show, filmed live in 2011 (2012)
  • Dragonslayer- This intimate, unconventional portrait of 23-year-old skate legend Josh “Skreech” Sandoval pairs a story of lost youth, broken homes and abandoned swimming pools with a killer indie soundtrack (2011)
  • The American President- Michael Douglas stars as a widowed U.S. president who unexpectedly falls for a Washington lobbyist (Annette Bening) in this heartwarming romantic comedy (1995)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Modern Family: Baby on Board- Gloria helps Cam and Mitch pursue an adoption opportunity (2012)
  • Rookie Blue: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life- After a three-month suspension, Andy faces an official tribunal; William Shatner guest stars (2012)
  • House: Holding On- A patient’s illness has its roots in the body and mind (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Defendor- Woody Harrelson doesn’t doesn’t need superpowers or fancy toys to be a superhero in this thought-provoking indie action flick (2010)
  • Redbelt- A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry (2008)
  • The Square- An illicit affair unwittingly starts a violent sequence of events that spirals out of control into arson, murder and blackmail (2008)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Nacho Libre- Berated all his life by those around him, a Friar (Jack Black) follows his dream and dons a wrestling mask to moonlight as a ‘Luchador’ (2006)
  • Braveheart- Mel Gibson is William Wallace, a passionate Scottish highlander who unites the 13th Century Scots in one of the best medieval war movies of all time (1995)
  • Forrest Gump- Life’s a box of chocolates, but Forrest Gump is always a great pick for movie night (1994)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Chronicle- Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding (2012)
  • Rampart- Set in the 1990′s when scandal rocked the LAPD’s Rampart division, this gritty drama follows fictional cop Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), a man who has taken the “no guts, no glory” American mythos to heart (2012)
  • One For the Money- Katherine Heigl stars as an average woman who finds a new start in the bail bond business in this hilarious take on Janet Evanovich’s best-selling book (2012)
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Insider Deal: Save 25% on a Roku 2

Thinking about an upgrade? Longing for his and hers players? We’ve got you covered.

Cash in on this week’s Insider Deal and save 25% plus FREE shipping on factory refurbished Roku 2 XD and XS players! Snag one for yourself and one for the kids’ room while supplies last.

You can access the deal here or find it in the Channel Store on your Roku player under “Roku Deals.” All refurbished players feature the same 90-day warranty as our new Roku players and are fully tested and certified by Roku, so you can shop (and save) worry-free.

Happy streaming–and saving!

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Roku Review: Rango

Hi, I’m Eric Lachter, Marketing Director and guy who streams great movies on Roku. This weekend, my daughter and I watched Rango on Netflix with our Roku - we highly recommend it.

Rango packs action, romance (thanks Isla Fisher), and comedy into a tightly crafted tale helped along by friendly mariachi owl narrators. Like a cowboy in a Sergio Leone western, Rango stumbles into Dirt, a tumbleweed town badly in need of water, and has to face the challenge at hand. Lesser lizards surely would have cut and run!  My favorite line in the movie is: “No one can walk out of their own story,” a great lesson that despite our mistakes (and Rango certainly makes mistakes), we need to keep moving forward in the face of life’s challenges.

If you like suspense and humor wrapped in a visually stunning candy coating, you’ll love this movie. The writing, music (Hans Zimmer) and art direction are current, compelling, funny and exciting, giving the movie more of a live action vs. animation level of immersion. Check it out and let me know if you agree that it’s a winner.

Happy Streaming!

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DISHWorld Launches on Roku

DISHWorld Launches on Roku Platform

At Roku we believe that the majority of TV programming will be delivered on-demand, over the Internet within the next four years. Today we’re a step closer to making that a reality.  We’ve partnered with DISH to bring the DISHWorld service with more than 50 international channels to the Roku platform in the U.S. – including the leading Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Bangla and Brazilian channels.

The DISHWorld service offers a variety of live foreign language programming including sports, movies, news, children’s programs, music, cooking shows, talk shows and general entertainment. At launch programming includes:

  • An extensive offering of Arabic channels exclusive to DISH including MBC, Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera;
  • Market-leading Hindi channels including aapka Colors, Sony, SET Max, Star Plus, Zee TV, B4U and aaj Tak;
  • Willow Cricket and TEN Cricket with eight Cricket Boards and more than 150 days per year of live cricket;
  • Seven of Pakistan’s most popular television channels including GEO TV, ARY Digital and Hum TV;
  • Four popular channels from Bangladesh including ATN Bangla, Channel I, ETV Bangla and NTV Bangla;
  • TV Globo Internacional and PFC which showcase the best Brazilian television programs and soccer events.

If you don’t see the language or programming you are looking for today, DISH plans to quickly expand the DISHWorld service to include additional languages and programming on the Roku platform in the near future. The service also features “48-hour Rewind” that allows customers to watch any show aired in the last 48 hours on any of the channels featured in their subscription package.

Packages start as low as $19.99 per month, and are structured for streaming only – this means there is no authentication, or satellite subscription required.

For us streaming aficionados, this is huge – it’s the first time that programming traditionally accessible only through a pay-TV bundle is made available on a streaming player through a streaming-only subscription.  For customers, the DISH-Roku deal means even more choice and accessibility. DISHWorld brings to Roku a comprehensive selection of international programming while Roku delivers an exceptional streaming experience.

The DISHWorld service is available in the Roku Channel Store on Roku 2 and Roku LT players; and is expected to be available this summer on the new Roku HD player (model 2500R). Roku models not listed will not have the DISHWorld service.

 

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Roku Pick of the Week: Plex

Meet Plex, our Roku Pick of the Week. The Plex channel makes it a snap to stream your entire library of personal movies, photos and music on your Roku, and it’s totally free. We’ve put together a quick 5-step guide to get you up and running in no time. Let’s get started!

1. Set up Plex on your Roku
Install the Plex channel here or find and add it to your player in the Roku Channel Store under ‘Photos and Apps.’

2. Install Plex Media Server on your computer
Plex Media Server is free to install on WindowsMac and Linux. The Mac version will simply ask a series of questions to guide you through a quick setup. If you’re a Windows user, download and then double-click the set-up file to begin. Follow the setup wizard, leaving the default settings alone. Once installation is complete, click ‘Run Plex Media Server on exit’ and ‘Finish.

3. Configure Plex
Right-click on Plex taskbar’s notification area icon and select ‘Media Manager.‘ If you’re using Internet Explorer, turn on Intranet settings when prompted and click the bar at the top of the screen to install Google Chrome Frame. When the pop-up appears, click ‘Activate Google Chrome Frame’ followed by ‘Accept and activate’ to make IE compatible with Plex Media Server. Set a name for the Media Server and click ‘Done.’

4. Create libraries of music, movies and photos
Plex’s naming guides explain how to name your media files so they’ll be easier to manage and locate.  A pop-up window will appear to help set up each library. Change the ‘Section type’ from Movies to TV Shows, Music or Photos as necessary, give your library an epic name and click on the + button to add media folders. Click ‘Add section’ when done and repeat for as many libraries as you want.

5. Configure Plex to connect to Plex Media server
On your Roku, go to ‘Plex Media Servers.’ Click on ‘Add Server Manually’ and enter the IP address of the computer you’ve installed Plex Media Server on. We recommend setting up a Static IP address or DHCP reservation on this computer.

Congrats – you should now be able to stream media from your computer to the big screen with your Roku!

Posted in How-to, Roku | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for May 18

TGIF! We’re taking our Roku on the road this weekend. Here are some great new picks to keep you entertained whether you’re streaming from the beach or the living room. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!

Netflix New Releases:

  • Drive- A quiet Hollywood stuntman (Ryan Gosling) falls for his lovely neighbor, but everything changes when her violent husband is released from prison (2011)
  • Archer Seasons 1-2- Superspy Sterling Archer has the coolest gadgets, but he still has issues when it comes to dealing with his boss – who also is his mom (2011)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic- This one’s for the kids, but you just might enjoy the enchanted land of Equestria despite yourself (2010)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit : Strange Beauty- A grim murder leads the detectives into the bizarre underworld of the body modification subculture (2012)
  • Suburgatory: The Motherload- Tessa feels a void as Chatswin celebrates mothers (2012)
  • Community: Digital Estate Planning- Pierce is summoned to Hawthorne Enterprises to discuss his inheritance with his deceased father’s former right-hand man (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Ghost Recon Alpha- This intense short film is also a prequel to Ubisoft’s upcoming Tom Clancy game. Watch closely – there’s a secret weapon unlock code hidden somewhere in the running time (2012)
  • MoonSam Rockwell journeys to the dark side of the moon in a beguiling sci-fi full of hallucinatory flashbacks and smart surprises (2009)
  • It Might Get Loud- Jack White, The Edge and Jimmy Page demonstrate how the electric guitar is wired straight into the heart of rock ‘n’ roll  in a documentary that goes to eleven (2009)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Shooter- Mark Wahlberg stars as a former Marine Corps sniper who leaves the military after a mission goes bad. Reluctantly pressed back into service, he is double-crossed again (2007)
  • Star Trek: Insurrection- When the crew of the Enterprise learn of a Federation plot against the inhabitants of a unique planet, Capt. Picard begins an open rebellion (1998)
  • Clear and Present Danger- CIA Analyst Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel (1994)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Mad Men: Dark Shadows- Sally faces a challenge, while Roger seeks new business (2012)
  • The Vow- Inspired by a true story, The Vow tells the story of a husband (Channing Tatum) who must regain the love of his wife (Rachel McAdams) after a coma steals the past five years of her memories (2012)
  • The Grey- Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness (2012)
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TWC customers can watch HBO GO on Roku

Hi there. As you all know, we’re always striving to improve the selection of entertainment available on Roku, either by adding more channels (we’re now at more than 500 today!) or by improving the experience of existing channels.

We’re thrilled to announce that customers who have the HBO GO app through Time Warner Cable, Optimum and Bright House Networks can now access HBO GO on their Roku players! TWC is one of the largest cable operators in America, so this is clearly a huge benefit for Roku customers who live in their respective service areas. You can see the TWC announcement on their blog here. For a full listing of cable and satellite providers who support HBO GO on Roku, click here.

If you haven’t tried HBO GO yet—well, it’s awesome. Not only is the movie and TV series selection huge, unique and fresh, it’s just incredibly easy to browse and find something great to watch. I was hooked after blasting through a season of Entourage in a weekend.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Happy streaming!

Posted in Roku | 22 Comments

Update available for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD

The team here at Roku has been hard at work on another software update for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD players. Rolling out today, Roku software version 4.7 contains several “under the hood” improvements and fixes:

  • Added support for channels that use Microsoft Smooth Streaming
  • Added improvements to support several new partner channels to launch in 2012
  • Improved stability of the new Roku HD player
  • Improved Roku device discovery on Roku iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Fixed a bug related to French localization

The Roku software update will be pushed automatically to all connected Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD players over the next 48 hours. To get it now, select Settings > Software update > Check now from your Roku player.

Information on what we added in the previous 4.6 release can be found here.

Stream on.

Posted in Announcements, Roku News | Tagged , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Movie moms we love to hate

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and we’ve rounded up the top ten most wretched TV and movie moms to remind you just how lucky you are. Now tuck your shirt in, comb your hair, and go give Mom a big hug.

  • Arrested Development- Lucille Bluth tells her children that vodka goes bad if it isn’t consumed in one sitting. Awful or awesome? A little bit of both. (Netflix)
  • Mommie Dearest- “No…wire…hangers! EVER!” Joan Crawford is a manic, abusive mother who takes out her own issues on her young daughter. (Amazon Prime)
  • The Killing- Detective Linden is so consumed by a case that she neglects her son, leaving him alone in seedy motels while she works day and night. (Netflix)
  • Carrie- Carrie’s mom stabs her in the back to “save” her from the devil. Who needs enemies with a mom like Margaret! (Amazon Instant Video)
  • Mad Men- A cold and self-involved mother, Betty Draper is more interested in the contents of her closet than her own children. (Netflix & Amazon Instant Video)
  • American Pie- Stifler’s mom has zero sexual boundaries and pays more attention to his male friends than she does to her son. (Amazon Instant Video)
  • The Goonies- Mama Fratelli imprisons one hapless son in the basement and makes the other two miserable. (Amazon Instant Video)
  • The Graduate- The original cougar, Mrs. Robinson seduces a friend’s teenage son and attempts destroy his budding relationship with her daughter. (Netflix)
  • Weeds- A reckless suburban drug dealer does not a good mom make. Nuff said. (Netflix)
  • Southpark- Liane Cartman sleeps with a football team, the entire town of Southpark AND cyborg Bill Cosby. We don’t know whether to be appalled or impressed! (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video & Hulu Plus)

Which TV and movie moms do you love to hate? Share ‘em in the comments.

 

 

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