Discussion:
Fire TV Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Roku ??
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David Kaye
2016-02-06 02:06:58 UTC
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Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
most viewers, or should I go with all 3? Also, are there downfalls to any
of them? I've only set up Chromecast and that was quick. My housemate set
up Fire Stick and that was easy, too. I have a feeling that Roku may have
the most market penetration, but can't find any stats to back this up.

So, you folks who do Internet for a living, what's the status out there --
Chromecast, Roku, or Fire Stick? Or something else?
Roy
2016-02-06 06:10:35 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
most viewers, or should I go with all 3? Also, are there downfalls to any
of them? I've only set up Chromecast and that was quick. My housemate set
up Fire Stick and that was easy, too. I have a feeling that Roku may have
the most market penetration, but can't find any stats to back this up.
So, you folks who do Internet for a living, what's the status out there --
Chromecast, Roku, or Fire Stick? Or something else?
Have you looked at PlayOn?

https://www.playon.tv/features

Adds DVR to your streaming
David Kaye
2016-02-06 10:13:20 UTC
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Post by Roy
Have you looked at PlayOn?
https://www.playon.tv/features
Adds DVR to your streaming
According to the website you need a product such as Roku or Chromecast to
use with Playon. So, Playon is of no use to me.
Roy
2016-02-06 20:15:11 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by Roy
Have you looked at PlayOn?
https://www.playon.tv/features
Adds DVR to your streaming
According to the website you need a product such as Roku or Chromecast to
use with Playon. So, Playon is of no use to me.
If you want to watch video on your TV then that is true. However, you
don't need a lot of bells and whistles (or apps) in the streaming
device. It streams from the PlayOn computer.
David Kaye
2016-02-07 01:34:52 UTC
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Post by Roy
If you want to watch video on your TV then that is true. However, you
don't need a lot of bells and whistles (or apps) in the streaming device.
It streams from the PlayOn computer.
What I'm doing is not viewing but launching a video channel (eventually
several). Originally I was going to distribute DVDs, but after one big
initial order I haven't had any more sales. Something appears to be wrong
with the DVD model. So, I decided to stream on YouTube, but it's not
suitable for what I need. So, the next option was going either with a cable
TV channel or streaming. A cable channel is too expensive since apparently
you have to lease the entire 9 county Bay Area, rather than just a city or
two. So, streaming it is.
David Arnstein
2016-02-06 18:03:59 UTC
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Chromecast has a limited collection of apps, but it is dirt cheap.

Amazon's fire stick is a bit better, but the collection of apps is
tilted towards Amazon's services, obviously.

The real contest is between Roku and Apple TV. I have a Roku and it is
pleasant to use. It has countless apps, although most of them are
rather lame. But you get all of the major ones except Apple's
services. Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, the lot.

The Roku 2 is very good. The Roku 3 might have more features than you
need, but it has better remote: RF instead of optical.

I have not tried Apple TV. You might be able to try it at an Apple
Store.
--
David Arnstein (00)
arnstein+***@pobox.com {{ }}
^^
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-06 21:23:02 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
most viewers, or should I go with all 3? Also, are there downfalls to any
of them? I've only set up Chromecast and that was quick. My housemate set
up Fire Stick and that was easy, too. I have a feeling that Roku may have
the most market penetration, but can't find any stats to back this up.
So, you folks who do Internet for a living, what's the status out there --
Chromecast, Roku, or Fire Stick? Or something else?
I've had a Chromecast for over 2 years. It was very iffy because it needs two way communication between the controller which can be an Android phone or tablet even if the app redirects a stream over the Internet directly to the Chromecast. The picture quality was nice though. Then last year they released an Ethernet adapter for it so I could run it off my router than wifi. Two days later a client brought me an NVidia Shield TV which also has Chromecast. It's more of a Cadillac in this market and primarily a game machine but also it is a Chromecast device and has an Ethernet port.

When I first got the Chromecast I would "cast" shows on Hulu that were web only to the TV and occasionally get the fabled "Blue Screen of Death." Figured if I was going to do that I might as well screen record and cut out the commercials or put chapter markers in to skip over them.

Amazon is an also ran and Google will have the most enabled apps. Android TV is taking a while to catch on but a number of mainstream apps are available. I wanted to know how big the files that Netflix and Hulu are serving so I wrote a simple Android TV app that can track that.

Roku has been around awhile but I don't have one so can't comment on it. Most of the services not available as an Android TV app I can run on my BD player.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-06 21:25:06 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
most viewers, or should I go with all 3? Also, are there downfalls to any
of them? I've only set up Chromecast and that was quick. My housemate set
up Fire Stick and that was easy, too. I have a feeling that Roku may have
the most market penetration, but can't find any stats to back this up.
So, you folks who do Internet for a living, what's the status out there --
Chromecast, Roku, or Fire Stick? Or something else?
BTW, how are you going stream? Or are you gong to use a service that does that. I tried playing around with DASH encoding a couple years back but couldn't get it running right on my Apache server (and I wasn't the only one). I was looking recently and see that of course things are simpler and easier so will be playing around with it again.
David Kaye
2016-02-07 01:36:57 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
BTW, how are you going stream? Or are you gong to use a service that does
that.
Much as I hate Amazon, they are expert at streaming (after all, they run
Netflix's streams). But the key is getting a platform that is in widespread
use. It looks like Roku is the one. The SDK for Roku is a bitch, but I'll
play with it and see if I can launch something privately first.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-07 20:46:58 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
BTW, how are you going stream? Or are you gong to use a service that does
that.
Much as I hate Amazon, they are expert at streaming (after all, they run
Netflix's streams). But the key is getting a platform that is in widespread
use. It looks like Roku is the one. The SDK for Roku is a bitch, but I'll
play with it and see if I can launch something privately first.
You're talking about a CDN (Content Distribution Network). There's also Akamai which Hulu and a lot other places including local radio uses. They may have a program for small business. Check with them.

Yup, building an app is going to be a pain but there are probably even some template or pre-builts you can use. Do a search. Or just a simple app with a WebView that connects to an HTML5 video stream.

These are fairly easy to do with Android but you need to know a bit about Android first.
David Kaye
2016-02-08 12:01:26 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
You're talking about a CDN (Content Distribution Network). There's also
Akamai which
Hulu and a lot other places including local radio uses.
No, I'm talking about a platform. From what I know, platforms such as Roku
will link to any service that cen stream. They get balky when streaming is
slow or erratic (obviously because it reflects badly on their service). So,
the distribution network isn't at issue. I'm going with Vimeo or Amazon, or
maybe a third one.
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Yup, building an app is going to be a pain but there are probably even
some template
or pre-builts you can use. Do a search. Or just a simple app with a
WebView that
connects to an HTML5 video stream.
These are fairly easy to do with Android but you need to know a bit about Android first.
Nope. Gotta work on a TV because the content is designed for customers. I
have videos that appeal to people who sit in bars, and I have advertising
lined up by companies that want to reach them. Gotta be TV.

I have been futzing around (a technical term) with the Roku SDK. Their
reference has a bunch of examples and whatnot, so I'm not doing too badly so
far.

Actually, I uploaded a test to Roku and it seems to work in a fairly
rudimentary way. I have to resize graphics and get the autoplay feature to
work, stuff like that. This past 16 hours I got a lot accomplished. And
Best Buy sold me its Roku unit (the one with the dongle that plugs into the
TV) for just $39.95, which is $10 off their web page price.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-08 19:50:48 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
You're talking about a CDN (Content Distribution Network). There's also
Akamai which
Hulu and a lot other places including local radio uses.
No, I'm talking about a platform. From what I know, platforms such as Roku
will link to any service that cen stream. They get balky when streaming is
slow or erratic (obviously because it reflects badly on their service). So,
the distribution network isn't at issue. I'm going with Vimeo or Amazon, or
maybe a third one.
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Yup, building an app is going to be a pain but there are probably even
some template
or pre-builts you can use. Do a search. Or just a simple app with a
WebView that
connects to an HTML5 video stream.
These are fairly easy to do with Android but you need to know a bit about
Android first.
Nope. Gotta work on a TV because the content is designed for customers. I
have videos that appeal to people who sit in bars, and I have advertising
lined up by companies that want to reach them. Gotta be TV.
I have been futzing around (a technical term) with the Roku SDK. Their
reference has a bunch of examples and whatnot, so I'm not doing too badly so
far.
Actually, I uploaded a test to Roku and it seems to work in a fairly
rudimentary way. I have to resize graphics and get the autoplay feature to
work, stuff like that. This past 16 hours I got a lot accomplished. And
Best Buy sold me its Roku unit (the one with the dongle that plugs into the
TV) for just $39.95, which is $10 off their web page price.
All I can see is you barely understand what you're trying to do. I understand that you want it to hook up to a TV. I understand that you want to stream customized stuff off the Internet from a CDN. I've been working with video in digital format since the late 1980s (back then on the Amiga).

Just how "open" is the Roku? Do you need to submit the app to them? Or can you install it yourself? On Android TV (units as low as around $50) you can just test and install the app yourself.

The reference to HTML5 was in streaming using a webview on the device that can display using HTML5 (no flash player needed). Go to W3Schools.com and see what I mean. The Android TV will fill the screen on the TV using that webview. Bringing up a webview on an Android app is fairly trivial.
David Kaye
2016-02-08 21:43:40 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
All I can see is you barely understand what you're trying to do.
I'm an expert at steep learning curves. So far I've written some decent
code and tested it on Roku and it works flawlessly. Not bad for 20 hours so
far. There was one bug, a video which stopped midway, and I had to go back
to the main Roku menu. I'm looking into the video now to see if there's a
problem in the file itself.
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
I understand that you want it to hook up to a TV. I understand that you
want to stream
customized stuff off the Internet from a CDN.
I have the videos; it's a matter of where I want to store them. I'm leaning
toward Amazon since they handle Netflix, so they obviously have the capacity
and the redundancy.
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
Just how "open" is the Roku? Do you need to submit the app to them?
Or can you install it yourself? On Android TV (units as low as around
$50)
you can just test and install the app yourself.
Yes, I have to submit the app to them; they take a week on average to send
back approval. I have no problem with that. The only problem I have (which
hasn't risen yet) is that there are copyright differences between the USA
and other countries, so I have to absolutely make sure that Roku doesn't
connect outside the USA. They told me that this is not a problem for them,
as they have rights issues come up on channels all the time.

As for installing it myself on units; I don't want to do that at all. My
hands will be full producing new videos and promoting the channel, as well
as keeping the advertisers happy. I want something that is turnkey, and it
looks like once I get the app running for several hundred hours flawlessly,
then I'll turn it over to Roku and have them deal with it.

Once this gets off the ground (if it does), I plan to get out of the tech
support business. I already have an investor lined up in case the money
gets tight.
sms
2016-02-07 20:31:43 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
most viewers, or should I go with all 3? Also, are there downfalls to any
of them? I've only set up Chromecast and that was quick. My housemate set
up Fire Stick and that was easy, too. I have a feeling that Roku may have
the most market penetration, but can't find any stats to back this up.
So, you folks who do Internet for a living, what's the status out there --
Chromecast, Roku, or Fire Stick? Or something else?
The box just gives you access to various streaming services, you don't
put it on the platform itself.

I chose Roku because it was the only one that offered Amazon Prime,
Netflix, Hulu, Tablo, and MirrorLink.

Tablo is an OTA DVR which I was thinking of getting now that I cancelled
satellite TV service and have only the minimum SD cable from Comcast
(included with my Internet service). The DVR is really a "video server"
which records the video then sends it out via wireless or 100BaseT.

Mirrorlink allows you to stream video (or anything on your Android
device's screen) to the TV through the Roku.

<http://www.techtimes.com/articles/112147/20151201/chromecast-tops-apple-tv-fire-tv-and-roku-as-bestselling-media-streaming-device.htm>
David Kaye
2016-02-08 11:54:14 UTC
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The box just gives you access to various streaming services, you don't put
it on the platform itself.
Yeah, but it's the platform I'm interested in. I have content I'm trying to
get into bars and restaurants. The YouTube model doesn't work (people don't
watch long enough). The DVD model doesn't work (people don't buy enough).
So, I'm trying out the streaming platform model.

I'm trying this model because I'm trying to figure out the best way to get
into food and beverage locations by overcoming inertia. While most
bars/restaurants now have TVs, not so many have either web access (killing
the YouTube model) or DVD players (killing the DVD model). But for $49 and
an existing wireless connection (most places have internet due to their
bookkeeping, credit card, and supply ordering needs), it looks like a
streaming platform such as Roku might be the way to go.
I chose Roku because it was the only one that offered Amazon Prime,
Netflix, Hulu, Tablo, and MirrorLink.
I hooked up Roku tonight. The setup was flawless.
d***@03.usenet.us.com
2016-02-09 01:10:39 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Okay, looks like I'm going to be putting streaming content online. These
are the 3 major choices of places. Does anybody here know which has the
I might misunderstand your statement, or you might misunderstand the
hosting model.
Chromecast and Roku do not host any content, they display content.
You register your hosting provider with Roku and they make it available as
a channel for someone to view on a Roku device.

Chromecast is much the same. You provide a URL to the Chromecast, and it
fetches content from there.
--
Clarence A Dold - Santa Rosa, CA, USA GPS: 38.47,-122.65
David Kaye
2016-02-09 10:31:39 UTC
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Post by d***@03.usenet.us.com
I might misunderstand your statement, or you might misunderstand the
hosting model.
Chromecast and Roku do not host any content, they display content.
Yes, I realize that. This is why I suggested that Amazon and Vimeo might be
good servers. But my question was about which platform was the most popular
and most usable.

It's all about platforms. Now I'm told that Apple TV is another
up-and-comer, so it looks like I'll have to investigate how that operates
and maybe include it in my game plan.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-09 19:56:20 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by d***@03.usenet.us.com
I might misunderstand your statement, or you might misunderstand the
hosting model.
Chromecast and Roku do not host any content, they display content.
Yes, I realize that. This is why I suggested that Amazon and Vimeo might be
good servers. But my question was about which platform was the most popular
and most usable.
It's all about platforms. Now I'm told that Apple TV is another
up-and-comer, so it looks like I'll have to investigate how that operates
and maybe include it in my game plan.
A quick search revealed that there are even local CDNs that can be used for small businesses. And if you use GoDaddy (think you mention you did unless you were able to flee) they have a CDN too.
David Kaye
2016-02-09 22:27:42 UTC
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Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
A quick search revealed that there are even local CDNs that can be used
for small businesses. And if you use GoDaddy (think you mention you did
unless you were able to flee) they have a CDN too.
I would never use my registrar for anything but domain names because I don't
want to put all my eggs in one basket. If my hosting company (1and1) fails,
I can switch to another in moments. If my domain company fails or gets too
pricey, I can move to another domain company quickly. I've begun to think
about that as GoDaddy has raised some of my domain rates to $20.

If I'm going to do this the right way, meaning to pretend to be a Big Boy in
the world of streaming TV, I've got to be able to feed video to Roku super
fast. As it is, 1and1 does a pretty good job.
n***@sbcglobal.net
2016-02-10 20:55:19 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
Post by n***@sbcglobal.net
A quick search revealed that there are even local CDNs that can be used
for small businesses. And if you use GoDaddy (think you mention you did
unless you were able to flee) they have a CDN too.
I would never use my registrar for anything but domain names because I don't
want to put all my eggs in one basket. If my hosting company (1and1) fails,
I can switch to another in moments. If my domain company fails or gets too
pricey, I can move to another domain company quickly. I've begun to think
about that as GoDaddy has raised some of my domain rates to $20.
I thought that too but when I renewed they were auto-discounted.

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