Much of my time has been wasted trying to figure out how to change Amazon accounts from the Roku app. So I thought I’d write this post up to save others the trip. It would be wonderful to add multiple accounts, but the app only allows you to use one account at a time. If you want to switch accounts, the only way is to unregister the device. Here’s how.
I have a PC in my living room that rocks Windows Media Center for recording TV. The bedroom is where the Roku is located. I thought it would be oh so nice to be able to play some of my Windows Media Center recordings on the Roku. I had to find a solution for this. Here are the steps you can take to get started.
After listening to Dave Grohl on the Nerdist Podcast, I got a great feel for what he’s all about. Grohl is that creative guy any artist would like to be. His love of making music is unmatched. On the podcast, he was pitching a movie he directed called “Sound City”. The movie is about the Sound City recording studio in Los Angeles, California. A special place in Grohl’s heart where many classic rock albums were recorded, including Nirvana’s Nevermind. I love music history, and I watch the “Classic Albums” documentaries on Netflix religiously. I figured this documentary would be worth the $9.99 purchase. So I took a shot and bought it.
Of all professional sports, the NFL is probably the worst when it comes to providing fans with options to stream games online. The main reason for this is because of DirecTV’s exclusive deal with the NFL for rights to the games. This leaves very few options for cable cutters. There are a handful of ways to watch NFL games online though. Some of them are illegal, but I’m not going to cover that stuff that in this post since most of them require you to install a player nobody should trust. Here are a few legal options you can use for enjoying the NFL over the Net.
The Roku has amazed me with many of its features. It seemed only natural that I’d be able to connect a keyboard to its USB port and use it to navigate and type. That doesn’t work though. Nor is there a Bluetooth keyboard solution available. It’s the one missing feature that would make the Roku absolutely perfect. Typing using the standard remote control is aggravating. There are a few handy alternatives for people who absolutely must use a keyboard with their Roku.
Use your smartphone or tablet to control your Roku, right from the Roku official app. Not only does the app have a keyboard, but you can also speak commands to change the channel. Commands don’t work to call up individual movies, but it’s still a nice feature. The keyboard (and the entire app) only works vertically, which is perplexing since the keyboard would work so much smoother sideways. The Roku app is available for Android and iOS. Windows Phone users can settle for a number of third-party Roku apps.
This handy web-based app will connect to your Roku player via your home network and allow you to use the standard arrow controls as well as a keyboard. You can use the website from almost any web browser including Android’s stock browser and Safari for iOS. Just type in the IP address to your Roku on the Setting screen (the scan option didn’t work for me) and you can instantly control your Roku.
Those are the best keyboard connection solutions we could find. How do you use a keyboard with your Roku? We want to hear about it in our comments section.
After installing a PC in my living room and slapping Windows Media Center on it, I was off and running with the entertainment solution I always wanted. I didn’t think ahead though, and used a standard keyboard and mouse with it. This combo doesn’t function well in a Living Room, so I set out on a quest to find the perfect keyboard.
A month ago, I wrote about a universal remote that worked with my Roku device. I was thrilled that such a low-priced remote worked with the video streaming device. After a month of enjoying the remote, I have discovered that it works with many other devices I didn’t expect. A co-worker of mine told me she has the same Sony RM-VZ320 remote and it works great for her Apple TV box.
After reading some of the reviews on Amazon, I confirmed that many customers are using the remote on tons of unexpected devices like the Apple TV and XBox 360. I had to test this for myself. I was shocked to find that it worked just as well on Apple TV and XBox as it did for my Roku. There were a few hiccups here and there. For example, I couldn’t figure out how to back out of a screen when using Hulu Plus. Even with these types of hiccups, it may be the best remote that’s under $20, ever!
Some people may jump for one of the programmable remotes that are a little more pricey to control such devices. Those are great for some people. You can program custom buttons and put them wherever you want on the screen. But if you’re in my income bracket and don’t mind a giant remote that’s filled with buttons you’ll never use, The Sony RM-VZ320 is the way to go. Just look at all off the remote codes available for video accessories.
You can see the complete list of codes for the Sony RM-VZ320 on Sony’s website.
My favorite feature of the Roku Media Player is the USB port. You can watch MP4, M4V, and MKV video files from a USB Drive. How do you watch those files though? Here are the steps:
1. Add the Roku USB Media Player Channel. You can add it to your account via the Roku website or find it under the Music or Photos & Video categories in the Channel Store.
2. Plug the USB drive into the USB port on the Roku.
3. Open the USB Media Player channel and select “Movies”.
4. A list of videos will appear. Select the one you want to watch and enjoy.
You can use the normal Play, Pause, Forward, and Rewind buttons just as you can with most other Roku channels.
Any Netflix Instant user will tell you that the Netflix search engine is horrid. You can never find exactly what you’re looking for. The browsing capability is even worse. Many movies can only be found after scrolling for an eternity. That’s why services like Moreflicks are handy.
The new site not only provides a way to browse and search Netflix that makes more sense, it can also search Hulu, Vudu, BBC iPlayer, Fox and Crackle. It even marks the movies that are expiring soon, so you can be sure to catch those flicks you’ve been thinking of watching before they disappear.
Give it a try at Moreflicks.com.
So you’re interested in using the Netflix Instant service. For the best experience, you’ll need to ensure that your Internet connection is fast enough to support streaming high quality video without a hiccup. So how fast does your Internet connection need to be? Well, it depends on how you intend to use the service.
Netflix requires a connection that is capable of at least 0.5 Megabits per second. That is the bare minimum though, and the video quality my not be all that great with that slow of a connection.
A 1.5 Mbps connection is recommended to stream standard, non-HD video. If you want to view HD quality video though, the recommendations are as follows:
- 3.0 Mbps for DVD quality
- 5.0 Mbps for HD
- 7.0 Mbps for Super HD
- 12 Mbps for 3D
You can change the quality of your Netflix Instant video to accommodate your connection by visiting the video quality settings page on Netflix.
The recommendations above don’t account for your environment. Your networking equipment may slow things down a bit. So if you plan on streaming Netflix to a bedroom in a corner of your home that is far away from your wireless router, you may not get the performance you expect. Test out your connection by visiting SpeedTest.net to ensure you have a connection that is speedy enough for your needs.
If you want the capability of streaming video on multiple devices in your home, judging what kind of connection becomes even more complex. There are too many variables to say for sure what will work. For an example though, I will tell you that my Internet provider serves a 50Mbps option, and that’s what I need to confidently stream HD video from 3 devices in my home.
Well, hopefully you now know everything you need to know about how fast of an Internet connection you need for your Netflix Instant needs. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.