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.
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:
If you live in the United States and plan on using Netflix, Hulu or Pandora while traveling abroad, you may be shocked to find that your entertainment options will be entirely different. If Netflix detects you are using an Internet connection from Canada, the United Kingdom or any other country, it will change your selection of movies and shows.
If you don’t want to miss out on your American favorites while holed up in a hotel, you may want to try the Media Hint plugin for Firefox and Google Chrome. Just download and install the plugin and you’re done. There’s absolutely zero configuration needed. The plugin will automatically redirect your Internet connection through proxy servers within the United States once it’s installed in your web browser. Then you can enjoy all the American Netflix Instant content you like from almost anywhere in the world.
Watching Netflix Instant can quickly use up your monthly Internet bandwidth allocation. Fortunately, Netflix provides customers the ability to adjust the video quality so that you don’t exceed your limit. You can visit the Manage Video Quality page by selecting “Your Account”, then “Manage Video Quality”. From there, you can make the selection that works best for your Internet plan.
It’s huge, ugly and emits more heat than your furnace. That old analog TV has been sitting there, unused for months. What should you do with it? Most people would give it away or throw it in the trash. I think old analog TVs still have a place in this world though. Especially when devices like the Roku work so well with it.
If your old analog TV has composite connectors, the Roku comes with everything you need. Connecting a Roku instantly makes any old analog TV a modern entertainment solution, giving you access to services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Sure the picture isn’t in high definition, but if your TV can do 480i, it’s still a beautiful picture.
So find room in your kitchen, office or even your bathroom for that that giant tube that’s just been sitting around. It’s still got some years left.
Update: Since I wrote this post, the Roku 3 has since arrived. While the Roku 1 and 2 will work with an analog TV, the Roku 3 will not unless you have a converter box.
It’s sometimes difficult to identify whether or not a TV supports a digital connection. Some sets may look new enough, but only support an analog connection. So how do you know if a TV is digital?
About 8 months ago, I decided to take the plunge and build a PC just for use on my TV. I did this because I wanted to enjoy any streaming service I wanted from the comfort of my living room. Little did I know the tremendous difference it would make in my life. It’s been a great experience. So great, that I don’t think I could ever not have a PC attached to my TV. Here are some top reasons why.
After finishing the last few episodes of Breaking Bad today, I noticed a new feature had been added to Netflix that I had been waiting for a long time. Now when an episode has finished playing on Netflix, it will automatically start playing the next episode. This feature is a must-have for those of us who like to fall asleep to the sound of their favorite TV show. It seemed like Netflix was never going to implement such a feature, since it would consume way more bandwidth in the event that users leave shows autorun for long periods of time.
The auto-play feature doesn’t appear to be available yet on devices like the PS3 or the Roku, but PC users can enjoy it, and I hope it gets added to every device soon.