From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
The Roku Streaming Player (or simply Roku) is a series of set-top boxes manufactured by Roku, Inc. Over-the-top content is provided by Roku partners in the form of channels. Users can add or remove different channels from the Roku Channel Store. In May 2011, Roku stated the devices had over one million viewers and had delivered 15 million channel downloads.
Both on-demand content and live streaming are supported by the devices. For live TV streams, Roku supports Apple HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) adaptive streaming technology. Both free and paid "channels" are available and include services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, WWE Network, HBO Go, and others. Some games are available for the devices.
Roku announced the first Netflix Internet video streaming receiver box—the Roku DVP—on May 20, 2008. The NXP-powered device runs Linux. Before Autumn 2010, three versions of the Roku DVP were available: the Roku SD, HD, and HD-XR. The Roku SD only streams standard definition (SD) content. The Roku HD streams both SD and HD (720p) content. The Roku SD and HD both have an Ethernet connection and built in 802.11g Wi‑Fi compatible with wireless b, g, and n routers. Their third box was the Roku HD-XR, which streams both SD and HD (720p and 1080p) content, has built in dual-band 802.11n WiFi support, and has a USB port on the back.
Roku revamped its lineup of devices in September 2010. The revised HD became the basic model of the line, offering 720p resolution, 802.11g WiFi reception (as well as an Ethernet connection), and an HDMI output. The middle of the line model, the XD, adds 1080p resolution (if channel programmers provide it), an enhanced remote with replay capabilities, and single-band wireless-n WiFi. The flagship XD|S offers the same feature set as the XD but also adds component video and optical audio outputs, dual-band wireless N, and a USB port for playing videos, photos, and music (USB Playback Support is available as of February 1, 2011).
On July 20, 2011, Roku updated its product lineup with three new boxes, each in the same price range as before. However, the Ethernet connection and remote with motion control for games are available only on the XS model. The Roku Game Remote uses Hillcrest Labs' Freespace motion control technology, so users can control games with natural gestures. The Netflix application was revamped for the Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS. The current models now provide the option of subtitles, when the program provides them.
The feature "Roku Search" was added on October 29, 2012. This feature allows users to search movie and TV show titles, actors and directors for multiple services on Roku such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go. The feature is only available on Roku 2, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku LT and HD, due to technical constraints on earlier models.
On May 14, 2013, an updated software interface was released for second generation Roku units. This is the same interface that was introduced with the release of their third generation player.
On July 26, 2013, BSkyB launched a Now TV-branded Roku LT, allowing users to stream Now TV content to their television, as well as being able to access content from BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Spotify and Sky News. The Now TV-branded Roku LT lacks access to Netflix, however.
On March 5, 2013, Roku announced the release of their updated media player, Roku 3, with a CPU that's five times faster than the Roku 2 XS, and a Wi-Fi Direct remote in place of Bluetooth. The Roku 3 remote includes a headphone jack (with headphones provided) for a private listening mode.
|Model||Introduced||Discontinued||Video Outputs||Video Resolutions||Audio Output||Network||USB||Remote||Processor||Channel Memory||micro|
|Composite, S-Video||Component, HDMI||480i / 480p||720p / 1080p||Analog||Optical / HDMI||Ethernet||802.11|
|Roku DVP (N1000)||May 2008||Oct 2009||Both||Both||Both||720p||Yes||Both||Yes||b/g||No||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||64 MiB||No|
|Roku SD (N1050)||Oct 2009||Sep 2010||Composite||Neither||480i||Neither||Yes||Neither||Yes||b/g||No||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||64 MiB||No|
|Roku HD (N1100)||Nov 2009||Sep 2010||Both||Both||Both||720p||Yes||Both||Yes||b/g||No||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||64 MiB||No|
|Roku HD-XR (N1101)||Oct 2009||Sep 2010||Both||Both||Both||Both[fc 1]||Yes||Both||Yes||a/b/g/n dual-band||Yes||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku HD (2000)||Sep 2010||Jul 2011||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||Yes||b/g||No||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||64 MiB||No|
|Roku XD (2050)||Sep 2010||Jul 2011||Composite||HDMI||Both||Both[fc 1]||Yes||HDMI||Yes||b/g/n||No||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||64 MiB||No|
|Roku XDS (2100)||Sep 2010||Jul 2011||Composite||Both[fc 2]||Both||Both[fc 1]||Yes||Both||Yes||a/b/g/n dual-band||Yes||IR||PNX8935 400 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku LT (2400)||Nov 2011||Apr 2012||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR||BCM2835 600 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku LT (2450)||Apr 2012||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR||BCM7208 405 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku HD (2500)||Apr 2012||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR||BCM7208 405 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku 2 HD (3000)||Jul 2011||Apr 2012||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR[fc 3]||BCM2835 600 MHz||256 MiB||Yes|
|Roku 2 XD (3050)||Jul 2011||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||Both[fc 4]||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR[fc 3]||BCM2835 600 MHz||256 MiB||Yes|
|Roku 2 XS (3100)||Jul 2011||Mar 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||Both[fc 4]||Yes||HDMI||Yes||b/g/n||Yes||Bluetooth||BCM2835 600 MHz||256 MiB||Yes|
|Roku Streaming Stick, MHL (3400, 3420)||Oct 2012||Neither||MHL only||480p||Both[fc 5]||No||HDMI||No||b/g/n dual-band||No||Wi-Fi Direct||BCM2835 600 MHz||512 MiB||No|
|Roku Streaming Stick, HDMI (3500)||Mar 2014||Neither||HDMI||Neither||Both||No||HDMI||No||a/b/g/n dual-band||No||Wi-Fi Direct||BCM2835 600 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku LT (2700)||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||720p||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR||BCM7218 600 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku 1 (2710)||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||Both||Yes||HDMI||No||b/g/n||No||IR||BCM7218 600 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku 2 (2720)||Sep 2013||Composite||HDMI||Both||Both||Yes||HDMI||No||a/b/g/n dual-band||No||Wi-Fi Direct & IR||BCM7218 600 MHz||256 MiB||No|
|Roku 3 (4200)||Mar 2013||Neither||HDMI||Neither||Both||Remote[fc 6]||HDMI||Yes||a/b/g/n dual-band||Yes||Wi-Fi Direct & IR||BCM11130 900 MHz||256 MiB||Yes|
Also see Roku's product comparison table.
Content on the Roku DVP is provided by Roku partners, and are identified using the "channel" vernacular. Each separate channel supports content from one partner though some content partners have more than one channel. Users can add or remove different channels from the Roku Channel Store. In May 2011, Roku stated the DVP had over one million viewers and had delivered 15 million channel downloads. Both on-demand content and live streaming are supported by the devices. For live TV streams, Roku supports Apple HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) adaptive streaming technology. The primary movie channels which are available on Roku in the U.S. market are suppressed in Canada.
The Roku is an open-platform device with a freely available SDK that enables anyone to create new channels. The channels are written in a Roku-specific language called BrightScript, a scripting language the company calls "similar to Visual Basic".
Developers who wish to test their channels before a general release, or who wish to limit viewership, can create "private" channels that require a code be entered by the user in the account page of the Roku website. These private channels, which are not part of the official Roku Channel Store, are not reviewed or approved by Roku.
There is a NDK (Native Developer Kit) available, though it has added restrictions – see Roku developer question "How do I develop games for Roku?"
♦: Currently only available to cable and satellite subscribers of this service, no stand alone subscription is available.
†: Only available on Roku 1, Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku LT and HD models