2 Jan 2014 Rich   » (Master)


My "I don't need it but I want it" technology purchase this Christmas was a Roku.

I spent several hours early on the Christmas break trying to build a XBMC raspberry pi media center to act as an office jukebox. This worked ok, but I learned two things. One, it doesn't like to run "headless" (ie, without an active screen) and two, you really need a powered USB hub if you're going to plug in any non-trivial (ie, not a keyboard) USB devices, such as a wifi dongle or a USB hard drive.

Anyways, as fun as that was, I wanted something more polished, and picked up the Roku 3 at Radio Shack. In addition to playing my music collection, it can also do Pandora, Netflix, and a few thousand other things.

So, it's kind of overkill for what I wanted - just an easy way to play my music with a simple remote control - it's a fun toy, and also a great way to watch Netflix in the evening.

It's also interesting to compare this with the Google Chromecast that I picked up at LinuxCon a few months ago. While the Chromecast is a cool device, it's *way* behind Roku in terms of content and apps, and it's going to take a lot of catching up before I'd consider using it in place of the Roku. I'm sure that they'll get more content, but they may have already lost the race.

Syndicated 2014-01-02 15:23:14 from Notes In The Margin

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