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Type Corporation
Industry IT
Founded 2002
Headquarters Saratoga, California
Key people Anthony Wood, CEO
Products Roku LT, Roku 2 HD, XD, XS
Employees 50

Roku (pronounced "roh koo"),[1] is an American, privately-held, consumer electronics company that sells home digital media products. The Company is based in Saratoga, California.[2]



[edit] Company profile and products

The company was founded in October 2002, by ReplayTV founder Anthony Wood. 'Roku' means 'six' in Japanese, a reference to the six companies Wood has launched.

Roku's consumer products line-up includes:

  • the Roku SoundBridge, a network music player
  • the SoundBridge Radio, a network music player with built-in speakers and subwoofer, AM-FM receiver, volume-ramping alarm clock, preset buttons, SD slot and headphone jack.
  • the PhotoBridge HD1000 (discontinued product), a system for displaying images on a high-definition TV, as well as streaming MPEG video. The unit has four card readers on the front and can read from Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, SmartMedia Card, CompactFlash Card type II. The HD1000 has been discontinued.

Roku also produces:

  • the BrightSign solid-state media player, designed to drive HD displays in a retail environment.

Roku's audio products do not use internal storage but rely on Wi-Fi or Ethernet to stream digital audio over a network, either from Internet radio or a computer attached to the same network. Roku introduced the Radio Roku Internet radio directory in August 2007. Radio Roku provides a directory of Internet stations, accessible from a web browser or from SoundBridge players.

[edit] Digital video player

On May 20, 2008, Roku announced the first Netflix Internet video streaming receiver box, the Roku DVP. The NXP-powered device runs Linux.[3]

The XD/S has HDMI and component output for high fidelity video on new and older televisions

Prior to Autumn 2010, three versions of the Roku DVP were available: the Roku SD, HD, and HD-XR.[4] The Roku SD only streamed standard definition (SD) content.[5] The Roku HD streams both SD and HD (720p) content.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

In 2010, Roku revamped its lineup of devices: the revised HD is 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, 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 Feb 1st, 2011).[9][10]

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 is only available on the XS model.[11][12] The Roku Game Remote uses Hillcrest Labs' Freespace motion control technology, so users can control games with natural gestures.[13] The Netflix application was revamped for the Roku 2 and Roku LT. The current models, now provide the option of subtitles, when the program provides this aid.[14]

[edit] Feature comparison

Model Introduced Discontinued Video Outputs Video Resolutions Optical Audio Out Network USB Bluetooth Processor
Composite, S-Video Component, HDMI 480i / 480p 720p / 1080p Ethernet 802.11 Wireless
Roku DVP (N1000) May 2008 Oct 2009 Both Both Both 720p Yes Yes b/g No No PNX8935 [15][16][17]
Roku SD (N1050) Oct 2009 Sep 2010 Composite Neither 480i Neither No Yes b/g No No PNX8935 [18]
Roku HD (N1100) Nov 2009 Sep 2010 Both Both Both 720p Yes Yes b/g No No PNX8935 [18]
Roku HD-XR (N1101) Oct 2009 Sep 2010 Both Both Both Both Yes Yes a/b/g/n Yes No PNX8935 [18]
Roku HD (2000C) Sep 2010 Jul 2011 Composite HDMI Both 720p No Yes b/g No No PNX8935
Roku XD (2050X) Sep 2010 Jul 2011 Composite HDMI Both Both No Yes b/g/n No No PNX8935 [19]
Roku XDS (2100X) Sep 2010 Jul 2011 Composite Both Both Both Yes Yes a/b/g/n Yes No PNX8935 [17][20]
Roku LT (2400X) Nov 2011 Composite HDMI Both 720p No No b/g/n No No BCM2835 [21]
Roku 2 HD (3000X) Jul 2011 Composite HDMI Both 720p No No b/g/n No Yes BCM2835 [22]
Roku 2 XD (3050X) Jul 2011 Composite HDMI Both Both No No b/g/n No Yes BCM2835 [22]
Roku 2 XS (3100X) Jul 2011 Composite HDMI Both Both No Yes b/g/n Yes Yes BCM2835 [22][23]

Also see Roku's product comparison table.

[edit] Online Roku channels

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 US market are suppressed in Canada.

[edit] Service creation for Roku Player

The Roku is an open-platform device with a freely available SDK that enables anyone to create new channels.[24] The channels are written in a Roku-specific language called BrightScript, a scripting language the company calls "similar to VisualBasic".[25]

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.[26]

[edit] Services listing

Partial list of services currently available through the Roku Channel Store.[27][28]

[edit] Premium channels

[edit] Channels with both free and premium programming

[edit] Free channels

[edit] Games

♦: Currently only available to cable and satellite subscribers of this service, no stand alone subscription is available.
†: Only available on Roku 2 models

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Roku Forums • View topic - Rock You or Row Coo???". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Our Company". Roku. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  3. ^ Altavilla, Dave. "Inside The Tech Of The Netflix Player With Roku". HotHardware. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Roku Streaming Players | Roku HD Player, Roku XD Player and Roku XDS Player". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  5. ^ "Roku Labs Roku SD Home Theater Product Product Information". PCWorld. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  6. ^ Carnoy, David; Falcone, John P. (2010-09-24). "Roku N1100 HD player Review". CNET. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  7. ^ "What compatible Wi-Fi devices work with my Roku player? : Featured Questions". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  8. ^ "Roku HD XR Player Review - Watch CNET's Video Review". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  9. ^ RokuTom (2011-01-31). "Roku Forums • View topic - Roku USB Media Player launched". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  10. ^ "What media file types does the Roku USB Media Player channel support? : Featured Questions". Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  11. ^ Roku Expects User Base to Triple in 2011 Retrieved May 10,2011
  12. ^ Roku Hits 15 Million Channel DownloadsPDF
  13. ^ CED Magazine September 30, 2011. New Products - October 2011.
  14. ^ Introducing Roku 2
  15. ^ "NXP and Roku Enable Instant Enjoyment of New Release Movies" (Press release). 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "The Roku digital video player, powered by the PNX8935 multi-format source decoder from NXP" 
  16. ^ "Netflix Player source code released". Hack a Day. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  17. ^ a b Higgins, Tim (2010-09-29). "Roku XDS Reviewed - Inside". SmallNetBuilder. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "the original Roku and XDS, which both use Nexperia's PNX8935 multi-format source decoder. It's obvious that a newer version of the PNX8935 is used in the XDS, given the device's smaller size." 
  18. ^ a b c "MIPS-Based Products". Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "Roku HD-XR Digital Video Player ... Roku SD Digital Video Player ... Roku HD Digital Video Player ... Licensee Chip Used: PNX8935" 
  19. ^ Lueke, Alan (2010-11-12). "Netgear Roku XD: Streaming for the Masses". AnandTech. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "Looking inside, I discovered the NXP PNX8935 SoC." 
  20. ^ Detwiler, Bill (2011-01-14). "Roku XDS Teardown". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "XDS uses a Trident Microsystems / NXP Semiconductors PNX8935 multi-format source decoder." 
  21. ^ O'Brien, Terrence (2011-09-27). "Budget-friendly Roku LT pops up at the FCC as the 2400X (Updated with pics)". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "Inside is the same Broadcom 2835 SOC that powers the Roku 2 XD, XS, and HD" 
  22. ^ a b c O'Brien, Terrence (2011-06-29). "Roku 2 line passes through the FCC with modest hardware updates and a reset button". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "Inside that tiny case is a new Broadcom 2835 SOC" 
  23. ^ "Roku 2 XS 3100R Streaming Media Adapter". Hearst Electronic Products and iSuppli. 2011-10-26. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2011-11-11. "The new design twist on the 3100R is the use of a Broadcom (BCM2835) A/V Processor. ... BCM2835MIPPG, TE1119 P31, 136664 B3 W (Die Marking: Logo, BCM2708, 2010)" 
  24. ^ "Roku Bows Online Store". Home Media Magazine. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "What Are Private Channels?". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  27. ^ "Roku Channel Store". Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  28. ^ Roku device, "Roku Channel Store"
  29. ^ Fandor on Roku
  30. ^ Classical TV-Roku Users
  31. ^ Disney Short-Form Videos Now Available on Roku Retrieved September 21,2011
  32. ^
  33. ^ WTHR video on Roku Retrieved June 30, 2011

[edit] External links

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