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 through 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.
- 1 Roku Streaming Players
- 2 Online Roku channels
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Roku Streaming Players
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 & IR||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.
- 1080p at p24 or p30 only.
- The component video connector on the Roku XDS (2100X) is a nonstandard 3.5mm connector and a proprietary adapter cable, which is sold separately, is effectively required to use this. "What is the component cable?". Roku. July 22, 2010.
- Bluetooth remote optional.
- 1080p at p60 only.
- 1080p at p24.
- Analog audio output is available only through the headphone jack on the remote.
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 U.S. market are suppressed in Canada.
Service creation for Roku Player
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?"
- 3ABN (9 channel multiplex)
- ACC Digital Network
- Air 1
- Amazing Facts
- Amazon Cloud Player†
- Angie's List
- The Autism Channel
- Beyond Today TV
- The BW
- CBN TV
- CBS News (clips only)
- CNBC Real-Time
- CNET TV
- Comic Vine
- CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks
- Daystar Television Network
- Democracy Now!
- Drive-In Classics
- Cowboy Classics
- ET (clips only)
- EWTN (6 channel multiplex)
- Fox Business
- Fox News Channel
- Fox Now†♦
- Free Speech TV
- Funny Stuff and Cheese
- Giant Bomb
- God TV
- Gospel Broadcasting Network
- Havoc Television
- Hebraic Roots Network
- The Highway Girl
- Hope Channel
- HuffPost Live
- Inception Radio Network
- Jewelry Television
- Jewish Life Television
- Jupiter Broadcasting
- KLAS-TV News
- K-LOVE Radio
- Kung Fu Theater
- Liberty Bell Radio
- Life+Health Network
- Liquidation Channel
- Moonlight Movies
- Mormon Channel
- Myx TV
- NASA TV
- NBC News (clips only)
- Newsmax TV
- NFB Films (National Film Board of Canada)
- NRA Life of Duty
- Omniverse TV
- PBS Kids†
- The Pepe Martinez Show
- Positive Peak Radio & TV
- Proud Television
- Radio Paradise
- Radio Time
- RealPlayer Cloud†
- Roku Newscaster
- Roku Search†
- Rutgers Channel
- Rustavi 2
- Sail TV
- SEC Digital Network
- SHOUTcast Radio
- Sky News
- Smithsonian Channel
- Streamin' Garage
- Syfy (clips only)
- Tagesschau (Germany)
- TED Talks
- TMZ (clips only)
- TBN (8 channel multiplex)
- TWiT Netcast Network
- TYT Network
- United States Hockey League
- Wall Street Journal Live
- WeatherNation TV
- Weather Underground
- WISC News
- WTHR News
- YouTube(Roku 3, other models in 2014)
Channels with both free and premium programming
- Amazon Instant Video (U.S.only)
- Ameba (U.S. and Canada only)
- American Primetime TV
- AWE (TV network) (formerly WealthTV)
- Blockbuster on Demand†
- Disney Channel†♦
- Disney Junior†♦
- Disney XD†♦
- Epix ♦
- FlixFling (U.S. and Canada)
- Flix Universe
- HBO Go ♦
- Hulu Plus (U.S. only)
- Major League Soccer
- Midwest Cage Championship (MCC)
- Mobile Tribe
- Movie Vault
- MyTV (Arabic)
- Netflix (U.S. and UK only)
- NBA League Pass†
- NHL Gamecenter Live
- Nook Video†
- Now TV (UK and Ireland only)
- Rdio (U.S. and Canada only)
- Redbox Instant†
- Showtime Anytime†♦
- Skitter TV
- SpiritClips from Hallmark
- Sportskool (Multiple channels)
- Target Ticket†
- TWC TV†♦
- Warner Archive Instant
- Weiss Money Network
- Wieder.TV (German)
- WWE Network†
- Angry Birds (including special editions)†
- Brain Puck
- Castle Warriors†
- Danger Derby†
- Double Draw Solo Poker†
- Downhill Bowling 2†
- Dracula's Coffin†
- Four in a Row
- Frisbee Forever†
- Letter Mix
- Letter Mix-KJ
- Mah jongg
- Mahjong Fruits†
- Marble Puzzle
- Mouse About†
- Muffin Knight†
- Pac-Man Championship Edition†
- Retro Tennis
- Rope Rescue†
- Shut the Box
- Storm in a Tea Cup†
- Super Crossfire†
- Super Stickman Golf†
- Texas hold 'em
- Tic Tac Toe
- Video Poker
- Wheel of Fortune†
- You Don't Know Jack†
♦: 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
- Altavilla, Dave (May 29, 2008). "Inside The Tech Of The Netflix Player With Roku". HotHardware. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Roku Streaming Players | Roku HD Player, Roku XD Player and Roku XDS Player". Roku.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Roku Labs Roku SD Home Theater Product Product Information". PCWorld. November 24, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- Carnoy, David; Falcone, John P. (September 24, 2010). "Roku N1100 HD player Review". CNET. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "What compatible Wi-Fi devices work with my Roku player? : Featured Questions". Roku.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Roku HD XR Player Review – Watch CNET's Video Review". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "What media file types does the Roku USB Media Player channel support? : Featured Questions". Support.roku.com. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- Roku Expects User Base to Triple in 2011 Retrieved May 10, 2011
- CED Magazine September 30, 2011. New Products – October 2011.
- Introducing Roku 2
- Roku.com: Introducing Roku Search (In addition, see follow-up in "Comments" section from Roku) Retrieved October 29, 2012
- Rolling out the new Roku interface Retrieved May 16, 2013
- Martin, Chris (July 26, 2013). "Sky launches Now TV Box for £9.99". PC Advisor. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Roku 3, a faster and more powerful media player, to go on sale Retrieved March 15, 2013
- "NXP and Roku Enable Instant Enjoyment of New Release Movies" (Press release). March 4, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "The Roku digital video player, powered by the PNX8935 multi-format source decoder from NXP"
- "Netflix Player source code released". Hack a Day. July 2, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Higgins, Tim (September 29, 2010). "Roku XDS Reviewed – Inside". SmallNetBuilder. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "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."
- "MIPS-Based Products". Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "Roku HD-XR Digital Video Player ... Roku SD Digital Video Player ... Roku HD Digital Video Player ... Licensee Chip Used: PNX8935"
- Lueke, Alan (November 12, 2010). "Netgear Roku XD: Streaming for the Masses". AnandTech. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "Looking inside, I discovered the NXP PNX8935 SoC."
- Detwiler, Bill (January 14, 2011). "Roku XDS Teardown". TechRepublic. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "XDS uses a Trident Microsystems / NXP Semiconductors PNX8935 multi-format source decoder."
- O'Brien, Terrence (September 27, 2011). "Budget-friendly Roku LT pops up at the FCC as the 2400X (Updated with pics)". Engadget. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "Inside is the same Broadcom 2835 SOC that powers the Roku 2 XD, XS, and HD"
- "New Roku HD player hits the FCC with composite out, new remote, does away with microSD storage". Wireless Goodness. March 15, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- O'Brien, Terrence (June 29, 2011). "Roku 2 line passes through the FCC with modest hardware updates and a reset button". Engadget. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "Inside that tiny case is a new Broadcom 2835 SOC"
- "Roku 2 XS 3100R Streaming Media Adapter". Hearst Electronic Products and iSuppli. October 26, 2011. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. "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)"
- "Roku Bows Online Store". Home Media Magazine. November 23, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Developers". Roku. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "What Are Private Channels?". Roku.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Roku Channel Store". Roku.com. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- Roku device, "Roku Channel Store"
- Roku Channel Store: The BW
- Disney Short-Form Videos Now Available on Roku Retrieved September 21, 2011
- WTHR.com: WTHR video on Roku Retrieved June 30, 2011
- Variety: YouTube Channel Now Playing on Roku Retrieved December 17, 2013
- Fandor on Roku
- IndieFlix on Roku
- "SpiritClips from Hallmark". SpiritClips. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Roku Website
- Roku Channel Store
- Roku Player by Roku Review (cnet.com)
- Complete disassembly of a Roku 2 XD player