SoundBridge is a remote hardware device from Roku, Inc. designed to play Internet radio or digital audio streamed to it across a home network, either Wi-Fi or Ethernet. SoundBridge devices directly browse the Radio Roku guide. As of 2008 all Roku SoundBridge products were discontinued; Roku focused on IPTV. As of January 2012, the SoundBridge was no longer available from Roku.
The music is made available by a streaming server, usually a PC running software. The SoundBridge has a high resolution vacuum fluorescent display and is compatible with various media servers, namely servers using Apple Computer's Digital Audio Access Protocol; popular servers are iTunes or mt-daapd), Windows Media Connect, Rhapsody, SlimServer and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) compatible servers such as TwonkyVision. Some of these servers can be run not only on PCs, but also on NAS devices like the Linksys NSLU2, so a SoundBridge can be operated without a PC.
There are several SoundBridge models: The M1000, the M500 and the M2000. There is also a tabletop model called the SoundBridge Radio that has built in speakers, an AM/FM radio, and an alarm clock.
SoundBridge models sold in most countries are manufactured and sold by Pinnacle Systems, under license from Roku. Although some Pinnacle models are similar or identical in hardware, Pinnacle does not have a licence for the DAAP protocol, so Pinnacle models cannot connect directly to iTunes. Pinnacle and Roku promote the Firefly Media Server as an alternative that offers similar functionality. Pinnacle models include:
- SoundBridge (one version identical to Roku SoundBridge M1001, another known as M1001HR with the higher resolution 280×32 pixel display as used in the SoundBridge Radio)
- SoundBridge Radio (identical to Roku SoundBridge Radio sans native iTunes support)
- Soundbridge HomeMusic - M400PX (character-based LCD - 16×2 characters; no Ethernet; no digital output; SD card slot; low-cost plastic housing in place of aluminum extrusion on original models)
Those sold in the USA include:
- M1001 SoundBridge (bitmapped VFD display - 280×16; similar to original M1000 model(see note))
- R1000 SoundBridge Radio (bitmapped VFD display - 280×32; AM/FM tuner; SD card slot; built-in speakers)
- M500 SoundBridge (character-based LCD display - 40×2 characters)
- M1000 SoundBridge (bitmapped VFD display - 280×16)
- M2000 SoundBridge (bitmapped VFD display - 512×32; larger, 17 in (430 mm) enclosure with very large display)
Firmware version 2.7 supports Wi-Fi Protected Access, but only for the M1001, the SoundBridge Radio, and the European versions from Pinnacle, not for the older M500/1000/2000 versions. The SoundBridge is an 802.11b device, but it can be used with backward compatible 802.11g networks.