Just Sharing This Now TV Roku Device

smoggy07

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I'm not really sure what this post is all about yet so for now it's just random musings over what I've seen of the Now TV branded Roku sreaming device (apparently code named a very British sounding "windsor") so far since I got it.

I ordered on Tuesday morning (24/9) and it arrived on Friday afternoon (27/9).

Upon opening the box I found a tiny Now TV device, a remote control, a power supply and a HDMI cable but no mini-jack to RCA cable, a quick chat on live help with a Now TV rep sorted that problem out and I should receive one free in the next 2 weeks (I have no need for it but heck it was free and should have came with the box in place of the HDMI cable lol).

As people have mentioned online, it has a watered down version of the Roku Channel Store which doesn't contain anything that could be seen to compete with the Now TV brand and from reading online there is no way at all to add Netflix to this box because all Roku devices are apparently flashed with a one time programmable Netflix "key" that either allows it to be downloaded and run or doesn't allow it.

There is oddly though an app called USTVNOW which allows you to subscribe to American cable TV, which is cool but must surely compete with Sky.

The way normal Roku work with the Channel Store as far as I can see, if the app you want isn't in the Channel Store on the device, you can add it from the Roku website using an account set up with Roku when activating the device (you activate it by entering a code that is shown on the TV screen when registering with Roku and this links your device to your account).

The Now TV device doesn't display this code so there is no way to link it to a Roku account so you can't add apps/channels through the Roku site but you can side load some apps for now using the developer mode (but only one side loaded app can be installed at any one time) for the time being (before Sky blocks dev mode access).

I've contacted Roku about this code to link up the device with a Roku account and they've came back with this email:
The NOW TV box is designed specifically for NOW TV subscribers. In order to activate the player, you will just need to input your NOW TV account credentials upon initial setup. The Roku account on one hand, is only used to activate regular Roku players. In spite of this, you can still have access to the Channel Store even if this player is not linked to a Roku account. To set your expectation though, the channel selections on the NOW TV player may be smaller in number.

To do anything with the box, you need a Now TV ID or SkyID but when you sign up to Now TV and come to the point where you enter your card/payment details you can open another Now TV page and you should be logged in meaning you can close the payment screen unless you want to sign up to the 30 day free Sky Movies trial.

After signing up, plugging the device in, connecting to the wifi, letting it take an update (which I didn't really want to do - more on this later) and logging in, I added the Plex app using the video MARK posted here, so now I can stream movies and music from my PC to the Now TV box using the Plex app and Plex media server - Happy Days!

Another bonus of Plex is you can add channels to the Plex server (thus sort of getting round the Sky lock down), there are quite a few good apps in the Plex app store and you can even add an unofficial app store + you can link other servers with yours if you have media on several computers to add even more contents.

One of the bad things with Plex is the need to have a PC running as the server but it does work on NAS and other devices and you'll more than likely have a PC running any way.

The Now TV app its self is near enough straight forward, if you sign up to the 30 day free trial (as I was told I had to by SWMBO), they will take card details but won't charge you and you can start viewing right away.
One cool feature is when you go to view the live movie channels, after you select the channel you want it gives you the option to either watch it live or start it from the beginning using their movie library, so if you spot a movie you want to watch but it's nearly over, you can start it again.

So far as long as Sky don't block the developers access and stop Plex, these are a bargain @ £9.99 and I'm ordering 2 more for the bedrooms.
To play it safe, I'm reading up on how to block the Roku/Now TV update servers ip addresses so that they can't force an update on the device to block dev access because if they do block it, and you don't want to sub to their offerings then the box is next to useless.

I'm not sure what else to add at the moment but I will update this thread when I've read a bit more about this device and had a better play with it.
 

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I use ustvnow quite a lot. It works well and allows me to watch the basic American channels for free on the computer in hd.



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I've been looking at the NowTV and full Roku boxes, and I'm finding it hard to be convinced to get the NowTV version, the only advantage to it is it's £40 less and has a HDMI cable included compared with the Roku LT (which is pretty much a step up from the NowTV box), but the disadvantages, well, the fact it's tied to $ky, and that they neutered it so it's not as useful as a proper Roku...

Personally I'm looking at the Roku XS, mostly cos it has a Wii-style remote that allows you to play games, and that it has wired networking aswell as WiFi, and includes USB and MicroSD card slots, and of course, makes NowTV an option rather than being forced onto the user... :)

I'm sure the NowTV version could probably be returned to being a proper Roku box somehow, but, I'm sure $ky will come up with a way to disallow it...
 

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I've been looking at the NowTV and full Roku boxes, and I'm finding it hard to be convinced to get the NowTV version, the only advantage to it is it's £40 less and has a HDMI cable included compared with the Roku LT (which is pretty much a step up from the NowTV box), but the disadvantages, well, the fact it's tied to $ky, and that they neutered it so it's not as useful as a proper Roku...

Personally I'm looking at the Roku XS, mostly cos it has a Wii-style remote that allows you to play games, and that it has wired networking aswell as WiFi, and includes USB and MicroSD card slots, and of course, makes NowTV an option rather than being forced onto the user... :)

I'm sure the NowTV version could probably be returned to being a proper Roku box somehow, but, I'm sure $ky will come up with a way to disallow it...

If you can afford it, get a Roku over Now TV

Now TV is good if you only want to watch sly movies/sports or sideload plex because the watered down app store is rubbish, at least with a Roku you'd get the full app store and wouldn't have the threat of sly closing down side loading apps/plex

I now have 2 Now TV boxes with a 3rd on order for a friend but I want a full on genuine Roku device now too

The Roku XS looks the part with its little tag an all and the remote that takes headphones and has motion sensors looks cool too
I wonder if the XS remote works on the Now TV box? I doubt it, it will no doubt use bluetooth or something to communicate with the box, that said it would be no good even if it did as I didn't see Angry Birds in the app store on the Now TV box lol

At the moment the only thing thats bugging me with it is when I take the box to work or bring it home, I have to re-join the local wifi network, you'd have thought it would automatically join as it does store the passwords from both networks but you have to go into network and click on connect
 

2cvbloke

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Yesterday, I happened to notice an ad for "Ruby Murrays Computer Land" (just incase they're offended by this post revealing their iffy "deal"!!) where they're offering a NowTV box for the bargain price of just £14.99, £5 more than you pay on the NowTV website, seems a bit of a swizz that... o_O

They did offer them free with a new TV though, but, it's more expensive than just buying a Roku XS box if you already happen to own a non-Smart TV...:-rofl2
 

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Yesterday, I happened to notice an ad for "Ruby Murrays Computer Land" (just incase they're offended by this post revealing their iffy "deal"!!) where they're offering a NowTV box for the bargain price of just £14.99, £5 more than you pay on the NowTV website, seems a bit of a swizz that... o_O

They did offer them free with a new TV though, but, it's more expensive than just buying a Roku XS box if you already happen to own a non-Smart TV...:-rofl2

Yes, I noticed this too and thought it was a bit odd.
 

2cvbloke

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Well, hopefully we're getting a Roku XS today, unfortunately from ruby murrays, assuming they bothered to actually reserve the kit we want (they're known for "reserving" things and then selling it to another customer if it's the only one in stock!!), so, yeah, may be having an entertaining evening... :D
 

2cvbloke

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Well, we have it, it's a neat little device, last in stock though, so I guess the Roku XS is now obsolete, but still, it's pretty cool... :D

I had a little play of Angry Birds on it and the wii-style remote is something to get used to, doesn't work in the menus, but in games, yep, it's pretty neat... :)

Need to sort out the broadband though, the speed isn't quite up to scratch to download HD content fast enough, but SD content, not too bad... :)

Still want to try XBMC on my Raspberry Pi though at somepoint, just for comparison... :D
 

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Sounds impressive for such a small box.


I would like to think the Raspberry Pi would be better, certainly more flexible. I am sure you can add DVB via usb to the Raspberry Pi.
 

2cvbloke

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It certainly is impressive, the size alone is just crazy, it's no bigger than a beermat, about an inch thick, and the amount of "channels" available is pretty good, though I left NowTV off it, can't be doing with $ky unnecessarily taking up space... :D

As for the Pi, yeah, you can add all kinds of USB devices (via a powered hub, the Pi itself is limited to what current the PSU it's given can supply), so long as there are the linux drivers for it, then usually it'll run it... :)
 

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Well that's a bummer, you can't have a Youtube app on the Roku (or NowTV Box, just to stay on topic), seems google won't write one suitable for use on the Roku, yet other platforms (such as Smart TVs, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360), they seem to have no issue with having an app written for them, but not the Roku & derivative-of platforms.... :-ohmy

I have read about using a few different ways to get youtube playing on there, but not actually running directly on the roku itself, one is to run the roku in dev. mode and installing VideoBuzz, the next is to use Plex (as already mentioned here it's great for getting round stuff that's "missing" or just not there), and the other is to use Twonky, which like Plex you install on another computer (be it a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone), then you can use Youtube, still sucks though that you have to do all that to view youtube on something like the Roku...:rolleyes:

Still, at least for the warp plasma telly, I can hook up my PS3 or my Samsung Bluray player and play youtube stuff through those... ^_^

(not that the official youtube apps are any good cos they lock the video feed into 240p or 360p, which looks terrible on a 1080p screen!!! :rolleyes: )
 

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Well, we have it, it's a neat little device, last in stock though, so I guess the Roku XS is now obsolete, but still, it's pretty cool... :D

I had a little play of Angry Birds on it and the wii-style remote is something to get used to, doesn't work in the menus, but in games, yep, it's pretty neat... :)

Need to sort out the broadband though, the speed isn't quite up to scratch to download HD content fast enough, but SD content, not too bad... :)

Still want to try XBMC on my Raspberry Pi though at somepoint, just for comparison... :D
Oooooo i have xbmc on a raspberry, make sure you get the fastest sd card available, I tell you this is the future.....
 

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Currys PC World have the Roku LT on offer at the mo, it's down from £50 to £29

I've just been to get one from our local store so when I've had the chance to play I'll report back here ;o)
 

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Yep, if you're considering the NoTV box, go buy the Roku LT instead, as you're not handcuffed to what sky say you can install, though there are some issues with some channels (such as Crackle, it plays the first 10-ish minutes, then is meant to play an ad, but doesn't and the video just conks out and stops playing, could be broadband related though, but not sure), but ultimately they're a brilliant little box, no need for subs, contracts or anything, buy it, plug it in, set it up, play... :)

Just remember that the LT is only 720p maximum, not that it matters much as most of the content (especially the free stuff) is about 480p... :)
 

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Well, almost 5 months on since we got it, the RokuXS has been unplugged due to the lack of use, any catchup TV watched in this house is either via recorded shows on the FreeviewHD+, or for myself on either my Samsung TV's various apps (including recorded TV on it's own HDD) or my Playstation3, depending on whether the latter is powered up or not, so the RokuXS seems to be surplus to requirements... :confused

I still say it's a neat little device though, but, with a smart TV, a games console that has TV apps, a FreeviewHD+ box (which also has an Iplayer app), and of course computers that can watch various TV programmes whenever we want, seems it's a case of we have too much choice and the Roku is left out... :lol:
 

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Well, almost 5 months on since we got it, the RokuXS has been unplugged due to the lack of use, any catchup TV watched in this house is either via recorded shows on the FreeviewHD+, or for myself on either my Samsung TV's various apps (including recorded TV on it's own HDD) or my Playstation3, depending on whether the latter is powered up or not, so the RokuXS seems to be surplus to requirements... :confused

I still say it's a neat little device though, but, with a smart TV, a games console that has TV apps, a FreeviewHD+ box (which also has an Iplayer app), and of course computers that can watch various TV programmes whenever we want, seems it's a case of we have too much choice and the Roku is left out... :lol:
Mine gets daily use but not by me haha

The kids and SWMBO use it for watching movies stored on the Plex server and for Sky Movies (when I register a new account for the Now TV free trial lol)

TBH if I had more time on my hands I'd probably use it more myself because I have Sickbeard and Sab set up to download all the TV I watch (even though my Tivo records most of it) so I'm not short of content, theres just not enough hours in the day for me lately
 

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A friend of mine has unlocked his now tv and put all manner of stuff on it but thats all i know. He found out ont web.
 

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No doubt as part of a sweetener to smooth the absorption of O2 broadband into $ly broadband we were offered a Now TV box completely free of charge.

We've had it for a few weeks now but haven't used it a great deal. We already have iPlayer and ITV Player on the Humax HDR so it was only for 4OD and Demand 5 as we have absolutely NO intention of ever paying for a programme or film.

The very first time we wanted watch something we failed. Not a problem of the box's but one of C5's decisions (no Mentalist on catchup!) although the second time we wanted something there wasn't any restriction.

It's dead easy to use and the only proviso I would make is that you have to register a credit card in order to activate the beast.
 

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It's dead easy to use and the only proviso I would make is that you have to register a credit card in order to activate the beast.

Never registered a card with mine Paul, they must have changed that bit since I activated mine. I lost my US TV some time after having opened it up but TBH only use if for catchup TV as the interface on the unit is better for iplayer than my Sony TV
 

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I found that when registering simply closing the page when I got to the credit card bit the reopening the now tv site got round giving them card details

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