Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Discussions about using TVs, projectors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD Players and other media players in meetinghouses including standards, management, how to connect to them, proper use, and support.
rknelson
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby rknelson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:21 pm

rolandc wrote:The Roku 1st strike, requires an active credit card account for the various things that can be bought online, and the box WILL NOT function with out the CC for validation.

While it does require a credit/debit card or a paypal account to activate it, immediately after activation you can login to your Roku account, go to "My Account>Payment Method" and click "Remove Payment Method". I don't see this as a show stopper.

rolandc wrote: 2nd strike, very weak parental controls, you cannot lock out all the online channels.

Login to your Roku account, go to "My Account>Channel Store PIN" and select "Require a four-digit PIN to add any channel, even free channels." We allow only 3 channels: Mormon Channel, BYU-TV, and Roku USB Media Player. No other channels can be added without the PIN or a factory reset.

rolandc wrote:3rd, it will not play from a NAS, and only Plex has a media server with a channel app for the Roku.

There are NAS channels, and other media servers. I have not investigated these in detail. We usually stream from a USB Flash drive. I have not played with the WD Player, but agree that the WD seems to have a better solution than the Roku in this area.

rolandc wrote:4th, pretty much every screen other than when the video is playing, you have to look at various advertisements.

While I agree this is an issue, the advertisements only appear before you select a channel. Since we use the Roku USB Media Player (or the Mormon Channel), they don't show up after you select that channel. And, there are ways to block the banner ads in your router...
(BYU-TV also places 15 second "bake and serve" commercials if you live in Utah, and car/truck ads if you live outside Utah, at the start of each video on the BYU-TV channel.)

I'm sure there are many good features in the WD Player.

We have 11 of the Roku XS players in our stake. They have both HDMI and composite video outputs, so they work with almost any TV. They are easy to use, low cost, and in high demand.

rknelson
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby rknelson » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:34 pm

rolandc wrote:Plex Media server combined with the WD TV Live is very powerful and so simple.

I would be interested learning in how you configure the Plex Media server. It seems to shine in transcoding, organizing commercial movies, TV series, and music along with cover art for them, etc.

I gave up after I spent several hours trying to have a clean easy to use menu setup for "Come, Follow Me" videos. A few experts on the Plex form that I talked to seemed to indicate that was not what Plex was best at.

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johnshaw
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby johnshaw » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:03 pm

rknelson wrote:
rolandc wrote:Plex Media server combined with the WD TV Live is very powerful and so simple.

I would be interested learning in how you configure the Plex Media server. It seems to shine in transcoding, organizing commercial movies, TV series, and music along with cover art for them, etc.

I gave up after I spent several hours trying to have a clean easy to use menu setup for "Come, Follow Me" videos. A few experts on the Plex form that I talked to seemed to indicate that was not what Plex was best at.


I spent a bunch of time researching this one of the larger problems is the church metadata of the mp4 files. I spent hours updating the metadata so the menu collections can build themselves. I researched adding the data to the online open source databases the plex agents look at to build their menus. I was hoping to simulate the TV episodes and each high level category like Mormon messages, youth messages, etc... Youth curriculum came after all my work.

We use collections to browse, and then search to find specific titles.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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TimRiker
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby TimRiker » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:27 am

It looks like the mp4 video files do have mp4/aac style tags in them but not id3 tags. Some applications see the tags and others do not. I don't know if we can get the group that builds these to include both styles of tags. Can you see if you can read the tags in different applications and come up with a proposal for what works? I think the current mp4 tags would be read by iTunes, but I did not test that. What are you using that does not see the current tags? What would it see? id3v3 I presume? More research is needed here before we could make a proposal to whoever provides these files.

I tested the download here:

<https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/archive/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/02>

I tried the 360p version of "The Gospel Answers Life’s Problems and Challenges" and found valid tags there in my media player, but my id3v2 editor sees no tags at all.

Note: Someone™ is likely sending you this same reply from our feedback system. :)

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johnshaw
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby johnshaw » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:23 pm

Tim,

I took some time and looked at this. Without knowing the specifics about id3 and mp4/aac I only know what I see in the programs I use on Windows computers. It seems the data is there in some of the files, so somebody, somewhere includes this data with the files.

here is the quick notes I put together https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8558507/Tag-Examples.pdf

Of the following downloads:
2011-10-044-peter-and-john-heal-a-man-crippled-since-birth-1000k-eng.mp4 ***File Contains metadata
2011-10-045-peter-preaches-and-is-arrested-1000k-eng.mp4
2011-10-046-peter-and-john-are-judged-1000k-eng.mp4
2013-01-001-your-potential-your-privileges-1000k-eng.mp4
2013-01-002-earthly-father-heavenly-father-1000k-eng.mp4
Political Neutrality - Whiteboard Animation.mp4***File Contains metadata

It seemed odd to me that one of the Bible Video downloads had the data, but the other 2 didn't. This has been my experience, sometimes it's there and sometimes it is not - Though I'd say it's about less than 20%. Anything I've downloaded from http://medialibrary.lds.org is inconsistent... and I've downloaded every video available there.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

aclawson
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby aclawson » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:31 pm

The Roku DOES NOT require a credit card for account creation if you call them up and do it over the phone. This is by special arrangement with the church. I have completed the process.

carsonm
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Re: Who should buy the Roku or (WD Player)?

Postby carsonm » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:26 pm

Regarding the Roku, Has anyone been able to successfully block the ads via the new firewall? The ads are brief, but can be distracting to some.
Do we need to contact the Global service desk to make it work if it is possible?
Earlier it was noted that "there are ways to block the banner ads in your router"

Also, with the Western digital TV live device can it be locked down to the USB option and the ability "Play to" from Windows 7 and 8 options only?


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