After posting about my initial script for controlling the Roku Digital Video Player, ProdigiousJuggalo and eri3k from the roku forums took up the torch and added some really nice functions and UI enhancements. Thanks guys!
The screen shot to the left is the new interface. The latest version of the script can be downloaded by clicking here.
Some of the changes include function for rebooting beta firmwares, changing bit rate, saving IP information, and a much better UI.
It’s possible I might put something together to control the roku from the iPhone, eg. roku soundbridge and boxee, if someone doesn’t beat me to it in the next week or two.
Hooray for necessity. My Roku digital video player remote controller stopped working yesterday. While it’s pretty cheap to replace I needed to find something I could use in the interim. Since the device will let you telnet to port 8080 and feed in remote commands, my first attempt was to use setup a few bash aliases using netcat like so:
alias ru='echo "press up" | nc -n $rokuIP 8080'
alias rd='echo "press down" | nc -n $rokuIP 8080'
alias rl='echo "press left" | nc -n $rokuIP 8080'
You get the idea. However this got tedious fairly quick and the idea of explaining the use of netcat or telnet to my wife seems frightening.
Instead of living in fear I put together a script using Autoit. Now the Mrs . and I have a UI that resembles the remote we’re waiting for. It’s pretty basic and self explanatory. Just enter in the appropriate IP of the device and start using.
You can grab the script and compiled .exe by clicking here.
My Roku Netflix player finally got the 1.5 firmware update I’ve been waiting anxiously for the last week or so. I was hoping for HD and Hulu but only got HD. It does however look like they’ve setup the home page for future additions. Maybe Hulu and YouTube are actually planned for the future after all.
On another note, after talking with my significant other we both agreed that the Roku was the coolest device we purchased in 2008.
I’ve been using Netflix for a little over a year now and have been pleased with the service. After having used them for some time I’ll never go back to a rental store for 3 simple reasons:
- I’d never have a chance to see some of the films I’ve found through Netflix. I might have never found “Das Boot” or Akira Kurosawa films.
- I don’t have to ever goto a rental store again to rent a movie.
- I don’t ever have to take a movie back to a rental store again.
Regardless of my satisfaction with Netflix I felt the need to play the field and give Blockbuster a try.
The 2 are so close on this that I see no reason to switch. Here is a nice comparison of pricing for both sites.
Blockbuster does has a cool deal were you can take a movie into the store and get a free rental. This had actually been the reason I decided to take them up on the free trial. Shortly after doing so I remembered reason 2 and 3 for changing to an online service instead of a rental store and the deal wasn’t as appealing to me anymore. I do have a Blockbuster close by. I just don’t care to go get a movie bad enough to visit them. I’m spoiled I guess. As far as getting a game instead of a movie? I prefer PC games over consoles any day.
I have read other articles saying Netflix has the larger selection of the two.
While I don’t know if this is true it didn’t matter to me either way as
both sites have plenty of films for me to watch. There’s all the selection I need and all the selection I want.
The Blockbuster site has followed Netflix with it’s web site by incorporating Ajax goodness throughout. I commend them on a few of the sites features that make it a little bit more enjoyable compared to Netflix. For instance their is a little Queue Basket that follows you as you browse showing some of the top titles in your Queue. Another thing I liked about the Blockbuster site is that you can rate in half stars.
In comparison the Netflix site has always been, imo, good and easy to use since I’ve been a subscriber. I also felt like the Netflix site is a bit faster and that the Blockbuster site dragged a bit. Maybe it was the little floating queue box? Either way, while I liked some of it’s features, the Blockbuster site really wasn’t anything to make me switch.
Netflix rules here. At least for me they do. It takes them a day to deliver a movie to me and a day for them to receive a movie. Blockbuster takes 2 and even 3 days just to get movie. That was a strong vote for me to stay.
While I thought the Blockbuster service is a nice alternative I see no reason to change.