questionsroku vs. smart blu-ray

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vote-for3vote-against

I'd say smart Blu-Ray player.
They do everything a Roku does and play BR disk and only run a little bit higher.
Netflix, Hulu, Slacker, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, etc...

vote-for5vote-against

I have never used a smart Blu-Ray player. I do have a couple of Rokus and they are super simple to use and set up. I have heard some of the interfaces on smart devices can be a little "clunky" compared to a Roku, but don't have any experience my self. Like was said a smart BLue-Ray player should be able to do whatever you need it too though.

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I have a "smart" blu-ray, and a PS3, which I use for streaming. When I went on vaca this summer I stayed somewhere that had a Roku. Did what my Blu-Ray does, aside play disks :-) And, did what my PS3 does, aside play games... and disks.

For me, I'd say a Blu-Ray player, unless you have a specific reason to have the Roku (maybe a bedroom, or room you'd never want to play a disk in).

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I have both and I prefer my roku and apple tv. My Bluray player is very slow to load apps while my roku and apple tv have the fast simple interface.

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I have a smart blu-ray but haven't had it long enough to fully explore it. But it's very cool. I saw one on Thursday or Friday someplace for only $49. But I can't remember where. I think it was on EBay's Black Friday storefront, where a lot of online electronics and camera vendors (like Newegg) were using Ebay as a BF storefront. I passed on a couple of good deals that day that I am regretting now.

vote-for3vote-against

If you are going to go the route of a Roku, be sure you pick up the Roku 2 XS. Solely for the fact that you can load media (movies, etc) onto a USB flash drive and play them through the Roku. I don't know of any Smart Blue-Ray players that can do that off-hand (although there might be, if so I'd like to know which one(s)...)

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I have a smart BR and never use it for anything other than watching disk. Way to slow. I think I'm going to try the Roku-HD now that its $49 at Walmart.

vote-for5vote-against

@coreyking:

Actually even cheaper, 39.99 at Amazon (and BB I think as well) -

http://www.amazon.com/Roku-2500R-HD-Streaming-Player/dp/B007KEZMX4?tag=dealswoot-20

edit: corrected link

vote-for5vote-against

I have Netflix on my Samsung Blu-Ray player and I also have a Roku. I much prefer using the Roku for Netflix. The interface is much better, and it's just a very fast menu system.

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I have a Roku and a Sony Blu-Ray Player (BDP-S580 , which can play USB media @theselected) that I use for mainly for Netflix. The Roku is faster, easier, and has a much better interface. With the deals on Rokus, I'm pondering getting another to use instead of the Blu-Ray player.

From what I've seen, Blu-Ray players have the "smart" portion added as an afterthought, and typically the UI is a little awkward and the navigation much slower than on the Roku. The only bonus point for my Blu-Ray player is that it has an iOS remote app, so I can always use my phone instead of the remote control, which is pretty slick - especially when I need a keyboard.

I'd say find a deal on a Blu-Ray player and a Roku and you'll be happier. Amazon has the Roku HD for $40 with a $5 instant video credit right now.

Pro tip: check the startup time when getting a Blu-Ray player, some take an annoyingly long time to start playing.

vote-for4vote-against

As others have said, it's going to be hit and miss on how the manufacturers implement their interfaces. I really enjoy my Samsung's ability to play Netflix, Youtube, MLB, etc. however I have to admit the interface could be better.

Meanwhile, I got my parents a Roku, and they love it. Neither of them can text or take a picture on their phones, but they can both use Netflix and Pandora without (much) problems. They've found a bunch of shows and movies from browsing Netflix's recommendations.

If you're getting a blu-ray anyway, it seems a little bit of overkill to get a second, dedicated device. But if you cherish good user interface or have people in your family that can't make sense of poorly laid-out UI, the Roku may be a good investment.

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@theselected: Mine does. It's a Samsung Smarthub, and I have played xvid, avi and mkv files on it via its faceplate USB port from both a thumb drive and from an external HD. The only problem was that navigating the hundreds of files on the external HD using the blu ray remote was no fun.

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@viper2544: @theselected:

Same here. I have the Sony S580 and while it's great - the Roku is easier to use.

Of the 2 Blu-Ray players I've used that had internet access, both of them had fairly clunky interfaces. Searching means multiple numberpad key presses, similar to texting on an older cell phone. Also, fast-forward and rewind when playing anything is annoying - you only see a time index but no picture or images, so unless you know exactly what time in the movie (Who knows that??) you have to just randomly guess where to stop, wait for the stream to load and go from there. The Roku player shows you thumbnails as you fast forward and rewind.

All that said, if you need a DVD player, go ahead and get a connected one. The price difference over one that isn't won't be much. Down the road if you decide to get a Roku player, it won't hurt.

vote-for3vote-against

It depends what is more important to you. Roku gets updates more frequently and in general has far better support so you can expect better performance and new features more regularly because that is all they do.

However it will never play bluray.

I would say go for a bluray player.

vote-for3vote-against

You'll get the most bang for your buck with a smart blu-ray player.

But you'll get a better overall experience with a separate Roku player. It loads faster, has a simple yet efficient menu system, gets firmware updates as needed, has a virtually unlimited library of obscure "channels" you can add, and simply put, is very good at what it is designed to do: stream video. Whereas the blu-ray player is designed to play discs, with streaming generally as an afterthought. It'll do, but it's not the BEST experience.

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I mostly agree with everyone who said Roku. I used to have a Roku and I LOVED it. Having said that, I now have Sony's GoogleTV Blu-ray player.

Obviously it plays the discs and has the edge there but for the online tasks I'd say they've each got strengths and weaknesses. The Roku is simpler to set up and to navigate and the hardware itself I think it more specialized so it's actually better at streaming the content it's got access to. Plus there always was some new content or channel popping up on Roku which just made the value better and better.

The Google/apps/streaming aspects of this DVD player are amazing. You can download apps from Google Play but the "Always something new" aspect of it that I'd compare to Roku is in the way it seeks out programming on my cable system and the internet, collects it for me and then says [not literally] "Did you know this was on? Did you know this is coming on?"

I'd suggest that it really comes down to whether you'll watch discs or not.

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My first blu ray player was just 4 or 5 months ago, while I agree the speed isn't the best, it helps me keep my entertainment center better organized (even though the Roku's are tiny).
While I can't remember the model number, I know it's a Sony off the top of my head, and I bought it at Costco (got a free HDMI cable too).

For this one at least, there is an app for my android devices, so I can use my tablet as a remote (wifi based, not laser or anything too high tech), meaning, I have the full keyboard for searching or inputting information. That, is truly handy, since typing a search string or email/password combo with the standard remote is painful.

For a single item, I'm happy I went with the smart blu ray (and by the time the firmware is too old to update, the blu ray reader will probably stop and be ready for the future replacement.)

vote-for1vote-against

I've streamed Netflix over smart TVs and Blu-Rays for a while now, and recently got a Roku in one of these earlier deals. Huge difference. While my TV and Blu-Ray interfaces were fine for Netflix, they stop being updated when the model is discontinued, so when new must-have channels come along, you won't get them. There's also a ton of free content on the Roku that's supported by a large community that an individual model of Blu-Ray player will never develop. Finally, Blu-Rays are not built to last. One of my blu-rays died recently (taking its smart functionality with it). I ended up ordering one of these Rokus to replace it. With all the content on these, I don't see myself buying or renting discs much anymore.