I’m pretty much out of ports on my TV. I’ve got a Motorola set-top box/DVR from ComcastXfinity (a crappy early model with hardly any disk space), a PlayStation 3, an Apple TV, and a Roku 2XS. I need the ATV for AirPlay from my iPad or MacBook Air, plus YouTube; I need the Roku because I watch a lot of Amazon streaming video. I can get Netflix and Hulu on any of the devices. For recent pay-per-view movies, I prefer Amazon to the alternatives (Comcast or Apple), simply because of price and variety. I’d love to dump one of these devices, which would have to be the Roku, but that would mean using the PS3 for Amazon Video, and the PS3 UI is utter crap.

So I’m stuck with this device setup. Unfortunately the Roku 2XS has been a disaster. I bought it 18 months ago to replace an original Roku which had fried, and it’s always been glitchy. It becomes catatonic about once a week, requiring a power cycle to fix it. But this evening the power cycle failed to produce the normal startup screen of bouncing purple letters. I unplugged and replugged it a couple of times, then tried a factory reset by sticking a paperclip in the “reset” hole for the officially-recommended 15 seconds (and then some). Nothing.

In frustration I grabbed my MBA and started to browse reviews on Amazon.com, looking for alternatives to the Roku. About 15 minutes later, the Roku 2XS suddenly came to life, and displayed a white (not purple) logo. I re-paired the remote, configured the Roku and all of my services (really strong passwords are great until you have to enter them repeatedly using an on-screen keyboard!), and I was back in business.

That weird 15 minute delay suggests to me that the Roku 2XS has some kind of hardware problem, probably heat-sensitive. Since it only has a 90-day warranty (what kind of nonsense is that?), I’m going to have to replace it. I wish I could find another device which would do the job, but I guess I’ll be going for a Roku 3. Hopefully we’ll be getting an official YouTube app for it soon.

6 Responses to “Too many little plastic boxes connected to my TV”
  1. Lisa says:

    Replace the DVR and Roku with a Tivo.

  2. geoff says:

    Good suggestion. I’ll call Xfinity, find out whether I can self-install the CableCARD or if I have to schedule a visit.

  3. geoff says:

    Not cheap, though – $14.99/mo in addition to the price of the box. I wonder how much I’ll save on my Xfinity bill…

  4. Lisa says:

    I thought reducing the number of boxes was what you were trying to solve ;-)

  5. Chris Westin says:

    I’ve been trying to solve the same problem. TiVos are pretty expensive, not including the required ongoing subscription. It seems to me that the thing to do is to hook up an inexpensive PC (about the price of a TiVo, but no subscription). They come with DVD/BR drives, and any of the streaming services can be watched on them via web applications that support full-sizing. A bluetooth keyboard and/or media remote can be used to control it. It seems to me this can replace everything except my xbox.

  6.  
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.