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Discussing CJK 中日韓 Dramas Available in California


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captiva Profile
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About Roku!


One of our Mods suggested that I start a thread about something near and dear to my heart, my Roku!!! I really had not heard about it until recently myself so I am going to share my experience in owning one and try to answer questions about this device. I also hope that others that have a Roku or other streaming devices will chime in to correct me or offer up information that they think will be helpful to others

Roku is a streaming internet TV thingamajig. You can watch streaming TV (including Korean dramas) just like you would on your computer but on your TV. There are hundreds of different channels . Some of the big ones (i.e. Netflix, HuluPlus) have monthly fees, but there are many that are free. I cannot begin to go into all the different channels that are offered so I will focus on the K drama sites. Currently I only saw MBC America (only a few dramas – no other shows) ; Drama Fever and Crunchyroll . You will also see one called KDrama. This is really just the drama section from Crunchyroll I believe. HuluPlus (again - I think) rolls in dramas from all three. HuluPlus has a $8 per month charge but there is a slew of stuff to watch just within Hulu itself- movies, current TV shows, retro TV, etc.

You will need to have the following according to the Roku site:
- Wi-Fi 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n wireless network - OR -
- 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network using an Ethernet cable
PLUS
- A broadband Internet connection with a minimum download speed of 1.2 Mbps.

To test your speed go to www.speedtest.net and hit “begin test”. Make a note of what your download speed is. I have cable internet and have never had a problem with it freezing or buffering.

This could become the world’s longest post, so I think I’d better stop and post some links for people explore. I also love the internet radio channels because I can listen to Kpop on my TV or listen to iTunes podcasts of Korean radio shows from KBS or tune into one of several Korean language lesson series. I am really disappointed that I haven’t found much in the way of Japanese or Chinese/Taiwanese dramas but I truly believe more will be available in the future.
     
How to hook up the Roku: http://youtu.be/-UejHMGz8CE

Here is the best video I could find to see it in action (QVC video). Click on the link and go to the video tab to see the presentation:
http://bddy.me/z01mVT

Do check with your cable company and see what the maximum cap is that they have for downloading per month. My cable company allows 250GB per month. This month I have used 145 of my allowed usage. And believe me, we have watched several hours of internet TV this month
1/30/2012, 7:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to captiva   Send PM to captiva ICQ
 
SuperRookie Profile
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Re: About Roku!


Great post cap!

Roku rocks. I had known about it before, but didn't know of all the K-Drama options available on it. This is a wonderful alternative to people like me who do not enjoy watching K-Dramas on my tiny or uncomfortable computer screen and prefer the big screen of the TV.

The easy and mainstream way to think of this box is it's like a mini limited video computer or VOD (Video On Demand) box which many are familiar with who have had cable or AT&T Uverse - in this case this accesses the content through your internet connection rather than your TV signal cable. So when we discuss channels, don't think of it like a broadcast channel where there's shows being aired, but rather more like an On Demand or internet streaming service (like Netflix) where you pick the episode of the show you want to watch.

The key things people need to know with this box, unlike a computer, this can not access random websites like say MySoju or YouTube - the competing product, Apple TV for example can access YouTube, so with Roku you have to use its specific content partners that are available to them - in the case of KDrama content, the ones that cap mentioned above.

Hulu Plus and DramaFever seem to be the best reason to get this box in my view, but that will require a monthly subscription fee to these channels unlike the free alternatives of a computer. A computer offers more options and alternatives for free, but Roku is significantly cheaper. I'm thinking of getting a Roku because it's cheaper than getting a new computer with HDMI connection and Roku is very small, I have enough tech devices cluttering around me...

The only thing holding me back slightly is the limitation of not being able to use any streaming site I want (YouTube and MySoju, really wanted to have these on TV) and having to pay monthly to either or both Hulu Plus (this gets more newer MBC America content first on MBC America's Hulu section) and DramaFever as well as some licensing issues where some shows are available on computer but not for streaming devices. I was hoping to get a PC for TV for this use later this year, but at this price, the Roku is providing a strong temptation as I'm now thinking of going this route rather than a new PC since I doubt I'll have enough time to watch all these K-Dramas as it is! LOL!

One important thing people need to know, if you do not have a WiFi set up or want the faster or more reliable speeds of hard-wired ethernet cable plugged to your wired router or high-speed internet modem, you need to get the most expensive version of Roku, Roku 2XS - the cheaper models are only WiFi with no wired ethernet port. More info on the 4 different versions: http://www.roku.com/roku-products#3

Last edited by SuperRookie, 1/30/2012, 11:26 pm


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nchristi Profile
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Re: About Roku!


Here is a post by PeggyME on Roku. It was originally posted in another thread, so I am moving it here. class blockquote PeggyME wrote:

I was reading about Roku tonight. found out that there will be a newer gadjet called a 'Stick' which will be lighter and easier to attach to the TV. It will be introduced in the fall in Best Buy on one of their TVs. I have made note and maybe can get one of these then.

Maybe I am wrong but it seems to me that quite a few Best Buy stores were closed??
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MKana Profile
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Re: About Roku!


Many thanks to Cap and SuperRookie! I've heard of various streaming devices before but not Roku specifically. Both of your posts narrowed down quite a bit of the relevant information related to streaming Korean dramas. It is quite overwhelming to try to look up information such as a gadget like this on the internet.

It is very tempting to get one and test it out, but only because I'm such a maniac when it comes to new gadget. It sounds like a very good device to have, but then my whole family would be addicted to watching so much tv, not a good thing.
1/31/2012, 11:30 pm Link to this post Send Email to MKana   Send PM to MKana Blog
 
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Re: About Roku!


I believe these devices and or computers plugged to the TV as more and more people get them will change the way K-Drama viewers view dramas. The future of Korean companies on TV seems gloomy as of late with contract disputes, reduced ratings due to more and more watching online... these companies seem more and more like they're focusing on their online streaming offerings now at Hulu Plus, DramaFever or mvibo (KBS' online site).

MKana, I know how you feel. I feel like I'm already watching too much K-Drama on my local channels since I can not keep up as it is and in the last month or two I've already reduced to following around only 5 shows and am now finding it more manageable. LOL!

With Roku or any computer plugged into a TV... the skies will be the limit, a countless library of all these K-Drama shows I didn't get to see years ago. Especially for me, all the historical series I didn't get a chance to see! I've been wanting to see Chuno (to finish this), Dong Yi, Queen Seon Duk, Hong Gil Dong, Tree with Deep Roots, GyeBaek are on my priority to watch and tons of contemporary K-Dramas like Bad Guy and Couple or Trouble.Image

Regarding Roku Stick it looks like a great option to keep clutter and footprint to a minimum with no wires or anything. One thing to keep in mind though, the stick can only be connected to newer TVs with MHL-enabled HDMI (if your TV doesn't have this, you can't plug it in) and WiFi rather than the various options the current Roku box allows. For me it wouldn't work at all since I prefer the stability and security of wired internet.

Stick is slated for release later this year. More info and images direct from the source at Roku's site: http://blog.roku.com/blog/2012/01/04/roku_streaming_stick/

Last edited by SuperRookie, 2/1/2012, 11:26 am


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nchristi Profile
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Re: About Roku!


My questions have been regarding hard-wired internet and using terrestrial TV only.

I, also, use only hard-wired internet and prefer to keep it that way for several reasons. If having WiFi is not a requirement (for the more expensive Roku), then that answers that question. Do I have that right?

From reading the comments above, am I understanding correctly that Roku itself has "connections" to various websites, and that it is not reliant upon, nor connected with what cable, satellite, or terrestrial TV offers? So, whatever stations are—or are not—available on my current TV setup has nothing to do with what is available on Roku?

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class blockquote nchristi wrote:
I, also, use only hard-wired internet and prefer to keep it that way for several reasons. If having WiFi is not a requirement (for the more expensive Roku), then that answers that question. Do I have that right?
Yep, you have that right! With the top end model, Roku XS it has the WiFI capabilities of the cheaper models, but also the hardwired ethernet port - the choice of which to use is up to the user, unlike the upcoming Roku Stick or the cheaper models that need WiFi. class blockquote nchristi wrote:

From reading the comments above, am I understanding correctly that Roku itself has "connections" to various websites, and that it is not reliant upon, nor connected with what cable, satellite, or terrestrial TV offers? So, whatever stations are—or are not—available on my current TV setup has nothing to do with what is available on Roku?
Right - The word channels is confusing in this case, since it's not a channel in the traditional sense as we think of with TV channels, but more of an gateway point that connects online to the content provider of the episodes they upload.

Those websites are ultimately connecting through Roku as their channel partners. Like you couldn't watch something on YouTube for example through it since Google ordered Roku to take that down (but they have been in talks for some months now to have an YouTube access... whether or not that happens, remains to be seen).

So yep, the content available on Roku (through their channel partners) has nothing to do what's on TV, rather what's available on their content partner's website that have licenses for streaming to media (some shows on Hulu for example have licensing limitations that only work on the computer, vs streaming media like Apple Ipad or Roku).

So for example for someone interested in say MBC America content... what shows of theirs are available on Roku? One would have to go to Hulu.com CrunchyRoll and DramaFever and search there and look for what's available. In the example of Hulu, MBC America has their section there that one can browse on the available content, MBC America section of Hulu - DramaFever has MBC content there too through their own DramaFever subscription service or through DramaFever's section on Hulu. One of the new shows MBC America themselves uploaded to Hulu is the new The Moon Embracing the Sun - on that website MBC America The Moon Embracing the Sun episode 1 if you scroll down, it says Availability: Hulu Plus Subscribe to Hulu Plus to watch this show on TV and mobile devices... so that tells us this series has been granted access to both online Hulu.com and through streaming devices like Roku.

For DramaFever: http://www.dramafever.com/

In more general terms, cap told me an easy way to find the stuff, we in this forum are interested in that's available on Hulu. class blockquote http://www.hulu.com/?src=topnav Click on "browse" and then "genre" to find the foreign stuffIt all sounds complicated but it's easier than it sounds. LOL!

The nice thing about all this is it's legal and a way for the Korean companies to earn money through these services, unlike the random websites out there where they get nil... and because of these services like Hulu/HPlus, for example, MBC America is subtitling more content they might not have previously. I'm all for supporting this, given my fear of companies cutting back in this regard (as we saw with HeartStrings, Can't Lose of no subtitles). MBC America has been aggressive in promoting and posting new shows with subtitles to Hulu and DramaFever as of late.

Hopefully HawnGirl and cap can chime in on their actual experiences in this regard if I am missing something.


Last edited by SuperRookie, 2/1/2012, 4:07 pm


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captiva Profile
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Re: About Roku!


class blockquote It is very tempting to get one and test it out, but only because I'm such a maniac when it comes to new gadget. It sounds like a very good device to have, but then my whole family would be addicted to watching so much tv, not a good thing.Yes that is the downfall. In all my married years, Mr. Cap and I have never fought over the remote. That has now changed. emoticon
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MKana Profile
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Re: About Roku!


I must say, Cap, your posts are precise, to the point, and often humorous, which I rather enjoy reading. You must have a great sense of humor!

Your comment about the "downfall" of this very exciting gadget is my sentiment. For this I must resist all temptation of getting one, just for the peace of the household. Because, what they don't have, won't hurt them.

On the other hand, when the time comes for me to get one, I know exactly who to turn to for help. Between you and our other resident expert, SuperRookie, I will have no fear marching in to the local Bestbuy and pick one up. emoticon
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captiva Profile
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Re: About Roku!


You are very nice to say so! They are small. You could buy one on the sly, hide it in the drawer and take it out late at night when everyone else is sleeping!
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