Solved Routers and Roku Boxes

July 16, 2013 at 13:15:59
Specs: Windows XP
Hi - I want to get rid of cable and am thinking of getting Roku boxes for my 3 TVs. I currently don't have wifi, so I am looking for a cost-effective, dependable router that will allow us to use all 3 TVs/Rokus at one time. Can you recommend?? Also, what is minimum speed (Brighthouse) to keep streaming from dropping or pixelating?? Thanks, Kim :)

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✔ Best Answer
July 17, 2013 at 10:25:40
Hi Kim,

If you wanted to try out the Roku with 10 mps that should work fine. Two might even be possible, but three might be a bit much.

Once the device is set up, navigating it should be easy. The Roku comes with a remote control so it would be little different than using a normal TV remote. I have just been looking at the Specs for the Roku. Apparently it comes in two models. I would go for the more advanced model if you can afford it. It has some useful additions and the cheaper model doesn't come with Ethernet, just wi-fi.

my mom lives with us and you know change and new technical things can be a little scary for older people

Yes they can, but then I am only 67 years old. :--) But I have been messing about with computers for over thirty years. You do tend to pick up a trick or two in that time.

Stuart



#1
July 16, 2013 at 16:07:43
For really effective streaming you need a router that supports 801.11n which is the latest wi-fi standard as well as Gbit which is 1000 Mbs. 80111n can stream at up t0 200 Mbs providing that both your TVs and Roku support 801.1m which i would be surprised if they don't. I have found Netgear routers to be good but I am not so keen on D-link.

Using three devices simultaneously over wifi might be a problem as they will be sharing the available bandwidth which depending on how far away the router is from the devices could be less than the maximum. The weaker the signal, the lower the bandwidth so as to reduce errors.

But then, if your TV/Rocu is capable of connecting by wire via a Gbit connection then your bandwidth problems are solved.

When you mention speed you are really meaning bandwidth. Speed is a measurement of time over distance. Bandwidth is a measurement of quantity over time, quantity being the number of bits you can receive over any given time. Speed is pretty contestant at around 300,000 meters per second being close to the speed of light that electrical signals and radio waves travel at..

As for minimum, it depends on many factors. The server, bandwidth available and the quality of the video being received. High Definition will require more bandwidth than standard video.

Drop-outs and pixalation are caused by two different effects. Drop outs are due to a lack of bandwidth or a delay in the server. When you are streaming video it is buffered locally. Drop-outs occur when the buffer is empty and the server is not ready to refresh it. With adequate bandwidth you should never out strip the server as the server should be topping up the buffer long before it runs out, unless it is exceptionally busy.

Pixalation is cased by your hardware not being able to process the incoming signal fast enough. This usually happens in scenes with a lot of movement. The way the MPG video is transmitted, each successive frame only contains information that has changed from the previous frame. Consequently something like a talking head will not have much change between frames and the hardware will not have a lot of work to do. While something like a fast moving sports event will have a lot of changes between frames and that is when the hardware can have difficulty in keeping up.

Stuart


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#2
July 17, 2013 at 06:39:24
Hi Stuart - Thanks for the info in "normal" language. I am not that tech-savvy, but I pretty much understood what you were talking about!! From your info, I am now looking at a NetGear N600 Dual Band Gigabit Router - would that be okay for my purposes?? Also, I currently have Brighthouse cable, internet and phone (quite a ripoff!!) but really want to get rid of everything except the internet from them. Unfortunately, they are the only cable internet provider in my area, and most other providers can't promise service to my home. However, right now I have Road Runner at 10mbps, which from what you have said, is not going to be useful for using all 3 TVs/Roku boxes at once. My modem is currently in a computer desk that is approximately 8 ft from the nearest television, but that is the only ethernet plugin that I have. Brighthouse wants $50 to "install wifi" which seems like a ripoff too, but I really don't know what that entails. My home is small, about 1200 sq ft, so there is no TV/box that would be more than 15-20 feet from the modem & router. Do you think if I increase to 30mbps, the signal would be strong enough, with the router that I named above, to be able to be used efficiently under these circumstances?? If I pay Brighthouse to come out and set up the wifi, will they "drop" connections through the attic and make a "wired" connection for each of the boxes?? The only other item that we need wifi for is a tablet, but it probably would not be used at the same time. Thanks soooooo much for your help!! I just want to make sure I am doing this right the first time because if I don't, I am afraid I will just throw up my hands and give up -- but I really want to be able to access movies and tv (for my kids especially) on demand and I don't want Brighthouse to keep getting so much of my money!! :) Kim

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#3
July 17, 2013 at 07:59:32
The NetGear N600 Dual Band Gigabit Router will be perfect. The dual band means that it will operate at higher frequencies which will give you the greater bandwidth.

Brighthouse wants $50 to "install wifi" which seems like a ripoff too,

It is a rip off. Follow the instructions carefully that come with the router and there is no reason why you cant do it yourself. These things are designed for non-tech savy home users. Setting up wi-fi doesn't need any wires installed. You will only need one wired Ethernet connection from your computer to your router which you already have to enable wi-fi setup . 15-20 feet shouldn't be a problem for wi-fi, especially if the internal walls are wood or plasterboard. Concrete and steel girders can be a problem

10 Mbps might be a problem. With three devices streaming simultaneously you would be pushing that to its limits. 30 Mps would be a much better option. I would give some thought to having at least one of your video devices wired, probably the one closest to the router. All that entails is running a cable from the router to the device providing it has an Ethernet connection. That would take some of the pressure of the wi-fi for the other two devices.

If I pay Brighthouse to come out and set up the wifi, will they "drop" connections through the attic and make a "wired" connection for each of the boxes??

I don't quite understand that. If you go the wifi route there is no need for wires . If you went for the wired option, the wires would go from the router to the devices. I don't see where the attic comes into it unless your router is in the attic.

The hardest part is setting up the router. Once that is configured an working correctly, the rest is easy. It is then just a matter of setting up each individual device to communicate with the router.

Just to get a bit technical but you will understand this when you read the instructions for the router.

Make sure DHCP is on and your computer is configured to get IP address automatically.

Use WPA2 for Security and Automatic Channel selection if available.

Get back to us if you have any problems and I am sure we can sort them out.

Stuart


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#4
July 17, 2013 at 09:27:27
Stuart - Thanks for your help!! I think I understand everything except the last items, but as you say, I will understand better when I go to set up the router. One last question: If I wanted to "try out" the roku to make sure it is something that my family will be able to use easily before I buy more roku boxes or cut out cable TV, do you think the router with the 10mbps would be sufficient?? I just want to be sure that my family will be able to navigate properly using the roku (my mom lives with us and you know change and new technical things can be a little scary for older people) and that it will meet our needs!! Thanks again for all you help - this is so much easier than paying someone to do it for me!! :) Have a great afternoon!! Kim

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#5
July 17, 2013 at 10:25:40
✔ Best Answer
Hi Kim,

If you wanted to try out the Roku with 10 mps that should work fine. Two might even be possible, but three might be a bit much.

Once the device is set up, navigating it should be easy. The Roku comes with a remote control so it would be little different than using a normal TV remote. I have just been looking at the Specs for the Roku. Apparently it comes in two models. I would go for the more advanced model if you can afford it. It has some useful additions and the cheaper model doesn't come with Ethernet, just wi-fi.

my mom lives with us and you know change and new technical things can be a little scary for older people

Yes they can, but then I am only 67 years old. :--) But I have been messing about with computers for over thirty years. You do tend to pick up a trick or two in that time.

Stuart


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#6
July 17, 2013 at 11:56:04
Stuart -- Please don't be offended by my comment - my mom is in her 70s and worked at the same job for over 30 years, so she does not have a lot of experience with "technology." LOL I think I am going to try it and go from there. I will definitely let you know if I have any issues with the router so perhaps you can help me if needed!! Again, thank you so much for all of your help!! Have a great afternoon!! :) Kim

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#7
July 17, 2013 at 12:59:53
Kim. I wasn't offended in the least, just a little amused. My twin sister couldn't couldn't tell a bit from a byte even of her life depended on it.

Good luck with your project. Come back if you have any problems.

Stuart


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#8
July 24, 2013 at 05:33:34
Hey Stuart - Just wanted to let you know that I purchased the NetGear router and Roku box last weekend. It took a little time, but I was able to get everything working by myself and now we have wireless!! Now I see just how ridiculous it is for Brighthouse to charge $50 for the same thing!! I think they purposely make you think you will NEED their help by charging so much, but it was actually pretty easy, and I am obviously not too tech-oriented!! Not sure if we will keep the Roku box, but my husband's tablet and my mom's Nook work very well with the wireless service, so we may just keep the Netflix and let the kids watch movies on the tablet!! Anyway, thank you very much for all your help - it is nice to know that those of us with limited knowledge have a place to go to get help!! :) Kim

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#9
July 24, 2013 at 06:21:06
Glad to hear it Kim and thank you for coming back and letting me know.

Like most things, its easy when you know how. If you ever need to set up another router then you will find it a lot easier. They are all basically all he same with some minor differences.

Best wishes.

Stuart


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