I picked up a ROKU, I am wanting to cut the Cable TV cord.


I first tried the ROKU hooked up to the TV with an HDMI in the Great room/Living room and it worked well. We even watched a couple movies on Amazon Prime. No dropouts or buffering. (ROKU is connected to 60mbps speed internet through a switch with CAT5e.)

Last night I thought I would try it in the HT room and see how it worked and how the picture quality looked there.
Hook up of the ROKU to the switch again by CAT5e. From the output of the ROKU I connected the HDMI cable to an HDMI input on a Marantz SR8002 HT receiver.

I then turned on the equipment and set the Marantz to the correct HDMI input port and the ROKU home page came up just fine. I checked YouTube and it seemed ok. When I tried Amazon Prime it loaded fine. But, when we found a movie we wanted to watch, it started to load, but then an info block came up on the screen of the TV saying there wasn't enough bandwidth to load the movie. I tried again 2 or 3 times, same thing. I knew the problem was not the Ethernet cable. Works fine when using it for Netflix.

So what the heck was the problem? I even tried a different HDMI input port on the Marantz. Why? I don't know but I did....
 For a test I disconnected the ROKU HDMI cable from the Marantz and connected it directly to an HDMI input port on the Samsung LED TV. I then attempted again to watch the same movie on Amazon Prime as I tried earlier. Movie loaded without a glitch. Not a dropout or buffering glitch once throughout the entire movie.
What gives?

Jim

jea48
Pardon my dumb question but don't you still need cable to access the internet to use the ROKU?

ozzy

No, you just need internet Wi-Fi .
I use Roku and have only an antenna for TV.
Of course, in the Twin Cities I can get 40 odd stations with a flat antenna on a window .
But to get Wi-Fi don't you still need cable?

ozzy
Yes, I still need internet.

At present the phone, internet, and cable TV, is from one provider.
The cable TV runs about $90 a month + tax.
High speed internet $51 + tax
Phone$30 + tax
And then there are other fees that add up to another $20 or so a month.
The cable company just raised their price again. It’s now $212.59 a mo.
The only premium channel we have is Starz (garbage) which is part of the package. The bills says Starz is $2.41 a mo.

I can get Sling TV with the same programing as I have now (minus Starz) for $35 a month + tax.

I will have some up front costs and a little of my labor. To receive the 14 or so local over the air TV stations in my area I will have to install HD TV antenna in the attic. ( I’ll pay for that in 3 months. The Cable CATV provider charges $11.40 per month, for only about 5 or 6 of the 14 channels, to receive the local stations). I will also need to buy a ROKU unit for each TV I want to stream from, or what ever type of streamer unit I choose. I hear Amazon Prime also has a streaming service App that will give the user the channels he/she wants, not just what the CATV provider offers.
I just started looking into a Fire Stick. Nice thing about what I have looked at so far, no contracts.

Jim

Broadcast TV s**ks! All the best shows are only available on the cable/satellite/telecom pipeline! For this you have to pay - and pay! TANSTAAFL!   But look outside! See that cable box junction? Got a nice long piece of wire ...oops, waveguide ...
You can a free Roku when signing up for different content providers.  DirectTV & Sling run frequent promos.  Others probably do too.
@jea48
Who is your internet provider? That’s way too expensive for what you get. I have Spectrum and with HD on all channels, 5 premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, TMC, Epix.), internet (100 mbs) and phone with all the trimmings, and  it comes to less than $130/month.

Try contacting customer retention by going through customer service and asking for a supervisor and see if you can get it down to something reasonable.

All the best,
Nonoise
@nonoise

Mediacom.

Dealing with them is like dealing with a used car shyster.

Jim


@jea48 

Sorry to hear that. There should be real competition for you dollars instead of companies dividing up territories and sticking it to folk.

All the best,
Nonoise
Hey Jim- Wish I could get your deal ;-)  Comcast bills me about $250/month AND the phone service has multiple drop-outs after about 5 minutes.  Eventually, you can't even have a conversation!  Dealing with them is like dealing with a used car shyster for whom English is a second language!  I was able to save $10 month by buying my own modem/router but it is an 18 month payback.   Trying to figure out a way to cut the cord, but there are 2 major problems:
1.  The TV broadcast antennas are in 3 different directions, so I'd need to put in an attic antenna w a rotor to get OTA TV. That is a PITA, not the installation, but the need to rotate the antenna.  Besides local news, there actually are a couple of good shows OTA. 
2.  Our state university (UCONN) has contracted with SNY, a regional cable network to carry games that are not on national TV.  AFAIK, they do not offer streaming. 
For those who want to use OTA broadcasts, check out AntennaWeb.org - Antenna Signal Prediction for the best way to align your antenna with your local broadcasters.

All the best,
Nonoise
FWIW Plex app runs on Roku and others and now provides a nice integration option for over the air TV via an antenna and the PLEX app. haven’t tried it yet but probably will when I cut the cable TV cord sometime soon I hope.   Plex is a multimedia streaming app and works great as a source of CD quality digital to your hifi as well.  Best of all Plex is  free to start and use via a browser.  Apps for Apple, Roku, Amazon and others cost a few bucks and there are premium services that can be added if desired.   VEry cost effective solution for streaming hifi digital audio and now over the air TV as well, among other things.
I get Wi-Fi through phone line with Century Link . Works fine .

When I am in Berlin that are about 20 companies you can get cable with  at about 50Euros  for what would be over
200$ with monopoly of Comcast in Twin Cities .
Look around you, USA is hell-bent to have fewer companies control  more and more things .

schubert3,910 posts02-08-2018 3:47pmI get Wi-Fi through phone line with Century Link . Works fine .
@schubert

Century Link in my area sucks. Nothing but customer complaints!
swampwalker
5,096 posts                                                               02-08-2018 2:49pm

Hey Jim- Wish I could get your deal ;-) Comcast bills me about $250/month AND the phone service has multiple drop-outs after about 5 minutes. Eventually, you can’t even have a conversation! Dealing with them is like dealing with a used car shyster for whom English is a second language! I was able to save $10 month by buying my own modem/router but it is an 18 month payback.

@swampwalker

I had phone problems for about a year after first getting the phone over Cable. Sounds like same problems you are having. To make a long story short the problem was the incoming digital signal was too strong and would lock up the modem sometimes. The only way I could get the thing unlocked was to unplug it from the power outlet, wait about 3 to 5 minutes, and plug it back in and let it reboot. To make a long story short I was told to call Mediacom and tell them their digital signal was too strong and was over driving the modem, causing it to lock up. Yeah Mediacom wanted to argue the point. Who was I tell them anything! I can’t count all the times they had come out before, only to tell me everything looked ok. I said send someone out and make sure they bring a bigger DB drop splitter, than was being used at the time.

Now the only time I lose the phone is when there is an outage in the area. 7 years and counting.

Dealing with them is like dealing with a used car shyster for whom English is a second language!

Yeah we found out don’t call the Mediacom help desk after about 11:00AM. If you do you are speaking to someone in the Philippines.

For what it’s worth I was telling my nephew I wanted to find an alternative to Mediacom cable TV. He is the one I got the ROKU box and remote from to try out.

For phone he uses Vonage. $25 a month + tax. It works over the internet. He has been using Vontage for about 10 without any problems. I checked into it. Right now they have a special offer for $9.99 + tax for one year and you get about $119 worth of equipment free. A one year contract is required for the special offer.

Jim
Not so easy to cut the cable cord is it?

Well I reduced my bill by using Infinity (secret identity is Comcast) for just the internet ($79/mo) and Dish TV (for $70/mo but includes HBO). 
BYW, Picture quality with Dish is superior to Comcast.

I would really like to get away from Comcast completely but there is no good alternate for internet service. I have thought about Hughs net satellite service but I am not too sure about the internet speed.

ozzy
We no longer have satellite service and use Roku. One note of caution is warranted. We had buffering issues with Roku and Directv Now during the Super Bowl. We were not alone. Others in the Dallas area were losing the feed, or waiting for buffering during the game. I suspect that the abnormally high use of wireless users all streaming the same feed overwhelmed the system. For us we missed portions of the halftime show (about 40 seconds or so) and about 90 seconds of the second half (more important). Overall, Roku rocks and I recommend it. I suspect because Directv Now just got its act together recently, the issue will resolve itself in the major metropolitan areas before the next Super Bowl. But the Olympics may see the problem return shortly.  
Few things different subjects within the thread:
There are plenty boxes available that are like a Roku or Firestick.  
The best that I have seen is called a Yundoo Y8... There are 2 versions of this,  1 is a 2gb ram, 16gb drive,  the other is a 4gb ram, 32gb drive.... Don't mess with the lower unit..... With this and a free service,  I believe someone mentioned Plex earlier, this works well as well as Kodi or Emby.  With this combination, you can watch hundreds of sites with all kinds of shows, movies etc.  
Price of internet.  I have found that unless you are truly willing to drop a service and leave it off for 30 days,  you won't get a better price.  Some of these great deals that you see quoted are for the 1st year only or include slow internet.  I currently have 200mb service and it cost me $74.  If I dropped it, waited 30 days and re subscribed, it would cost me $50.  Or I can get a much different DSL type variation up to about 25mb for only $30.... that sucks.  Basically, a new customer gets a deal,  they are buying your business.  If you are in, you lose.  You must be willing to walk away to get back in at that (normally 1 year) deal. 
cable companies only have fake nooz, fake sports and fake movies so save your $90/mo

This response only pertains to telephone costs if you use a landline......After checking all of my local providers to see what telephone would cost whether with a bundle package or not I looked into the best  option at the lowest cost.
OOMA came out on top above all the others. I suggest going to their website for details. It is an Internet based system that requires a broadband connection.
The base unit is $100 if purchased online and not at local stores. Any phone (wired or wireless) can be used but I got their wireless handset ($50) and the optional wifi adapter ($40). Your current phone number can be ported over to the system for a $40 charge. You can select a temporary number until that happens. Mine took a bit less than 2 weeks.
I only subscribe to the basic package since I don't do International calling but there is unlimited calling within the US.
That may sound like an expensive initial cost. My former bill from the local carrier was $50/mo. Just for phone. With the OOMA my bill averages $4.50/mo. Doesn't take very long to recoup the initial cost.
 
I think I remember somewhere reading that Marantz receivers have some kind of compatibility issue with Roku. Could be wrong but go to AVS Forum to their Roku section and ask the question. I have two Rokus through two separate Yamaha receivers and never had an issue. I own the Roku 3 and Roku Premiere +. The new Roku Ultra seems to have a number of glitches reported on the Forum.
Wanted to answer the question.  The reason you see buffering on some services and not others is simply the quality of the engineers and how many hops you are from a server.  In late 2016 ISPs estimated that Netflix accounted for 37% of all traffic during peak hours.  Netflix is hosted on AWS, which is the same as Prime Video...but Netflix is neurotic about availability.  So much so they developed a tremendously cool piece of code called Chaos Monkey.
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Chaos-Monkey
If you are curious about the topic read up, but the tldr version is that they have a team that does nothing but make sure when things break everything continues on like absolutely nothing happened.

I cut the cord about 3 years ago, it has not always been easy but my favorites are:

phone:  https://www.obitalk.com/obinet/
tv over the air: https://www.silicondust.com/
and for the WAF: we run all Apple TVs (I have a hidden amazon fire)
We pay monthly for Hulu, Netflix, Prime and HBO.

@mattg3,

 Thanks for the response. Like I said in my OP Amazon Prime plays movies flawlessly If I feed the HDMI from the ROKU directly to an HDMI input on the TV.

I'll try doing a search on the AVS forum about incompatibility problems between the ROKU and Marantz HT receiver. It is strange though the HDMI would cause a bandwidth problem loading an Amazon Prime movie.

The Samsung LED TV only offers a Toslink digital output. I'm not a fan of Toslink but I guess I will try it from the Samsung to the Marantz and see how it sounds.  I need to pick up a 1.5M cable.

Which ROKU do you recommend for best picture and overall quality?
The one I am using now is the 3. I assume that's what the big 3 on the top of the box means.

By change are you using Sling TV? If so how is the sound and picture quality? Is the picture quality comparable to Cable TV?

Jim


I am a Roku fan and allowed me to drop all the BS and just buy bandwidth from Spectrum/Charter at $60 per month for 100Mbs.  Add in the cost of Netflix & Prime and I'm still under $100 per month ! 
I was given my first Roku years ago to wring it out versus Apple TV box. The Roku won. With the advent of 4K HD, I bought a Roku3 and aside from some initial glitches auto updates fixed everything. I found that hard wiring versus Wi-Fi has best performance, I also suggest adding a 8Gb-16Gb MicroSD for improved service. Both Rokus are happily still in service.
( Note :  Anyone notice the Netflix folks jacked up the rate ( $10.99 ) and took away the 5.1 surround ?    Grrrrr rat bastards ! ) 
@jea48 - I wish I could give you a magic bullet, given how much help you have been to me and others over the years here on things electrical. I had some earlier Roku units, one smelled like burning plastic when I powered it up, a couple others worked fine, but my biggest frustration with the product -now dated- was support at the time, which was virtually non-existent. I hope they have improved. The last one I had worked fine and is buried in a box somewhere.
From your description, the bottleneck is the receiver in the middle. Here’s a thread describing the same problem: [url]http://www.avsforum.com/forum/39-networking-media-servers-content-streaming/2180233-roku-4-not-worki...[/url]. One solution, it seemed, was the power up sequence and the handshake among the equipment. You might try that. I would think the Marantz automatically senses the bandwidth of the incoming signal and adjusts accordingly. (I know there were some setting issues on audio output on various components, but I you aren’t having an audio only problem).
It also doesn’t sound like you have an internet signal problem if the movie played fine with the Roku straight into the TV. (in the early days, I had all kinds of bandwidth drop out problems with my former internet provider- the techs at Vudu determined that I was getting these very small drop outs which were enough to destabilize the stream and disrupt it).

I went from a big front projector with fancy audiophile grade components to a smaller den sized system that uses an Amazon Fire box, thru a Marantz pre-pro (and McI multichannel power amp) into a Samsung TV. When I moved, I set it up again in Texas with a newer, larger Samsung TV, and it really was plug and play- no issues. I have cable based internet only service thru Spectrum- not considered the best service by any means, but honestly, haven’t had any issues. No drop outs or buffering. And my cost, compared to a "bundle" with cable TV, Internet and phone (who uses a landline any more any way) went from 185 dollars a month in NY to 47 dollars a month in Texas. (I was using Fios in NY which I liked for the Internet, but the ’set top box" was typical ’80s-era cable box with kludged updates).
At one time i had almost all the streaming boxes here, Apple TV, the Fire, a Roku latest model (3 or 4 years ago- i’m sure they’ve changed) and settled on the Amazon. I have been a Prime customer forever, so the free movies aren’t the latest, but neither are those on Netflix. I pay a la carte to get HBO for another 16 bucks, and have a Netflix subscription mainly for stuff they produce- (though I’m watching Peaky Blinders through Netflix which is cool- Amazon only had two of the seasons).
Like I said, I don’t have a magic solution- I worked thru a variety of different devices over the years, and knock wood, I’ve gotten a trouble free set up for the last several years. You might try the power on sequence described in that thread link and see if it helps.
PS: I did not activate any of the apps in the Samsung TV, i use it strictly as a monitor. 

best,
bill hart
Can't add anything about Roku, but 2 thumbs up for the jwargel recommendation of OBiTALK for phone service. I have been using it for a few months now and the quality/features are better than the old phone service land line. Once you buy the voip adapter for ~$50 (single line), the service is $0/month, unless you want enhanced 911 service for a couple of bucks. After getting it, I asked people how I sounded on their end, and everyone said great. Also, got this Panasonic phone system with only the base unit needing to be connected to the OBiTALK adapter. Extensions just need to be plugged into AC for battery charging. Now I can even text or answer my cell phone on those extensions. No doubt the talking caller ID is pretty cool for incoming calls.

http://shop.panasonic.com/cordless-corded-telephones/cordless-telephones/KX-TGD56M.html?dwvar_KX-TGD...

The convenience of phone extensions throughout the house with modern day technology.

@whart ,

Bill,
 Thanks for the Link. I followed the post on the AVS forum where the guy said everything had to be powered off before connecting the HDMI cable from the ROKU to the HT receiver. I did have the Marantz and Samsung turned off but not the ROKU.

I just tried hooking the ROKU HDMI cable back up to the Marantz again having everything turned off including having the ROKU unplugged from the AC mains power outlet.

I then plugged in the ROKU PS into the AC power outlet. I waited for the blinking light on the front of the ROKU to stop blinking and go to solid.

I them powered up the Samsung TV and Marantz HT receiver. Set the Marantz to the correct HDMI input. And as before, the ROKU home page came up.

I then went to Amazon Prime. The page came up as before. I selected the same movie as I did before, when the low bandwidth banner came up on the screen..... NO Banner this time!! The movie started playing. No glitches or buffering, so far. Picture quality looks the sames as it did with the ROKU connected directly to the Samsung. Sounds good as well. A heck of a lot better than it did coming out of the 2 little down firing speakers on the TV.

Jim
@jea48 - well YAY! 
I'm a genius. :)
Not really. Glad you got it working. 
best,
bill
Happy that your setup is now working.  You may have encountered the same unusual problem that I had on Thursday. I got a "not connected to the server" message when trying to use my ROKU to view a movie on Prime.  I tried Netflix on the ROKU and it worked fine.  I then went to the Prime app on my LG OLED and I could view the movie with no problems.  Later in the day, all was well with the ROKU.  I think there must have been some kind of temporary glitch between ROKU and Prime.
I too would like to cut the cable cord but judging from the posts here it isn't easy. Does anyone happen to know whether channels like the Tennis Channel and the Golf Channel are available a la carte? It would be so nice if I could just pick and choose the channels I want and not the hundreds I don't.
Agreed-
Cable TV has become a rip-off to state the very least. Thank goodness that DirectV and Dish keeps the playing field somewhat level.
Cut the cord 4 years ago, and primarily use Roku devices.  Right now the Roku Streaming Stick+ is about the best value to performance ratio for Roku devices, have not seen any lag or buffering issues.  Also, 4K content comes through no problem.

Key to this lifestyle is to try and get internet through fiber if possible, or spend a bit more to get stability and more mbs.  Had loads of issues with cable internet in my area, was a constant speed dial to the provider every two weeks or so.  Paying for 100 mbs, realizing only about 15 and down to 5 at some points.  Total garbage.  Getting 300 over WiFi now with the fiber, same price point (not an introductory either).  Realize this isn't available in most places though. 

Anyways, we will never look back.  Counting all subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc) all in we are about 50% cheaper than the similar packages offered by dish or cable.  We were already paying for Netflix anyway. Interruptions in service are rare, and no more than cable outages (or thunderstorms when we had DirecTV). 

Bundles are of no use to us, we have no need for a landline.  Was also getting sick of the "threaten to quit" cycle to lower the rate every so often.  With this, I can quit with a click, and resume with the same whenever I want.