I was not late getting into streaming video. The day Netflix said I could stream on my PC in early 2007 I installed the browser app. Roku introduced its first player in mid-2008 and, once I saw it was going to hang in, I bought one in early 2009 and put it on my Sony 32″ SD TV with an S-Video cable. After replacing the TV with a 40″ HDTV Samsung in the sun room I bought a Roku 2 XS and moved the Roku player to the projector, where the receiver accepts only coaxial and optical digital audio. And that is one of the reasons why, as of this Christmas Day, I am saying goodbye to Roku.
The XS was pretty good, but I wanted something faster, and Amazon’s pre-release offer of $20 for the Fire TV Stick was too good to pass up. So that’s on the Samsung now. Downstairs, on the projector, I used the old Roku player until getting a new Sony Blu-ray player a year ago. The Roku is extremely slow and only goes up to 720p, so I streamed Netflix and Amazon on the Blu-ray, but the Sony network is very annoying because there are often lengthy delays in starting online playback, and sometimes the connection fails to come up altogether.
So, acting on a $70 deal from Amazon, there is now an Amazon Fire TV downstairs. I have no interest in updating my Dolby Digital receiver to one with HDMI switching, and the XS doesn’t have optical audio, but the Fire TV does. As an early and enthusiastic supporter of Roku I don’t feel good about leaving them, and if they hadn’t dropped optical audio I would have bought a Roku 3. But circumstances, and pricing, being what they are, I am now deeper than ever in the Amazon ecosphere.