Roku 1 or 2

This blog post mentions issues with the Roku 1, and recommends the 2 or 3.  But looking around the Community, there’s complaints of issues with 2 and 3 units too.  I have currently have a single Roku 1 I bought so I could familiarize myself with the technology while I do my paycheck by paycheck antenna tower installation.  In another week the concrete base will be cured and I can get the two Winegard Flatwave Airs mounted at 30’ and aimed north and south, then use my old Magnavox ATSC tuner to figure out if it’s worth the technical voodoo to combine the two antennas to use a single 4 tuner Tablo or if it would be easier to just buy two 2-tuner Tablos (and a month after purchase the Tablo “powers that be” will introduce the new whiz bang 2+2 tuner!  ). 

My situation is I’ll eventually be buying Rokus for six more TVs.  It’s just me and the wife, but there’s a TV in almost every room.  Three of the TVs are CRTs with no HDMI input, so the Roku 3 is not an option.  I’d also like to use “universal” IR remotes to control both the Roku and TV, which eliminates the Roku 3 and its RF remote for the four flatscreens.  So unless I’m missing something, the Roku 1 or 2 are my options.  There’s a $20-$30 price difference and when multiplied by six or seven, the Roku 1 looks more cost effective. 

So what are the actual issues with the Roku 1?

@Watzit Roku 3 is a WiFi remote, although it also will read IR signals, so you don’t have to eliminate it based on that.

A lot of what you’re asking depends on how you are going to set up the network in your house.  Will you use WiFi, or Powerline Adapters like many of us do on the forum?  That will effect our recomendations.

The Roku 3 does work with IR remotes.  My Harmony remote works fine, though the remote needs a line of sight for it, while the default Roku remote can be used anywhere in my house (or even outside since it is all wi-fi).

Your main limitation for the Roku 3 is no HDMI output on 3 of your TVs.  

I have only used the Roku 3 (I have two of them, and they work great), so hopefully someone else can chime in on the Roku 1 and 2.

I’ve been using a Roku 1 since day 1, I have no issues.

Also, the current Roku 1 (2013) is a much different beast than the original Roku (2009). The current Roku 1 is new hardware. I’d be very surprised of you had issues with a new Roku 1 (2013).

Tablo works fine in our house on third generation roku 3 and third generation roku 2. We have one roku (either a first or second gen) that the tablo app doesn’t work on. Plex channel, though, works on them all.

I’m mostly echoing what’s already been said here. But, essentially, it’s completely relative to your network and your setup. We make official recommendations based on the most popular use cases. 

@Cedarrapidsboy is correct mentioning that the original Roku 1 vs the current iteration are entirely different. Roku has a few different versions of its lineup, which has created some confusion. It doesn’t help that it also seems as though they’re using different internal hardware on the same models. 

@jbanks25  - I was assuming WiFi for all Rokus, so you’ll have some fast talking to do for me to pay $60 x 4 additional for a 2.5mm headset jack in the remote and Cat5 jack in the base for four TVs, plus Powerline Adapters.  Remember, we’re talking two TV users max, and coverage in the residence is good. 

Details on the network: The residence has a Hawking HW2R1 router with the RJ-45 WAN port connected to the cable ISP modem.  This HW2R1 does the DHCP, and six of the Rokus will reside in the residence. 

The seventh Roku will be in my shop building, 250-300’ from the residence.  There is another HW2R1 there, and since the shop is a metal building that shields most RF, I have a Tram/Browning BR-6320 15dBi shotgun antenna mounted outside pointing at the residence.  That antenna is connected to the RP-SMA wireless WAN port of a second HW2R1 in AP mode.  So the shop has a (theoretically 54mbs) 802.11g link to the residence and is on the same subnet.  I haven’t had any issues with connectivity, but to be honest, I don’t live in the shop and utilize the network 24/7/365.  But here’s the plan…

Since the shop has the tower and antennas, it will basically be the “headend” and the Tablo(s) will be there, plugged into a wired LAN port of the AP.  The Tablo(s) will then be on the network and available in the residence for those six Rokus.

After testing, if the wireless link between the residence and shop isn’t viable, I’m so ticked at the cable company for going all digital and charging me $600/yr just for the boxes for our flatscreens (which is why I bought the Roku 1 and am running it through a CH3/4 RF modulator to the CRT in the exercise room just to have something to watch, the guest room remains without TV and the shop had OTA on a 15’ mast before the tower project) in addition to the $700/yr for TV service, I’m ready to rent a trencher and lay in SM fiber between the buildings.  I have the tools and knowledge to terminate it.

Thanks all for clearing up the IR/RF remote issue.  In the grand scheme of things, the additional expenditure for Roku 2 or 3 boxes is minor, but if @Max isn’t having issues with a Roku 1, and there’s no response as to what the issues are supposed to be, or what they were and that they’ve been addressed but that blog page hasn’t been updated, I can’t see spending the money on what isn’t necessary when it can be better spent on what is. 

@whatzit No fast talking here, just trying to make things reliable and affordable.  I don’t run any of my streaming devices that have Ethernet on WiFi.  If you read these forums enough you will notice a pretty common trend with people who have connection problems, and it revolves around the use of WiFi. Many of us frequent posters border on powerline evangelists (If you want rock solid reliability without a house wired with cat 5/6 they are where it’s at Unless your house is wired with knob and tube or something else silly :slight_smile:

That brings me to the original reason why I asked the question…  If you had said you were pro Ethernet then I would have suggested the Roku2XS (used or open box).  That is what I have on one of my auxiliary tvs and it works great.  I picked it up for $50, which is the cheapest you can get an Ethernet capable Roku that would run the Tablo app.

Somehting else to consider (and a good reason to avoid the Roku 2 and 3 in my opinion) is WiFi interference from them.  Do your research on google, and it will probably go even further towards talking you out of those devices.  I have a 3 in my house, and the WiFi reception has never been the same.

@cedarrapidsboy & @TabloSupport - the Wikipedia article linked doesn’t list a Roku 1 prior to the Third Generation.  Mine was bought direct from Roku a month ago.  I assume folks refer to the (2009) HD or HD-XR versions generically as Roku 1?

@jbanks25 - from the initial Google hits I got, the main culprit seems to be the RF remote feature causing the WiFi interference, which wouldn’t be an issue with a Roku 1 since it is IR only.  That seems another on the plus side for the Roku 1.

I just looked at 3Star’s prices on CATV hardline and realized if I had a trench open for fiber the cost would be comparable to two Tablo 2-tuners.  But then I wouldn’t need the fiber, so the cost of the trench goes to the hardline…  I sure hope the WiFi link between the residence and shop works. 


From the beginning of Roku time, there was:

First Gen models named: Roku XXX
Second gen models named: Roku LT, HD, 2 XX

Third gen models named: Roku LT, 1, 2, 3

Where is the confusion, now? :wink: (j/k)

I got a (3rd gen) Roku 2 for my daughter. It really is a good value… WiFi remote like the Roku 3, all the video features of the Roku 3 (as far as I can tell), and less costly.

Note: The Roku 3 has ethernet and it really does make a difference in responsiveness of services like Netflix and Amazon (vs. WiFi).

@cedarrapidsboy - I think “the confusion” is coming from a blog article that IMHO Tablo should update if in fact there are no issues with the Roku 1 working with Tablo other than the individual end user’s network or configuration. My point is that in the blog post I originally referenced it states that “The current generation of the Roku units (Roku 2 and Roku 3) have been
tested for Tablo compatibility…
Some customers are currently experiencing issues using Tablo with
Roku 1 but we are actively working to resolve these problems
”.  The Wikipedia article you referenced only adds credence to the fact there was no officially named “Roku 1” model prior to 2013, so there should be no confusion that the blog must be talking about the one and only, current, 2013, Third Generation Roku 1 having unresolved issues as of 5/7/2014. 

In this Roku Community there is a post from two days ago where @TabloSupport states "We’ve tested and confirmed the latest
generation of Rokus, including the Roku 1, 2, 3… "
which contradicts the blog.  Now I’m not sure when in the past 4 months Tablo confirmed the Roku 1 to be reliable, but if I worked for Roku I’d be miffed that a blog article (that some penny-pinching boomer researching his project found, so that means anyone could) was dissing my product, even if it was advocating sales for my two higher priced units. 

There are some people like myself that don’t see the need to pay $30 extra for a headset jack and earbuds (and the associated WiFi interference), or $60 more for that and an Ethernet jack as long as the basic functionality of streaming live TV from our Tablo via our WiFi network exists in a more economical and less “feature rich” Roku version.

@whatzit - Point taken! I’ll synch up w/ @TabloSupport and get that article updated with their feedback.