Roku has abandoned me, so how is the fast-forwarding on the nvidia shield tv pro?


It’s taken several years, but with the most recent Roku update, the have finally lost me as a customer.

It’s too bad, too… because this most recent update (be it from Roku or Tablo, I don’t know) introduced far better bif/keyframe/thumbnail fast forwarding (it was previously limited to 1x fast-forward & rewind.

So now, having already jumped ship and sunk the $300 on a new nvidia shield tv pro, I’m left wondering about one really odd, hopefully trivial point that someone can answer from there own experience…

Does the tablo app for the shield-tv have same “advanced” trick play support that the roku app has?

I imagine that the android sdk should have the flexibility to use even the roku bif files (though not the other way around), but I don’t know this for sure… I also suppose that there may be some irony if the more expensive shield tv does not have as good trick play as the cheaper roku?

It should be easy to answer, but I have not yet been able to find any forum posts directly answering this, or any “good” youtube videos of the tablo/shield-tv in this particular state…

aka: FF/RW frame previews, trick mode ?

Any other insights into what I should expect; leaving the safe roku ad jail for the wide open android wild west, would also be appreciated…


I don’t have any answers, but only questions.

  1. Why did you decide to leave Roku? I’m not too happy with them ever since I discovered their abuse of the WiFi direct protocol to interfere with my WiFi signal quality and throughput, but it sounds like you have other grievances.

  2. What is “trick play”?


Hey Bardel…

I don’t know if tablo wants this to be a forum for platform bashing, but since you asked, I would break it down into:

  • the company’s hubris; This hit me when I first read in there unilateral ‘agreement’ that they “reserve the right to display ads”… and I knew that they did not know what a right was, that they did not respect that I purchased and therefor “owned” the hardware… rather than buying into there ecosystem, over time it felt like they were just happy to have tricked me into a habit for a small cost difference. This was also reinforced the few times I had to interact with there customer support agents.
  • draconian software model - you can’t use the device for anything but what the proscribe, you cannot forgo or forestall automatic updates, you cannot sideload applicationS, even the cute ‘secret-code’ entry to add a private channel does not hide that they track and routinely ban/remove even unpublished apps, and the updates routinely break needed workflows (like… watching a video!) which leads me to…
  • it happened several times that I had to endure long periods of obscure brokeness (like… months) usually until the next major version was pushed.
  • ads are everywhere - not only does the device show you ad banners from the moment you turn it on, ‘usually’ occupying a third of the screen, in the menus/screen-saver, etc… but even in third party apps, explicit or not, it seems that the ad-focused spirit of roku corporate has trickled down to the apps, which are very much ad centric too… and I don’t think that I would mind if they were quality apps on freemium mode (pay to remove ads), but they are usually low quality, brittle, overpriced, or even usurious (such as, paying a monthly fee to each channel that you want to remove the ads from)…
  • similarly, whenever the right people give roku enough money, they will automatically subscribe you to an unwanted channel & place it on your homescreen in a prominent place
  • but they don’t stop there… they also sell non-reprogrammable, and non-disable-able ad spots on the remote control
  • it seems like a ghost town… I once had a dozen (or so) channels I frequented, and they all eventually broke (by sloppy roku api versioning/update) & were never fixed, were banned, or were just abandoned… when I go to the channel store now (with a task/feature/desire in mind), I can search for it… and there is nothing… only a hundred apps that would like me to stay in there ad-loop…
  • the above is what finally pushed me over the edge, actually… my last hold out… the last good app on roku (outside of the big two)… a reddit-videos view… long since banned from private channels… has finally been broken and automatically removed (probably due to api, rather than policy).
  • they actually have apis & commands to deliberately lock you out of controls during ad playback, perhaps this really goes more towards ad-centricity above (and I’m not talking about native apps, mind you), which brings me to:
  • native sdks “slots” are… “full”… they don’t want you to make a good app… “please go away”, and stop bothering us, they say…
  • even the non-native programming language is terrible… probably out of the scope of your question, but it is interpreted, can’t be run/tested/compiled on your local machine, has no transferrable value in (such as library support) or transferrable value out (like code reuse)…
  • and there programming api/documentation is barely adequate; it serves more to want a developer yearning for access to there version controls (as it hints at versions where features become available, etc), while only giving you the bare minimum to do what they expect/want you to do with a roku
  • sorta like what tivo was known for, they knowingly stand on the shoulders of those fighting against digital hegemony (i.e. free-as-in-freedom software) to create and exploit a larger entrapment.

Contrary to how the above may seem, I wish them no ill… I’m actually quite happy to leave Roku to there own fear-based death-grip strangle-hold on there platform, and simply advocate what I would to my network of friends.

Towards Android TV, I expect that even if I don’t find any of the other reddit video viewers to be acceptable, at least I know that I can invest in my own, and that it will be a worthwhile personal investment (android programming), as opposed to psuedo-basic brightscript… and even failing that there is always the worst-case emergency pull cord of custom roms (because nvidia has not locked the hardware down).

Number 2… as I understand the term, ‘trick play’ is any video playback mode other than ‘normal’ that still presents you with an image or sound (pause, rewind, fast-forward) heralding from the really-old vcrs where (for example) you had to press play AND fast-forward to get what we now consider to be fast-forward (to ‘trick’ it? that the feature was a trick?)… however, wikipedia seems to think it is similar but a far more modern term related to pulling out i-frames from a video stream: