I cut the cord a while ago and have used a PC connected to my PC. I typically leave a bunch of tabs open for all my services, but am considering purchasing a Roku 4 or Ultra to simply things. I have three questions before I buy it.
Is there a history of things you’ve watched somewhere?
I’d like to be able to leave my PC off, but I have an external drive with a fair bit of media on it. I’m about to get a router that has a USB port and believe that it does DLNA. I believe that the Roku Media Player channel supports that. Has anyone done this?
I’d like a central Watch Queue across all my apps – is it possible with a Roku?
I have Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Netflix, I watch the Daily Show (which I assume there’s an app for), have a Watch Later queue on YouTube and there’s one or two shows that I watch on Fox.com, ABC.com, etc. I’d like a central queue of all of the shows that I watch across all the apps. Is that possible? I saw the “My Feed” which looks helpful so I know when a new season or episode comes out for a show I’m watching, but sometimes I find a show late and want to add the existing episodes to my queue to watch later. Does it accomplish all of this in a centralized queue across all my apps?
The Netflix queue does a pretty good job, but gets content in bulk rather than single new episodes like the Daily Show getting added every day. My favorite example was the way Hulu’s queue worked when the service was first released (before they changed the UI)–you could add old episodes to your watch queue and newly arrived episodes bumped the show series to the top of the list. They were removed from your queue after you watched them so you know you’re caught up. I want this, but one queue for all of my apps. In my ideal world, this queue would two-way sync back to the service. That is, YouTube videos that I add to my Watch Later in my browser are added to the queue on my Roku and when I watch it on my Roku, it’s marked as viewed in my browser and removed from that queue as well. And if I get a third wish, it would automatically pull in the shows on my Netflix queue automatically and anything that’s not yet watched to the queue. I know this may be asking a lot, but I was impressed the time I was at a friend’s place and the search worked across all services. Does the Feed do all of this? Any 3rd party apps do it?
Thanks for the help! Feel free to share your favorite queue system if you have a few more minutes.
Each “channel” on the Roku defines it’s own way of managing what you have watched and what you haven’t.
The Tablo channel does distinguish (as noted by another poster here).
Netflix tracks the next show in a series that you haven’t watched and has a “recently watched” section.
Crackle doesn’t do any tracking.
None of those are history exactly.
If your router does DLNA, there are Roku channels that support playing from a DLNA server but be warned: DLNA does not do any transcoding so you can only play media files that can be played directly on the Roku. There are a number of channels that support DLNA (some free, some pay). The one made by Roku (the company) is free and okay.
If you get the right model Roku, you can connect a USB mass storage device and play videos from that directly. Same restrictions as above apply.
I haven’t messed much with the “My Feed” thing but I don’t believe there is a central watch queue. Each “app” on a Roku is like it’s own channel. It connects to a specific service and provides an interface to that service. The various services provide their own features.
I believe you can log-in to your YouTube account on your Roku and see your Watch Later queue.
I’m not sure if there is a Daily Show channel/app for the Roku but I’m in Canada and we miss out on a lot of the channels/apps available in the USA.