I unplugged my Rokus this morning. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I had only invested around $300 in hardware and nothing in channels. I bought my first Roku because the Sony SMP-N200 did not support PlayOn. Their support guys recommended the Roku, so I tried one. That was in 2012. I was shocked to learn that discussion of Roku’s best channel would get you banned from their forums.
Then came the updates. Every update made the Roku worse. There are four locked threads on their fan forums regarding the instability of the Roku 2 XS. Despite this, their chat support denies the problem (“It is not issue at all”), and their consumer advocacy email simply refuses to address the issue.
I was so unhappy with Roku with their banned channels, locked discussions, and broken hardware that I decided to try the Amazon Fire TV in April. While it lacks the channels of the Roku, the FTV has been rock solid. It supports PlayOn and, finally, the Simple DVR (via Plex). My family loves the user interface and the snappy performance. My kids love the games and support for real game controllers.
This week, Real Simple Software announced a Plex channel for their DVR. With that announcement, my relationship with Roku ended. We are now a Plex on Fire TV streaming family — 100%. Buh bye Roku! You can have your snarky VCMs and people whose USERID includes the word Roku. You can keep your banned channels and primitive interface. I don’t need your several-times-a-day reboots. I am happily watching everything I want to watch on a streamer from a company that values its customers.
I’ll leave this blog up as a reference for the masochists, but I have moved on and you should too.