Screw you, Roku

Sat down Friday evening to watch some of my stories on TV via Netflix streaming – something I’ve been happily and easily doing since I bought my little Roku box on May 20, 2008. This was the first day they went on sale, so I was on the cutting edge of this nascent technology.

Anyway, despite having just used Roku a week prior, the device wouldn’t power on. I tried plugging and unplugging the cord, using a different outlet, using the “reset” button – nothing. What’s so strange about this is that there are no moving parts – it’s just a box with a circuit board in it. Nor had there been any warning – the device had functioned perfectly until this evening.

When I contacted Roku the next day, they offered little in the way of troubleshooting advice (other than what I’d already tried). Their solution? They are sending me a new power cord; if that doesn’t fix things, then the device is “defective” (their word) and I’m S.O.L. (my paraphrasing).

Granted, the Roku is three-years-old – but I was less than pleased that there was no offer of a discounted replacement, an opportunity to send for repair or anything else. This was especially annoying given that I was one of their first customers and an evangelist for this thing. Though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I recall getting an offer from Roku for a $5 credit for movies on demand via Amazon. Since I’d already signed up for this service from Amazon, I didn’t “qualify” for the offer. When I contacted Roku to see how to get this credit (as a long-standing customer and early adopter of their offerings), their response was (and I’m paraphrasing here) “you’re screwed.”

Happily, though, I have a media server that will stream via my PlayStation, so I can still watch Netflix. Even better, though, was that after updating said PlayStation, there is actually a Netflix app that runs on the PlayStation! I can access Netflix just as with my Roku – plus at a higher resolution and, best of all, with subtitles available (something Roku does not support, even when available via Netflix).

Goodbye and good riddance, Roku! I won’t miss you at all, thanks to my PlayStation.

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