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View Full Version : Looking for Bathroom/Kitchen Solution? Roku WiFi Radio works with Slimserver



ajmitchell
2006-11-13, 05:49
Hi All,
Stumbled on this new compact radio that connects via WiFi as well as Am/Fm. Also found this nice review, which suggest it will connect seamlessly via slimserver (http://www.lordpercy.com/roku_wifi_radio_review.htm). No doubt its a little expensive (250-300UKP) and dublicates some functionality of SB3 (admittedly not as well) but it does provide a one box solution to some calls for kitchen,bathroom boombox type solutions.

r

alex

------------------------copy of review -------------------------
Roku WiFi Radio Review

WiFi radios are slowly emerging as an alternate to FM and DAB units as they offer a much wider choice of stations and as broadband continues to enter more homes so the bitrate used for online radio stations has grown to an average 128kbps, more than enough to rival an MP3 player. With this in mind we sourced a Roku WiFi radio for review, this soundbridge model is both and AM and FM radio but more importantly it will join your home or office wireless network and stream radio from anywhere in the world.
Getting your Roku radio onto a network is a very simple process as it is achieved via wizard that takes you through each step one at a time and also copes with secured networks by letting you enter your WEP key, sadly Roku do not support WPA at present so this could cause you problems. Once connected you can quickly use either the top mounted controls or the remote control to access the pre stored stations via your home broadband or office connectivity. But it is more likely that you'll grab a PC or Mac and login to the Roku via its web browser, from here you get full access to the system and can add new web radio stations, even assign them to one of 18 preset slots. The unit can handle both MP3 and WMA streaming formats which is the majority of internet radio transmissions (but not all).

Roku have two 1.65 inch drivers and a 2.36 inch mini subwoofer are crammed into a surprisingly small case in order to produce a very respectable sound from 128kbit sources. There is enough bass to compete with some DAB radios but perhaps not enough to rival the top end units from the likes of Sony and Pure digital, however overall the sound is balanced and does not distort unless you really push it.

The display is a joy to use and is the same as the one used on the other Sound bridge products, it is easy to read across a room and when combined with the intuitive menu system and handy remote it is quick to access your favourite stations and perform basic tasks. What you can achieve via the front panel is limited and you do find yourself using the web browser most of the time for serious sessions of configuration.

Where the Roku R1000 Radio really steps up is in its support for file based media both on its own SD / MMC card slot and also files shared over the WiFi network. This works with a number of music server software vendors including our favourite SlimServer from Slimdevices inc, we were able to hook up the Roku to see the Slim Server running on our network and access our library of files. This was a completely unexpected bonus and a feature we just didn't expect to get from a WiFi radio. We also found that you can also access and play ACC files (apple iPod format) as long as they were not DRM protected, no use for iTunes files but great for Podcasts which are not normally protected by DRM. according to Pinnacle the Roku will also work with Musicmatch and Napster but we were unable to test with these two.

Not everything in the Roku garden is rosy however, the biggest issue is the lack of support for WPA which is far more secure than plain old WEP encryption, plus there is no Ethernet port so you can't cable up the radio either. Then there is a lack of a line in meaning it cannot be used as an amplified for an iPod or other music player, plus the only line out is a headphone jack, the complete lack of a CD drive means you can't rip files or play disks so this really is for radio only!

But we won't moan too much as when it comes to internet radio the Pinnacle Roku Radio does the business, soon we were listening to radio from around the world from Virgin radio in London to KXYWZZTHP in nowheresville USA. Perhaps we'd have liked more than 18 presets as you soon fill them up and having to navigate to stations even when pre programmed via the web interface isn't the best mode of operation.

You could use the Roku Radio in the bedroom as it does have dual alarm clocks which have a nice way of slowly increasing volume to wake you up using a radio station of your choice. It would however make an expensive bedside radio priced at 300 and if you are already running Slim Server we presume you may have the excellent Squeezebox unit anyway which can do almost everything the Roku can.

For 300 we'd have expected a bit more from Roku, perhaps a CD inbuilt with the ability to rip files would have made the price seem a bit more reasonable when compared to the 230 Squeezebox 3 or the AE WiFi radio we tested a few months back. But still the Roku WiFi Radio is a nice bit of kit and does make www radio stations accessible from your kitchen!

RiccardoR
2006-11-13, 12:50
We are all waiting for many new types of Squeezeboxes: sure one new modew will be an amplified one as Roku Wifi Radio BUT with the quality of Slimdevices/Logitech products. I'm thinking a mix of Squeezebox and Logitech Z10 speakers.
Riccardo

Paul Webster
2006-11-13, 14:59
I went for Squeezebox plus a couple of basic powered speakers for the kitchen.
However, 2 of my brothers wanted all-in-one solution (one wanted regular FM radio as well ... the other didn't because the reason for going for this sort of device was because FM reception is so poor where he lives).

So - one went for the Roku device that you list above - and the other went for a Logik IR100 (online from Dixons or in PCWorld at 100GBP).

The Roku brother is a bit disappointed. He is a techie and had hoped for a bit more. It does sound good (given the low quality of the internet radio sources) but as a bedside radio (in his case) he finds it a shame that the remote and the device itself do not offer the same controls (e.g. no skip track on the radio).
He has also found that the wireless connectivity is a bit hit and miss on startup.
The other brother is not technical - and is happy with this basic device. He has no interest in playing music from the network at home (although it does have SMB and UPnP built in).

I would still recommend Squeezebox plus powered speakers plus something to run SlimServer on for most people that ask me about this sort of thing - but ... the all-in-one devices are certainly tempting. OK - they are generally less feature rich anddo not have a great screen and don't sound as good with high quality sources and are not as extensible ... but for basic no-nonsense internet radio then they are probably good enough for most people and can be much lower price than today's SB3.

MelonMonkey
2006-11-13, 15:16
It's been mentioned before (that's how I got the link) but not very often:

Squeezebox plus Zvox Mini

http://yhst-9301186439366.stores.yahoo.net/zvmihipestso.html

Bruno

bklaas
2006-11-13, 15:56
many moons ago I started a thread on best solutions for squeezebox in a small space.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=10597

I ended up buying a $100 (now $120) Tivoli Model 1 (http://www.tivoliaudio.com/home.php?cat=262), in glorious mono (I'm not being sarcastic, it sounds great).

SlimCTO Dean's got one too, and his brother even built a custom-cool case for a SB2 to match--
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=55062&postcount=21

Seems like a pretty good bathroom/kitchen solution to me...

#!/ben

BBobley
2006-11-13, 16:15
many moons ago I started a thread on best solutions for squeezebox in a small space.
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=10597

I ended up buying a $100 (now $120) Tivoli Model 1 (http://www.tivoliaudio.com/home.php?cat=262), in glorious mono (I'm not being sarcastic, it sounds great).



I also have the Tivoli. It does sound great, but with one problem: I fairly loud buzz or hum. If you are playing at a low volume, you can definitely hear it. Do you get the same? (I don't get it when listening to AM/FM. Only when I turn to AUX and listen to Squeezebox).

bklaas
2006-11-14, 09:19
I also have the Tivoli. It does sound great, but with one problem: I fairly loud buzz or hum. If you are playing at a low volume, you can definitely hear it. Do you get the same? (I don't get it when listening to AM/FM. Only when I turn to AUX and listen to Squeezebox).

I don't have that issue. I connect by going RCA cables off the back of the squeezebox to a RCA-minijack converter plugging into the aux port of the Tivoli. I keep the volume of the squeezebox at 100 and control the volume from the Tivoli.

#!/ben