Tag: roku

How to watch HBO Original on Roku in 10 easy steps

Watching HBO content on Roku is so easy. Just follow this simple process.

  1. Resume Search Party.
  2. Press play. Fails to play .
  3. Get sent back to the same screen.
  4. Restart Roku.
  5. Resume Search Party.
  6. Fails to play.
  7. Check HBO app for updates.
  8. Try to play Search Party.
  9. Remove HBO app.
  10. Reinstall HBO app.
  11. Resume Search Party.
  12. Enjoy Search Party.
  13. Question how HBO’s app is so bad this is the process to use it every time I try to use it.

As bad as Hulu’s app is to use, at least it works. Some content from HBO is available there and works on the first try.

It’s the Original content, which is very good, that requires using the HBO app that absolutely fails to play without manually updating the app, rebooting the Roku device, or removing and reinstalling the HBO app.

Beautiful Dumb and Fast

Maybe it’s getting older or my life’s work in repairing and fixing broken things but it drove me to this simplicity. I want something simple. I want it to work and work well.

Reading The Daily Zen #2 “Beautiful, Dumb, & Fast”, a line from the post stuck with me. It puts my own feelings about the new race of smart televisions.

what I personally want out of my TV is very simple and can be boiled down to a phrase – beautiful, dumb, and fast.

iPod TV
iPod video from Alexandre van de sande

When I see a 3D TV I see a gimmick that gives me a headache. It fixes a problem I don’t have. And 3D implementations I’ve seen have given me terrible headaches after a few minutes.

When I see a smart TV I see a device that will never see software updates or fixes. I better love every feature and issue because it’s never going to change.

That’s the problem with buying into something. I’ve not only bought that TV. But I’ve bought into its ecosystem of applications. I’ve bought into its design. I’ve bought into everything that TV wants to be and nothing it doesn’t.

I’d rather buy into something more flexible. My entire home media setup is based around Plex, a Roku box for the bedroom and an Xbox 360 in the living room.

Plex powers both the Roku and Xbox. I can stream video to either device. Plex sits on an iMac, the last desktop left in the house. It’s always on so it manages the Plex media library hosted on a small NAS hooked to it. It also manages my wireless iTunes syncing for my iDevices.

The Roku and Xbox have also been actively developed for and even before Plex was officially supports on Roku, there was a way to add it as a custom channel. While the Xbox is a closed box, it’s a wildly popular and fairly well supported one.

There are moving pieces to this setup for sure. But it also allows for cheap replacements, upgrades and flexibility. Can take my Roku box with my on vacation and still access Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go. I can’t do that with a smart TV.

And if my Roku box dies, it’s a $50 fix. If my smart TV dies… I’m out a television and all of its smarts.

Give me something dumb any day.