I’ve sung the praises of the Roku set-top box before. For the uninitiated, Roku’s website can be found HERE or you can chase down articles I’ve written for this site HERE and HERE. The short story of the Roku is that it’s a tiny box that hooks to a television and draws it’s content from the internet such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon’s Instant Video and hundreds of oddball and wildcat stations serving every imaginable interest.
As I’ve said before, I have loved my Roku since I first bought it in 2010, but I recently received an email from the Roku company. The subject line read:
Important notice for owners of classic Roku players (made before May 2011).
The email continued in the tone of a parent telling a child that a beloved family pet had shuffled off of this mortal coil. No, you won’t see Sparky any more, and we’ll all miss him, but he is in a better place.
Apparently the Roku I bought in 2010 is now considered classic which is a nice way of saying it’s obsolete. It’s not to say that my Roku HD is dead, but Roku will no longer push upgrades to it, and there are a number of newer, processor-hungry channels that won’t run on the old box. It’s sad, but I can’t get too bent out of shape about it. It has given me years worth of entertainment, and it’s original $60 purchase price is negligible when compared to what I could have spent on the paltry offerings and ferociously bad service of the cable TV behemoth that keeps throwing up skyscrapers built on misery in the City of Brotherly Love.
All is well in the Casa de Willceau because I have already upgraded to a Roku 3 a while back on the main family TV which has also been upgraded from a ponderously heavy, 27-inch tube television to a used but beautiful 720p flat panel set. The new Roku and newish TV work beautifully together.
What I wonder is for all of those folks who are slow to upgrade to a flat panel TV is whether Roku will remain backwards compatible to the old TV set thanks to a set of composite or RCA connectors that were built into the back of every model. The newer models favor the newer televisions having only HDMI connectors. It’s the way of the world, but I know there are literally tons of tube televisions still functioning.
I have a 19-inch tube television on my third floor which is over twenty years old, and it works beautifully. I have my old Roku hooked to it, and I will continue to do so. I’ll let you, dear readers, know how I make out. We’ll see what channels continue to work and which ones have given up the ghost. How long will it be until my wonderful legacy Roku becomes an inert plastic box?