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skywalk 2013-04-20 06:26 PM

Roku Software - Canada vs US
I have an Apple TV and find it lotsa fun. But - I've heard that Roku is lotsa fun too. Here's the question - I could buy a Roku in the US or Canada. I have a DNS service ( UNOTELLY) that allows me to view Netflix US up here in the Great White North. I'm wondering if getting a Roku from the US might allow me to get the same Netflix (US) but also allow me to subscribe to more US services and (most importantly) support a personal media database of songs, movies and channels on a Terabyte drive that could be accessed thru my own network. Apple TV is good - but very restrictive to their own "iCloud" storage media - which is $$ and would probably not allow me access to my local stuff

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-20 08:37 PM

This has been covered a couple of times already and what matters with the Roku is where your "Roku Account" is homed.

I tried creating myself a new Canadian roku account to compare the difference but since I was using unblock-us it created a US one. And hence they offer me all of the US channels (aka applications) such as Amazon VOD, Vudu, Pandora, etc.

So to conclude: I think you could run out to London Drugs or somewhere right now and buy a Canadian Roku. Then create a US homed Roku account from your computer simply by using unotelly. Then when you link the device to your account you will be offered all of the US channels and contents.

But I can't say for absolute certainty since I bought all 3 of my Roku's in the US and I created my account using unblock-us not unotelly (and I'm just assuming they would act the same).

skywalk 2013-04-20 08:53 PM

Thanks. Right after I posted this, I saw the thread.

LOL. I was being lazy I guess. But I appreciate the answer. I didn't know you had to create a Roku account. Does that mean $$? If so, I may try and jailbreak my ATV.

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-21 12:06 AM

Nope. They do ask for a payment method in case you do purchase any non-free apps. But unless you actually do, you're not charged for anything. So yest the Roku account is essentially free. And you can put a PIN on the account to prevent anyone else purchasing on your behalf.

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-21 10:52 PM

I don't seem to be able to create a Canadian Roku account when trying. Removed my account and created a new one. Yet again it takes Canada as the country and Alberta as the province when creating the account. But once done when I go into the "my account" section it's changed AB to Alabama and gives me a warning that I should only have 5 digits in the zip code field. And of course I still see Pandora, Amazon VOD, etc in the store.

Anyone actually able to create an "Alberta" account? BTW I have changed my unblock-us country to Canada previously - maybe I need to take it right out of my DNS.

Danno100 2013-04-22 08:46 AM

I have my Roku set up with unblock-us and on that website it will give you directions for using other apps. For instance, I set up Hulu Plus on my Roku by using my Canadian credit card and the numbers of my postal code, followed by other numbers that led to a valid ZIP code. Worked for me and I am running Hulu Plus on a Canadian Roku using a Canadian CC.

The Roku shines as well because you can load the PLEX client (free) on it, and with a similar PLEX server (Mac, Windows, Linux, some NAS devices) which is also free, you can get content from your computer. On an Apple TV you have to jailbreak it to get PLEX, and the latest ATV has not yet been jailbroken. PLEX also works well on iPads, iPods, some Samsung smart TV's, and iPhones. Plex works on all those devices in my home, and remotely when I am on the road. PLEX will even transcode video files so you can play many different file formats than may natively play on the ROKU.

One advantage of the ATV is that you can Airplay to it.

I have three ATV's and one Roku (2 XS). My home is mostly Apple, but IMHO, the Roku is a better device because of the huge app market. I also look forward to the new ROKU UI which is only on V3 but will soon be available on V2 Roku's.

Many7695 2013-04-22 11:02 AM

Can I ask which credit card you are using because from what I read in other places, a visa works better then others cards setting something like this up.

Danno100 2013-04-22 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by Many7695 (Post 1572481)
Can I ask which credit card you are using because from what I read in other places, a visa works better then others cards setting something like this up.

I used VISA. This trick also works at US gas stations where they want a ZIP code.

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-23 12:17 AM


Originally Posted by Danno100 (Post 1572377)
One advantage of the ATV is that you can Airplay to it.

Miracast is supposedly coming to the Roku which will allow Airplay like screen sharing.

While I do love my three Roku's I think the big disadvantage is that there's no native Canadian rental sources. If I I want to rent a movie I need to switch back to iTunes and my ATV3.

j0dest3r 2013-04-23 01:27 PM

Is there no CinemaNow on Roku? I thought there was. *edit* Nope I guess there isn't :@

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-23 11:57 PM

There's: Amazon Instant, Vudu, Blockbuster on Demand, and Redbox Instant all available on the Roku. Unfortunately none of those natively in Canada.

That's the biggest bummer with the Roku. Renting means going back to the Apple TV where the process is quick and easy.

I'm actually surprised that Amazon hasn't expanded the VOD service up here yet. I'm sure Roku would be thrilled if they did.

skywalk 2013-04-24 10:12 PM

US Amazon Prime Account in Canada
I understand there is a way to subscribe to this service in Canada - at least the instructions on how to do this are on the UnoTelly website

I don't know, but this seems like a lot of work. But perhaps I don't know what videos are available. I did have a US Amazon Prime Trial account while I was in the US - I had a temporary US Address and a Canadian Mastercard that was "US Funds" (you should be able to get one of those at any Canadian Bank eg BMO)

North_of_Calgary 2013-04-24 11:18 PM

That's why in all of my posts I said "natively" meaning without having to use workarounds such as DNS services, VPNs, or US addresses.

Uncle Scotty 2013-05-27 12:15 PM

What comes first? (And how?)
Hi, guys.

After reading your various posts, I'm getting a little freaked about how to hook up my new Roku 3.....just purchased at BestBuy in NY state last week.

I'm assuming I'll just hook it up to one of the two HDMI inputs on my Harman Kardon receiver and it will be a "stand alone" source for viewing whatever. (Do I have to "sign up" or "register" anything? And should other things be DONE or at least DECIDED before I get to that point??

My only other HDMI input on the receiver will be occupied by my (also-just-purchased) Lenovo mini desktop which will act as my Home Theatre PC.

HDMI Out from the receiver will then go to the one/only HDMI In on the Samsung TV....(unless someone suggests otherwise).

After hearing a variety of stories about "registering"/"activating" or doing WHATEVER is required to get the Roku up and running, here's my second question:
Knowing that I'm willing to pay for VPN-like service....Unlock-US, Unotelly, whatever, and that I have a Bank of America account AND Visa card......AND that I want to acquire the maximum content available at the lowest price possible (ditching a bunch of "extra" channels from my cable account should finance this)....what is the correct sequence of events in terms of "signing up" for Roku......."signing up for" VPN....."signing up" for Netflix or any other content services.

If I could get any feedback in step-by-step form, it would be greatly appreciated by this newbie!

jcol 2013-05-27 01:16 PM

Roku Setup
Uncle Scotty - I can try to answer some of your questions about the Roku setup and US Netflix. I wanted to access the US material on NetFlix and Amazon etc which I think is what you are wanting. My setup is as follows. My internet connection is distributed throughout my home by my D-link DIR655 rounter. My desktop PC which holds my video library is connected via wire to my router as is my PS3 and my Roku. I have BoxVPN which I use on my desktop PC for my VPN connection needs. My 2 andriod phones and 2 laptops all connect to my home network via WyFi. My first step in setting up my Roko which was purchased in Canada was to register it via the US Roku website. I supplied a friends address in Florida but it was apparent any address would work - you can probably make one up. I supplied my Canadian Master Card for any account purchases and this was accepted. I have purchased a couple of low cost screen savers so I know that the US address with Canadian CC work. At this point I fired up the Roku and was presented wiith Canadian NetFlix and could not access Amazon or any of the other US only channels. I then tried firing up my VPN connection but I soon learned that my VPN was only connecting my desktop computer's IP through the VPN tunnel. Which makes sense since this is the device that I am launching the VPN from. Everything else on my home nextwork was still going through my routers Canadian IP thus anything on the Roku was still Canadian even though I had registered using a US address. At this point I had two options. Connect my router through my VPN. This would place all my devices on the VPN tunnel however most of my other devices are fine with the normal connection and the VPN speed is sometimes much slower then my native connection. It also looked like the setup to have my router VPN'ed was quiet complicated so I decided not to go that route. Instead I discoverd some threads that indicated that services like NetFlix don't check the actual IP of the device for country of origin but they check the IP of the DMS server settings. A quick search of the internet will reveal lots of US based DNS server IP's. I picked one of those IP's and entered them in my routers DNS setting field. So my router is still connected via a Canadian IP but it is using a US DNS IP. This does not seem to impact my overall network performance and best of all when I turned on my Roku and Netflix I had the US content. This setup is also working for Amazon, HuLu+ and most others. There was one US channel that still detected me as Canadian but I don't recall which one. This has worked for me since before Christmas. Hope this helps.

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