Over the weekend, an interesting development surfaced that will definitely appeal to those of us who have cut the cable and rely on media streaming services and devices like the Roku.
The GTVHacker team who previously cracked open the software of Google TV and its Chromecast media streamer now have cracked open the software on Roku media streamers. Currently, the crack only works on Roku 2 devices for reasons too technical for me to explain in this brief blog post.
So what does this mean? In the future, possibly, we could see releases of new “channels” or apps that enhance the Roku software. Local media playback is one area where the Roku falls short, despite being able to play back limited amounts of files via USB, or by streaming media via the official Plex channel. An XBMC channel, for example, would allow Roku boxes to playback virtually all local media either via USB or over an ethernet connection without having to transcode it.
As I mentioned, this is currently available for Roku 2 devices only, and it’s highly likely that Roku will fix this “problem” with a software update. If the possibility of XBMC and other channels on your Roku sounds appealing, I would encourage you to NOT update your Roku 2 device until this hack develops further.
For more information, check out Engadget for a more detailed description of the crack.