It’s almost 2 years since I began to stream on my HDMI enabled television with various dedicated streaming devices including Roku. During this time it was a period of both exploration and education from a wide variety of mostly online sources. While I did enjoy learning about the world of streaming from these mostly online sources, I think many people don’t have either the time or patience-or both-to do it in this manner.
When I visit my local Best Buy, Target, and Walmart stores (which already carries streaming devices like Roku), I noticed that it’s so easy to miss the little devices hidden away in a tiny corner of jammed mostly behind a locked glass case, & physically very far below eye-level shelving. Even the Roku televisions really don’t demonstrate what makes them unique to other televisions on display (not even the Roku Home Menu is displayed-they're simply always tuned to the same store ads even OTA and other TVs have), or just displaying a series of pretty screen saver photos, and/or worse of all, the staff doesn’t know much about them anyway.
My no frills basic local T-Mobile store is way ahead of this no real demonstration of the Roku products serious lacking by making sure potential customers don’t miss the television playing their own offerings which the T-Mobile device predominantly physically sits and plays where everyone not only can see it, they sure not to miss it. And the staff is very keen on explaining how the product works-don't worry, Roku is a superior all around price wise and feature wise product, except it's a poorly-not-even-demonstrated-at-all big secret. Too dependent on word-of-mouth and online research.
Why isn’t Roku doing the same thing? It’s nice enough you have a significant online presence. But When it comes down to it, most sitll visits brick & mortar stores sometimes just to browse and get to know technology better. So how about setting up even just a simple always streaming manned or unmanned Kiosks so the browsers can get to know Roku in real time?
One more thing related but not quite like the above. How about a list of approved or known people to set up your Roku devices and televisions for people who either don't feel comfortable or simply don't want to be bothered with setting their Roku(s) up. I see this complaint over and over again here on these forums and online out there. For example Best Buy has their "Geek Squad" for hire to set up including a post set up question answering session.
Just like that.
To be honest Roku's seem rather intuitive to me.
I'm sure people who go looking for them to buy know what
theyre looking for and are already somewhat savvy.
There is also a wealth of information on the web especially YouTube.
I agree with Mr. Booger, most people are doing research on tech sites, youtube, or Amazon.
Personally I'd rather get advice from people on a forum like this or even the reviews/questions on a site like Amazon. Rather than a salesman at Best Buy or Walmart.
I don't know if Roku does this or not. They should monitor and answer questions on Roku products for sale on Amazon.
When I was writing about this topic, I did not have the more tech literate in mind like both of the previous replies posted here. Those of you that take your knowledge of tech for granted have pretty much forgotten the still rather large population that is not very-shall we say-tech comfortable or orientated. They don't go online much if at all. Even in this new century.
I adapted to this new world. I had to as others are depended on me that aren't so fortunate. So I straddle the great tech divide because, simply put, I can. This population of Neo-Luddites should and could be included in Roku ownership and usage with a bit more support via offline outreach in the form of hands-on demonstrations than most here need.
I am also a T Mobile customer and user. So I do choose to both visit their stores offline and have an online account with them. While Youtube, articles, reviews, and sometimes even ads provide some information about whatever is brewing at T Mobile, I do like the hands on demonstrations offered in real time using real device equipment when it comes available. Just like I demonstrated informally with my own Roku within my own home during Thanksgiving with my guests, no matter what level their tech comfort level or knowledge was-and all types and levels were present. I don't think this sort of offline support is going out of style completely anytime soon.
What's wrong with that approach?
I appreciate what youre saying.
But I can tell you the story of my Mother whom we've bought several computers for over the years and the nicest smart phones as well. For 20 years we've swapped out her hardware and given her a multitude of lessons. She gets excited and says OK...Got it....Great!
And then she NEVER hardly uses any of them.
Its become a running joke with us.
She gets the nicest everything and is happy to have it yet NEVER uses any of it.
Ha, ha-just like my own mother. She had absolutely no interest in the Roku Streaming Stick I bought for her TV years ago. So I let her use mine now! She will never change. I had to learn to accept that.
I thought I would clarify a bit more. Many people that were somewhat left behind the rest of us comfortably users of online content are having financial concerns just like the rest of us . Perhaps even more so in many ways. That's why they are usually shopping at Walmart, Target, and other discounters in real time trying to save money.
Either they cannot afford pay for cable television anymore or want to cut down. Or never had it in the first place. Whatever the reason, this population group or groups are a good target market to go after next since our more knowledgeable groups are pretty much saturated in facing the choice whether or not to stream. Hence the kiosks or demonstrative models showing what Roku is about. Then a back up service in case the purchaser and new owner does not want to install it him/herself for any reason. And most likely save possible returns to the store or flooding the Roku customer service helplines needlessly. Worse of all, unintentionally being misdirected to a phony Roku masquerade "helpline"-and possible fraud.
The Roku corporation itself need not have to have any direct influence on this part of the purchase. Just offer some incentives for both the stores themselves as well as the wandering masses still choosing to shop in physical stores to interact with various models of Roku(s).
I'm really happy to report that Roku has a Kiosk set up at my local Best Buy. That's really great except that I could not stand directly in front of it as there were a stack of flat screen television boxes blocking it! And it was located in the rear of the store. Sadly, the great one up man ship Streaming Wars is continuing as the Amazon and Google is positioned in the front entrance/check out aisle more noticeibly displayed as the other photo shows. I had to step well back to catch both in 1 photo: