Cheap Plex {Roku} client for €15

I recently saw an Ad on the TV advertising Sky’s NowTV for 10 pounds (sterling), delivered.  The box looked very familiar so a quick Google showed up that it is in fact a Roku LT re-branded.  Roku LTs retail any where from 30 – 50 pounds (Maplin) .

I thought to myself.. bargain! but wait there is a catch, while you can buy the box on the sky nowtv website they won’t ship to addresses outside the UK. This is where ParcelMotel comes in handy. It’s in the UK so I shipped it to there. 3.50 euro later and the box arrives. Total cost 15 euro. Bargain.

What’s in the box?

In the box you get the Roku LT, Roku remote control, batteries for remote control and a decent HDMI cable.

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The box
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unboxing
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Plug and batteries

It looks and feels like a Roku box. Not much on the box just power, A/V out and a HDMI port.

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Connections

The setup was straight forward – connected to the wireless network no problem.

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Setup

I signed up to Sky Now TV and from reading other blog posts I thought I could get away without having to put my credit card details. Unfortunately I had to in order to activate the account. I stuck a pin on purchases so I can’t accidentally buy sky movies/sports etc.

What apps are installed?

The box comes with Roku Store and Sky Store, BBC iPlayer. 4oD, 5 Demand, Now TV, Sky news and BBC news. All worked for me* (nod, nod, VPN wink, wink) and the quality over the wireless connection was very good. UPDATE. For connections without VPN I  can confirm 4oD, Sky News and BBC news works.  BBC iPlayer and 5 Demand don’t work due to geo-broadcasting restrictions.

As you expect from the price Sky are heavily subsidising this box.  Because of this Sky have restricted what apps you can download from their controlled app (and Roku) store.  The Sky store has a lot of it carries over satellite but everything will result in you paying Sky.

On the Roku store there is no sign of netflix, plex, youtube, plex etc.  as you would expect because it’s controlled by Sky.
Notable mentions on the store include: Spotify, Tune in, Facebook, TED talks etc.

How-and-ever…

Slide loading Plex

Having recently put my own Roku box in to developer mode I knew it is possible to ‘side load’ apps on to roku boxes. (“Side load” you ask, well it’s the technique to install apps on to the Roku with out using the usual stores.) With the Sky NowTV box is essentially a Roku LT box it’s possible to side load.

To enable developer mode use the following command on the home screen.

Home 3x, Up 2x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right

Do this nice and slow. Press the buttons deliberately. You should then see this (your IP will be different).

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IP Address for sideloading

 

I enabled the installer and the box restarted. Once rebooted using a laptop/computer open a browser and enter the IP of the roku and then upload plex or rarflix. (UPDATE: The version of plex linked here says it needs a plex-pass subscription beyond a 30 day trial. I’ve never this before so perhaps you are better off to use the Rarflix version.

Tada!! Plex channel good to go.

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Plex on the box

Ronan

Sharing my experience on startup, sport, linux, mobile phones, movies and some other random stuff.

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