Roku Grab Bag: Remote control volume? DVD solutions?
September 17, 2012 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Roku Grab Bag: Remote control volume? DVD solutions?

I recently purchased a Roku to take over video watching duties (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, file playback through Plex Server) for my laptop.

The old setup was:
	network -> mac laptop
		-> vga cable to computer monitor (Optiquest Q20wb)
		-> 1/8" connector to computer speakers
		- remote control over audio using Rowmote App
		- bluetooth mouse to control mac
The new setup is:
	network -> roku xs 2
		-> hdmi cable to dvi-d adaprot to computer monitor (Optiquest Q20wb)
		-> 1/8" connector to computer speakers
		-> Roku remote control
		-> Roku iOS app functions as remote control
The mac had volume control using the mouse or Rowmote. The Roku appears to avoid the issue of volume altogether - so I can't mute or adjust volume, it just has dumb audio out.

I looked at some bluetooth enabled speakers, but it looks like they're more expensive than I want them to be (in the $150 range)

I looked at just getting a TV, but it seems for an LCD form factor I'm looking at $200 minimum for the (small) size I want, and I already have a screen.

I can't seem to find a simple device to put between the Roku and my speakers to control volume. Any ideas?

Any other tips for controlling Roku audio?

Also, is there a way to run DVD playback through the Roku?

I'm loving the Roku so far, so any other comments on getting the most out of the Roku are welcome. But the foremost question is really "how do I control the audio remotely."

I *could* just jump up and adjust speaker volume on the speakers, but that seems less optimal than it could be.

Thanks in advance!
posted by artlung to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a $60 set of PC speakers that includes an infra-red remote control for volume. You'd think this would be a more common item than it is...

If you want to get super-fancy, the wireless speaker systems all have wireless remotes, too, but they start at $100 and move north in a hurry.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:44 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I essentially have my computer hooked up to a boombox. Regular audio function through the speaker system means I never touch the volume settings on my computer. All you really need is a system that has anauxilliary input and the cord to get from your system to your computer, and probably an adapter to bring the two plug Roku audio output back to one plug aux input since I haven't seen boombox type system with the two plug audio input for a while. But I haven't been looking either.

Of course, this does mean that you have two remotes for one thing. I don't have a problem with that, it would be the same way if you had it hooked up to a TV.

How you proceed down this path depends on how much you're willing to spend. Best Buy Don't judge me! has boomboxes starting around $20-25 and other types of things starting in the $50-75 range.

Of course, you can go all out and just rig up an awesome home theater with a projector and everything too. That's what I'd do if my wife would let me.
posted by theichibun at 1:01 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Slap*Happy, that looks good. I see a photo of the remote for the unit on this product page. That's hopeful! I was not seeing any reputable speakers for cheap. At $60 that looks like a solid solution for a fair amount of money.

theichibun, boombox! of course! Suddenly remembering using the AUX input to play CDs through an OLD boombox of mine. Would that I still had one. I'll look for boomboxes with remotes too. That might be a pretty good solution for us. Seems like boomboxes might be a good craigslist thing to look for too.

The thought about a projector is cool - but we're in a 1 BR and we actually get too much daytime light to make a projector work. I actually looked at some projectors when I was at Fry's but unless we had a fully dark room I don't see it.
posted by artlung at 2:01 PM on September 17, 2012

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