Will XBMC Be Available For Roku? New Hack May Make It Happen

Will XBMC Be Available For Roku? New Hack May Make It Happen

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Could XBMC be added to Roku’s channel lineup in the near future? Richard Lawler, with the tech site Engadget, is reporting that older versions of the Roku can now be rooted in order to

Could XBMC be next on Roku after YouTube
Could XBMC be next on Roku after YouTube

allow third party programs to be added to the popular streamer. The models compatible with the current hack include the original Roku LT, 2 HD, 2 XD and 2 as well as the Streaming Stick. The hack does not stay in place on the Roku 3. Once rooted the streaming boxes will not affected by any automatic updates going forward.  At this date there is not a version of XBMC for Roku.  The implications for this are massive.

Will Roku Fix The Vulnerability?
Roku will most likely and quickly close the hole in its coding that allows the system to be rooted. Roku was not designed with this sort of functionality in mind. Apple TV swiftly closed off access to its Movie Trailers app when it was being used to access XBMC. While Roku has an open source approach to their products and allows developers to launch private channels it has yet to allow an official or private XBMC channel. In fact no main stream device including Apple TV, The Western Digital line of products or the Netgear line of products allowed XBMC as an official application on their products. If Roku has not allowed XBMC to be included in the past it is unlikely to allow the program to be added going forward even to older models.

What If Roku Does Not Block The Hack?
If Roku does not aggressively close the gap in their security to prevent the root process then then the appeal of the older devices will certainly rise amongst XBMC enthusiasts. The second generation Apple TV sells for as much as three times the price of the current one simply because the older model has proven to be able to be rooted in order to install XBMC. If the $45.00 Roku LT was suddenly able to host an XBMC app its value would skyrocket among XBMC fans causing its resale value to grow exponentially.

Is The Majority Of The Roku Audience Looking for XBMC?
Does the average Roku user care about XBMC at all? Roku has been painstakingly designed to be a simple device to use even going as far as producing models that feature buttons used for launching applications like Netflix and Pandora. Is that audience looking for a set of codes and commands to be used in order to disable the devices ability to be updated and improved? Does Roku want to be embraced by the XBMC community?  How the company reacts to this development will speak volumes on this issue.

XBMC Based Streaming Devices
In the absence of XBMC  availability on products from companies like Roku and Apple, other set

The G-Box is a popular alternative to Roku.
The G-Box is a popular alternative to Roku.

top devices have arrived on the market in order to fill the vacuum. Numerous set top devices like the linux based  Little Black Box and Android based G-Box Midnight MX2 have emerged. Various configurations of the MX2 currently occupy the top 3 spots on Amazon’s HD DVD player category . There are other suitors including a bevy of Android OS based dongles. The market for XBMC compatible devices even extends to the Android based gaming system the OUYA. There will certainly be other XBMC based set top box options going forward. Will the GTV hack make an XBMC channel for Roku be a reality? The Streaming Advisor will continue to monitor this story as it develops.

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