1,368 of 1,411 people found the following review helpful
Mark A. Welch
- Published on Amazon.com
I love Roku and the whole Roku experience. It allowed me to "cut the cable" and save a good bit of money each month. It gives me plenty of programming, most of it free. It's also adding new channels all the time, about 360 or so at the moment.
I current own the previous Roku XD 2050x and love it. It's not a perfect product, but it's a darn good one.
This review is on my current purchase, the Roku 2 XD. It's not a perfect product either and it's just been released. It's also not quite ready for prime-time, but almost...
There are some differences between the XD and the Roku 2 XD. Most are good, but I do have two gripes. The original XD had both a wired connection and wireless available. I use wireless, but wired can be handy. When I first received my original XD, it wouldn't properly connect with my router. So, I hooked it up with an ethernet cable, which allowed it to receive a quick update. This update fixed the problem and I haven't had any problems since. The wireless worked great.
Now, the new Roku 2 XD only has a wireless connection. If you want a Roku 2 with an available wired connection, then you have to spend 100.00 to go up to the XS. I think this was a bad move on Roku's part. I have no desire to play games on my Roku and I especially don't like "Angry Birds" which is the main selling point of the XS.
My other gripe is that the new Roku 2 XD no longer has the "rewind/replay" button. This neat little button will give you an instant replay of the past several seconds, allowing you to take a look at a movie scene you might have missed or a sports call you might want to replay.
The original Roku XD had this button, but the new Roku 2 XD doesn't have it. Again, if you want this button, then you have to move up to the higher priced XS. Again, another bad call on the part of Roku in my opinion.
As I mentioned previously, I think they might have rushed this product to market a bit too quickly. The main reason is that there are a few common channels (and popular private channels) that won't run on the new XD, while they run fine on the previous generation. Roku is working on the problem and releasing updates, but still, this shouldn't have happened on the scale that it did. For example, currently, Food Network Nighttime won't play at all and all of the NASA programming will actually crash the Roku and cause it to reboot. When the Roku 2 was first released the problems were worse, but the company has been working to correct it. However, with so many glitches at release, they really should have waited to refine the software before releasing it to the public.
Now, I'll move on to a quick list of Pros and Cons for the Roku 2 XD
Pros: 1. Overall faster performance especially in menus
2. Wireless range and signal seems better than the previous models
3. Better looking menus and color schemes
4. Smaller Roku footprint.
Cons: 1. No wired ethernet port on XD and HD, only on the XS
2. No rewind/recall button on remote of XD and HD, only on the XS
3. Seems to run a little warmer than previous models
4. Too much common content (and some private channels) won't work and can possibly crash/reboot the Roku
Overall, it seems as if it'll be a great product, like the previous models, once they work out the glitches.
I do wish they'd have kept the wired ethernet port on the XD at least, as well as the rewind/recall button.
If you have a previous generation Roku XD, stick with it for at least the next couple of months. Hopefully they'll have corrected the video/streaming problems that are plaguing it currently.
Also, if you need a wired ethernet connection, then either stick with or track down a previous generation XD. Otherwise, if you're willing to spend the extra money on the XS, then do it.
273 of 294 people found the following review helpful
Richard, Brit Abroad
- Published on Amazon.com
My favorite quote from the slim setup manual: "Step 3 establishes your network connection and bring out your inner geek. You can do it!" Well, setup is about as easy as it could possibly be and there's really nothing geeky about it. Choose your wifi network name and enter the password. No requirement to choose the encryption standard (WEP, WPA etc) or anything more technical than username and password. You will need a computer to create an account at Roku and associate it with your new box.
Once setup is complete, driving the user interface via a very straightforward IR remote is intuitive. IR is quite directional and you might want to position the Roku box where you most naturally point the remote. This should be easy because the Roku is remarkably small at just a couple of inches square. I think you could velcro the box to the side of a TV if that was convenient to you.
My inner geek is an energy miser! I did my initial testing using a Kill-A-Watt power meter and was delighted to find power consumption runs around 1 to 2 watts even when streaming (I'm compensating for a satellite TV DVR that sucks an outrageous 50-60 watts, 24/7). Great job!
There are dozens of stream feeds preprogrammed into the Roku, most of which appear to be free of charge. Streaming of the most recent NBC newscast looks to be useful. I plan to look around at the others when I get some time. My main intended use for this is to stream video from Netflix. That is working fine and is very similar to my Samsung blueray player and rather faster in operation.
I use an HDMI cable with both a 720p and a 1080p TV and image quality is fine; I didn't try the analog connections. When you order, just remember that no HDMI cable is included; Amazon's own-brand cables work fine and are very economical (there's that miser, again!)
Overall, this is a fine implementation of a streaming video player. Usage is tailored very much to normal people; geeks might want to get their thrills elsewhere!
528 of 575 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
We recently bought a Roku XD box (right before Roku 2 came out) and we absolutely love it. Hundreds of free channels from all over the world. Buy Roku once, and -- as long as you have a TV (even an old one, like ours) and an Internet connection -- you have free television shows and movies... lots of them.
See, absolutely anyone can create a channel for Roku and -- as long as they have hosting to meet bandwidth demands -- they can place the channel on Roku, free. (Assuming it meets Roku's quality standards, of course.)
As a result, there are all kinds of great niche channels created by enthusiasts for things like surfing, rock climbing, old-time drive-in movies, etc.
Lately, we've seen a lot of Christian programming added, which makes Roku attractive for many people who want more faith-friendly programs. Menorah TV is also on Roku. And, BYU-TV just added their channel, which means we can see "Dogs with Jobs" every evening... among other cool shows, like genealogy shows, history programs, and sports.
More recreational and fitness programming is arriving, and there are so many (mostly English) channels from Asian countries, they have their own category among the hundreds of Roku channels.
I love watching France24 news and other international news shows, live (and in English). My weather channel is now Roku's feed from Weather Underground... so it's for my exact town instead of the nearest city, complete with fresh-every-five-minutes satellite and radar images.
Though it's only part of what we watch, we have Netflix on our Roku programming. It costs the same as Netflix does on your computer (if you already have Netflix service, you don't pay anything extra), and you can also add things like Hulu Plus and Amazon's streaming programming.
But, except for Netflix, everything else we watch is free. That means, after buying the Roku box (less than a month's cable TV bill), we pay nothing extra for our TV service. It's saving us over $100/month in cable TV bills, with far better programming and crisper images. Most channels have little or no commercial interruptions, too. Almost all of them are on-demand, as well.
We can also access things like Picasa, Pandora, and Facebook via Roku. Lots of options!
The only negative to this -- and we hope this is short-term -- is that there's no closed captioning. (However, the hundreds of anime features on Crackle have subtitles... and that programming is free.) I'm pretty sure the channels and Roku are working on this.
All in all, I have no idea how cable TV will compete with things like Roku. Between the price (free) and the range of great programs we can watch, we will never go back to cable TV.
Roku + an Internet connection + a TV (even an old one) = free TV!
141 of 155 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Peter G McDermott unboxes, reviews, demonstrates and teaches you how to use the Roku 2 XD 1080p high definition (hi-def) set top box for your television. All you need is a TV, power source and Internet connection to get started.
71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
So Cal Siren
- Published on Amazon.com
I researched my options after tiring of the trips to/ from the Redbox blue ray rentals, on-demand, $150 month cable bill, including two DVR's. This is the perfect choice for my family as we do not play games, and have an aversion to Angry Birds. This unit was delivered in two days, and took @ 5 minutes to install. I tried Netflix's 30 day free trial, with ongoing monthly service @ $8 a month. Result? BEYOND IMPRESSED!!!!
This is such an amazing unit, great picture, and love the simplicity of the remote control. This is THE best option for families who want to watch what they want, when they want, without the trouble of renting Blue Rays, DVD's, recording favorite programs on DVR's and anyone can operate, and manage this. We are "Breaking Bad" fan, and wanted to watch the earlier seasons but with my Amazon Prime subscription (well worth it if you order from Amazon.com frequently), the series cost money. There are a lot of free streams you can watch from Amazon.Prime, but with Netflix, all of the "Breaking Bad" seasons are free. I like managing my Netflix on my Mac, with more titles than you can imagine, reviews, Netflix suggestions, adding your movies, and shows to your queue. No fast forwarding through commercials because there are no commercials:)
Great picture, amazing product. I did buy the HDMI cable through Amazon.com and I am more than satisfied with the outstanding picture quality. I was a little concerned that my wireless internet router, which is already at capacity with a VOIP cordless phone system for my home business telephone line, two Macs which print to a Brother MFC laser all in one printer, fax, and scanner, a Canon all in one photo printer, and an HP all in one printer, might result in HDTV interference with Roku. Not so. Perfect, and wish I would have purchased this earlier!
I intend to return one of my DVR boxes, and eliminate some of my cable channels, to reduce my monthly cable bill. Roku is amazing! I would give this 6 stars!