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1197 of 1231 found the following review helpful:
I love Roku, but..... Aug 02, 2011
By Mark A. Welch
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.
208 of 220 found the following review helpful:
User-friendly Streaming Video Player Aug 14, 2011
By Richard, Brit Abroad
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!
410 of 446 found the following review helpful:
Absolutely LOVE it! Jul 30, 2011
By Aisling D'Art
"artist and author"
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!
115 of 124 found the following review helpful:
Roku 2 XD 1080p Unboxing, Review, Tutorial & Demo Jan 08, 2012
By PETER MCDERMOTT
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RTCSBQNH5VC56 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.
74 of 79 found the following review helpful:
Tiny box, HUGE entertainment value Aug 29, 2011
I've been an avid user and fan of Roku's first generation player since it was first released in 2007. I bought this model to add it to another television in my house. When it first arrived, I was SHOCKED on how tiny it is! The first generation player is already small; this one is about a quarter of the original size! I mainly use this player for Netflix, but also use it for many other applications (40-50 different ones) such as Amazon Video and even Facebook. I have a high-speed Internet connection, able to stream 1080p HD picture.
I don't know why other people have had so much trouble with this player. Setup was complete in less than two minutes: just plug it in and follow the on-screen steps. You definitely need your network password if your wireless is secure. Also, as a new requirement to add channels, you need to create a free account on Roku.com. In order to create an account, Roku requires that you add a credit card on file for any purchases that you make in the channel store. This was not required with the old player. I was not worried at all about this; I do not plan on buying anything from the store so there will be no charges. A 4-digit PIN is required to purchase anything, so there should be no problems with children trying to buy something unauthorized. As an added convenience once you create an account, Roku will upload all the channels that you already have on your old player to your new player. So once I logged into my Roku account from my new player, all of my channels that are on my other player were automatically added. This saved me a lot of time searching for and adding the channels that I wanted.
There are a few obvious changes in this model from the first gen HD player. It's a matter of opinion if these changes are good or bad. I personally think that most of these changes are improvements.
The main changes are:
1. No Ethernet port (available in first gen), wireless is the only internet connection option
2. No Optical Audio Out, S-Video input, or Component input (all available in first gen). The only two options are HDMI (not included) & Composite (included)
3. There is now a Micro SD slot for added memory for anything: pictures, video, games, apps, music (not available in first gen)
4. Immediately I noticed that loading time for Netflix is significantly faster (5-8 seconds from 15-20 seconds), but video begins pixelated (low quality) and quickly buffers itself while playing to 1080p HD in about 10 seconds. What results with this change is no more stopping to reload video if the Internet connection becomes slower. The video will automatically improve if connection improves or decrease in resolution if connection becomes slower.
My only complaint about this feature is that you no longer actually know the picture quality of what is streaming. In the old player, it would say the strength of the wireless signal (when I would stream something HD, it would say HD). Ultimately, this lack of knowing the quality is not really an issue, since everything I've been watching from Netflix that is labeled HD has so far had an exceptional picture quality, even better than the 720p HD first gen. player.
5. The new remote is a little longer and lighter than the first generation remote, but more narrow. In contrast to the first gen. remote, the new one feels a little cheaply made. The first gen. remote is solid and sturdy, while this one feels too light and the plastic feels thin. Also, the up,down,left,right and OK buttons on the new remote are all connected in one pad, unlike the individual, separated buttons on the previous generation remote. In my past experience, remotes that have one solid pad for 5 actions usually have more malfunctions than a remote that has separated buttons for different commands.
For example, when pressing the left button (which is the most commonly pressed button since it is used to scroll through everything on your Roku) on the old remote, there was no possible way to do anything else but press left since it was its own separate button. Now, in the new remote, when pressing left it is possible to accidentally press up or down if you are not pressing the absolute correct section of the pad. Luckily, both remotes work on both players.
6. The size of the player is drastically smaller than the previous generation. I mean TINY. It is so small, that the HDMI cable can lift it up if the cable is not perfectly straight. Conveniently, it can fit almost anywhere since it is only about an inch high and 3 inches wide/deep. (first gen. player was about 2.5 inches high by 5 inches wide/deep)
Overall, I highly recommend this player to anyone with a Netflix account, although there are HUNDREDS of other useful and fun applications that are available besides Netflix. If you don't have a TV with Netflix connectivity already included, this player is an inexpensive way to get the most out of your Netflix subscription. It has completely changed the way my husband and I use our television.
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