Thursday, February 17, 2011


I purchased this device for my father as he's somewhat technically challenged. He kept telling me that he wanted to watch Netflix on his 52" LCD TV. He was under the impression he had to purchase a Blue Ray player to achieve a high quality streaming experience. I figured it might be sweet to purchase a Blue Ray player since he'd have the player for all the DVD's he owns and the Netflix streaming would be gravy. After pricing the BR players I realized that if i wanted WIFI built in, I'd have to buy an off brand unit to be at a comfortable price tag. Further research made clear the Roku XDS which is a superb piece of tech. It is straightforward to set up. From the time you open the package to the moment you are watching a production streaming from Netflix is around 15 minutes. You could likely even do it quicker, but I was playing with some of the other channels that Roku has to offer.

Since WIFI connectivity was a crucial feature, I quickly went to that screen in the set-up sequence to make certain I had a good signal. Since my router is 10 feet from the Roku box my throughput is exceedingly high. I may have ran a cable to the ethernet connection but then we're chatting more wires. I dislike wires!!! I put in my WEP password and the box smartly started updating the firmware. So as to link your Netflix account the Roku will show you an alphanumeric code. You just go to [...]and input the code that is on the screen. Within 15 seconds or so that the Roku screen will advance and you're now fully incorporated with Netflix. There is no need to do this again unless you reset the Roku back to factory settings. The same procedure is used for Pandora and other channels offered on the Roku.

There are lots of other channels you can add to Roku. If you've got an Amazon VOD account, it integrates just as easily as the Netflix account. Then you have the power to add Hulu + as well but I don't counsel that. The cost is $7.99 / month as of this writing and since you still need to watch ads, I don't see the worth. Ultimately, if you're on the fence about which Roku to buy ( there are 3 ) you need to consider the top of the line model or the 2nd tiered unit. Do not consider the least expensive model because it lacks WIFI and will not broadcast in HD.

I actually happen to have the latest generation of Apple TV ( virtually same size as Roku ). The reason i have the Apple unit is due to how it firmly integrates with iTunes and the iPhone 4 which I have. I am able to easily recommend the Roku player to anyone who wants to add a pleasant piece of tech to their multi-media systems. Best of luck and thanks for reading my review.

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