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1,109 of 1,125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku 2 versus Roku 3 versus Roku Streaming Stick
I've had a Roku 3 hooked up to my living room TV for a while now so I thought I'd do a comparison between the two devices.

EDIT: August 6, 2014 - I got a Roku streaming stick and added it to my comparison list - Think of the stick as a very small format Roku 3 that only works over wifi and doesn't play games.

EDIT July 31, 2014 - The YouTube channel...
Published 11 months ago by DavidA

versus
98 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't use for Amazon Prime Video Streaming
I have two Roku streaming boxes. I use them primarily for streaming music and radio stations and they work well in this mode.

I originally purchased the boxes for streaming Netflix movies. I have found, though, that the interface on my XBox 360 Netflix app is far superior to using the Roku Netflix interface.

I have made several attempts to stream...
Published 10 months ago by Mike Kircher


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1,109 of 1,125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku 2 versus Roku 3 versus Roku Streaming Stick, October 23, 2013
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
I've had a Roku 3 hooked up to my living room TV for a while now so I thought I'd do a comparison between the two devices.

EDIT: August 6, 2014 - I got a Roku streaming stick and added it to my comparison list - Think of the stick as a very small format Roku 3 that only works over wifi and doesn't play games.

EDIT July 31, 2014 - The YouTube channel is now available on all current Roku models - The 3,2,1 and new streaming stick all have YouTube.

First here is where they differ:

--Roku 3--
HDMI-only - if you have a TV without HDMI inputs then the Roku 3 is not for you
Very quick response on the menu system
Motion remote
Ethernet jack
Came with a nice pair of purple headphones
Netflix with profile support (Netflix on the Roku 2 only links to the primary profile) and better "10-foot" interface
Can control YouTube and Netflix from their respective smartphone apps

--Roku 2--
HDMI and composite (corrected per M. Vyenielo's comment) outputs so it can be used with a new HDTV or an older standard definition TV
The processor is about 1/5 the speed of the Roku 3 - this is only noticeable in the menu system as there is just a small amount of lag but I only notice it when comparing it side-by-side with my Roku 3. It still works just fine and handles even the Super HD Netflix content without a hitch
No motion remote - this only really matters if you use the remote to play games on the Roku. Most people won't miss it
Wi-fi only - No ethernet jack so that there's room for both HDMI and composite outputs. If you don't have a wireless network I will look at you funny
The headphones that come with the Roku 2 remind me of Apple's old headphones only purple - they hurt my ears in the same way (if a free pair of crappy headphones is a deal breaker I recommend you straighten out your priorities)

--Roku Streaming Stick--
HDMI-only
Wi-fi only - it's pretty small so there's just no room for anything but the HDMI port
USB powered - depending on your TV it may be possible to power the streaming stick off the USB port that can be found on many TVs. It also includes an AC adapter. It uses a standard mini-USB port so if the included USB cable is too short you don't need to get a special cable
Support for multiple Netflix profiles (just like the Roku 3)
NO headphone jack in the remote (the 2 and 3 both have headphone jacks in the included remote that can be used for listening to whatever is currently streaming through the device - I haven't tested if the headphone remotes will give the headphone functionality to the streaming stick if they're paired with it)

Here is where they are the same:

Wi-fi direct remote - the remote is NOT Bluetooth. It uses a technology called Wifi direct which is why you may occasionally see a weird wireless network called "Roku-something something". The wifi direct remote is very low power and is extremely responsive
The headphone jack in the remote works wonderfully and the sound is fantastic (no headphone jack on the streaming stick - only the 2 and 3)
Streaming media - Everything looks great. The Roku 2 has a slower processor than the 3, but it doesn't suffer from any problems playing back HD content streaming over the internet. The Roku 2 is able to handle everything that the 3 can do and for $20 less.
Dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz) wireless

Verdict:

The Roku 2 is a great streaming device. If you absolutely MUST have a wired network jack get the Roku 3. If you MUST play Angry Birds on your TV get a Roku 3. If you don't need any of the Roku 3 exclusives you won't go wrong with the Roku 2. I probably like my Roku 3 just a bit more - so if you can find the Roku 3 on sale, or the $30 difference in price isn't a big deal go ahead and get the 3. If you want to save a little money the Roku 2 is great and you shouldn't feel like you're getting a "lesser" device.

I like both the Roku 2 and Roku 3. I probably like my 3 a tiny bit more, but there is not really a downside to getting a Roku 2. It's a great bargain for the content you get access to. If the differences don't matter get the Roku 2 - unless the Roku 3 is on sale again, then pony up the extra $20.

If price is really a big deal give the Roku Streaming Stick a look. It's got almost all the same features as the 3 but for half the price (it's usually $49). The only difference between the stick and the 3 is that the stick is wifi only and doesn't have a headphone jack in the remote. Get the 2 for a non-HDTV, get the 3 for the Cadillac of Roku devices, get the stick for an HDTV to get most of the Cadillac features at the Chevrolet price. Make sure you've got good wifi though. Since it's stuck directly to the back of your TV there's a potential for the TV to cause a lot of interference with the wifi signal reaching the device. You can get HDMI extension cables (it has to be an extension, a standard HDMI cable won't work) that would allow you to move it around, but you could find yourself eating up the money you saved on the stick pretty quickly when you start spending money on things like that.

Also - get the iPhone/Android Roku app. It makes for a great additional remote for the devices and allows you to type using a normal keyboard instead of having to use the D-Pad to select individual letters if you're searching for something on Netflix or Hulu or logging into a service.

NOTE: I would recommend either the 2, 3, or stick over the Roku 1 for one simple reason - the remote. The Roku 1 has an IR remote which means you MUST have line-of-sight to control the Roku. The wifi direct remote allows you to hide the Roku so you don't have yet another little box on a shelf in your entertainment system and you don't have to worry about your dog/child/passing wildebeest standing in front of you and preventing you from pausing that episode of Breaking Bad you were streaming off of Netflix.
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336 of 354 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love my Roku!, October 21, 2013
By 
Troy C. (Bay Area, California, U.S.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
SUMMARY
Love it, with some minor nitpicks; a much better experience compared to using my Wii for Netflix.

SETUP
Easy-peasy. Choose language, sign in to network, create an account. Done in 5 minutes.
- Minor bug: my wireless network SSID was listed twice.
- Minor gripe: had to give my credit card number, but roku.com indicated that I can remove this later via website.

USE
Overall, the experience is great. The interface is beautiful and easy to navigate. The remote is simple, responsive, and has great range. Previously, I used my Wii to access Netflix, but the remote range was so small that I had to get up off the couch to control the Wii. With the Roku remote I can control things even from the dining room!

One potential point of confusion is the integration with M-Go. The top level menu has Channels (Netflix, Amazon, Crackle, etc) AND "Movies", "TV", etc. At first I thought that "Movies" might mean all movies across all of Netflix, Amazon, etc, but that's not what it is. The "Movies", "TV" and other selections are actually sub-headings for M-Go, a new Roku partner. I guess as a partner they get premium placement at the top menu level. It's not a big deal, but it was a little unclear to me.

+ Interface is clean, bright, sharp (at least with my HDMI connection) and intuitive.
+ Remote range is much better than Wii
+ Everything feels pretty snappy.
- Minor gripe: Rewind seems very small (7 seconds?)
- Minor gripe: Backarrow button sometimes doesn't work and you need to use the home button.

CHANNELS
When you setup the Roku you are prompted to select from some 20+ channels. I found out that there are actually more than 1000 channels available! You can see them on [...] Just to give you an idea of how the channels work (i.e., free vs subscription vs pay-per-use) I categorized my initial channels below. One way Roku could improve the channel experience would be to aggregate movies across all channels you're subscribed to, subdividing into pay-vs-free so that you'd have essentially one "Roku channel" that de-duplicates movies. The result would be something like TV.com which shows movies and which channels host each one.

Subscription
- Netflix ($8/mo)
- Amazon Instant Prime Video (included with $79/yr Amazon Prime)
- HuluPlus ($8/mo)

Free
- Crackle (with commercials)
- Disney (mostly trailers/commercials, but some actual content)
- Fox News (with commercials)
- PopcornFlix (commercials)
- PBS Kids
- WSJ

Pay-per-use
- Blockbuster ($4/movie, has trailers, 4784 videos)
- Vudu ($4/movie)
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382 of 411 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't have to watch reality shows anymore !! YEAH, November 17, 2013
By 
A. Holloway (Lecanto, Fl. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
We are in our 60's and can remember, honestly, when tv was a whole lot better.  We had better movies, sit coms and mysteries.  So now we much prefer the British Mysteries and Comedies and the ol spooky movies from the 50's, 60's and 70's.  Being a Vincent Price fan and Bela Lugosi fan you can tell what era we are talking about.  We had been paying incredible amounts of money for cable TV of which we watched perhaps 3 or 4 channels. We really hate the reality shows, many news shows and the current sitcoms are incredibly bad. So we decided to try Roku.  We got it from Acorn TV and we did have one minor problem during hook up. We called Roku and got a gentleman who walked me through a few steps and that corrected the problem.  Since then, we have had 3 other times that a glitch came up.  In 2 cases it seemed to be a problem of the actually channel we were trying to watch. In all cases a call to Roku fixed the problems.  Only once did it actually take one day to get fixed because the problem came from the channels (Drive In movie Channel) problem.  But it was fixed. Plus if there had been a problem you will get a follow up phone call and e mail from Roku to make sure the problem stayed resolved and you are happy.  Can't beat that !!  So, that being said let me tell you that we sooooo enjoy Roku.  If we want to watch something local we can since we kept our local channels at a pretty cheap price.  But 90% of the time we are watching Roku.  It is so much fun to us.  We can watch film noir movies from the 40's, we can watch sci fi from the 50's, we can watch movies from all the eras, we can watch documentaries, news information, etc. Some of the channels you will have to pay for.  That is up to you.  We have only spent money on 2 channels that charge (example $1.99 and that is it.  One time and never pay again) another has a cheap fee for an annual rate.  The rest are free.  A few channels will allow you to watch a movie with commercials but if you don't want commercials you can pay 99 cents to watch commercial free.  We just go ahead and let the commercials run, what the heck.  My husband loves the channels with the old westerns and I am hooked on Acorn TV for the British Mysteries.  We do not miss the "cable tv" at all.  No reality shows, etc.  You just have to pay for the Roku box and then if you want a specific channel you might have to pay. But as I said many many many are simply free.  We wouldn't change for anything !  Roku has saved our sanity by allowing us to watch, really, what we want to watch and when we want to watch it.  Simple as that.  
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121 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleek simple to install device -- great value & a ton of content!, October 22, 2013
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
I upgraded to the Roku 2 recently from the Roku LT. The new device is simply awesome! We now have 3 Roku devices in different rooms in our house, and all we need to watch TV in each room is a power cable, a tiny Roku device, and a Wi-Fi signal (no coaxial sockets, cable boxes, or DVR players required). With over 1,000 channels to choose from there is a wealth of content to suit each family members taste.

Value:
For $79 the Roku 2 delivers outstanding HD video quality up to 1080p. I also really like the new remote with built-in headphone jack. The upgraded remote also comes with 4 quick access shortcut buttons for Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, and M-GO -- we're a Netflix house so this is very welcome feature. We've also realized the power of having the free iOS and Android app to turn family Smartphones into Roku remotes -- very cool!

Setup:
The setup is as straightforward as ever -- Roku has really nailed this side of the equation. It took less than 10 minutes to open the box, insert the batteries in the remote, connect the power, attach the HDMI cable to the TV, enter my Wi-fi password, and confirm my new Roku device via a computer.

Who Should Consider this Device:
Anyone looking for a very easy to install streaming device that offers exceptional viewing quality and a ton of content!
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the search feature alone., October 20, 2013
By 
R Sutton (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
The Roku 2 is a tiny little device but truly a beast in terms of features and functionality. The setup was simple, the picture quality is great and it gives you access to all the major (and minor) streaming services. The "killer" feature, which I think is worth the price of the device by itself, is the built-in "Roku Search". If you spend more time looking for something to watch then actually watching, the search feature alone is the reason to buy this Roku. It allows you to search ALL streaming services at once, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime (whether you subscribe to them or not), and not just by title, but by actor and director as well.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku 2 is an awesome streaming player!, October 15, 2013
By 
Eric L. (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
The Roku 2 is incredibly easy to install and configure (I got it up and running in less than 10 minutes). I was able to search for content across multiple channels, which proved to be very helpful when looking for a specific movie. Logging into Amazon was simple and the 1080P video and 5.1 audio is awesome. I’ve also found that Amazon movies play much more reliably over the Roku 2 than over my computer connected to the TV with an HDMI cable or over my Blu-Ray player. An unexpected treat was the headphone jack in the remote. Initially, I wasn’t sure I’d use it, but I’ve found it to be a great feature when watching TV at night so I don’t wake my wife. I’d definitely recommend the Roku 2 to anyone.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use. Improved interface. Fast., October 20, 2013
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
OK, first off, you're probably wondering, why did you get a Roku 2 and not a Roku 3?
Well, we have an antiquated HD-Ready TV that does not have an HDMI port.
After you stop laughing at that (I'll wait), I'll explain why I love this gizmo.

* Set up of this device is uber easy. My preschooler was able to do it. And so can his grandparents, including my computer-illiterate dad. The biggest hurdle for my dad is figuring out where the letters on the keyboard are to enter the activation code. Yes, seriously.
* This Roku 2 is faster than our previous Roku, and has an updated user interface that also seems faster and even easier to use. Streaming was smooth--which is incredible considering our subpar DSL speeds in our household. There's a search function that is super easy. Compared to our prior Roku device--and, of course, any non-Roku streaming player--it is superior. This thing does not stall or lockup like those other streaming boxes/Blu-Ray players.
* Rokus in general have a ridiculous amount of content available, We cut the cord with cable and have not regretted that decision since. There are kid-centric channels for the preschooler (like PBS Kids and Disney), there are sports channels, and we have Amazon Prime which gives us access to a ton of content there. (And, of course, if you have Netflix, you know about that content.)

In any event, no competitor is yet close to Rokus in terms of experience. And the way they keep improving, I don't see that changing. Love it!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beats Smart TV, November 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
This is the second ROKU we have owned. It's WAY better than "smart TV" Feature. You have to have an wireless internet connection to connect to. We live in an RV. We use Antennae TV and the ROKU and can watch any show we want to.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best user friendly streaming video player on the market and this is a way to do a set-top box, October 15, 2013
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
We recently got the new Roku 2 streaming player and absolutely love it. This is much more improved than the previous Roku XD version and the product design is absolutely beautiful.

*** Price ***

This is hands down the best streaming player on the market with a bang for your buck. For $79.99, you get an amazing product with an Enhanced Remote Control with channel shortcut buttons and headphone jack.

*** Setup ***

Setup is a breeze. Menus and videos load faster than on the Apple TV, and much faster than on any previous Rokus. The Roku menu is simpler and faster also with a split screen menu, with quick navigation -- "My Channels," "Channel Store," "Search," and "Settings" -- on the left side and a grid of nine channel icons on the right. It's simple, fast and works really well.

*** User Interface ***

Roku has one of the best UI for the streaming products out there. Very intuitive, user friendly and now with channel shortcut buttons, it is much more easier now. The only complaint I have is with the search feature. It's a little cumbersome to type with all the navigation in the remote itself. I wish there's a better way to search for TV shows and movies on this thing.

The software update is absolutely painless and happens in background, so you don't have to worry about a thing.

*** Content ***

A media player is useless to watch without quality content available on it. Roku solves that issue with the availability of Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Redbox and Vevo. I wish HBOGO will be available for comcast customers soon and there will be a YouTube channel soon. I'm pretty sure Roku is working with Google to come up with a YouTube channel. If they can figure that out before the holiday season (unlikely!), they will give all the other media players a run for their money including Apple TV (which I guess Roku is already doing)

*** App Ecosystem ***

Roku has built an app ecosystem that utterly trumps all their competitors. Roku says it has more than 700 channels in their app store and 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.)

In conclusion, Roku is the best streaming player on the market, hands down.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Smart Device, October 28, 2013
This review is from: Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R ) (Electronics)
What a great device to convert your TV into a Smart TV! It's a lifesaver for people like me with no dish or cable. If you can receive your local TV Stations Over the air with a quality antenna and add this little device, it is all you need.
Like David below, I have both the Roku3 and newer Roku2. My Roku3 was my first one, because at the time it was the only Roku out with the expanded wireless range and that is very important to me. It has worked like a dream receiving my wireless signal in the highest quality. It is very snappy downloading my programs and live videos. I liked it so much I decided to get one more for the other TV. I seen the newer Roku2 that just came out, offered the expanded wireless range so I figured it was worth a shot being $20 cheaper. The Roku3 has the processor that is more advanced and 5X faster but thought I might be able to do without it considering I don't do games. Anyhow, on all my channels I notice no difference in picture or audio quality. The 3 might be slightly snappier at downloading a channel, but we are only talking a couple seconds or so. So on most of your TV viewing, you should notice no difference. I think both the new Roku2 and Roku3 are fantastic little devices.
Make sure you go with a quality HDMI Cord. I had connection problems on the TV with the cheap HDMI Cord when connecting either one of my Roku's until I figured out the TV where they both work good, had a quality HDMI cord. The $10 extra or so may save you a lot of frustration and problems.
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Roku 2 Streaming Player (Black) (Roku 2720R )
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