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1,940 of 1,997 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but still awesome
With cable and satellite bills rising, most people - including myself - don't want to shell out X dollars per month just to watch five shows on a regular basis. Although there are numerous choices out there, the two most popular are Apple TV and Roku. Although I have an iPhone and an iPad, in addition to a MacBook, I didn't want to pay $100 for something that I had no...
Published on July 28, 2012 by Andrew H. Smith

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167 of 193 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Roku HD model runs hot, crashes
Immediately after I received the Roku HD I started having problems with it locking up - the only way to recover is to unplug the power and restart. Then I noticed that it runs very hot, even when it is in standby mode. I assumed I had a defective unit, so I returned it for replacement and got another one. Same problem and had to return the second unit as well. This...
Published on July 22, 2012 by Swany


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1,940 of 1,997 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but still awesome, July 28, 2012
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
With cable and satellite bills rising, most people - including myself - don't want to shell out X dollars per month just to watch five shows on a regular basis. Although there are numerous choices out there, the two most popular are Apple TV and Roku. Although I have an iPhone and an iPad, in addition to a MacBook, I didn't want to pay $100 for something that I had no experience with (streaming at-home devices). Plus, Wal-Mart had the Roku HD on sale for $50, and CNET had given the HD - and it's twin, the LT - an Editor's Choice Award, so I took the plunge. Here's my review after almost 2 months of using the box on a regular basis.

Before I begin, though, a word of warning: no, you will not get HuluPlus or Netflix free just because you paid for the Roku box. I seriously doubt anyone thought this was the case, but just in case I'm wrong you still have to pay for those subscriptions if you want to use those channels. Also, you still have to have a cable subscription that includes HBO to access HBO Go - and just because your cable or satellite provider allows you to watch the HBO Go app on your mobile device doesn't mean they'll allow you to access HBO Go on the Roku. Through DirectTV, I can watch HBO Go on my aforementioned mobile devices, but (as of this writing) I can't watch HBO Go on the Roku. I maintain this is more the fault of HBO than Roku or the providers (this fact apparently holds true on the Apple TV as well), but regardless this is something you need to remember if HBO Go is a make-or-break factor in whether to buy one of these devices.

Setup is easy. You plug in an HDMI cable (or a component cable, if you have a non-HDMI TV; another advantage all the Rokus have over the Apple TV), plug in the power supply, and you begin setup. All you have to do is create an account on Roku.com and enter your credit card info (don't worry, you're not going to have to buy most of the channels or shows, you just have to have your info stored in case you buy one of the paid channels or you download something off of Amazon OnDemand. I personally didn't find it a big deal, but I can understand why people would be annoyed by this). Once you're done with the initial setup (which takes about 10 minutes, give or take), the box will automatically download several channels for you: Amazon OnDemand, Crackle, Netflix, HuluPlus, and Pandora. Also, on the Roku HD remote - in contrast to the LT - there are three shortcut buttons for Netflix, Crackle, and Pandora, which is very nice to have.

Content: you go into the Channel Store (on the home screen) and from there download any channel you want that's available. There are dozens upon dozens of channels, ranging from popular ones to obscure. You can get sports, tech, news, obviously movies and TV, and many more channels. Plus, Roku is good about updating new channels on a regular basis (although right now most of the added channels are religious stations). Unfortunately, the Roku HD doesn't have a simple search function, so you're going to have to scroll through these channels manually. Right now, while the number of channels is comparatively small, it's more of an annoyance than a real problem, but as more channels get added in the future, Roku's going to have to add a search function if they want to keep people buying. Once again, remember that some channels do require a monthly subscription or require you to pay to download the channel, so look before you leap. However, the variety is excellent; there's going to be something for everyone. Plus, unlike with cable, if you don't like a channel, you can delete it (although for monthly paid services remember to call them and tell them to cancel your subscription).

Quality of picture: as mentioned everywhere, the maximum picture the Roku HD will broadcast in is 720P/1080i. In other words, it's HD, but not full HD. Right now, while virtually all TV shows are still broadcast in 720P, that's not a big deal - even on larger TVs - and if you have a TV under 42 inches you're probably not going to notice a great difference in picture quality between 720P and 1080P anyway, but for recent Amazon OnDemand movies or with a larger TV (i.e. 50 inches) you might want to shell out for the Roku 2 XS (which is around $100) to take full advantage of your TV's picture quality. However, I have to say the picture quality on the box is excellent. I have a PS3 with Hulu Plus as well, and honestly the picture on the Roku HD is much better: much crisper, slightly less "digital-looking", and just plain better (for the record, I have a 32" LED from LG).

Internet: because the Roku HD is single-bandwith, and because you just plain need a lot of proverbial horsepower to get the most out of streaming digital video, you're going to need a fairly fast internet connection. I would argue that if you're download speed is 1.5 MBPS, for instance, you're going to have a hard time watching stuff on the Roku HD. I have 30 MBPS, so for me streaming is easy EXCEPT when I want to get on my computer. Then audio problems sometimes arise. It's more pronounced on some channels than others; Netflix never has a problem, but Hulu can become unwatchable at times because the sound quality deteriorates so badly. This is apparently a problem on most Roku devices, so be forewarned. Honestly, it doesn't happen that often, and as of late when it does happen, it's usually only for a few seconds while the video buffers, and then it's fine, so don't worry this isn't a deal-breaker.

Other observations/complaints: not every channel you could want is on here. YouTube, Vudu, and Twitter are just some of the channels found on other devices that are not present (as of this review) on any of the Roku boxes. In terms of Facebook, Roku has a channel for your Facebook picture/movie uploads, but it's literally only that; there's no full Facebook integration. A much ballyhooed channel is Plex. Plex allows you to stream movies, videos, and photos off your computer onto your TV. For example, I use iTunes for my music, and what Plex lets me do is stream the music off of iTunes onto my TV. The biggest problem with Plex is you have to have your computer up and running the Plex app in order to do all this. Kind of annoying.

So how much do you save? My mom got one of these as well and dumped DirectTV, for which she was paying around $80/month. After factoring in the monthly cost of a Netflix and Hulu subscription (she hasn't downloaded anything off of Amazon, and she doesn't have any of the other subscription channels), she's saving about $60/month. That's a great deal of money. More importantly, she says she's watching her TV more now than she was with satellite. Roku's not perfect - and certainly not being able to watch live TV (for most things) has its disadvantages - but if you need a cheap way to reduce your cable bill while still enjoying your favorite shows, the Roku HD is the best value around.
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494 of 546 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, the Roku is a game changer, June 23, 2012
By 
GL (Laguna Hills, CA.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I am old. Technology is viewed, by me, with suspicion. I was the last one at my work to be forced (kicking and screaming) into using a computer in the early 90s. I was the last one of my friends to buy a desktop computer and get an email address for home ('96). I still do not have a cell phone.

I have, however, some knowledge of techology as an enhancement for home entertainment. I have a 46" Samsung LCD with "full array" LED backlighting (2010), an OPPO BD-83 player, and a Denon receiver. I feel my equipment, while not cutting edge, is pretty good. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about film and have been purchasing dvds, dvd-rs, or blu-ray discs since each format became available. Perhaps because of my age, my taste runs toward older, studio catalog titles. For me, "streaming video" meant poor, blurry images and poor sound especially for older titles. I resisted all the little gizmos techies talked about when they discussed "cutting the (cable) cord" by streaming videos from Netflix and other "like" services. I wanted the best quality image I could get and I assumed "streaming" was for folks who really did not care about picture quality as long as they could see what was going on (I know, I know, what an uninformed snob!). I spent a great deal of money on Directv and buying Warner Archives, Columbia Classics and MGM limited edition discs (usually dvd-rs).

Then, I read an Amazon customer review of a studio catalog title I was interested in. It was an older movie(the 40's)and he said he had streamed it using Netflix. I found out that Netflix and Amazon had many of the titles available to "stream" that I usually was unable to find at any rental place. I decided to purchase the $60.00 Roku HD (720P) for my little Samsung 32" set in my den. I had wifi so before I made the purchase, I checked my connection download speed on speednet (5.78 mbps). It appeared to meet the minimum requirements for receiving HD signals so I bought the Roku and hooked it up (if I can can get the Roku ready to use in 15 minutes, anyone can) to my "little theater" in my den (18 feet and one wall away from the wifi setup). I already had Amazon Prime because it saved me a lot of money on shipping. I added Netflix. Netflix had some of the older movies I wanted, available that Amazon did not. The quality of the HD picture and Dolby 5.1 sound, at least on my little 32" Samsung is as good as any title I have purchased or rented (at least for my eyes and ears). I have begun to spend more time in the den than in the "Big Room" with the aforementioned newer, more costly, components. There have been a couple incidents of buffering(?) where it took a few seconds for the Roku to reload the film but the incidents were short and rare. I was delighted and amazed by this little box.

It dawned on me that this could change the way I bought home entertainment. For now, I will keep my Directtv in the main viewing area (my little den tv is hooked up to a 1977 color tv antenna I threw on the patio cover and that connection gets me the BEST HD images of all my sources.ie; blu ray, Directv). However, I now spend $7.99 a month on Netflix, $80.00 a year for Amazon Prime in the den vs my $100 a month for Directv with the quality components. I am seriously considering adding a Roku to the big room and maybe "cutting the (cable) cord" or, in my case the (satellite) hookup. Gee, I feel all 21st century! (just kidding)
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519 of 585 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to connect and works great., April 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
Was looking for a wireless streaming player for my Netflix and Amazon Instant Video accounts. This is for the bedroom on my 37" 720p LCD, so I didn't need to spend the extra $$ on the Roku 1080p capable players. In reality, you aren't likely going to get true 1080p video from these streaming players anyway. At any rate, this Roku HD player seemed to fill my need and it definitely does. Easy to link to your existing streaming accounts and Crackle is a free channel with movies and TV episodes, although you do have commercials. Doesn't come with a HDMI cable, but I had a spare on hand.

One note on the remote pictured, it's not the one included. The remote that came with this player has the added, dedicated buttons for Netflix, Pandora and Crackle. Other than those additions it's the same as what is pictured. Highly recommended for those who just want a streaming player for under $60, since this is all it does.
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353 of 405 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku HD: Simple. It Just Works!, May 9, 2012
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
VIDEO:

The Roku HD is a great little wireless-only player. Despite its name, the Roku HD does not support HD video at 1080p. It supports 720p.

The Roku HD is the replacement for the Roku LT per Roku. Currently the Roku website as of this writing is listing both the Roku LT and the Roku HD, with both feature sets being identical. The Roku LT is sold out on Roku's website. Update July 11 2012: It is currently in stock again on Roku's website as of this writing.

It supports 802.11n WiFi (b/g/n compatible). It has the following video outputs, identical to the Roku LT: 480i over composite video, 480p over HDMI, and 720p over HDMI. Like the Roku LT, it will do the following video modes: 720p HD, 16:9 anamorphic, and 4:3 standard. It will not do 1080p.

--An HDMI cable is not included, but the composite video cable is.

NO GAME MODE:

The Roku HD is not capable of playing Angry Birds, Pac Man, or similar games. The Roku HD does not include bluetooth capability, which is necessary to play these games. The Roku players that are able to play Angry Birds/Pac Man as of this writing are Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS and the previous, older Roku 2 HD. Thus this Roku does not include the Roku Game Remote. Current price for that remote is around $35. The Roku 2 XS (model subject to change via Roku's website) comes with the Game Remote as of this writing, or you can purchase it in a package with a Micro SD card or separately.

REMOTE:

I love the Roku HD's simple remote -- it is the one with the Netflix, Pandora and Crackle buttons, although it cannot go frame-by-frame in slow motion like a DVR remote. It is still a great design. It is the same remote that I got with my Roku LT and the one supplied with the Roku 2 XD. Subtitles are available for Netflix on the Roku HD, if subtitles are available for that movie/show.

STREAMING:

Streaming is very fast with the wireless HD model.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX:

* Standard Roku infrared remote control
* 2 x AAA batteries
* A/V cable (mini-jack to left/right/composite video RCA)
* A/C Power adapter
* Getting Started guide
* 30-day money back guarantee
* 90-day hardware warranty

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

* HDMI cable -- if you choose to hook up your TV with HDMI to view in 720p instead of the included A/V cable
* Wireless router (N router is best since this Roku is N compatible)
* High speed internet connection -- Roku recommends a 1.5 Mbps download speed for standard definition; live events like baseball need 3 Mbps; and just FYI, the Roku-recommended 5 Mbps HD download speed doesn't apply to the Roku HD, according to a conversation I had with a Roku representative since the Roku HD player doesn't do 1080p.
* Access to the internet to configure your Roku (to link the Roku player to your Roku account)

WHO SHOULD GET IT:

* If you have never had a Roku player before, this is a great one to start with.
* If you have the Roku LT and like it, this one is for you. It is identical except in color.
* If you have other Roku players and want to expand around the house, this is a good one. Inexpensive, yet has a good feature set.
* If you have an area in your house where you could use a wireless Roku, and you don't need to pay extra for ethernet, this is a great choice.
* If you do not want to play games on a Roku, this would be a good option.

SET-UP:

Set-up is simple and quick, although channel addition can be slightly clunky, in that the order you add the channels is the order in which they will display. As far as Roku content, Hulu Plus is offered, but Hulu is not. However, it is great for access to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, and there are several great free movie channels to choose from like Crackle, although I would like to see more free movie channels. Content is always expanding on the Roku.

PHONE SUPPORT:

Roku phone support only covers 90 days per their warranty. After 90 days you have email or chat support only. Tech support has been cheerful and pleasant but spotty. They do not always provide the correct solution to the problem.

If you want additional phone support, you can get Roku Care Per-Incident or an Extended Warranty which provides as of this writing an additional two years of phone support.

CONCLUSION:

The Roku HD is a great value in the Roku line and I highly recommend it, as long as you don't want to play games.

Another great value, with an identical feature set if you are able to find it at a good price, is the Roku LT Streaming Player. Roku was selling them on their website at a cheaper price point but they sold out.

~~

>> "I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming like the passengers in his cab." <<
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167 of 193 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Roku HD model runs hot, crashes, July 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
Immediately after I received the Roku HD I started having problems with it locking up - the only way to recover is to unplug the power and restart. Then I noticed that it runs very hot, even when it is in standby mode. I assumed I had a defective unit, so I returned it for replacement and got another one. Same problem and had to return the second unit as well. This appears to be a design problem.

I purchased the Roku HD because I got a Roku LT a few months ago, and I love it. Easy to use, runs cool, no problems at all.

I measured the surface temperature of the HD and the LT with an infrared thermometer after they had both been in *standby* mode (LED off) for over 12 hours, not even in use. Side by side, on a table in a 72-degree room, the Roku LT is 80.8 degrees, while the Roku HD is 127 degrees! Before you consider purchasing the HD, I recommend searching the Roku forums and elsewhere for "roku hd hot". There are also other reviews here on Amazon about heat and stability problems with the HD.
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579 of 692 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor design choices, May 23, 2012
By 
R (none of your goddamn business) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I actually like the Roku service, but it has some problems.

The box it came in didn't mention once about needing a credit card to even use the free channels, it should be clearly stated that you have to gve Roku your credit card details to activate and use the Roku box, instead all the advertising and the outside of the box just says it is free. Only once you have paid for the Roku player, brought it home and then opened up the box and read the manual does it mention anything about how you have to give Roku your credit card information to use it.

The second problem is that there is no power button, there is no way to turn this off other than pulling the plug out of the wall. It might not use up much power when it goes into the stand-by mode, but it still uses up power, and has a consumption rate of 4 watts, which is more than 8 times the EU standard for power consumption for devices in stand-by mode.

The third problem is that for some reason it occasionally returns itself back to the "home" screen with no explanation - this might be down to faults with third party channels, but it is extremely annoying when you search through to find a movie to watch on Crackle, press play, sit through the adverts and then find that the Roku box has returned itself to the home screen and you have to start from the beginning of the process to get to watch the movie that you'd chosen.

The fourth problem is that the box gets really really hot, I have it on top of my TV with about 4 foot of ventilation space above it and about 2 foot of ventilation space either side, and the box still gets extremely hot. This is a huge worry especially since there is no off switch, I have to remember to reach to the back of the TV set to get to the wall socket to unplug it each time I have finished watching a movie and then plug it back in each time I want to watch something else.

The Roku box also has no volume controls, not too much of a problem, but it is still annoying since the volume levels between the Roku channels vary so much that you have to keep both the TV remote and the Roku remote near to you to use different channels without disturbing the neighbours or being deafened at the same time as being still able to hear the movies.

Yet another issue is with the channels, most are good and make sense, but some - like the HBO Go channel - require you to already have cable TV service with a subscription to that channel to be able to watch them, and you can't just go to HBO and get a subscription to watch it on the Roku. This confuses me no end - if I already had cable TV service with the subscription to HBO then why the hell would I need the damn Roku box?

Edit: The credit card issue is apparently down to Roku's new policy of not letting users skip the credit card step during activation, however if you already had a Roku account before they implemented this policy then you can still skip this step. It is still off-putting that this is not mentioned in their advertising or packaging, especially since it takes the time to point out the no-brainers like "you need an internet connection".

You also need a PC to use the Roku box, since you *have* to activate the Roku box via a PC, and yet the all the text on the box and all the Roku advertising says "Watch streaming TV without a PC".
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had Roku 3... Then I had HD. I don't feel I'm missing much., July 24, 2013
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
Okay, so most of the reviews here cover WHAT the Roku does. I'm going to get into some specifics about this VERSION of the Roku versus others.

I've owned several Roku devices, including their very first model. In the second gen line, I've had the XS, the LT, and now the HD. I briefly upgraded to the Roku 3, but ended up selling it, trying another brand of streaming player (I know... Bad plan) and then going back to the Roku by way of this HD model.

So here's what I can tell you about them:

LT: Basically the same as the HD with some minor feature differences. The LT remote doesn't have the quick review button (or whatever they're calling it) that lets you instantly jump back a few seconds in a video. I'm fairly certain the unit is capable of doing this, but they just don't ship it with a remote that has that button. You could always get a new remote if you wanted that feature. As far as playback and video quality are concerned, the LT seems to be the same as the HD. 720p max, no wired network port, no USB port, no TOSlink/optical audio port.

HD: As I said above, it has no USB port, no TOSlink, no wired networking, and maxes out at 720p... But it has a quick review button on the remote. WOOO! It's also a more tasteful black color with a purple stripe at the bottom, as opposed to the LT's purple look. In comparison to the Roku 3, once upgraded to the new Roku interface, it seems to be pretty snappy and works quite well. It doesn't support motion controlled games like the Roku 3, and it doesn't have the nifty headphone jack on the remote (which I never used anyway).

So... Do I miss the extra features of the XS or Roku 3? Not really.

USB port: I always found Roku's implementation of USB playback to be rather awful. It's fussy about files being encoded a certain way, doesn't like certain audio tracks, has no media scraper to get titles or information, and-- worst of all-- seems to lack the ability to simply list videos in alphabetical order; Your video folder will be all sorts of messy, because the Roku seems to organize videos in USB sources by last modified date, or something like that. Honestly, I got a headache trying to troubleshoot this problem, and it's a problem that Roku has flat-out refused to address since they added USB support. They simply aren't interested in this side of the device.

So what I'm saying is that the Roku 3 is lousy at handling local media via USB. This is part of the reason I didn't go back to the Roku 3 when I did come back.

Motion Remote with Headphone Jack: As I said, I never used the headphone jack. It's just not a feature I needed. I have a receiver that supports a variety of wireless headphone solutions, so the headphone jack was redundant and clunkier than what I have. I tried it once. It works. I hardly see it as a game-changer or a reason to pay more. The HD doesn't have a headphone jack on the remote and you'll probably never miss it.

The motion control is cool if you really want to play Angry Birds Space on your TV and don't have a dozen other devices to play it on. Otherwise, it's kind of a bust. So few games use it, and honestly, the game selection for Roku is pretty bad. They really don't seem to be putting a lot of effort into games, and games are the only place where the motion control is useful. Most games don't even use motion control, anyway. So do I miss it? Heck no!

1080p Playback: Here's the thing... Netflix**, Amazon, Hulu, and most other streaming services don't even have any 1080p videos to play on your Roku. In fact, the only Roku channel I know of that does support 1080p is Vudu, and those are the most expensive pay-per-view choices on that service. To the naked eye, the 720p versions look just as good on most TVs up to 60", and videophiles are going to hate watching compressed, streaming video anyway. It takes up more bandwidth, too. So bearing that in mind, chances are most Roku owners aren't going to be watching a lot of 1080p content, simply because IT ISN'T AVAILABLE. So do I miss 1080p playback? NOPE. I barely used it, and most of the time, that was in PLEX or via USB when I could get it to work.

So bottom line: The Roku HD is a great choice for most people. You probably don't need 1080p playback because the content isn't available on your streaming service of choice. You probably won't need the headphone jack because you've got other, better solutions for watching without others hearing it. You probably won't need the USB port because you can pick up a Micca player that handles WAY more file types, codecs, and properly alphabetizes the local content. You won't notice the slight speed difference in the menu (really, it's not that noticeable. It's not "slow" by any measurement). You can get your 5.1 audio via HDMI, so you probably don't need TOSlink. And anybody who's anybody has decent WiFi today, so you probably don't need the wired networking, either.

If you think that's you, then congratulations! You can save yourself fifty bucks by getting the Roku HD instead of the Roku 3.

As for me, I decided there is no all-in-one set-top box that handles streaming services AND local media via USB with everything I wanted (Crackle, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, Netflix, Plex, Pandora, USB NTFS support, All file containers and codecs, DTS/DPLII/AC3 passthru, thumbnails, scraper, etc.) and so I split the task between this Roku HD-- Basically the best device for streaming services in existence-- and the Micca EP600, which handles all the local media via USB in ways the Roku could only dream.

In the end, I spent a tiny bit more than I would have on another Roku 3, and I got everything I wanted.

So my recommendation in this messy, all-over-the-place editorial/review is to get it! The Roku HD is probably the "sweet spot" when it comes to Roku devices, balancing price, desired features, and quality. The LT might also be a good choice, but for the minor price difference (if any) it's nice to get the better remote and the more friendly color for your entertainment center (unless you really like purple).

Seriously, for you cord-cutters out there: Get the Roku HD or LT, and then use the pennies you saved to buy a nice Micca player. They range from $30 on up, and they're pretty much ALL going to handle USB local media better than the more expensive Roku models ever will.

** UPDATE 7/30/13: I was incorrect about Netflix not streaming in 1080p. They have, indeed, begun doing so. However, it isn't all titles, and it's only supported on select devices right now AND your Internet PROVIDER needs to support Super HD. I'm on Charter, and in my area Charter doesn't support it at this time, so again: It's a moot point to have 1080p on the Roku for me at the moment, and even when it does become available (IF it's ever supported by my ISP) I could always upgrade if I felt I were missing something. Of course, streaming 1080p also means you hit your bandwidth cap (if you have one) faster, too.

So my review stands as-is, but I just wanted to make it clear that YES, I'm aware there's SOME 1080p content available on Netflix, but that most people in the United States do not have access to it at this time, anyway. Might as well not spend the extra cash for a feature that will be of little use until your ISP catches up with Netflix.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who needs Apple TV, I have Roku!, May 9, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I have owned several Roku boxes over the years, beginning with the original Roku HD (the box like unit), Roku 2 HD and now the Roku (3) HD. Each generation gets better than the previous.

This particular unit allows for TV viewing over HDMI or through Composite (yellow, red, white) video. This unit also has a much better constructed remote control. The original Roku had a very short and thick remote, but the buttons were really great. The Roku 2 HD had a much slimmer remote, but it felt very plasticky and cheap. This unit has the best of both remote styles. The unit is slimmer, but the buttons are much tighter. There are also dedicated buttons for Netflix, Crackle and Pandora, not that I ever use those, but they are there if you want them.

The unit also connects to your wireless network, to get to the internet, so make sure that you have internet access, and a wireless router at home. It supports 802.11b/g/n standards for wifi.

If you are curious about moving to online streaming, then this is the way to go. Roku has access to hundreds of "channels", but we use it mainly for Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. This unit will only display up to 720p, so if you have a 1080p television, then you will need to upgrade to the Roku XD for 69.99, as it is the same unit, but with 1080p resolution.

I hope you found this review informative, and stimulating.
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I could ask for !!!!!!!, May 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I have being using my WII and using Netflix for over 2 years, but I wanted more viewing options. I saw the Roku player over 2 years ago, when I purchased my WII, but was hesitant to purchase, because not many people heard of it. Well I read over 100 (estimate) reviews and finally made a decision to purchase. This is the best purchase I could have made. I gave up cable over 2 years ago tired of paying DirecTV $80.00 + a month. This box give me more than I can ask for. I signed up with amazon prime b/c I shop a lot on amazon and I love 2 day shipping, I received my box the next day via UPS and gain access to the free steaming catalog. Not only can I access Netflix, Amazon Instant streaming, NBA League pass, Hulu and many many more apps you can download and watch so many movies and shows free of charge. All the shows or movies I watch are crystal clear. It took me no more than 5 minutes to set up, I am not exaggerating. For anyone looking for an all in 1 streaming player go ahead and make this purchase you will not be disappointed.
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73 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku HD is my new best friend!, April 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
Ordered the Roku HD, have a nice standard definition tv that's in great shape, but only could get whatever the Verizon gods deemed of value. Wanted to be able to stream videos from my Amazon Prime account, and Hulu, on the tv rather than just my laptop.
Got the Roku in one day (thank you, Ontrac!). Set up was easy. Went online to complete setup, and was up and running in no time at all. Sound is great, better than the fiber optic service I have. Picture quality is excellent. Best $60 I have ever spent!
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Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model)
$259.00 $62.99
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