Customer Review

89 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People should be realistic when comparing wired to wireless connections, August 24, 2012
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This review is from: Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I got this product last week and I have been using it everyday. It is connected to my wireless network, router on 1st floor and Roku on second across the house. I read many reviews on this product and want to address those who complain about buffering on a wireless connection. I want to let people know that this is being used wirelessly. Wireless connections are not as reliable as wired installations. I am a network engineer with years of experience in wired/wireless installations. You will not get dependable connections via wireless due to so many variables. If you want near perfect connections all the time, break open your walls and run some cat 5. I knew it would have some issues sometimes and that DOES NOT bother me.

Now onto the wireless review. I had it connected to my network in about 5 minutes. After connecting to my network - it updated and that was it, I had internet TV going. We use it mainly for Netflix and to start using our Amazon Prime streaming service. Sure we have had buffering, but not a lot and not during a show/movie, just at the beginning of the stream. May be once it happened within the first 5 minutes of streaming. I am using 802.11g, not 802.11n. I really do advise of getting an additional micro SD card for additional memory. I chatted with Roku and was told it will support up to 16GB. I had a 8GB laying around so I am using it. If I did not have it I would have bought a 16GB. For now the 8GB is enough.

The Roku does have some nice features like the game remote. I went with the XS because of future game releases. When something is new, you have to wait for things to be developed for it. Companies don't want to develop unless there is a market for it, look at the iPhone and all the apps NOW. Not many apps in the beginning. I cannot wait for it to become the next best thing. Apple TV was not a consideration as it does not permit Amazon Prime Streaming.

I gave it four stars for content, there should be more free content. But remember, Roku is not a content provider - they just deliver it. I am sure quality/content will get better with time as more people start to use this little gem.

I do recommend this device and it does have the ability to become something bigger than it is. If you want the Roku (and buy it), definitely get additional memory. *8GB is good for me know. I wish there was a way to see how much is used/unused (so I will wait to see if I need to get larger). Use what you might have laying around otherwise go with what you can afford (larger the better I say). Also, I wish the Roku had a longer power cord as my TV is mounted on the wall and the outlet is below the TV so I have to figure a good way to hide it with a cable chase. Maybe Roku would get smart and sell a longer power cord for those who have older houses and do not have a power outlet installed behind the TV.

Also get the Roku Universal Mounting kit, it hides the Roku behind the TV (note that the XS has a Bluetooth remote and it does not need a direct line of sight to work). My TV is mounted on the wall, so hiding devices makes the installation look cleaner. The mounting kit only hangs on the vents on the back of my Samsung TV. Looking at the TV, you do not see the Roku and the remote works great.

Hope this review helps. Just remember that if you want to use a wireless connection, the connection won't be as reliable as a wired installation. This goes for all the internet TV devices, Apple TV, Boxee, Roku, WD TV etc... If you can go wired great, if not remember my review.

I will update later in time if I remember.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 13, 2013 7:20:52 AM PST
If you are a network engineer, why would you run CAT5? I would think at the very least CAT5E and more likely CAT6. CAT6 costs very little more than CAT5 cable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 2:00:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 2:01:05 PM PST
T. List says:
I wrote the comment for many who might not be technology savvy and maybe should have been more specific for wired installations. I see no real difference between CAT5E and CAT6 because both can run gigabit speeds (as long as the devices on both sides can transmit and receive at that speed), except that CAT6 is certified to run at gigabit speed. I would recommend 5E over 5 and I should have been more specific. A major difference between 5 and 5E is that 5E reduces crosstalk that might interfere with performance and cause transfer speeds to be reduced.

Many times, if you are going to do a long run you might hire a person to this and they will run what is needed for the application. If you are able to run and install the cable yourself, then you might be aware of what to run. I ran 5E in my house to hubs at each entertainment/tv area (smart tv/blu-ray, etc). The bedrooms are 5E free, so wireless is the way for me at this time.

Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 2:10:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 2:10:23 PM PST
Good, glad that you clarified that you meant CAT5E. That is good for others that read the posts. I'm just towards the end of building a house. I ran CAT6. The cost difference between it and 5E is negligible.

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 6:01:05 AM PST
This is a very helpful review. I like to watch one of the shopping channels, but since they started streaming in HD, I spend more time watching screens that say 'loading' or 'retrieving'. My set-up is same as yours with atV upstairs and Infinity router down. At this point I only have 4 channels loaded on my ROKU and no games. Is hard wiring the only solution for my live streaming issues or will either adding an SD card or possibly a signal repeater for the wireless internet? Last resort will be going back to Comcast cable which I disconnected due to too frequent outages. I telecommute so have the supposedly higher speed internet. My iPad streams live much better than my ROKU, FYI.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2013 11:29:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2013 7:19:31 AM PST
T. List says:
Mine is not hard wired, it is setup 802.11g. I use a older linksys router for the wireless connection. I had had no troubled watching movies/playing games. Yes from time o time I see buffering, but I am not a stickler for it. I do n't use my FiOS router for the wireless, I use my faithful Linksys. Also what times do you attempt to stream plays a factor. If everyone is pulling from a source, the isp can feel the blacklash. I know I work for an ISP.

Wanted to add this. If you take your laptop into the room near the Roku, do you see good signal strength? You might have interference with something near the Roku if everything else is working fine. Roku needs near perfect signal since it is steaming and High Def uses a lot of bandwidth on your network.

I have installed about 4 Rokus in different houses with different routers. All work well and no issues. You may want to call/caht Roku to check your router settings for Roku, maybe need to setup Class of Service to the Ip of the Roku.
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