23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Decent when it works but very slow/buggy,
This review is from: Roku HD Streaming Player (Old Model) (Electronics)
I've had the Roku for about 4 months now. I got it mainly because I like to watch Netflix and Hulu Plus on my television, and there aren't many non-game-console products that support Hulu Plus. (This is the main reason I got it over the Apple TV, even though I tend to think that Apple products are designed and tested better.)
The remote control is poorly design. For example, it has a "Crackle" button on it that does nothing but open the "Crackle" app, which is an App that I have used exactly once. There are 2 other similar buttons that do nothing but launch 1 app each. It seems like a terrible waste of space. (Still, it's better than the remote control that comes with a lot of other electronic devices.) There's also an ambiguous button that just has an asterisk on it -- I don't remember exactly what that does, but I think it's for settings??
The Roku is sluggish when you first turn it on, but it also gets slower as it runs. The Roku does not have a power button: if it's plugged in, then it's on. This would be fine except that the Roku gets slower and slower as it runs. After a few weeks, it will take 5-10 seconds to respond to a button press. After some back and forth with Roku support -- which like the Roku itself is decent but slow -- I found out that this can be resolved by unplugging for about 5 minutes and then plugging in again to force a reboot.
The other downside to the Roku is the bugginess. The audio is very buggy. Sometimes the audio will cut out altogether (this is over HDMI, so I know that it's not the cable or the receiver), sometimes the audio gets a tinny, high-pitched squeal that drives me insane, and sometimes the audio just turns in to loud clicks and bursts of static. Like the speed issue, the audio gets progressively worse as the Roku is left on but can be resolved with the old unplug-it-and-plug-it-back-in routine.
Looking back, I wish I had gotten an Apple TV for a about $30 more. The Roku is passable, but for those looking for a dead-simple, carefree device that just works, this is not it.