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Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player (Old Model)
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- 600+ channels with movies, TV shows, music, sports & more
- High-definition streaming up to 1080p HD
- Works with virtually any TV
- Free app for iOS and Android
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Special Offers and Product Promotions
The Roku 2 XS delivers the best experience in 1080p HD streaming to your TV—plus motion-based gaming for an extra dose of great entertainment. Includes one-stop search across top channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video; a free app for iOS and Android; and a full complement of connectivity options. Angry Birds included FREE. It supports closed captioning for Netflix, USB port (supported formats include: MP4 (H.264) video / AAC & MP3 audio / JPEG & PNG image),Power Input 5.2 V / 1.0 A Power Adapter,Video Outputs: 1080p (over HDMI), 720p (over HDMI), 480p (over HDMI), 480i (over composite video).Audio Outputs Digital: Over HDMI (5.1 channel surround sound pass-through and stereo), Analog: Stereo (mini-jack to L/R audio and composite video RCA).USB Media Formats: Video: MP4 (H.264), Audio: AAC, MP3, Image: JPG, PNG.Power Input 5.2 V / 1.0 A Power Adapter.
From the Manufacturer
The top-of-the-line Roku 2 XS delivers the best experience in 1080p HD streaming to your TV—plus motion-based gaming for an extra dose of great entertainment.
600+ channels and growing. Movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, VUDU and HBO GO, plus live sports, music, news, international, and more, up to 1080p HD.
Game-ready remote. Features motion control for playing games and full version of Angry Birds.
One-stop search. Find your favorite movies and TV shows all from one place—no matter if they’re on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus.
Free iOS and Android app. Use it like a remote. Browse and add new channels. Even stream your music and photos from your phone or tablet to your TV.
More connectivity options. Includes Ethernet for wired connection and USB for playing music, photos and videos.
The easiest setup. Works with virtually any TV, includes built-in wireless and sets up in minutes.
The smallest streaming player. Has the footprint of a hockey puck, streams silently, and uses less power than a night-light.
More and more streaming choices
With over 600 entertainment channels and counting, Roku 2 has something for virtually everyone, including:
- Over 150,000 movies and TV shows at your fingertips from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO GO, VUDU and more
- Unlimited music from Pandora, MOG, Rdio, and Live365
- Live sports packages including NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter Live, MLS Matchday, UFC, and MLB.TV
- Photo and video sharing via Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa
- The top news sources, including MSNBC, Fox News, and WSJ
Need a break from the movies? Roku 2 also brings some of the most popular casual games to your TV:
- Enhanced Bluetooth remote features sensors to support motion-based game play, as well as game-ready buttons to support furious button action
- Available games include the Angry Birds series, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Storm in a Teacup
- Includes a FREE full version of the Angry Birds game!
- Built-in MicroSD slot makes it easy to add additional storage for hundreds more games in the future
Compare Roku models
|600+ entertainment channels|| || || || |
|One-stop search|| || || || |
|Works with virtually any TV|| || || || |
|Built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n compatible)|| || || || |
|Free app for iOS and Android|| || || || |
|Plays 720p HD video*|| || || || |
|Plays full HD video (1080p)*|| || || |
|Motion control for games|| || || |
|Free Angry Birds™ game|| |
|Ethernet + USB ports|| || || |
* Availability of 720p or 1080p HD video varies by entertainment channel.
**All Roku 2 models feature a MicroSD memory slot for adding additional storage capacity, plus Bluetooth for adding an RF remote control.
Included with the Roku 2 XS
- Enhanced remote with motion control for games
- Angry Birds game
- Two AA batteries
- A/V cable (red/white/yellow)
- Power adapter
- Get Started guide
- 90-day manufacturer warranty
What you need
- A TV
- High-speed Internet service with a speed of at least 1.2 Mbps (such as mid-level DSL). For HD video, 5 Mbps is recommended (if you’re not sure what your broadband speed is, go to www.speedtest.net and run the simple test)
- A wireless router
Top Customer Reviews
This little player, about the size of a hockey puck, is exactly what I was looking for. It's cheap, easy, and fun. I got it to play Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Vimeo, and everything else it does is a pleasant add-on, especially motion-controlled Angry Birds. If you're in the market for a Roku 2, I think you might as well get this high-end model (there are stripped-down versions for less money) since it has a few more capabilities, including a game controller, an ethernet jack, and a USB port for playing external files. The software interface is not slick but everything fast and responsive. I added a star because this unit has proven itself much more stable than it was at launch, due to frequent software updates. The HBO Go app is particularly useful, which allows you to stream from HBO on demand from a huge catalog of movies and TV shows if you have a cable subscription with HBO included.
How is the Roku 2 different from the Apple TV (which it resembles, and I also considered)? It's physically similar and has some overlapping features, but here are the main differences as I see them:
BOTH have Netflix Streaming, Hulu+, Vimeo, and sports channels such as NBA and MLB (subscription required for the sports stuff). Both have wired and wireless network capabilities. Both are tiny, power-sipping, unobtrusive little devices that could probably be embedded in TV hardware.
AppleTV (not the Roku 2!) has tight iTunes integration, including iTunes movie rentals, streaming from a local PC/Mac with iTunes installed, and YouTube. Nearly all Apple iTunes video content can be streamed via Apple's iCloud if you don't want to use a local computer as a media source. If you subscribe to iTunes Match, you can stream your music in this way as well. Apple's proprietary AirPlay feature allows you to stream audio or mirror audio and video to the box from your iOS device. It works well and adds to the usability of this device if you have an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. At this time, you can only use the "apps" that are included with the box. The AppleTV remote is made of attractive aluminum but relies on line-of-sight infrared signals. You can use an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch as a remote as well. AppleTV requires an HDTV to work and displays up to 1080p resolutions. AppleTV has a YouTube app. It also has Netflix and Hulu+ apps on par with Roku's.
Roku 2 (the product being reviewed! not AppleTV!) has a "channel" installer which you can easily manage via a web app on your computer. This system is a bit less polished, but a lot more open than the AppleTV system. Roku Channel choices include Amazon Prime videos, Amazon rentals, Vimeo, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio, Plex Media Center, and bunch of streaming news and movie services. The Wii-like game remote comes with Angry Birds and several 2D casual games are available in their Channel Store. Development of new channels seems to have slowed down lately, but there are some fun options here. There's a MicroSD card slot on the top end model for storing more channels, as well as a USB slot for playing your own media. The game controller has built-in accelerometers and game-friendly buttons, and it works well for this game. This layout would be ideal for Super Nintendo style games, too. I like how it doesn't require an IR receiver like the Wii remote does. The tiny Roku 2 box has an IR receiver so you can use a universal remote with it, but the included remote uses RF signals and doesn't need line-of-sight to the box. Roku 2 XS can run on pretty much any TV (it includes composite cables) and can display up to 1080p resolutions. There's also an iOS app if you want to use a mobile device as a remote.
As you can see, these two machines are similar, but not the same. I originally chose this machine because it worked with an old SDTV, could play Amazon Prime videos (lots of kids programming on there, thanks Amazon), and offers a nice, standalone alternative to the Apple ecosystem. Since that purchase, I've added an AppleTV for the iOS-specific features, including AirPlay, iTunes Match, and YouTube.
As you know there is 3 versions, I absolutely recommend you spend the money on the XS (99.95) model, the main reason is because it's the only model with a USB port. Which in short term will allow you connect USB HD and play any movies you may of ripped from your DVD's. I have a 4TB array connected with most of my DVD collection, which is close to 1000 movies.
Roku has three type of channels:
The public channels are the once visible in what is called "Channel Store". Currently there about 300, but channels are added weekly. Looking at fan blogs, there has yet to be a weeks in about 4 months, that at least several channels weren't added.
Now channels can fall into three categories, Pay, Free, and Subscription.
Pay means you pay onetime fee and you get access to the channel, subscriptions are channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc... if you already have those subscriptions, you just add them at no additional cost. If you are an amazon prime customer then you will get access to amazon prime streaming collection, about 9000 movies and shows. You can also rent movies from .99 cents to 3.99. Or you can digitally buy movies, which will then be permanently accessible to you through any device that supports the Amazon channel.
I will admit that half the pay channels are bad, so do your homework before laying out money for any channel that requires either a onetime fee or subscription. You have to understand the Roku is a streaming device, they are not a content provider, so they don't have anything to do with setting prices. That said there are 100's of free channels, especially if you are fan of Video Podcasts from companies live Revision 3 or TWiT. They are all there in HD, and free.
I imagine as time goes on more pay services will become available as well as free once. To give this device a bad rating because you have to pay for some channels, is just typical spoiled attitude. Remember folks who provide these channels have to pay for servers that store the content, bandwidth that delivers the content, and sometimes licensing of the content.
Roku 2 operates on a modified Linux OS. This gives this device a lot of flexibility. Roku has also given out an API so others are writing applications for the device. There are already some games available, again some free, some pay. If you buy the XS model you get a motion controller, similar to the WII one. It's obviously that it's very early in the devices API development. Even though Roku 1 has been around for years, the API flexibility really didn't open up until Roku 2. There is also SD slot so you can upgrade internal memory so you can store games and apps, which you will likely have use for in the coming months, as more apps come out. For example there is one very useful app for Netflix users, called Instant Watcher, it's a onetime fee of $2.99, and give you a lot more flexibility and power to browse the Netflix Streaming Library, you link you Netflix account through this application, and then it allows you to do everything from managing your queue to browse various lists. I discovered a few movies and shows, I would of probably never found on my own.
Second category is Application, which also includes games. That's where the motion controller that comes with the XS model comes in. XS comes with a full version of angry birds, which actually looks and plays quite well. I don't see using Roku to replace my PS3, PC, or WII as gaming platform. But I can see a few possibilities like network wide scrabble; poker, etc... type games and tournaments. There also application, some free some are pay. For example if you got the XS model you have a USB channel, to enable its use for a HD connection you have download a free application. But there is also a pay application, which will allow you to stream audio and video from your server or PC's in the house. There are few other apps, but nothing of any real value at this time. Since the API relatively new, I would expect we will see a lot more apps coming in the next few months.
The last type of channel and probably one most people will not know unless they are told or stumble on it on the forums are "Private Channels". These channels are not advertised or visible through any Roku channel. There are dozen plus sites that track them. Simply google Roku private channels and you will see quite a few. Again some are free, some require a subscription. Channels range from Adult content to one person operations. Some are quite unique like a live stream of ABC in Australia. Like Public channels, private channels go up all the time, and because many of them are one person operation they also go down just as quick sometimes. Adding private channels is quite easy you login to your Roku web account, and there is an option to add a private channel, you enter a code that each private channel provides, and it will then show up on your roku. It says it may take up to 24 hours for a private channel to show up, but most show up within seconds or minutes.
Negatives: You have to buy your HDMI cable, it does come with analog cables, you have to provide your own USB cable. Adding many channels is a major pain, Many times you will get a screen with a code that requires you to go to the channels web site, register, and then enter the code. This isn't Roku's fault, because the channel provider configures how they will allow you to add the channel, and of course many of them want your email so they can market to you. This is especially a pain, if you don't have access to internet while you are in front of your roku, I do, but still this is a major pain. Roku should require providers make channel addition seamless. There is no reason why you cant allow them to pull the info they need for registration from your Roku account if you give permission. I bet in fact its already in the API. There are a lot of garbage channels, and some pay channels are not worth the money. So DO YOUR homework before you spend your money. Roku has a great forum community and you will get straight answers most of the time.
My final recommendation is that this is the best streaming device on the market today, better then Apple TV, Google TV, Boxee, and any other. It simple to use, has amazing amount of variety, and the future for this device is very bright. Streaming is the future of media, but you can get a good taste of it now with this device. I do recommend you buy the XS model, if fort no other reason, the USB port, will eventually act as DVR, there is already buzz that apps are being written to be able to record streaming shows to a HD for later viewing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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