Friday, November 4, 2011

Finally, Roku - the Apple TV for your Eye

Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player  

now available on Amazon for $98.

The Roku 2 is smaller than any cable box or antenna I've ever seen. And in a perfect future, it could replace either of those things.
In today's imperfect present, however, this tiny gadget can only play a subset of Internet video, music and pictures on your HDTV. And it has competition: the Apple TV that Apple relaunched last September after years of neglect. We just bought one and Stew is loving it.
 via CNET (4 stars rating)
The good: The Roku 2 XS is an ultrasmall Wi-Fi streaming-media box that offers dozens of Internet video and audio services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Pandora, NHL, NBA, and MLB, among many others. It works with HD and standard TVs, and it includes a Wii-like motion controller for casual gaming (Angry Birds is included).
The bad: The best streaming channels require paid subscriptions or pay-per-view fees. The Roku 2 XS doesn't currently support DLNA access (streaming media from networked PCs), and USB file support is very limited. Don't expect a full-blown Wii-like gaming experience; Angry Birds and a few other games are currently available.
The bottom line: Thanks to a varied range of content offerings--including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Pandora--that beats the Apple TV, the Roku 2 XS is the best all-around streaming-media box you can get for less than $100.

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