The Roku box has been around for a while now, but the Roku 2 is the newest model and has added some goodies. Like the original Roku streaming player, the Roku 2 does a beautiful job of streaming content from your home’s wifi source to your HDTV in full 1080 HD. It also makes for a great Netflix player, which was the original reason to buy a Roku when it first came out.
In fact, the Roku 2 does a lot more than stream Netflix to your HDTV, but it does that very well. The interface on Netflix is superb and you will never use a computer again to watch a movie unless you are not at home. In addition to Netflix, Roku will offer pay-per-view movies via Amazon or thousands of free movies for Amazon prime members. The beauty of the Roku, however, is the free content you get. With over 300 channels, many of them free, there is plenty to watch.
The most poplar channel is certainly Netflix, but with Roku, Hulu Plus is also available, In addition, you will find Crackle and Pandora for free. There are live streaming channels, some of which only stream live during business hours. Such live streaming channels include FoxNews. You can check out Facebook, catch all of the recent performances on the X Factor, or subscribe to watch your favorite team with the NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter, or MLB TV. Sorry, no NFL yet – DirectTV still has the market on that for now.
The Roku 2 is smaller and more powerful than the original. The new model is so small you won’t even notice it in your entertainment center. It would fit in the palm of your hand. When you are watching a flawlessly streamed action movie in 1080 HD you won’t believe this little box can do it. The unit barely uses any electricity and it does not heat up like a cable box will.
You will find Roku 2 in a few models. The cheapest is the Roku 2 HD which offers 720p. If you want 1080p you will want to step up to the Roku 2 XD streaming video player. The top of the line is the Roku 2 XS which adds a wired internet connection option and an enhance remote. This remote is similar to the Wii remote in that it is motion sensing. Because of this, the Roku 2 has added interactive games, starting with Angry Birds, that can be played the remote.
In the future, expect many more games that make use of the enhanced remote and more and more channels. There are developers adding channels every week and Roku has been very supportive of these third party channels. In addition to the official channels, you will find many ‘private’ channels if you do a quick search that will add to your Roku experience.
The era of on demand and live video streaming has arrived for your HDTV. The high entertainment value, ease of setup and use, and low price is why you should buy a Roku box now and start streaming content to your TV.