Question. What exactly does this thing do? Are they really free for the below mentioned? TIA.
Enjoy 700+ channels featuring the best movies, TV shows, live sports, music, games, and more, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video. A full version of the Angry Birds game is included FREE!
jtclin said: Question. What exactly does this thing do? Are they really free for the below mentioned? TIA.
Enjoy 700+ channels featuring the best movies, TV shows, live sports, music, games, and more, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video. A full version of the Angry Birds game is included FREE! Hard to believe anyone is not familiar with Roku by now. The R2XS is my favorite Roku because it has a usb port which allows one to play media files off an attached usb disk. That said, local file playback is not a strength of the Roku. If you are looking for a set top box that does a nice job with local file playback and streams internet content, I like the SMP better and you can get one for $30 on eBay if you are patient. I have three SMPs, but am buying Rokus these days.
The Roku is an OK streamer. A lot of people expect these streaming boxes to replace their cable or satellite service. They don't. These boxes package internet content for display on your television at ten feet with a remote control. Some of them directly (R3, R2XS) or indirectly (Playon, plex, etc.) play local media. That's not TV. Local news, sports, live events are lacking. Its strength is in its extensibility -- people can make channels for it. There are hundreds of channels. Some are amazing, some are not.
I have five Rokus and this is a good price. If you like Netflix, Vudu, Prime, or Crackle, the Roku provides a nice interface for a tv. If you are a cable cutter, you can watch CNN, Fox, CNBC, and MSNBC clips. If you are willing to run a separate server in your home, then you can get more content via Playon or Plex. Going forward, I expect Aereo, Skitter, and others will bring real, live television programming to the Roku.
I should also mention that there in now a Roku 3 which is replacing the XS as the premium Roku. It has a more powerful cpu and a headphone jack on the remote control, but some content -- especially games -- will not run on the Roku 3.
Go ahead and buy one. You may be surprised what you get for $70.
I've been giving these out to family members, they can access my shared content on PlexWeb. They love it; all the movies, music and TV shows they can handle (I set them to a max of 4 gig, no kick-ups). They also use the Disney channel and I've given them access to Amazon (I'm prime). I only wish someone would make a Roku channel for the silicon dust HD prime I own. Then you can use this as a cable box (or WMC extender in my case) replacement. The bugs seem to be gone, Plex and the Roku have been pretty solid. My non-tech family would have been bitch'n by now
eswarjj said: could someone confirm Roku 2 XS vs Roku 3 differences. The only difference I can find is the remote headphone jack. The new interface will be available on Roku 2s as well in the next few months. The difference with the headphone jack and Roku is also claiming it's more powerful, thus quicker to use and they note a more robust wifi, which means they are getting ready for the newest internet streaming codecs. There are some new ones coming out soon which will transmit HD but in about half the bandwidth currently. Also they claim it uses about the same power as a night-light and 30x less than a gaming system for streaming.
Something to consider also is that they are no longer updated firmware for Gen1 boxes, which means if you go the Roku2 route, you don't know how much longer it will be updated. This article http://thecreativealternative.com/alternatives-to-cable/ notes some differences of the two units, but also some great ways to use it as an alternative to cable TV. Personally I would go for the Roku3. If the price is a factor, add it to your cart on Amazon and track it that way each time you visit. Or use CamelCamel. The Roku3 with potentially using the newer codecs coming out, may be a way to not worry about ISP bandwidth caps. Hope this helps a bit.
eswarjj said: could someone confirm Roku 2 XS vs Roku 3 differences. The only difference I can find is the remote headphone jack. The new interface will be available on Roku 2s as well in the next few months.
eswarjj said: could someone confirm Roku 2 XS vs Roku 3 differences. The only difference I can find is the remote headphone jack. The new interface will be available on Roku 2s as well in the next few months. The Roku 3 is an incremental improvement. The ballyhooed interface upgrade will hit most R2s in May. The CPU is supposed to be faster, but I have not noticed lag in the R2. You're right that the headphone jack is the most obvious change, but I am not sure if I would ever use that. The less obvious change is that the remote is WiFi. People have reported problems with this, but, to me, the fact that it is not IR is problem enough -- how are we supposed to program our learning remotes?
Numerous posts over at Roku's forums indicate people are using it with IR remotes. The wifi would be for the headphones and general pairing. People note using the Harmony One and 650 from what I read there.
You can use it with an IR remote, but it does not come with one. The included remote is WiFi. If you want to train your learning remote, you will first need to shell out for an IR remote.
Personally, I think this stinks. In my X10 days, their remotes were RF plus IR. No reason not to do this twenty years later. I would imagine that a LOT of Roku users would like to use a learning remote.
Roku with Playon is an amazing way to cut the cord and watch tv. I was streaming thru my Wii before picking up a Roku and it totally changed the experience for me. Playon also has some 'live channels' through third party plugins. The only content that doesn't seem to be available is streaming sports. There are live streams but the viewing experience is not that great. Similar to bad tapes of 80's nba etc.
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