Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p: Review

June 1, 2012 | By admin | Filed in: TV and Video.

Roku 2 XD Streaming Player - in hand

I have to say that after all the troubles that I had with using my Blu-ray player for streaming movies, the Roku 2 XD was sheer joy to use.

The Roku’s connectivity to wifi is excellent.  I tried it in our back bedroom.  The blu-ray player with built-in wifi had struggled to get a decent signal, but the Roku sailed through the test with flying colors and I had no problems watching a Netflix movie on it (I couldn’t even get internet radio on the blu-ray player).

The Roku’s remote is very minimal and straightforward to use, which I very much like.  I sometimes think that these giant remotes with 200 buttons are more designed to look impressive, rather than for everyday use!

Roku 2 XD Streaming Player - Front

There are so many channel choices for Roku and there are more being added all the time.  I really was impressed with the range of things that you can do with a Roku.  As well as all the big channels, such as Netflix, Pandora, Amazon, etc, there are a lot of excellent less common ones that you can subscribe to.  I can also stream my laptop to the TV stereo system, meaning that I can listen to spotify or other play files on my computer without needing to be wired up!

One advantage of Roku is that there is essentially an “open source” element to it, with ordinary users adding in new channels every day on top of all the “official” Roku ones.  There are lots of useful channels and streaming software like PLEX and Nowhere TV, which you just don’t get on some of the other players.  The Roku is quick and responsive too, with a very straightforward menu system.

Roku 2 XD Streaming Player - Rear

There is very little that I could fault it for.  I wish it had an Ethernet port for a direct connection to the internet.  The signal is always stronger that way.  I wish it had a USB port too and I could play music and photos from a memory stick through it.  But those things seem like quibbles, given how thrilled I am with the Roku box overall.

Pluses

Easy to use with a straightforward menu and a minimal remote.

Lots of choices of channels and streaming options.

Has a wide range for connecting to wifi.

Quick and efficient.

The box is tiny and takes up virtually no space – see my photo of me holding it in my hand!

Minuses

No Ethernet port for connecting directly to the modem (you need a Roku 2 XS for that!)

Conclusion

I have to say that if you asked me if I would recommend the Roku 2 XD Streaming Player, I would respond by saying that I plan to buy another Roku myself in the near future (one for the bedroom) – what better endorsement could I give than that!  Of course, now that I know how well the Roku works, I may well be tempted to spend a little more money and go for the Roku 2 XS, rather than the XD, so that I can have the option of a direct Ethernet connection too.

One piece of advice, if you do go ahead and buy the Roku 2 XD, I would recommend that you sign up to the Ruko community at Yahoo Groups – Yahoo groups are free to join and there’s lots of info there on all the extra channels that you can add, plus some additional streaming options and help.

Thanks for reading my Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p review!


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