People these days are always looking to bring down their bills and one bill that keeps getting higher and higher is your cable bill. You can add all these features and next thing you know you have your phone, internet and cable all tied up into one package and then you get your bill and it can reach to over $150. So what can you do to lower that bill? Easy, get a media streaming device like the Roku 2 XD. This device can replace your cable box with some of its online features like Hulu Plus and Netflix and even Amazon’s streaming media service.
With the Roku 2 XD you are able to stream full HD quality programming from Netflix for $7.99 and Hulu Plus gives you access to next day cable programming for another $7.99. Then you add in other “channels” and you can get access to HBO programming and Crackle adds in some movies not easily found around and before you know it you cut your cable bill down tremendously.
Take into account most people use their cellphones as a house phone so you can cut that out and all you will be paying is for Internet. So if you have a home network this device can connect to that network via its WiFi connection only. The device itself comes with the standard RCA cable so you won’t get HD quality right out of the box, so you must supply the HDMI cable. You can than take your HDMI cable and plug it into the back and get that HD quality video from the channels on the device.
Looking around at the Channels to choose from you can get a whole variety of programming both unique and ordinary. Channels such as NHL, UFC and some other sports keep you connected with your favorite teams. News channels help you keep current. Netflix and Hulu allow you to talk with coworkers and friends socially about some programs. Plus if you have been holding out on checking out a TV show now is the chance to catch up. I did this with Lost as when it was airing I never really gave it a chance, then on Netflix I burned through all the seasons one after the other without having the annoying what for next week holding me back.
I reviewed the Sony SMP-N200 not too long ago and had a major issue with the displaying of the content on the screen. That doesn’t happen with the Roku 2 XD. All of the channels are easy to view with large Icons and a brief description to go along with every choice on Netflix. Navigation is simple and at times has a slight delay but nothing that will freeze up and shut off.
Now Roku has also but out other boxes that have the availability to play motion controlled video games and even other boxes allow you to play online games as well as You Don’t Know Jack or Wheel of Fortune. Loading time from screen to screen can vary and at times seems like it may take longer than usual but overall performance is great. Games will cost you varying amounts to purchase so think of it as a large app store.
There is music channels as well like Pandora and TuneIn radio to choose from so you can also listen to various types of music while typing or cleaning up around the house or taking a nap. You also have a slew of other channel lineups to choose from like Science, Food, Internet TV, and Fitness it really does showcase a very impressive diversity of channels to select and explore.
You have the ability to load the remote onto your iPhone or Android powered smart phone and use that instead of the very tiny and small remote (that is prone to getting lost in couch cushions). The microSD card slot on the back is a nice little option you can watch videos on so long as they fit the DRM free DRM-free H.264 MPEG-4 video format. Also the microSD slot can allow you to upgrade to a device that is able to play motion games with a simple $30 upgrade.
So once you think about it and really start to think you can cut the cord on your cable box and cut down on your cable bill with this very easy WiFi enabled device. The downside is you can’t steam videos from your home network hard drive without getting the more upscale XS version and even then it is still tricky at best. Here are the specs on the device the Roku XD and we will also take a look at the specs of the Roku XS version as well. For a comparison you can check out my review on the Sony Network Media Player (SMP-N200).
- 802.11n Wi-Fi (b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA and WPA2 support
- 10/100 Base-T Ethernet (XS model only)
- Bluetooth version 3.0 (currently enabled for use with Roku game remote only)
- 480i (over composite video)
- 480p (over HDMI)
- 720p (over HDMI)
- 1080p (over HDMI)
- 1080p High Definition (HD)
- 720p High Definition (HD)
- 16:9 anamorphic / 4:3 standard
- Analog stereo (mini-jack to left/right/composite video RCA)
- Digital over HDMI (5.1 surround sound pass-through)
- microSD card slot for additional game and channel storage
- USB slot (XS model only)
- Roku Bluetooth game remote (with motion sensing for playing games) with XS model only. Standard Roku infrared remote with XD model.
- Streaming player includes IR. Compatible with various universal remotes
- 5.2V – 1.5A power adapter for XS; 5.2V – 1.0A power adapter for XD model.
- Consumes less than 2W (typical) when streaming HD video
USB Media Formats (for Roku 2 XS only)
- Video: MP4 (H.264)
- Audio: AAC, MP3
- Image: JPG, PNG
- 3.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches; weighs 3 oz
So the time for judgment has come and after giving this device a thorough overview I am glad to say that this device is the complete package. Now we hand it over to The Techno Files mad team of scientists and let them render their verdict. Applying all we have learned and seen on this device it is now time for a verdict. On the Buy It, Flip It and Skip It spectrum the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama gives the Roku XD device a very solid BUY IT! This device has everything you can ask for in a media streaming device, Netflix, Hulu, Sports, Fitness and so much more you can never run out of things to explore and see. Go out and get this now and enjoy everything it has to offer. For more information and to purchase your very own Roku 2 XD or any other Roku product go check out Roku.com.
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