A few weeks back, I bought myself the Roku 2 HD streaming player for my entertainment needs. I say “I bought myself” the item because Nicole doesn’t care about cool electronic devices, in fact she totally hates them. The Roku HD streaming player runs about 60-100 bucks on amazon depending on which model you buy, I bought the least expensive model (the more expensive models didn’t have an features I was interested in). The player itself is about the size of a hockey puck and comes with a simple and small remote.
The main reason I wanted this device was for Amazon’s Prime Streaming service. The Xbox 360 doesn’t have an app available to watch Amazon’s service so unless I wanted to watch on my computer, I was out of luck. This device has the Amazon app. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, basically Amazon offers a service called “Amazon Prime”. It runs about $70.00 a year and gets you free 2 day shipping on any orders, and $3.99 1-day shipping. If you order things on Amazon a lot, this service pays for itself quickly. Now here is the real kicker. Included in your membership at no extra cost, is Amazon’s streaming service, which is comparable to the Netflix streaming service. No extra cost. It rules. With the Roku box you can watch all of this entertainment in HD on your TV.
The Roku box runs hundreds of apps like Pandora, Facebook, Netflix, etc and also allows private apps, which are apps that are developed my other people that Roku doesn’t recognize or endorse, but offers the freedom for developers to make their own channels. It is pretty awesome. There are plenty of channels that offer free movies of all kinds, all unedited, all in HD. There really is no need for cable TV these days unless you are the kind of person that watches 50 different cable shows religiously. If I could get hockey in HD without subscribing to cable or satellite, I would no longer be a customer.
Now for the negatives. This device does a ton of cool things, but it has its flaws. First off, you can’t network it to other devices in our house and play files from them. There are third party apps that allow this but its a pain in the ass and they don’t work well. The other major thing that annoys me is that sometimes the Roku will freeze up while your browsing an app. It’s not a big deal you just back out of the app and go back in, but it does get annoying sometimes. I’ve done some research on this, and it’s a common problem that Roku has been working to fix for a future software update.
All in all, this item is worth the money. With new apps added all the time this little box offers huge entertainment at a super low price. I’m enjoying it.