The Roku 2 XS plays Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Prime and more in full HD on any TV, even older ones. The remote is very easy to use and you can even play Angry Birds with it.Cons
No iTunes support and you should buy a large microSD card before you even turn it on. Most of the cooler channels require a subscription such as Netflix.Verdict
The Roku 2 XS is a primo video streaming device for someone who simply wants to watch Netflix or similar things on their TV instead of on a computer.
The Roku 2 XS : Stream Movies And Games Right To Your TV
AppleTV came out a couple years ago and it let people stream their iTunes media on their TV. This was definitely a step in the right direction. If you use iTunes. For reasons all my own I don't really like iTunes and scrub it from any device I own (no offense Apple) immediately should a wife or child download it. I prefer other media sources. This is where the Roku 2 XS comes in. In my house there are 3 PCs, a Wii, 360, Tablet, PS3, 4 3DS systems and a plethora of various model iPods and knock offs. I have Amazon Prime and Netflix going on one of these in some room or another almost all day. This is easy for me because I love setting things up even if it's an irritating experience.
My Mother recently decided to pay for Netflix on her laptop but she has no idea how to work it and trying to explain it is an exercise in futility. She shouldn't be watching long movies on her laptop anyway, it's not the most comfortable thing in the world. The solution, after much debate with store clerks about AppleTV was the Roku 2 XS. I've never heard of this company so did a huge amount of research first. This was definitely the product I needed so I ordered one.
First Hand Experience
The Roku 2 XS is a very sleek and cool looking device. It's quite small too and is about the same dimensions of a double cheeseburger if it were square. I plopped it on the floor, plugged the cables into my TV and started it up. As with any newer electronic device you get to go through some screens where you choose what you actually want from it. The Roku 2 XS has built in Wi-Fi so I set that up quickly and was taken to the main screen. Here was a large selection of channels and subscription services. I was mainly looking for Netflix which was right there. I put my information in then it just worked. It streamed in HD and looked great. There were a lot of various movie/tv channels and apps as of 2012 but the focus is definitely on tv shows and films. Apps and games should be coming soon.
The remote looks a lot like a Wiimote so it's easy to use for people of all ages. It's responsive and doesn't even need a sensor bar in front of the screen to work. This eliminates some clutter if you have a lot of stuff on your entertainment center already. The Roku 2 XS actually features some game capabilities so I played Angry Birds on it for a bit. Worked just fine and I could see the potential for tablet type games being played on it.
I was pretty impressed at what it could do and set it up at Mom's house. I put all the necessary information in (and a microSD card for extra space) and let her go to town. She loves it and after a few weeks has really gotten the hang of it.
Roku 2 XS Features
Full 1080p Support (HDMI cable not included)
Motion Sensing Remote
USB and MicroSD compatible
Free Angry Birds Game
No Monthly Fees
John Folkers (Amazon.com User)
This little player, about the size of a hockey puck, is exactly what I was looking for. It's cheap, easy, and fun. I got it to play Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Vimeo, and everything else it does is a pleasant add-on, especially motion-controlled Angry Birds.
theoutlawkennypowers (Walmart.com User)
The Roku is an outstanding product that I highly recommend. It is small, easy to set-up and even easier to use. I primarily use my Roku to stream Netflix, but the Roku does much more than that. This is an ideal product for an individual who wants to stream Internet content onto their television without purchasing a gaming system or Blueray player.
The Bottom Line
The Roku 2 XS by far the best Roku streaming video player out there and it rivals AppleTV in ease of use, price and channel selection. You can't use iTunes is the only reason I gave it a 9 instead of 10. People love their iTunes. If you need a streaming video device and don't want to shell out the bucks for a 360, PS3 or new model media player TV, the Roku 2 is hard to beat. Skip the older models as they may not have USB ports, games or other cool features.
Here's the best place to shop for Roku 2 XS (1080p) Streaming Video Player
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Cnet Review of the Roku 2 XS
Engadget: Roku 2 XD and XS Review
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