Roku, which manufactures digital video players, has recently released a new player with three levels of HD and more features than their original player. These new players are smaller, cheaper and use the highest quality for streaming. I was amazed at how small this player was when I received it in the mail! Just look at the dimensions. It's smaller than my alarm clock and fits just about anywhere!
The Roku HD plays high definition video (720p), has built in wireless internet plus wired connection and has and HDMI output for HDTVs. Keep in mind that the Roku works with all TVs not just HDTVs. It really is a wonderful system and extremely affordable at $59.99 for the system. The next step up is the Roku XD and adds a few more features like streaming high definition video at 1080p, an enhanced remote with playback feature and extended range on the wireless-N. The XD retails for $79.99 which is still fairly reasonable, in my opinion. the Roku XD/S is the top of the line with all the features of the XD along with dual band wireless technology, component video and optical audio outputs and a USB port for playing music, photos and videos. The XD/S costs $99.99.
Roku HD stood up to our blu-ray player. The obvious major difference is that the Roku is only a streaming device without a DVD player inside. Even though that is the case, there are multiple channels that you can stream which include Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, Pandora and many others. Some are free while others require a monthly subscription.
About 5 minutes after I received the Roku player, we were watching a movie on Netflix. It's literally that easy to set up this player. It gets plugged into your TV, turned on and configured to your WiFi settings. I mean, I was able to do it all by myself because the directions are very easy to read and the player walks you through the entire process on the screen. We have also found that it loads and streams content faster than the blu-ray player and the picture is clearer which was surprising to me because we paid over $200 for our blu-ray player and mostly use it for streaming content. I can only imagine what kind of picture come out of the XD player and it's only $20 more!
I truly think that the Roku would make an incredible gift for the techy in your life or even someone who is looking for a low cost option to stream movies! The great news is that Roku has offered one of my readers the same Roku HD that I received for FREE!
Head over to Roku's website and tell me which channel you would most like to watch! (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)