by Dan Karas
I have an Amazon Prime account and have been looking for a way to use the free streaming content that is included with the Amazon Prime offer.
I noticed a gold box deal for a Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player and asked a few coworkers that I knew had Roku boxes how they liked them. There was nothing but rave praise for the little box. They said it was simple to set up the wireless configuration, configured itself to your TV resolution and used only a few watts of electrical power, so i pulled the trigger and bought one.
The Roku 2 boxes come in several different models.
I bought the Roku XS model because it came with a game controller, Angry Birds game, and an Ethernet port in case I wanted to cable it directly into my home network.
It arrived in two days with the free Amazon prime shipping. It comes with composite video cables, but for 720P or 1080p you’ll need to use a HDMI cable. I ordered a AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable to connect the Roku box to my DLP big screen TV.
I was really surprised at the small size and weight of the unit. The installation was very easy, I just connected the box to the TV and the on screen menus has me up and running within a couple of minutes using a wireless connection to my home network’s broadband cable Internet connection.
The included remote doesn’t need a sensor like the Wii does, but is very similar to a Wii remote and works flawlessly.
The box will prompt you to go to the Roku website on your laptop or home computer and activate your box. You create an password protected account to purchase games or premium content.
It surprised me how much free content is available. There are many channels of content that have movies and other entertainment supported by showing an ad or two before the show starts.
I added my Amazon prime account and signed up for a Netflix free trial. I had a Blockbuster online account, but they closed the store in my area, so I think I will switch to the Netflix streaming account with the option of getting the DVD’s in the mail.
There is so much content, it is going to take me a week just to see what is available. There is a lot of HD content, however some stuff is still in SD. The sites like Amazon, NetFlix and Hulu Plus have thousands of movies and TV episodes that you can watch on demand whenever you want.
I have a reasonably fast 25 Mbps Internet connection using a DOCSIS 3.0 Motorola SB6120 cable modem and a dual band NetGear WNDR3700 router and I have no buffering or pixelization of the video stream. I don’t know how fast your broadband connection needs to be to enjoy the smooth HD video. If you have a low end 1.5 Mbps DSL Internet plan you might get lower resolution or excessive buffering.
Nothing like playing Angry Birds on a 60″ big screen.
The flagship Roku 2 XS delivers hands-down the best experience in 1080p HD streaming to your TV—plus motion-based gaming for an extra dose of great entertainment.
It keeps getting better, with over 350 entertainment channels, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and Amazon Instant Video.
Includes games: The XS remote features motion sensors so you can play games with a flick of a wrist, like the included full Angry Birds game
Easy Setup: Works with virtually any TV, includes built-in wireless, and sets up in minutes
More power: Up to 1080p HD video and inncludes Ethernet for wired connection plus USB port
With over 350 entertainment channels and counting, Roku 2 has something for virtually everyone, including:
Need a break from the movies? Roku 2 also brings some of the most popular casual games to your TV:
Plus, more games are added all the time.
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