The Roku2 XS

We, my wife and I, love the addition of the Roku to our home. I was able to buy two of them for basically the price of one. I happened upon a deal on Woot for refurbished models. The XS is the top of the line model and I could not pass up the deal. Especially, since we were planning to purchase anyway.

We cut the cord of Cable TV a couple of years ago, and haven’t looked back. However, viewing Netflix only on our laptops, desktop, and other mobile devices was somewhat disheartening and convoluted at times. We still have two old analog TVs and are not in the market for a newer flat screen just yet. Changes in technology is pushing us towards a newer television though. We’ll get it when we can really afford to drop the money on a nice one.

Our Rokus came with RCA outputs, plus the cables. There is a HDMI output as well. The XS is able to stream in HD which is awesome. Having the multiple outputs makes this device some thing that will last more than two or three years.

Another nice thing about the XS model is the ability it has to use a micro SD card and it has a USB port on it. Why are these nice features. Expandable storage and the ability to play pictures, music and video files from a USB drive. I like options.

Our Rokus are connected to our wireless network. The setup was a snap with the walk thru provided upon booting a Roku for the first time. The only downfall is the fact that you have to use the remote with an onscreen keyboard. You will be clicking a lot depending upon your network security setup. There is an Android app, but I didn’t find out about that until after setting up my Roku. Most likely it would not have been useful at first due to needing to be associated with the Roku first.

If you have a laptop available during the setup I would advise to having it nearby. You have to be able to access the Roku website to create your account and register your device(s).

If you have multiple devices, whatever you do to one is replicated to the other automatically. Lets say you decide to purchase one of the Angry Birds games (the XS does come with a free one as well). When you make that purchase, the app will be installed on all of the Rokus you own. I like that, but I also can see how it could get some folks into trouble if they are loading their Roku with content not good for children. Yes, the Roku in your child’s viewing area will match yours. Act responsible.

The remote is awesome in the fact that it’s bluetooth. No line of sight needed. WIN! You could stick the Roku to the back of your flat screen tucked out of the way for the nice clean look.

As for the channels. I have to say we are impressed. We are able to watch some programming that we could not even get when we had cable. Channels such as TBN and Daystar are available to us now. There are also private channels to add, but I’ve not fully investigated those at this time.

I do advise adding a PIN to the Channel Store for security purposes. You don’t want kids making purchases or a relative not quite familiar with Rokus making an errant purchase. The Channel Store is decent. It could be better, but overall I like it. It is well organized.

The XS was easy to setup, and makes our television viewing more enjoyable when we choose to do so. If you want to cut the cord and need a cheap option to bring in your other viewing options such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime, then this is a great buy.

IF you own a PS3, Wii, or XBox, then the Roku may not be worth a try for you. If not, then give this small device a try. Good things come in its little package. The one thing I would add to it? The Chrome web browser.

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