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Roku 2 XD streaming player Review

*This post contains affiliate links and I’ll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is no extra cost to you.

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This is a review of a product in our home that we LOVE.  If you stream or are considering a streaming device, this is a MUST-READ.  We have both, the Roku 2 and Roku 2 XD and will cover both models in this Roku 2 XD streaming player Review.

We’ve owned the Roku 2 and the Roku 2 XD Streaming players for about 2 years (ish).  We had the first Roku, which I loved, but I had noticed it bogging down and required more ‘loading’ time.  It was wonderful when we first bought it, but as devices became faster and technology changed, the streaming slowed.

The Roku 2 was much faster than the first model.  The Roku 2 only uses it’s ‘loading’ feature when OUR internet is slow or intensely bogged down.  We have fast internet, but we have MANY devices running off of our wifi… including a wireless security system, 5 TVs (4 have streaming devices,  2 gaming systems) 3 computers and 2 tablets.

Our wifi carries a constant and heavy load, so a fast streaming device is necessary.

With the very high wifi use in our home, we absolutely need a streaming device capable of quick loading and seamless streaming.  The Roku 2 has fit that bill nicely.

We are one of those households that have, “cut the cords” and efficiently eliminated the cable bill.  We first joined Netflix, and thanks to the Roku, we have loads of ‘channels’ to choose from.  One of my favorite Roku features is the channels function.  You have many to choose from and can add or remove channels from your home screen in minutes.

When we aren’t using the Roku to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon, Crackle and Hulu (the most popular channels on OUR Roku) it’s streaming Pandora an average of 8 hours per day.  The Roku carries a full load in our bustling, technology-heavy home.  The Roku 2 is ON 24-7, even when not in use.  The only time our Roku is not in use is during sleep hours, and even then, insomniacs in this house utilize it frequently.

Because of our heavy use of the Roku, we are able to say without a doubt that the Roku stands the test of time.  Our original Roku is now upstairs in the ‘teenager’ living room, where it’s subjected to hours of pandora and Netflix, just like it’s always been.  We’ve been over-using and abusing the original Roku for well over 5 years now. AND IT’S STILL GOING STRONG.

If you are considering a streaming device, I HIGHLY recommend the Roku.

Let’s take a look at the manufacturer stats:

Compare Roku models

Tiny stick. Big entertainment.
Works with virtually any TV.
Private listening headphone jack.
Fully loaded and lightning fast.
TV compatibility
HDTVs only
Virtually any TV
Virtually any TV
HDTVs only
1,800+ entertainment channels
yes
yes
yes
yes
Built-in wireless
yes
yes
yes
yes
Roku Search across multiple top channels
yes
yes
yes
yes
Plays up to 1080p HD video
yes
yes
yes
yes
Control with included remote or mobile devices via the Roku app
yes
yes
yes
yes
Send videos, photos and music stored locally on your smartphone to your TV via the Roku app
yes
yes
yes
yes
Dual-band wireless
yes
yes
yes
Channel shortcut buttons to Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and more
yes
yes
yes
Remote with headphone jack for private listening
yes
yes
Cast to TV direct from the Netflix and YouTube apps
yes
yes
Motion control for games (Angry Birds Space included)
yes
Lightning fast with 5x faster processor
yes
Ethernet, USB & microSD slot
yes

* Roku 3 works with HDTVs with HDMI port. HDMI cable not included with Roku players.
**Availability of 1080p HD video limited by channel provider and speed of broadband connection.

It’s ridiculously easy

As you can see, the 3 is now available.  I will upgrade when the need arises, but the Roku 2 and XD are both a great fit in our home.

The Roku (all models that I have experience with) is a piece of cake to install.  If you have a TV and the internet in your home you will be streaming within minutes!  It’s the most simple Plug-and-Play device you will ever find, and it packs in the value.

 

From the simple remote to the easy-to-use interface, Roku 2 was designed to please everyone. All you need to get started is a high-speed Internet connection (and a TV, of course). The built-in wireless and guided setup mean you can be up and running in minutes. And we bet you don’t even have to call your nerdy nephew for help.

The best in Movies and TV

NETFLIX, AMAZON Instant video, Hulu Plus, Cackle

Included with the Roku 2 XD

  • Remote control
  • Two AAA batteries
  • HDMI video output (for high-definition)
  • Composite A/V combo output (for standard-definition; works with included A/V cable)
  • Wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth (for using Roku Game Remote, sold separately)
  • MicroSD memory card slot (for adding extra storage for channels and games)
  • A/V cable (red/white/yellow)
  • Power adapter
  • Get Started guide
  • 90-day manufacturer warranty

What you need

  • A TV
  • High-speed Internet service with a speed of at least 1.2 Mbps (such as mid-level DSL). For HD video, 5 Mbps is recommended.
  • A wireless router

 

The Roku comes with everything you need to just go home and stream.

If you are considering a home streaming device, the Roku is a perfect fit.  For my fellow tech geeks, the Roku app is a must have on your phone for added features… and if you lose your remote on occasion (like me) the Roku app turns your phone into a remote on steroids.  The Roku has something for everyone and is a purchase well valued.

 

Own a Roku or thinking about buying?  I love hearing from you!  Shoot an email- nicki@licensetolog.com or comment below.

Happy Streaming!

-Nicki

8 Comments

  1. Great job distinguishing both versions of the Roku and their speeds. Great to hear from someone who’s thoroughly enjoyed this device and I found it even more interesting to see how you leave it on all the time. There are so many devices these days it can be hard choosing the right one. But from what I can see, the Roku has just about every feature one could need, especially with its lightning fast speed. What I really liked though is how so many individuals can use the same device without it slowing down. Great review on the Roku!

  2. Thanks Nicki for the great review of the Roku 2 and Roku 2 XD streaming players. I’ll admit that I’m not really familiar with the term “streaming player” — but from what I understand, does this essentially give you access to a network of television channels like a cable box would? I’m assuming that, aside from the initial outlay, it would be a cheaper option in the long run. I’ll definitely look into this more. Thanks again.

    • You are correct! Some channels have a cost of their own, but many are free. The great thing about Roku is that you get to pick and choose from a huge list of channels to put on your home screen. There’s something for everyone, and you’d be amazed by the choices. Thanks for reading!

  3. So does ROKU have some kind of video playlist like Netflix? Like that you can stream and what not? And I know you can buy it online but do stores carry it? Never heard of it before but it kind of sounds like an Apple TV!

    Awesome! Thanks for the review!

    Matt TheDopestMatrix

    • Hi, Matt-

      Roku carries loads of channels like Netflix, amazon, Hulu, pandora, showtime, etc. Some stores do carry it, but I’ve found the best pricing online.

      I also have an Apple TV, and you are correct that they are similar, but Apple doesn’t allow you to pick channels… you just get what they give you. I will say that sometimes I turn the Apple on to find new channels:) which is awesome, but it’s still not close to the choices that Roku offers.

  4. Honestly I have to say that I am completely new to this hi tech remote operating world. For me this type of technology just popped up out of nowhere because I didn’t no that remote accessing of TV, music, video and radio was so popular these days haha. I’ll have to read more up on it to see if it will be of use to me.

    Good Info!

    -Chris

    • Thanks, Chris!

      It’s amazing how many people aren’t aware of all the tech choices out there. There really is something to suit everyones needs.

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