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Roku 2 Takes Online Streaming to the Next Level

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By Corey A. Washington –

It’s quite frequent that the adage “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” whisks through the tech world when the successor to a once-hot device doesn’t live up to its predecessor. It’s a relief to know that while this still rings true for some tech products, Roku has defied the odds with the release of the new Roku 2.

The Roku 2 successfully finds a way to cram all of the features that made the previous Roku player a hit into a sleeker, smaller device -- with new capabilities to boot. The Roku still comes in three models, starting at the same competitive $60 for the Roku HD, $80 for the Roku XD, and $100 for the Roku XS, which replaces the Roku XDS.

When the last player was released about a year ago, the Roku’s biggest competitor had been Apple TV, but Roku was able to dodge Apple’s shadow by offering a bevy of ports, including HDMI, component inputs and optional 1080p resolution. But what impressed tech gurus the most was its larger selection of content compared to Apple TV. The Roku 2 boasts 300 channels, albeit some requiring subscriptions. The streaming device also has Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, and more popular streaming channels.

The Roku 2 offers improved content selection, advanced features and the same resolutions as before -- but now the Roku doubles as a gaming device with the addition of Angry Birds. If the new gaming-enabled remote feels reminiscent of the Nintendo Wii controller, you’re probably not alone. While the gaming option is a nice bonus feature, tame your expectations as the Roku 2 won’t rival the Xbox 360 or PlayStation PS3. More games are expected to arrive in Roku’s selection soon.

The new Roku 2 is an even stronger contender now as a streaming device. Its expanded content line up and attractive design gives consumers another reason to cut the cord when it comes to cable.

Corey Washington is a contributing writer covering technology for Black Voice News. He can be reached at corey@blackvoicenews.com.

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0 # Guest 2011-08-15 19:00
What about monthly fees? How much does this cost?
I've been using the TVDevo website which has no monthly fees, but a $70 Roku box might be worth considering too!


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