Gadget of the Month: Roku HD Player

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Other than its ability to stream Netflix movies, I knew nothing about Roku when I received my first HD Roku almost 2 years ago. But you ask yourself if I have had a HD Roku player for almost 2 years why make it my gadget of the month. Well you see when I purchased one of these beauties they were new on the market and somewhat unproven. Anyway their popularity has continued to grow and a new improved lineup of Roku players hes been recently introduced. I still own one of the original models so my review is based on mine.

The thing is tiny! At less than 5 inches wide and only 1 inch tall, Roku is the size of my hand!

It’s so simple to set up. Just plug in the included red/white/yellow A/V cable from Roku to the TV. If you have an HDMI cable, that’s a better choice, but it has to be purchased separately. Then you follow the on-screen directions to add it to your home network. Don’t have wi-fi? No problem. You can plug an ethernet cable into it. And that was it! You control Roku with the included remote. It’s tiny and very basic, but that’s all you need. I was watching high definition content on Netflix in about 5 minutes. Learn how to link Roku Device

While Roku is best known for its partnership with Netflix, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it does so much MORE! Watch Amazon Video On Demand, listen to Pandora Internet Radio and stream your mp3s, watch MLB TV, NBA TV, NHL GameCenter, browse your Flickr photo albums, and even Facebook photos, too! Explore internet only channels such as Revision 3, MediaFly as well. Hulu Plus has been added this past month as well as NASA TV.So you can see there is plenty of great content on this little box.

Since it’s so tiny, Roku doesn’t consume much

energy at all and always stays on (unless you unplug it, of course). In fact, it doesn’t even have an off button. No waiting for a device to start up. Just turn on the TV, click over to the Roku Channel you want, and you’re good to go! It’s an awespme device!

A couple of big differences between the original model I have and the new ones are an increase in HD video quality from 720p to 1080i and the inclusion of a USB port so local video can be viewed through the Roku player. I of course need to upgrade mine at some point soon and perhaps donate my old one to my son (Kevin) in college. It may be a hand-me-down but the kid will certainly accept such a cool gift!

Roku players start at just $59.99. The price is one of the most reasonbly price points in the technology world today. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee and a one-year warranty on the device. You just have to decide which Roku to get! The useful comparison chart on roku.com should help you choose which model is the best for you.