Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Roku LT Review


This is not a music-related product, but I am pretty stoked about the Roku LT and thought I would share my experiences with it.

I had been increasingly unhappy with the amount of money I was spending on television service each month, and decided that enough was enough. Netflix has more than enough television and movie programming that can be streamed over the internet, and it is less than 10 bucks per month, but I needed a good way to get it to my TV.

Today you can buy televisions that are equipped with wi-fi that will play Netflix wirelessly, but my TV is a bit older (and kind of on the cheap side), so I needed a way to get the programming to my set without stringing a cable across the room. My boss suggested that I pick up a Roku box, which was sage advice indeed.

I found that there are four different models, so I did some research, and decided on the Roku LT. It is their entry-level model that will only do 720p video, but I am not terribly picky and I figured for the price I could give it a try.

I bought mine through Amazon and ended up paying $49.99 with free shipping, which is the same as buying it directly from Roku. But, I also ordered an HDMI cable at the same time for 3 bucks and Amazon gave me free shipping for that too. Check the ridiculous prices of HDMI cables at Radio Shack or Best Buy. Geez.

When my Roku LT arrived, I opened the box which contained the box (about the size of a hockey puck), an AC adapter, the remote, 2 AAA batteries and a 1/8-inch to RCA A/V cable. It took me less than a minute to get it hooked up to my television, and a bit longer online to create my Roku account and link my Netflix account to the box. In less than 15 minutes my kid was watching old episodes of Star Trek and American Pickers.

And the Roku LT works flawlessly. I must say that I was concerned that the programming would load slowly and hang up like a YouTube video, but there have been no such problems. After selecting a show, it takes a few seconds to load and plays with no trouble. Then again, I have really fast internet service (Verizon Fios), so it should work well.

Also, keep in mind that the Roku is not just for Netflix, as it will stream content from Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Crackle, HBO Plus and Epix.

My only complaint is that the remote is a bit clunky to use, and entering text for searches is tedious, but for the price I am willing to let that slide.

If you are not streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime to your TV, you should give it a try – it really is a viable alternative to subscribing to a television package.


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