Article 67: Roku

 Roku Box : Streaming Goodness for your TV       

Hey guys, welcome back to another edition of the Modern Nerd. This week, I am bringing you a review of another streaming system for your TV that I have tested out, and definitely approve of. The Roku box is an affordable, powerful streaming tool that allows you to watch TV and movies from the internet, and if you haven’t invested in a streaming solution yet, then this is worth a serious look, Let’s look a little bit deeper, and get the inside scoop.

The Good, The Bad, The Obvious.

It’s a streaming box. You will get best results with fast internet that is pulled directly into the box, which is one of the features that stood out to me immediately. The Roku is a small package that can integrate easily with any entertainment setup, but it includes an Ethernet jack. Wireless internet is all the rage and fantastic, but if you want to reliably stream HD video, there’s no substitute for hardwired internet.

The box allows streaming up to 1080p HD with an HDMI cable, which is great, but it also includes a multimedia cable that can integrate with legacy TV’s.  I felt like this was a great feature for what they were going for, which was an affordable solution to streaming shows to your TV.

Wireless Radio Remote

The Roku has an advantage over the Chromecast, and that is the included remote. You might want another remote for your collection of remotes, and you might not. But this system includes a remote that does not require line of sight, instead operates in the same manner as a video game controller. This is because some versions of the Roku come with Angry Birds, and the potential for more games.

Services Available

After you get set up and create an account, you can look at all of the channels that are available with an easy to read layout that is simplistic and user-friendly. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video are the main headliners on the Roku. They all integrate seamlessly, and it just takes a few minutes to set them up. Roku also has its own channels that are similarly available to subscribe to for many different interests. If you want to watch streaming news or work out in your living room, you have choices for that.

Price Tag

When  we reviewed the Chromecast, I noted that a major selling point was its price. The Roku gets similar points, with more adaptability and more features than the Chromecast, but for around 75 dollars. This is a pretty cool piece of kit, and I don’t have much bad to say about it. If you are considering a streaming solution, the Roku box is worth a look.

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