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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Roku HD Player » User review

Roku

An adapter that transfers television shows and movies to the TV through the internet.

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If only all electronics were this good.

  • Apr 24, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
There are so many poorly design products out there, and since  I spend a great deal of time obsessing over user interfaces, usability and simple questions like "Will this address a need?", I'm often fazed when products are catastrophically unusable. 
Great adventures in the Product Idiocy Hall of Fame include:

1. Windows Vista: click OK, and a pop-up appears "You selected OK. Are you sure?" Hmm.
2. Wireless Rear Speakers on home theater systems, with a huge offender here being Samsung. When wireless fails, which is often, Samsung lets you know by silencing all the other speakers for five seconds. Moronic beyond words.
3.  The Francis!Francis! Cappuccino machine. It's red. It had two unlabeled chrome buttons and a wheel that spins that is also conveniently label-less and doesn't seem to do anything unless one of the buttons is pressed. You need a doctorate degree to get coffee out of this thing. 

But I have to reserve the star prize for Lotus Notes. Admittedly the last time I used it was a while ago, when I was subjected to it on a daily basis for months until it forced me to quit my job or go insane. Lotus Notes has the unique ability of lowering the IQ of the user, so even a nuclear physicist eventually loses most of his schooling after just a few hours of working with the software. 

I digress on this road of product design simply because Roku is perfect, representing the acme of product and user interface simplicity. Whereas the Lotus Notes designers should be drugged out in the street and shot, the Roku people should have hospital wings named after them. The remote control has just six buttons, all of which have a single-moded purpose that's crystal clear (compare with the Comcast remote... Jesus Christ). The box is tiny and unobtrusive. It updates itself and setup takes a couple of minutes. What more could you want?

If you have a Netflix account, you need a Roku. Although the Netflix Instant catalog is weak, it's getting better all the time, and Roku will also let you play any content you rent or buy from Amazon. Neat, huh? Buy one now. Do it do it do it...

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More Roku HD Player reviews
review by . August 26, 2010
I purchased this for an older relative that has an out-of-date television and refuses to buy a new one. She has a blu ray player that is not internet/network supported, but has a WiFi network. She is always complaining there is nothing on to watch on TV so I decided to purchase the Roku HD Player. Installation was a breeze - it was up and running in no time. The remote control is simple to use since it only has a limited number of buttons. We activated the Roku in the NetFlix account and she was …
review by . July 30, 2009
I am not tech savvy. I'm so not savvy that when I unwrapped the Roku -- a birthday gift -- I didn't know what it was.       Only 5 minutes after unwrapping my Roku, I was blinking in astonishment at my entire Netflix instant queue displayed on my TV. Disclaimer: It took my housemate 5 minutes to set up. It would have probably taken me 15.       Now it's one of my favorite entertainment appliances. I love it. It's easy even for me to …
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About this product

Wiki

The Roku digital video player (also known as the Netflix Player by Roku) instantly streams high quality movies from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand from the Internet -- directly to your TV. The affordable Roku player is compact, easy to set up and intuitive to use.

  • roku box in handThe Roku comes with everything you need to start watching within minutes of opening the box - the standard yellow, white and red cables, both Wi-Fi and Ethernet are built in, wireless remote and batteries. Start watching instantly anywhere you have a TV and a high-speed Internet connection.
  • More than 50,000 titles are currently available from Amazon Video On Demand and Netflix, with many available in HD. 
  • The Wall Street Journal, CNET, WIRED, and other publications have given the Roku player overwhelmingly positive reviews.
  • For even better audio and video using the Roku player with your HDTV, home theater or A/V receiver, look for the Roku digital video player plus premium cable pack.

As Easy As 1 - 2 - 3 Roku plug detail 1. Wired or Wireless, The Choice is Yours
You can connect the Roku player to the Internet using most broadband providers (such as a cable modem or DSL connection.) You need at least 1.2 Mbps to watch movies instantly on the Roku digital video player with decent quality. The faster your connection, the better the quality (although this rule-of-thumb peaks out at about 5mbps). Use the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities to connect to your wireless network, or use the Ethernet port for a wired...
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