roku 2

On Monday this week I made my way over to my local Best Buy store to get my hands on one of the new Roku 2 boxes. After trying to get the saleman to understand what unit I was talking about and that their website said their store had them in stock, we made our way to the computer followed by the stock room to look for it. After double checking the computer to see if he could sell me one, I finally had my hands on the new Roku 2 XS Internet TV box. I was extatic! More after the break!

When I finally got the box home, I immediately got the knife out and opened the box up. The first thing I noticed was the size of the box, amazingly tiny! I really could hardly believe my eyes, it was just so small! I plugged in my HDMI and ethernet cables that normally hook up my PS3, plugged in the unit and turned on the TV. I was greated by the standard Roku jumping logo letting me know it was booting up. After about a minute of boot up, I was welcomed to Roku and needed to setup the box. I chose the settings that were necessary and had to setup an account online to link the box to. Relatively easy, just be aware you will need to have some sort of internet device handy to signup and setup an online Roku.com account.

After initial setup, I was ready to enjoy my internet content. I first chose to watch a little bit of some TV programs from my Hulu Plus account. The Roku handled the HD content just as well as my PS3, but was a little laggy on the menus. Not a big deal, but something to note. When it came to other channels Crackle, it also impressed with the clarity of the video, however I did have a problem running the box in 1080p while running Crackle. It just wanted to blow up the video image, but running the box in 720p fixed this issue. Kind of a pain to need to switch between the two since I would rather watch my content in full 1080p whenever possible.

Finally, after watching some various online content, it was time to rock the Angry Birds game that was included with the XS model. Immediately I was reminded of the Nintendo Wii, just with less accurate movement. For such a cheap little unit, it was quite amazing. When I chose the level to start with, the unexpected happened. The box restarted. This was the first restart that the Roku 2 gave me, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. After it rebooted, I tried to play Angry Birds again and it worked fine. The same game I play on my iPhone is now available for the TV as well. Good times!

The last thing I attempted to do was to get PlayOn working for the Roku 2 as well. I made sure it was still running on my computer and went through the necessary protocols to add the private channel through the Roku website, but when I attempted to play a video through the PlayOn channel, all it did was give me errors. After trying several things, I did a search and found that PlayOn did not work with the new Roku 2 and may not be authorized in the future due to the ability to stream possibly illegal content through the software. This was the last straw, that and the fact that the box restarted 2 more times on me that very night.

So, after all the setup and my video review, I came to the conclusion that I might want to take it back. That, coupled with the idea that after I disconnect my Dish, I would no longer have a DVR to record programs off my Antenna or possibly basic cable. I came to the conclusion that what my PS3 couldn’t do, a Tivo Premier could. So, it was with a heavy heart that I made my way back to my local Best Buy store and returned the little box that could. So long Roku 2, I am not sure yet if I will miss you entirely, but I do miss the thought of having so much content in such a small package. Who knows, maybe in the future I will be back when I need a device for another room or for traveling, because you are the perfect size to take anywhere!

-the gooch