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Have you been looking for a device that supports Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Vudu, Pandora and Facebook in one device look no further with the Roku.  The Roku which was designed as a Netflix player by Netgear has slowly taken on a life of its own with a lot of new great features and channels.  The Roku delivers HD video with surround sound, comes with a great remote control, and you can play at least a few casual games on it.

The product has a channel for almost any app you can think of and has an on demand feature for about any channel you can think of giving this device the edge.  With a very easy setup and simple to use interface making this product ideal for anyone who wants to steam media from any content provider.  No monthly fees except for subscription based services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, exc) makes this product a onetime investment without reoccurring fees.

The Roku comes in a wired or wireless version depending on your preference and can hookup to any wireless setup very easily buy just typing in your wireless password.

The Roku is always adding new features recently was added to allow owners of Roku boxes to search for TV and movies available on Netflix, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and HBO Go via one simple interface.  The Roku Search channel will be rolling out to supported players (Roku LT, Roku HD and Roku 2 boxes) over the week and sits right next to the settings menu on Roku’s home screen.

Roku has recently released the Streaming Stick.  One of the most interesting home theater products at CES 2012, packing an entire streaming-video box into what looks like an oversized USB dongle.  Roku Streaming Stick sells for $99.  That’s the same price as its flagship Roku 2 XS and, in fact, Roku says the Streaming Stick is largely a Roku 2 XS in a smaller enclosure.

The product does have a few down falls.  The Roku still doesn’t have a YouTube channel, which continues to be puzzling considering how many other Smart TV devices the service is on.  If you’re a collector who buys music and movies on disc; rips, encodes, and stores the files on a server or NAS box you may be a bit disappointed.  The only way you’ll be able to play those files is to copy them to a USB thumb drive (formatted as FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, or HFS+) or use a third party app that supports the Roku(there are many).  The same goes for your digital photos unless you want to upload them to your Facebook, shutter fly or one of the other services supported by Roku.

Overall I think a great product one that I have purchased personally and use at my home regularly.  I found the product better for my needs and wants.  I do like the Roku better then Apple TV and Google TV.  I would give this product 8 out of 10 and I would recommend to anyone who wants a product that has multiple features and uses.

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