Roku Digital Video Player Review – Rockin’ Digital Content with Roku

The Roku Box, which lets you stream content (some HD) to your TV

The Roku Digital Video Player, which lets you stream content (some HD) to your TV

Picture Quality: Picture quality largely depends on two factors — what kind of television you have and how good your broadband connection is.  If you have an HDTV and a relatively fast connection, the Roku Digital Video Player will display a fantastic picture — around DVD quality for most programs and HD-level for HD programs.  If you have an older TV and/or a slow connection, the picture scales accordingly.  To put it as bluntly as possible, picture quality will range from good to excellent, depending.  One of the nice features of the Roku Digital Video Player is the ability of content like Netflix Instant Watch or Amazon Video On Demand to up- or downscale the picture quality if and when connection problems occur.  Instead of pausing, in most cases the picture will adjust to a lower resolution.

Audio Quality: Audio quality is also quite good, around DVD quality at its worst, with accompanying surround sound features.

Product Features: Aside from the aforementioned auto-picture scaling, the Roku Digital Video Player comes with a remote control and batteries.  And the ability to sync it up with both Netflix Instant Watch and Amazon Video On Demand so that you can watch your programming on your television.  Netflix Instant Watch features over 12,000 films and TV programs, while Amazon On Demand features over 40,000.  That’s a lot of content!  The Roku Digital Video Player also features built-in ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, so you can quickly get onto your broadband hookup, whether it’s wired or wireless.  And the Roku box includes standard RCA cables for hooking up to your television.  If you’ve got an HDTV and are looking for a higher-quality TV hookup, you can purchase the  Roku Digital Video Player PLUS Premium Cable Pack for only $20.00 more.

Recommendation: As we stated before, we love Netflix Instant Watch.  And Amazon Video On Demand’s pretty great too.  If you subscribe to Netflix Instant Watch and supplemented your movies with those on Amazon Video On Demand, along with purchasing the occasional current season TV show episode (usually $1.99 for standard-def and $2.99 for hi-def), you could forgo digital cable or satellite TV altogether.  And at $99.99, the Roku Box is a feature-laden, easy to use way to view that programming on your bigger-screen TV instead of your smaller-screen computer monitor.  We love our Roku box. Overall

Rating: 9/10 (We don’t give it a 10/10 because it’s not life-changing like the first DVRs were.  But it’s pretty great nonetheless).

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