"The best streaming player made today."5.0 starson by alfmeister
Pros: As a long time Roku user I was excited to get the new Roku 2. I tested other brands such as the WDTV live and the Sony SMP-N200.
The Roku still comes out on top.
Cons: We need more games! In particular games that use the motion detector. I was hoping that the frisbee and the bowling games would be ready to use since they were announced in mid December but apparently there are still some bugs to work out.
The RF remote works great but for those of us with learning remotes that use IR there is good news. All of the new models also have IR sensors. I have another Roku player so I was able to use that to program my Onkyo universal remote.
Local Content options;
***There is a wonderful media streamer for videos called PLEX. You need to download the application from Plex and install it on your computer. Then you need to add files from your computer to the Plex media manager. All of this is pretty easy. Then add the private PLEX channel to your Roku account from your computer. Now you can stream both avi and mkv files directly from your computer which acts as a server and the Roku acts as a client. (Note: Roku allows users to install what are called private channels which aren't supported by Roku but are usually perfectly functional.)
Local content was and is still available by plugging a USB drive or a hard disk drive with it's own power supply into the USB port.
I've successfully played back HD 720p mkv files using a flash drive.
***To playback music files (which isn't currently possible with the PLEX server) you need to add the app called MainSqueeze. Again like the PLEX server, you need to download and install server software. MainSqueeze uses the Logitech Media Server. Then add the private channel MAINSQUEEZE to your Roku account.
This may seem like a lot of effort but it can be set up fairly easily if you have some computer knowledge; no more knowledge is required than any other media streamer. The benefits of using the Roku as a content streamer make it worth the effort to add local streaming if that is important to you.
I've recently tested both the WDTV live and the Sony SMP-N200 and both had many issues that will probably never be solved because users aren't able to participate except to complain in forums. Roku's open SDK (software development kit) means many developers are working on the player. Some who developed great apps were eventually hired by Roku. That's how a forward thinking company should work.