Pros Wi-fi works seamlessly, inexpensive device for those who do not have Internet capable televisions, small footprint makes it unobtrusive.
Cons Not a fan of the remote, a little too simple. Cannot connect to Hulu, must use Hulu Plus, which is an additional fee.
Summary This was my first step into cutting the cable television connection. I have never looked back. I use this in conjunction with an digital antenna I built (look online for instructions).
"best device"on by haggisbingo
Pros does everything
Cons none - and use RoksBox for streaming media from hard drives. works great
Summary most do not need 1080p or will not see the difference. same with any wireless greater than what's on this device. don't waste money on needless features!!
Pros Hook-up is easy and operation is idiot proof.
Prooves the adage that size doesn't matter.
Cons No HDMI cable included.
Doesn't indicate that HBOGo will only work if your internet provider allows it - this means you are out of luck with Comcast.
Summary The ROKU is a wonderful product which generally delivers precisely what it promises in a compact and efficient package that is extremely easy to install.
I wish I could say the same for the products and services provided to the public by most of the other participants in the cable/internet/media sector.
I pay over $250/mo for Comcast Triple Play (phone, internet and platinum cable). I also subscribe to both Netflix on demand and Netflix BluRay disc delivery. The problem that I share with many others is that we are forced to overpay the cable companies to obtain just a few channels that we want (HBO and Showtime for their series like Empire Boardwalk and Homeland - not for their studio movies) and ESPN (to receive essential sport programming no longer available through network TV). The other 95% of the channels go unused. Even those channels that have products of interest (e.g. Encore or HBO) cary 3 to 6 channels in standard definition which make them unwatchable and worthless to anyone used to high definition programming).
To make matters more attractive the cable companies began to beef up their Video on Demand services, which seems like a no-brainer way for them to keep consumers interested. But by virtue of either their fear that this usage will erode their live subscription base or because of contractual limitations placed on them, the VOD service is spotty to say the least. Instead of making every show available at all times, they ration out certain shows for limited periods of time. Sometimes the High Definition shows that they do make available are only viewable in standard definition - which makes no sense whatsoever.
Finally, HBO came out with a great solution with HBOGo. They would make every series or special, and many movies, available all of the time. If you missed the John Adams series a few years ago - it was available now. If you wanted to revisit the Sopranos - it was available now. I couldn't believe that a company had finally found the secret sauce to make sense out of the mess of inadequate and limited options generally available to viewers.
Of course it was too good to be true. You see, HBOGo is only available on your IPad or your computer (if you have an HBO subscription). It is not available directly through your cable provider. This of course is insanity personified. If I pay a substantial sum for my HBO subscription why should this valuable service be limited to just by "on the go" devices?
This brings me back to my ROKU purchase which was triggered by the fact that the CNET review revealed that the ROKU provided access to HBOGo. I rushed to the store, bought the ROKU, installed it without any problem and then began the process of selecting services. Of course, this also was too good to be true. The ROKU installation process revealed that Comcast did not authorize internet streaming access to HBOGo. Of course not - why would they do anything that made sense, would assure customer loyalty to both Comcast and HBO and, heaven forbid, provide a valuable service to their customers.
This experience has moved me every closer to pulling the plug on Comcast, HBO and all the other similar media providers. I simply don't understand why they take so many restrictive actions against the interests of their customers. I have a feeling many others share this view.
"$50 says it all!"on by Waam
Pros All the best options are there, although really most of us only really need Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Cons ESPN3 needs to come on board somehow. No streaming from your own collection could be turn off for many. I have downloaded seasons of my son's favorite cartoon shows not available from any service.
Summary Still a great option for digital streaming starters, or people wanting to outfit a second TV in the house.
Pros Small, svelte unit. Took 4 minutes to set it up. Provides beautiful video pictures. Intuitive interface. Better than tivo premiere's Netflix menu.
Cons Wifi signal. Even though the unit's network diagnostic stated that I had an "excellent" wifi signal, it kept disconnecting. This made it really difficult to watch a Columbo...I was always waiting for the disconnect.
Summary If the network connection was more dependable, this would be a 5 star no-brainer. Great menus, terrific picture, awesome form factor, etc. Verdict: Buy the pricier model with the wired ethernet port.