Pros Price, size of the box, support of all popular streaming services
Cons You've got to give Roku your credit card before the device will be activated, even though you're not buying anything from Roku. Sony and Vizio have no such requirement for their streaming devices. I've had identity theft and stolen credit card numbers,
Summary The credit card requirement is outrageous. Don't we have enough risk to credit card theft without giving our credit card to someone whose product we have already purchased? I know some people create a Paypal account for stupid requirements like this, then close the account afterward, but I'm not willing to go to that trouble when there are alternatives.This box is going back to amazon.com today.
Updated on Mar 16, 2011
Pros Love the price and form-factor
Cons Setup and support very bad, check the forums with tons of customers unable to connect or connect consistently. Online support non-existent from company.
Summary Connected once to my home wireless network, did a long software update, then never connected again despite many reboots, default to factory settings, etc. It sees the network, but that's it. All other devices in the house connect first time fine. Back to Amazon it goes in exchange for a device with better connectivity and online support.
Pros Connected quickly and easily to my wireless network. Simple interface, access to Netflix and Pandora streaming content.
Cons Needs more content - now provides access to Hulu Plus but not Hulu. No keyboard, so when Google TV devices mature Roku could easily be blown out of the water.
Summary love it - bought a second unit for another TV.
Pros access to many applications
Cons Video signal failed after 30 minutes of use. ROKU support was a waste of time. You must give them a credit card number to register the product. Their web site says you can deactivate the account, however when trying to do this, it doesn't work.
Pros What? Ten characters of positives? What positives? It's not even heavy enough for a paper weight.
Cons Despite showing excellent connection, unit pauses repeatedly to buffer, if it connects at all. It buffers so often that it takes up to 15 minutes to play two minutes of content. Connects to Netflix sporadically. The fourway input button is awkward for nav
Summary If it works, it's surely convenient. For the many people who can't get or maintain connection it's too light for a paper weight and the wrong size for batting practice.Some of it was cut off: The 4 way entry button is awkward (right, left up and down to select letters of the alphabet). This does not stream "The Internet" but Roku's selection of content providers, most either paid or of fringe interest (Tamil Channel, Buddhist Channel, a church in Australia...) Content provided for streaming by Netflix, etc is mostly not prime material, that being reserved for the more expensive mailed subscriptions or, with Amazon, for the pay per view rentals. Subscribing to channels is a clumsy process which requires going back and forth between the computer and the connected tv. This is really a rotten little box, and Roku's aggressive spin hovers somewhere between disingenuous and fraud. Why don't they just make it work?
I have pretty much covered the ground under cons. My research on the problems I am having suggests that the unit is not compatible with many routers. It seems to me that is their job. There is no alert to this issue prior to purchase (at which time I also bought a router, so if that is the case, I could have spared myself a lot of wasted time.)
The web site provides precious little information about problems, and Roku aggressively solicits positive reviews from their users.
Some users in their "help" pleas on various forums seem to believe this is a result of an automatic firmware upgrade - which could be true, since mine worked initially, at least with fewer interruptions.
The unit does not have any storage capacity beyond limited memory. There is no fast forward or slider but a series of pictures, each point requiring renewed buffering.
Netflix streaming on Roku has very limited options for closed caption, language, etc.
I would never buy this product again.
Updated on Mar 20, 2011
Updated on Mar 20, 2011It is curious that the negative reviews have all been tagged as not helpful. A negative review I wrote elsewhere with much more clarity and explanation received two not helpful votes before I had time to correct the spelling errors. They are the only not helpful votes Curious.