Archive for March, 2014

Roku 2 XS Product Review

Streaming media boxes have been out for a few years now and thus far only a few have been of any mentionable success. Apple with its Apple TV is, obviously, the first. The second most well known to most people is the Roku.


Roku has a slightly different approach to its boxes than apple though. Instead of being locked down into the iTunes ecosystem the roku is a bit more open. Roku offers 3 different streaming boxes at any given time. At the time when the 2XS was realesed, a couple years ago now, they had the 2 XS and XD. Basically each step up just gives you more HD capability for the most part.

The Roku 2 XS was the mid range box at the time and is still on sale at Walmart for around $70. For that price you get HDMI and RCA hookups as well as a motion sensor remote for gaming and a USB port for streaming media from a USB stick.

The box itself is really small and quite pleasing to the eye. The software is decently fast although it took me about thirty minutes to get set up. To set up the roku box you have to go to their website and get a pin number to sync it. While this should be easy for some reason it didn’t work properly and I had to do it multiple times.

As for content, there is a ton of channels available. They have everything from free Web based content like the twit network or Cnet and Revision3 to paid content like Netflix UFC and MLB. The one thing that disappointed me about the software was the lack of a native YouTube app. As I have two kids and no netflix I use YouTube quite a lot for them and to not have it was a big con for me. Now roku seems to have fixed this as they now offer a YouTube app, though I am unsure if that app will work on older hardware like the 2XS.

The other thing that really bothered me was the load time for USB devices. It took nearly ten minutes to load my 1 terabyte hard drive I use for media. Yes I know that’s a large drive but my ps3, android box and even my phone all load it up in under 2 minutes, so again another major con.

Overall if you have a netflix account or watch a lot of free online content, or want some paid sports channels without having to pay for cable this is a great choice for the price. But if you plan on loading a lot of media over USB I’d skip this version and either try a newer model or, like I did, get an Android based tv box.

Richard R


Geek Fallout episode 49

Jeff and Chris have a brief chat before the podcast gods get angry and eat the rest of the recording.  Sorry about that, we’ll see ya next week for the big 50.

Geek Fallout episode 48

Jeff, Evan and Marc are back to talk everything from the Lego movie to the new real life Iron Man suit and bitcoin.  The guys then put on their “Old man Hanson” hats ad talk about their top 5 geek disappointments.  You can almost hear the canes waving.

Geek Fallout is a member of the TAG podcasting netowork
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