Urbotics: Review on Roku XDS

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 “This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it.”  ~Jonas Salk

It seems almost contradictory that while televisions with larger screens, clearer pictures, and the ability to view in 3-D (still not sold) are being pushed to us from every angle, more and more people are cutting the cord and getting rid of their cable and satellite TV services.  Outside of live sports, there is little to entice most people to foot the luxury car payment prices most cable providers charge these days.  Giving you even more reason to quote Cee-Lo and give a big F You to the content providers is the Roku XDS.  

In a slim but confusing category of internet content streaming products the Roku XDS at $100 stands out as the best deal in media-streaming boxes.  Boasting more content than the Apple TV, and at least half the price of the Boxee Box and Google TV products, the Roku XDS gives you everything you need without forcing you to pretend you’re not hungry at the next outing with the guys.  

The Roku is small and stylish so it won’t stick out like a Prius in the barbershop parking lot.  It boasts dual band 802.11n wireless connectivity plus a wired Ethernet slot, HDMI and composite AV output, a USB port and supports 1080p video output.  It is also worth noting that if you are one of the people who has difficulty parting with that 110lb. 27in behemoth standard def TV, the roku is one of the only players that allows you to choose your video output.  

Where the Roku XDS really stands out is content.  The box comes with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Video channels already installed.  Access to the over 100 other a-la-carte channels is easy with the onboard RokuChannel Store.  There you will have access to content such as Pandora, Last.FM, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time,Mediafly, Flickr, and even a channel creatively named My Damn Channel.  While some content requires a paid subscription (Hulu Plus costs $7.99/mo.), you can get everything you want to watch at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable service.  

The Roku XDS is a the top of the line in media streaming boxes that Roku provides.  The Roku HD and XD come in at $60 and $80 (who do companies think they’re fooling saying its $59.99) respectively but offer less connection and output capabilities.  Overall theRoku is a complement to any home theatre setup, whether you do away with cable/satellite or not.  For more information, check it out at www.roku.com.

-Duke Carolina

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