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If you are looking for an affordable and compact streaming media player, Roku produces a line of players that do a good job of delivering high definition video and other services to your HDTV.  The Roku HD streaming player is the most affordable in Roku’s line and performs quite well for the price with a simple to use and intuitive interface.  It has also been rated 4.5 out of 5 by PC World magazine.

roku hd

Although streaming media players are becoming the norm the ones that are reliable and deliver great performance are not as plentiful as this type of technology evolves.  This is what makes the Roku HD a great value for streaming high definition content from on-demand services such as Netflix and other services you can obtain over the Internet.

Model Design

The Roku HD boasts a sleek design with a compact unit that only measures 5 inches by 2 inches tall. The connecting ports are located on the back of the unit with the reset button and Roku HD logo positioned on the front of the unit  The connecting ports on the back of the unit include an AC adapter, HDMI connection, S-video, composite, USB port, 10/100 Ethernet, along with stereo and optical audio outputs.

The only drawback to the Roku HD model design is that the unit only includes a composite video cable.  In order to set up high definition you are required to provide your own cable for the Ethernet connection and the component video cable.  There is an optional cable package that is provided by Roku that includes all of the cables that are required to establish HD support.

Easy Setup and Configuration

The Roku HD streaming player is very easy to set up and configure.  Once you are up and running the interface is extremely user-friendly for streaming content from the Internet.

When you remove the unit from the box you simply connect it to your television and audio system and then use the AC adapter to turn on the device.  Once the device is powered up you should see network setup information on the screen which is where you enter the type of connection you are using such as WiFi or a wired connection with Ethernet cable.

If you enter a wireless connection the Roku HD will automatically find all of the networks that are within range so you can choose the one you want to use.  You will also be required to specify the TV format that you want to use.  The Roku HD is set to high definition by default but you also have the other options to stream video in standard definition for either 4:3 or 16:9 ratio.

Once the device is set up and configured you can control everything from the compact remote.  The remote control is about half the size of your television remote control and only has a few buttons which makes operation simple.  There is a Home button which allows you to access the main screen, four arrow buttons that form a circle with the Select button in the middle.  The remaining buttons are for fast forwarding, playing videos, pausing, and rewinding a television program.  The fast forward and rewind features have nifty thumbnails that show the content so you know exactly what point you want to stop rewinding or fast forwarding.  This is a lot easier to work with than the conventional timeline.

Supported Services

When the network is set up you must also configure your accounts for the supported services that Roku offers.  This process requires you to use a PC that has Internet connectivity.  The supported services include the Roku Channel Store which ties in with the following supported services:  Netflix, MLB.TV, Amazon, and any other services that you want to add on your own.  Linking Netflix to your Roku is a snap and then you are instantly presented with a menu where you can start watching videos.

The Roku Channel Store allows you to add up to ten different types of services however, not all of these services offer video.  Some of the services stream music while others allow you to view still photos.  The only drawback is that you must set up each service that you want individually which can be a little time consuming.

Setup requires creating an account for each service and then linking it to your Roku HD by entering a code into the website for the service you want.  The code is either generated by the Roku unit or it is produced by the specific service website and then you enter it into your Roku.  The only services not supported are Hulu, YouTube and Vudu.

So if you are looking for a way to stream your favorite online services to your HDTV the Roku HD offers a reasonable and reliable way to get the job done.  You can view more details on the Roku HD streaming player and read what customers are saying by clicking here

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