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Roku, originally known for owning Netflix, a popular video streaming service, has been working to upgrade its streaming player device platform to provide more flexibility to the consumer and to compete with the new and inexpensive Apple TV.  To compete with Apple, Roku has been rocking more features into its streaming player while keeping the cost affordable for the consumer.

In an effort to provide a quality device and affordable service the Roku XDS offers support for 1080p, USB capability so you can use local media, WiFi, and optical outputs.  It is a step up from the Roku HD and offers a host of other features that surpass what Apple TV is offering.

roku xds

Roku XDS Construction

The Roku XDS is constructed in a sturdy plastic shell with a compact design that is much slimmer than its predecessors.  The device is very small and compact with product dimensions of 4.9 x 4.9 x 1.2 inches and weighing in at only 7.2 ounces.  The back of the Roku XDS has a simple design with ports that are easily accessible to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment.

Roku XDS Flexibility

The Roku XDS offers more flexibility than the HD and XD models.  Although the HD and XD have streaming-only capability, HDMI output, and composite outputs, the XDS offers more with an HDMI output, composite and component video outputs, optical audio port, Ethernet, and a USB port located on the side for using local media.

Roku also revamped the remote control to upgrade it from the HD model.  The remote control on the XDS has a nifty instant replay feature, additional information buttons, and a new clicker feature.  The remote has a high tech finish with a Roku button which is covered in purple fabric that helps with pulling open the battery cover.

When it comes to flexibility the software on the Roku XDS is versatile and easy to use. The XDS provides support for 1080 playback which provides 1080 viewing on channels with 1080p however some of the channels such as Amazon Video on Demand are 720p.  If you view a channel with 1080p then the support for 1080p will kick into high gear.  This is an advantage over Apple TV which is still 720 playback.

Roku XDS1080p Support

With the Roku XDS you can view videos in 1080p from the USB drive as opposed to streaming it from a selected service provider.  The local playback from the USB port currently accommodates MPEG-4 video and MP3 audio.  The XDS also works with any television up to 1080p for a high quality video streaming experience.

Although there are still fewer channels that offer 1080p as opposed to the number that offer 720p, the XDS is 1080p ready as the video streaming capabilities for channels and high resolution content continues to grow.  At any rate, 1080p support has been very popular with consumers who use the HD or XDS streaming player.

Roku Channel Store

When you use the Roku XDS you have access to more than 80 channels from online services such as social networking sites like Facebook and services such as Pandora, Internet TV channels such as MLB.tv, and access to more than 100,000 movies on demand and TV shows that you can watch from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and 99 cent shows from Amazon.  It is important to note that with some of the channels from services such as Facebook and others it is necessary to install each channel by signing into the service on your PC and then linking your Roku XDS to your account.  There is also many other selections such as the primary network news stations and the ability to engage in photo and video sharing.


The Roku XDS is quite similar to the XD and HD versions except in a smaller case with upgraded capabilities.  You can begin to watch programs on your TV within minutes of setting up the unit using your high speed Internet connection.  You pay a one time purchase of around $100 for the unit without the hassle and expense of monthly bills.  The only added expense is your Netflix or Hulu subscriptions that you use to get content on-demand.

The main updated features are dual-band wireless technology, component video and optical audio outputs, and the USB port for playing stored photos, music, and videos.  So if you are looking for a top-of-the-line unit that will help you to reduce your cable or satellite TV bill the Roku XDS is worth taking a second look.  You can find additional information and customer reviews by clicking here

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