We’re big fans of Roku here at ZNF. In fact, the Soundbridge was one of my first streaming devices way back when. (Not to mention Mari and I have both been satisfied ReplayTV owners – a company also founded by Anthony Wood.) Of course, these days, Roku’s all about their small television-connected media player… which comes in three variations: $80 SD, $100 HD, and $130 HD-XR. All units provide access to Roku “channels” including Netflix, Amazon VOD, and Pandora. Sports have also started to make an appearance with the addition of MLB.TV, UFC PPV, and NBA Game Time highlight channels.
We only recommend products that we’d buy; Therefore, the SD Roku model is not appropriate for ZNF readers (and why we rarely mention it even exists). The $100 Roku HD is what we normally discuss and is suitable for most. The $30 HD-XR surcharge bumps you from 80211.g to 802.11n, providing increased wireless range and additional bandwidth. More interestingly, the XR ships with a USB port. And, presumably, at some point Roku will offer local playback capabilities, via that USB connection and hopefully the LAN, to fend off the likes of Western Digital’s HD TV Live.
Through June 20th, Roku is offering $25 off the HD-XR model. So if you’re in the market for a Roku, $5 more for the HD XR over the base HD unit is a no brainer. Here’s how you get it: Click this link, add a Roku HD XR to your cart, click on past the accessories screen, and then apply coupon code ready2roku.