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26 March 2012 @ 10:03 am
Roku  
Amazon is having a gold box deal on the Roku 2 XS for $80 today (compared to the normal price of $100.) I've been curious about these devices for awhile. Actually i've been curious about both media streaming devices and generic DVRs. There are free versions of both of these, but i'm not really a hardware guy, so buying my own box and setting up the software necessary to run it. There's also the Slingbox, which isn't free but from what i understand falls mostly into the "media streaming device" category, with the added benefit of letting you stream the media wirelessly to multiple devices, but sounds like it involves a little more work to setup.

The advantage of the Roku (besides the fact that it's on sale right now) is that it sounds like it's pretty much just plug it in and go. The disadvantage is that most of what it offers we have replicated by other hardware. Netflix we can get through the PS3 (or PC,) Hulu we can get through the PC, and if Time Warner Cable and Time Warner have actually straightened out their arguments about HBO Go we can theoretically get that on PC as well. Of course being able to stream Hulu and HBO Go directly to the TV would be nice, and more importantly there are plenty of times where i want to be playing a game on the PS3 while shelleycat wants to be watching something on Netflix. Presuming the Roku 2 XS has more than one video output, and at least one of those outputs is of the red/white/yellow cable variety, this would allow me to play games on my TV while she watches Netflix on her TV. I presume if we got one and hooked it up we'd find some use out of the other services as well (at least the free ones in any case.)

So does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations/whatever about why getting a Roku as opposed to something else would be a good idea or not? Or why we should not bother at all?
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