Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Spotlight On: Roku
Well, I'd totally make out with you if I could.
Need more? I have a friend who had a Roku box for a long time. She was always going on about the Roku and how great it was. It seemed weird like a far out thing to me (kind of like twitter). Watching internet on your tv? Through channels? But not regular channels? Huh.
Then a little thing called Kdrama happened to me. As a girl on a budget, I couldn't buy licenced copies, and I learned the hard way that EBay was out (see my post here). So, I started watching on my computer. As I only have a desktop it meant I was sitting for hours and hours at the desk chair watching TV--not really conducive to guilt free watching--or allowing you to accomplish anything else.
It was about that time I found out that Hulu's inventory of Kdrama was coming from Drama Fever. When their site said they were available on the Roku box, it was as if the clouds had parted.
What is a Roku box? A Roku box is a tiny little box you connect to your television (just like a DVD player) which connects to the Internet--usually wirelessly. From there you shop for channels, think of it like shopping for apps for your phone. Some channels are free, some you pay subscriptions for. Categories can range anywhere from sports, cooking, movies, music, and yes, they even have a whole international section. Currently, I have Netflix, Pandora, Drama Fever, another Kdrama channel cleverly named Kdrama (powered by Crunchy Roll), and various preloaded channels.
The Roku company sells 4 different models starting with the cheapest Roku LT, and going up to the most expensive, the Roku2 XS . Each progressive box has a few more technical features. Now I personally went with the top of the line model. Not because I need top of the line things, but the XS is the only model which allows you to hardwire the Internet directly into the box using a USB port as well as having the wireless capability. This is very important if you live in an area which has crappy-no-good Internet speed like I do.
The quality of the picture depends on your Internet. The box is set up to judge your Internet speeds and it tries to give you the highest quality possible. If I had to say a downside, it would be the fact it wants to give you the best quality it can. If you have crappy-no-good internet this just isn't possible and you are ready for it to give up and try a lower quality before the box is. Sometimes you can hear me saying, "Pop it down, pop it down" if a program is buffering for too long.
Even the remote makes me happy. For gaming my remote has a motion censor so if it moves a little light pops up. Though I don't game, I have found an even better use for it--remote control locator. Also at the back of it is an adjustable loop (like the Wii) that I'm just lame enough to wear on my wrist. One of the buttons of the remote allows you to replay the last 10 seconds--very handy for the "What the hell just happened?" which happens so frequently in Kdramas.
Long story long, I love my Roku box. For all these reasons plus more. I love how easy to use it is, the happy little beep it makes when you click on something, how when I take it to other houses (housesitting) it remembers the password to the internet for that particular house.
You can buy these right through the Roku website, or I got mine through Amazon. I used all the points I had saved up and ended up paying only $10. Sweet!