Holiday Gift Guide | Roku 2XS Review

We are not the most organized family you will ever meet, but when it comes to storing our family’s media, my husband is on top of things. For years, we were both serious movie and TV show collectors, and we had our DVDs and TV show box sets all over the place. My husband is the serious music collector in our family, and for several years now has been buying only digital. I’ve never actually counted how many DVDs or CDs we have, but I know it’s a lot, and I usually get a few new movies every month.

I actually used the first generation Roku several years ago to stream Netflix onto our TV, and I absolutely loved it. Back then, the Roku was the only device that was able to do it, and it is more enjoyable to watch streaming on my TV rather than on my computer.

The Roku 2 is super small and is currently the most inexpensive streaming media player out there. Pricing begins at just $59.99. The Roku 2 XS, which is what we received, is available for $99.99.

Since my husband is the tech whiz, I relied on him to get our Roku 2 XS up and running and to tell me about his experience. Here are a few things he wanted you all to know about the process:

  • Hardware installation was direct and simple.
  • An update is available as soon as you connect to the internet, but there is no way to skip it to keep going. There was also no indication of how long it would take for the update to complete.
  • You will need to create an account on as soon as you connect, and you will also have to enter payment information to create that account.
  • It takes a notable amount of time to download the free streaming apps (he only chose Amazon VOD, Netflix, Crackle, and the Angry Birds game).
  • It’s difficult and frustrating to use the motion sensor remote to play Angry Birds. Most people will strongly prefer the touch screen to play this game.
  • The Vimeo app works well. You can see all your types of videos, access your likes and watch laters. You can like videos and remove them from watch later (a common task for any avid vimeo user) all from the Roku device.

*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the product for evaluation purposes. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the product.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including,, and

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