Roku HD (2012) review: Roku HD (2012)

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Performance: 8.0

Average User Rating

3 stars 15 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Roku HD is a small streaming-media box that costs only $60. It offers hundreds of streaming-video and -audio services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Vudu, Pandora, Mog, Rdio, and MLB.TV. Roku also offers cross-platform search, capable of finding content across major streaming services. And the HD also supports older TVs via its analog video output.

The Bad For those invested in the Apple ecosystem, the Roku HD doesn't offer the same tight integration as the Apple TV's AirPlay functionality. The Roku HD also lacks channels for YouTube and Spotify. And there's no Ethernet port, so you'll need a solid Wi-Fi signal in your home theater.

The Bottom Line With its ability to stream hundreds of audio and video channels (including Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and Hulu Plus), the $60 Roku HD would be our top pick for those seeking an ultra-affordable Internet media box -- if not for the fact that it's nearly identical to the slightly cheaper Roku LT.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Apple TV

    4 stars

    The Apple TV is an indispensable living room companion for people invested in iTunes content...

  • Roku 2

    4 stars

    The Roku 2 offers tons of content sources and an innovative remote with built-in headphone...

  • Roku 1

    4 stars

    The Roku 1 has a budget price and adds 1080p video output over the similar Roku LT, but...

  • Google Chromecast

    3.5 stars

    Google's new streaming stick is designed to let you push video content to your TV from...

Editors' note: As of October 2013, the product reviewed here has been discontinued and replaced by the Roku 1 .

What's the difference between the Roku LT and the Roku HD reviewed here? Ten dollars, a different color body, and not much else. But you just want to know one thing: should you buy this box?

The answers: if the Roku LT is sold out (or discontinued), yes; if the HD is discounted to $50 or less, yes.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Apple TV

    4 stars

    The Apple TV is an indispensable living room companion for people invested in iTunes content...

  • Roku 2

    4 stars

    The Roku 2 offers tons of content sources and an innovative remote with built-in headphone...

  • Roku 1

    4 stars

    The Roku 1 has a budget price and adds 1080p video output over the similar Roku LT, but...

  • Google Chromecast

    3.5 stars

    Google's new streaming stick is designed to let you push video content to your TV from...

 

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Where to Buy

Roku HD (2012)

Part Number: CNET2500R Released: 8 Nov 2011
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. AU specs are unavailable.

  • Release date 8 Nov 2011
  • Connectivity Protocols IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)
    IEEE 802.11g
    IEEE 802.11n
  • Type remote control
  • Functionality Internet radio playback
    Internet video playback
  • Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital multimedia receiver