Get a Roku 2 XS for $64.99 shipped

This is the top-end Roku model, which normally sells for $100. As long as you don't mind refurbished gear (and you shouldn't), it's a steal.

Get the top-of-the-line Roku box for less than the price of lesser models.
Get the top-of-the-line Roku box for less than the price of lesser models. Roku

There are two kinds of TVs in the world: smart and dumb. The smart ones have Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming-service apps built right in. The dumb ones, well, they need a little help.

Arguably the best help you can get comes in the form of a Roku box, which brings pretty much every streaming service known to man (except, annoyingly, YouTube) to your TV.

Today only, and while supplies last, 1SaleADay has the refurbished Roku 2 XS for $64.99 shipped. The same model sells new for $99.99.

This is the premium Roku model, the one with every available bell and whistle. Like all Rokus, it streams everything from Amazon to CNET to Hulu Plus to Vudu, with several dozen others in between. (Many of these channels require a paid subscription; the box is merely the conduit that brings them to your TV.) It's worth noting that Roku offers a lot of channels you won't find on most smart TVs, including HBO Go, Disney, and all the big sports services.

The XS also supports 1080p video and comes with an Ethernet port (in case the Wi-Fi is weak near your TV) and a USB port for playing any music, photos, and videos stored on a portable drive.

Another feature unique to the XS: a motion-sensing remote, used primarily for a handful of games (like the included Angry Birds). I haven't had the chance to try one of these myself, but my guess is it's something not many users bother with. If I'm wrong, and the remote is all kinds of awesome, tell me in the comments.

CNET awarded the Roku 2 XS four stars out of five, noting that the extra features weren't all that compelling relative to cheaper Rokus. But at $64.99, this is one of the cheaper Rokus -- so why not get the best?

Because it's a refurb, your warranty expires after 90 days. But guess what? New Rokus are covered for only 90 days as well! So there's very little downside to going the refurb route. (FWIW, I've got a first-gen Roku that's years old, and it's still chugging along just fine.)

I suspect these will sell out quickly. If you're able to grab one, keep in mind that it could take two to three weeks to arrive. 1SaleADay is notoriously slow to ship.

Play

Bonus deal: Speaking of doing cool stuff with your TV, MidnightBox.com has the Cortex-A9 Android 4.0 HDMI TV Stick for $35.95, plus $3.99 for shipping. Just stick this little gizmo into an HDMI port and presto: you've got Android on your TV. I haven't tried this particular stick, but I've used one like it -- and it's pretty cool. It's available today only, and while supplies last (which probably won't be long).

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Roku 2 XS

Thanks to a varied range of content offerings--including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Pandora--that beats the Apple TV, the Roku 2 XS is the best all-around streaming-media box you can get for less than $100.

About the author

Rick Broida has written about business and consumer technology for nearly 25 years. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including "The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets." He also writes for CNET's iPhone Atlas and How-To blogs.

 

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