Get a Roku HD-XR player for $99.99

Normally $130, Roku's splendid little set-top box streams video from Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix, and loads of other channels. Plus, get $10 of Amazon credit!

The top-of-the-line Roku HD-XR box streams Internet content from the likes of Netflix, MLB.com, and Pandora.
The top-of-the-line Roku HD-XR box streams Internet content from the likes of Netflix, MLB.com, and Pandora. CNET

Are you looking for an easy way to bring Netflix Watch Instantly movies to your TV? Look no further than the Roku HD-XR, a tiny set-top box that streams Internet content from Netflix and a variety of other sources.

This top-end model normally costs $129.99, but today only, Amazon has the Roku HD-XR for $99.99 with free shipping. Plus, Amazon is throwing in a $10 credit for its Video on Demand service.

Roku's other channels include MLB.com, which, like Netflix, requires a subscription, Blip.tv, Flickr, NASA, and Pandora.

The Roku player connects to the Internet via your home Wi-Fi network to stream content from all these sources. I use mine primarily to watch Netflix, as it lets me browse, queue, and watch on-demand any movie or TV show in the service's Watch Instantly library. It's awesome.

You connect the Roku box via HDMI to your HDTV--though other connection types are available. Alas, Roku doesn't supply an HDMI cable; however, here's a lovely 5-foot cable for $3.59 and with free shipping.

You'll also need a broadband Internet connection with a speed of at least 1.2 megabits per second.

All Roku boxes can connect to the network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet; however, only the HD-XR model supports 802.11n. Hopefully your router does as well, as you'll need that faster speed to enjoy the various providers' growing collection of HD content if you use Wi-Fi.

With those items in place, the HD-XR is a snap to install and set up. I still think it's on the pricey side at $100, but at least that's a better deal than $130.

 

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