Here's the good news: Roku and Hulu have teamed up for another sweet deal.
The "special offer for Mother's Day" includes a Roku HD box, a six-month Hulu Plus subscription, a 6-foot HDMI cable, and shipping, all for $79.99 (plus sales tax where applicable -- though I'm not sure why).
Here's the bad news: Unless you spend an extra $14.99 to upgrade to 2-day shipping, there's no guarantee the bundle will arrive by Sunday (meaning this Sunday, May 12, in case you haven't checked your calendar lately). The free-ground-shipping option promises delivery in 3-5 business days, which doesn't bode well for a Friday delivery.
To break this down a bit further, the Roku HD is a lower-end model, meaning simply that it tops out at 720p resolution rather than 1080p. But it does have an instant-reply button on its remote, something the even-lower-end Roku LT lacks. The HD normally sells for $59.99.
Six months of Hulu Plus would cost you $47.94, so even if you splurge on the 2-day shipping, you're still coming out ahead. Although the service is far from perfect (cough, commercials, cough), Hulu Plus is still a great way to catch up on current and classic network shows.
The HDMI cable is valued at $9.99, though regular Cheapskate readers know it's possible to score one for around three bucks -- sometimes even less.
It's worth pointing out that Amazon has the Roku 2 XD (which does support 1080p) for $69.99 shipped -- and shipped 2-day if you're an Amazon Prime member -- if all you want for Mom is the box. But the Roku/Hulu bundle is still the deal to beat, and a nice package all around. The only question is whether you're willing to gamble $15 to make sure Mom has something to open on Sunday.