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 Picks

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 Picks



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Where to Buy See All

Roku HD (2012)

Part Number: CNET2500R Released: Nov. 7, 2011
Low Price: $39.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov. 7, 2011
  • Connectivity Protocols IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)
  • Type remote control
  • Functionality Internet video playback
  • Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital multimedia receiver
About The Author

Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.

About The Author

John P. Falcone is the executive editor of CNET Reviews, where he coordinates a group of more than 20 editors and writers based in New York and San Francisco as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. He's been a CNET editor since 2003.