The Roku 2 XD is a step-up version of the budget-priced Roku 2 HD (*Est. $60), but the only upgrade is an increase in resolution from 720p to 1080p. While support for 1080p content from a handful of providers, such as Netflix, is on board, far more of what you can watch via a Roku 2 digital media player will be 720p resolution or lower. In addition, most experts say viewer will find the apparent picture-quality improvement with 1080phard to see in most setups. Because of that, most say the Roku 2 HD is a better choice,
Those who don't care about the Roku 2 HD's game-playing features should also look at the less-expensive Roku LT (*Est. $50), which removes those but is otherwise nearly identical. Roku also offers the step-up Roku 2 XS (*Est. $100), which adds an Ethernet connection and includes a Wii-like remote for game play.
Most experts focus on the step-up Roku 2 XS. But since performance should be nearly identical, those reviews provide a good indication of what you could expect from the Roku 2 XD. The most credible reviewers include CNET, PCMag.com, Wired and ZatzNotFunny.com, with CNET and ZatzNotFunny.com providing specific buying advice regarding the Roku 2 XD. Some user reviews can be found at Amazon.com.
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CNET looks at the family of Roku 2 digital media players in this comprehensive report. Though the Roku 2 XS gets the lion's share of the attention, the entry-level Roku 2 HD is also touched upon and helpful comparisons are made. The reviewers find little reason for buyers to choose the mid-range Roku 2 XD over the Roku 2 HD or 2 XS.
Review: Review: Roku 2 XS, John P. Falcone and David Carnoy, Aug. 15, 2011
2. Zatz Not Funny!
Dave Zatz reports on the family of Roku 2 digital media players in this lengthy review. He recommends purchasing the flagship Roku 2 XS or the entry-level 2 HD, but not the midlevel Roku 2 XD. "I'd say skip this model entirely," he writes.
Review: The Roku 2 Review, Dave Zatz, July 23, 2011
This review focuses on the Roku 2 XS. Will Greenwald says that while the Roku provides lots of content, it isn't as compelling a product as it once was.
Review: Roku 2 XS, Will Greenwald, Aug. 11, 2011
This is another report that focuses on the flagship Roku 2 XS, but some of the comments apply equally to the Roku 2 XD. Bryan Gardiner finds the ability to play 1080p streaming video from Netflix to be a major plus. The difficulty of playing local media and limited media file support are negatives.
Review: New Roku Streaming Box Gets Smaller, Angrier, Bryan Gardiner, Aug. 15, 2011
About 500 owners review the Roku 2 XD digital media player at Amazon.com. While most users are happy, a significant minority give it a low rating. Complaints are varied, but include some stability and connectivity issues and the need to register with a credit card to access the library of content providers.
Review: Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p, Contributors to Amazon.com