The Roku LT is Roku's newest and least expensive set-top video streaming box. Differences between it and the step-up Roku 2 HD (*Est. $60) are fairly minor -- the cheaper Roku LT lacks a microSD memory card slot and Bluetooth connectivity. For most, that means the biggest sacrifice is the ability to play one of Roku's small selection of games -- such as Angry Birds -- and it's not much of one as you also would also need to add Roku's Wii-like game controller (*Est. $30) to the Roku 2 HD if that's of interest. Though intended primarily for game storage, added microSD memory can also be used to store additional channels with the Roku 2 series of digital media players. However, there seems to be more than enough internal memory in the Roku LT for that task, and we encountered no complaints about channel capacity in either user or professional reviews.
Differences between the Roku LT and the top of the line Roku 2 XS (*Est. $100) are more notable. The Roku 2 XS ups the resolution to 1080p, adds an Ethernet connection for those who don't wish to rely on Wi-Fi, has a USB port for playing back your own video files from a flash drive, fully supports gaming and even includes the game controller. The fourth member of the Roku lineup is the Roku 2 XD (*Est. $80). Its features are identical to the Roku 2 HD, but like the Roku 2 XS, resolution is 1080p rather than 720p.
The Roku LT draws good reviews for its value and for its ease of set-up and use. Most say that Wi-Fi is pretty reliable, though not every router plays well with Roku's technology. Despite the 720p resolution, reviewers say that picture quality will leave most viewers very happy. In terms of its core function -- bringing streaming video from a huge selection of providers, more than 400 at last count -- the Roku LT performs on a par with the rest of the Roku lineup; in other words, very well.
We found several reviews for the Roku LT. The best are at PCMag.com and CNET. The report at Time magazine lacks detail, but it gives a positive assessment. User feedback can be seen at Amazon.com and at Roku's web site.
PCMag.com gives the Roku LT its Editors' Choice award. Will Greenwald says it can do almost everything more expensive Roku players do, but it costs less. Set up is called easy, and the difference between the 1080p of the Roku 2 XS and 720p of the Roku LT is not as big of an issue as some would assume, Greenwald says.
Review: Roku LT, Will Greenwald, Nov. 17, 2011
CNET also grants the Roku LT an Editors' Choice award. Matthew Moskovciak says that it's the cheapest streaming video box, but also that it's one of the best. He calls the missing features compared to pricier Roku boxes "unnecessary." He adds that the difference between 720p and 1080p was not noticeable, even when viewing HD streams from the providers that support it.
Review: Roku LT, Matthew Moskovciak, Nov. 4, 2011
3. Time magazine
The Roku LT and Roku 2 land in the seventh position in Time's list of the top 10 "gadgets" of 2011. No testing is detailed in this very brief report, but pricing is called "hard-to-resist."
Review: The Top 10 of Everything of 2011, Doug Aamoth, Dec. 7, 2011
More than 400 owners weighed in on the Roku LT. Comments are highly positive, earning the Roku LT a score of 4.4 out of 5. Though negative comments are in the minority, some issues -- connectivity, customer support, and the need for a credit card to register for services -- draw complaints.
Review: Roku LT Streaming Player, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than 4,500 report on the Roku LT at the company's web site. It earns a 4.4-star rating -- the same as at Amazon.com -- and 94 percent say that they would recommend it to a friend. Far more say that it is easy to set up and use than say that those things are a challenge. Value is well liked.
Review: Roku LT Customer Reviews, Contributors to Roku.com