Today, Roku announced the release of their Roku 2 media streamer. In addition to playing videos, audio, and pictures, they’ve added gaming to this 4th generation device. Currently, you can only play Angry Birds, but there are plans to add other games such as Namco’s Pac-Man Championship Edition.
Like the previous Roku, there will be three models. Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, and Roku 2 XS. The prices will be $59.99, $79.99, and $99.99, respectively.
There will be many more channels available in the Roku 2, compared to the previous iteration, as well as the long awaited subtitle support.
These things are tiny and very unobtrusive. They only weigh 3oz, and measure 3.3×3.3×0.9 inches, so even if you are limited on space, I’m sure you can find a place for it. Just remember, if you are using wireless, be careful about placement. You don’t want to place it somewhere that will interrupt the Wi-Fi signal.
Speaking of wireless, all three models include built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n), and have WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support. For those of you that prefer a wired connection, the XS model is the only one of the three that has a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet connection.
If you decide to get the Roku 2 XS model, you’ll be thrilled to learn that it comes with a Bluetooth 6-axis motion sensing game remote, which includes a free edition of Angry Birds, as well as a USB port for playing music, videos and photos.
Don’t bother looking for an on/off switch, sadly there isn’t one. But drawing only about 2 Watts when streaming HD video, who needs to shut it off? Plus, if left plugged-in, the box will update itself automatically.
All three models will play 480i (composite), 480p (HDMI), and 720p (HDMI), but only the XD and XS models will display full 1080p (HDMI). 16:9 anamorphic and 4:3 standard are supported on all of them, including a MicroSD slot for additional storage. They also added 5.1 surround sound (passthrough) over HDMI for all you audiophiles.
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While I work, I enjoy listening to music, and like most people, my music tastes changes with my moods and activities.
Digitally Imported and Sky.fm has the best and most diverse music on the net. Even the most finicky audiophiles would be hard pressed to find a channel they didn’t appreciate with their available selection. Digitally Imported has over 24 varieties of electronic music, while Sky.fm has jazz, top-40, country, classical, rock, 70s, 80s, oldies, indie, and a whole lot more.
Below is a little application I wrote to access all of their free streams. Take your pick, there’s plenty to choose from. Just select the station from the dropdown box, then click on the type of stream you prefer…
If the quality of the free streams isn’t good enough for your sensitive ears, they offer premium CD quality streams for about $4.95/month.
Nope, I’m not getting paid to say that, I just wanted to give back what I can, since I’ve been a regular listener for the last few years.
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