Roku (Price: $60-$100) doesn't bring the Internet to your TV, but it gives you a choice of more than 100 channels from health and fitness to Hulu Plus, Netflix, MLB TV and NHL Center Ice Live. You can also get content from Amazon.com.
The company just released its $99.99 Roku XDS, providing dual-band wireless, 1080p support and a USB port that allows you to access local content. It can, however, be a little delicate, so expect an occasional crash. In addition to the HDMI, and USB port, it also has composite, component, and optical audio ports along the back.
Roku is the king of easy setup, taking about 15 minutes from the time I unpacked the unit, hooked it into my TV with an HDMI cable and accessed my account on Roku's website. The downside? You need to manually add each channel that you want, a labor-intensive process that requires more patience that you're likely to have after you've tap-tapped your way through a half dozen or so. Trust me, it's easier in several sessions.
The entry level Roku HD at $59.99 is one of the least expensive content hubs on the market and still gives you excellent performance. It's wireless and streams content at 720p, which is all Netflix gives you anyway.
Right now, Roku's flying high; one company exec told me they expect to have at least a million boxes in circulation by the end of the year. They should; Roku is as solid as its setup is easy. It's a great device at an exceptional price.
Click here for more from ZDNet
<< Click here to get back to the beginning of the buyers' guide