My New Tech Toy: The Roku Streaming Playerby Tyler Henson
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I love technology and I’m usually the go-to-guy for my friends and family for all of their tech-related questions (mostly problems). I’m always looking for new, fun ways to keep track of information, manage my hectic schedule, catch up on my favorite TV series, or … to put it simply, I just like cool stuff!
I’m a wannabe movie critic so naturally, I’ve accumulated quite the DVD library over the years - a stack of DVDs here, a pile there, a full bookshelf in the corner - they’re actually at risk of taking over my apartment. So in a recent "OCD-spell" a few weekends ago, I decided it was time to find a new solution. I wanted a way to watch all my favorite cheesy action flicks and gruesome, brain-eating zombie horror films without squandering the ever-so-coveted square-footage and counter space in my studio apartment or using up the precious (and minimal) space left on my computer's hard drive.
So I came up with a short list of “requirements” that I’d like to try and meet:
- Online storage: I don’t have much space left on my hard drive, so I want to spare that if at all possible.
- Small, unobtrusive: living in a studio apartment in LA, I need all the space I can get!
- Easy to set up: Nobody wants a product that is a pain in the neck to use.
- Affordable: did I mention I live in L.A.? ;)
I figured I would start looking online, so I launched a new Internet window and started Google-ing away! I found some fairly inexpensive options, but they didn’t have online storage. I found some that were online, but they were kind of pricey. So I decided to phone a friend (in this case, my cousin). She started ranting and raving about this new toy she got for her kids (at least that was her excuse.. I think it was probably just for her) called a Roku.
“Roku? What in the world is a Roku?” I asked, simultaneously typing in R-O-K-U into my Google search. The search result: “Roku Streaming Player | Watch Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant…” Was this a sign from the tech-gods? Browsing through the website, I realized it met all of my criteria: it’s all online streaming so nothing is clogging up my computer; it’s super small; easy to set up; and most importantly, it’s inexpensive!
A few days later, a package arrived. Could it be? More excited than a child on Christmas morning, I tore through the package to find that, yes indeed, it is the Roku. I literally dropped everything and went straight over to my TV to start setting it up. It came neatly packaged with clear and concise directions to follow. I had it up and running in less than 10 minutes and started to browse through all the great features.
Now I’m able to watch movies via Netflix, new TV shows on Hulu Plus, rent new releases from Amazon Instant Video, play all of my playlists from Pandora, and best of all, play Angry Birds right on my TV. Huzzah! I've found my electronic Excalibur!