What’s a Roku?

The Kindle Fire is a pretty nifty little mobile video player. If you’ve been enjoying this feature of your Kindle Fire, but have sometimes wished you could watch an Amazon Instant or Prime Video on a larger screen—say, when the whole gang wants to gather around and watch together—read on!

You can view Amazon Instant and Prime Videos on numerous video-capable devices. Many of the newer, internet-ready television sets, the Sony PS3 and other video devices allow you to stream Amazon Instant and Prime Videos with no additional service charges over your high speed internet connection. You can also access Prime Instant Videos through your XBOX 360 if you have an XBOX Live Gold subscription (which runs anywhere from $49.95-$79.95 per year, depending on where you buy it).

But what if you don’t already have a compatible device, or don’t want to pay for an XBOX Live Gold subscription every year? In that case, you need a Roku streaming video box.

The Roku is basically a little box that adds video streaming functionality to your home network and video setup, enabling you to access Amazon Instant and Prime Videos, free programming from Crackle and numerous other services, and videos from all the major paid-subscription video streaming services, like HBOGO, Showtime Mobile, Netflix, Vudu and Hulu+. You need to have a high speed internet connection, and a device that can display video (like a TV) since the Roku has no screen of its own, but that’s all. There are no monthly service fees or additional charges for using a Roku (though if you use it to access fee-based services like Netflix or Hulu+, you still have to pay subscription fees for those services).

The device comes in a few different versions, but all of them support Amazon Instant and Prime Video Streaming, all support HD video, and all have an average review rating of at least 4/5 stars across many reviews. The basic Roku box is currently priced at $59.95. From Amazon:

The Roku HD delivers all the streaming entertainment choices, HD video quality, and ease-of-use that Roku has always been known for. At our lowest price.

450 channels and counting. Features the top sources, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and Amazon Instant Video.

Free movies! Includes hundreds of full-length Hollywood movies and TV series from Crackle—all free and on demand.

High-definition streaming—up to 1080p HD.

The easiest setup. Works with virtually any TV, includes built-in wireless, and sets up in minutes.

The best in Movies and TV
Roku puts over 150,000 titles at your fingertips, including…

The biggest Netflix experience around, with support for HD video, Dolby Digital+ surround sound, and English subtitles.

Hulu Plus, with an amazing selection of current TV shows from the biggest networks.

Amazon Instant Video, featuring the latest movie releases, virtually all the blockbusters of the past, hit TV series, and much more—all on demand.

Hundreds of free Hollywood movies from Crackle.

Access to premium services like HBO GO and EPIX, available via participating providers. With Roku, you’ll always find that perfect movie or show to fit your mood.


The most content is on Roku
Plus even more choices

With over 450 entertainment channels and counting, there’s something for virtually everyone, including…

Unlimited music from Pandora, MOG, Rdio, and Live365

Live sports packages including NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter Live, MLS Matchday, UFC, and MLB.TV.

Photo and video sharing via Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and Picasa

The top news sources like NBC, FoxNews.com, and CNN.

Of course, there are also tons of international and lifestyle programming, tech news, social networking, podcasts, cartoons, clips, cat tricks, and… well, you get the idea.

Click here to check out the basic Roku, and scroll down on its Amazon product page to view a table that offers a side-by-side comparison of all the Roku models.


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