The Roku player is a small black box. Physically speaking, it will most likely be the smallest device sitting on your entertainment center. It measures one inch in height, and less than five inches wide and deep. It is comparable to the size of a few CD cases stacked on top of each other. Despite its small size, Roku is a very powerful device for streaming online video to your television.
How Does Roku Work?
When most people think about a device which plays video, they assume there is a physical storage required for the video. For example, to watch a movie on a DVD player, you need a DVD to insert into the DVD player. Similarly, to watch a video you have downloaded, you will need the video to be stored on your computer's hard drive. Roku has broken the mold in this regard. Since Roku players stream video, they do not need a disc, hard drive, or anything to store the video. This is what keeps the device so small and simple. As long as you have an internet connection and a TV, you can be watching thousands of titles in a matter of minutes.
Roku Streaming Technology
The technology is similar to YouTube. If you're familiar with YouTube, you know that YouTube videos are not saved to your computer. That would take up very much too much space. Instead, the video is streamed in small compressed "chunks" of video data so there is minimal loading time. Roku downloads videos from various sources and plays them on the television screen using the same technology.
There are currently 3 Roku models: Roku HD, Roku XD and Roku XD S. The models vary in terms of features, so make sure to compare the Roku models first. Consider the features offered by each model and which features fit your needs before making your purchase decision. There are no recurring fees for owning a Roku player. Purchasing a Roku player is a one-time payment, and the rest is up to you. There is plenty of free videos available for viewing, or you may be interested in paying a small subscription fee for more video than you could ever watch in a lifetime! For example, Netflix and Hulu Plus, which are both available on Roku, offer thousands of movie and television titles which are available on demand.
Roku: What's Included?
Every Roku player model comes with the following:
- 1 Remote control
- 2 "triple A" batteries (for the remote)
- 1 Composite (red / white / yellow) A / V cable
- 1 power adapter
- 1 "Getting started guide"
- 1 year warranty