Roku 2 XS Media Streamer Specs

Content Providers: over 400
Dimensions (W x H x D, inches): 3.3 x 0.9 x 3.3
Weight (ounces): 3
Price: $99

Video: HDMI 1.3 (1), composite video (1)
Audio: Stereo analog (1)
Additional: Ethernet (1), USB (1), Micro SD Card (1)

Company Info


chrisheinonen's picture

"For Mac users, note that the Roku 2 will only accept USB drives that are PC formatted—FAT16, FAT32, HFS+, or NTFS."

The default file system for an OS X Mac is HFS+, which would indicate that a normal OS X formatted drive would work fine.

Barb Gonzalez's picture
When I connected a mac formatted external drive, there is this error message. Yes, the extended OS X format should be HFS +, but the bottom line is that the Roku 2 wouldn't read any of my Mac formatted drives.
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Stanman98075's picture

The Roku will NOT pass 1080P through my brand new Pioneer receiver. 720P works OK. Roku tech support agrees that it isn't compatible with all receivers, and states that I will have to bypass the receiver and connect directly to the TV. I would only have 2-channel audio if I did this since the Roku doesn't have digital audio out. A lousy solution!

I tried, without success, to get Pioneer interested in this.

Not a happy Roku camper...

Barb Gonzalez's picture
I have my Roku 2 connected directly to my TV using HDMI. I have my TV connected to my Denon AV receiver using an optical out from the TV. This seems to give me both 1080p on the TV and surround sound.
fimillerny's picture

I have ordered a new 59" Samsung Plasma that has a Netflix app (and other apps). What is the difference in sound and picture when using the Samsung app vs the Roku (or Apple TV)?

Also I read Stanman's comment re incompatibility of his new Pioneer AV Receiver and receiving 1080p. It gives me concerns since I just ordered a new NAD M15HD2 and will have to wait and see if there is a similar issue.

Barb Gonzalez's picture
When it comes to picture and sound quality of an external streamer like Roku 2 or the Apple TV versus an internal Smart TV app, I have been hard pressed to notice a difference. As long as the HDMI cable is decent, the quality of the Roku 2, and especially the Apple TV are both excellent. The benefit of the Roku 2 is that it is easy to use and there is a good variety of channels...then again, apps are being added to Samsung Smart TVs at a fast rate. The benefits of the Apple TV include iTunes content and access to your photos using PhotoStream, and airplay or mirroring from you iPhone and iPad. There are other factors to consider when choosing a media streamer vs. a smart TV, most notably access to the content you want to watch.
richardevans's picture

As a long time Roku user I was excited to get the new Roku 2. Local content was and is still available by plugging a USB drive or a hard disk drive with it's own power supply into the USB port.
I've successfully played back HD 720p mkv files using a flash drive.
***There is a wonderful media streamer for videos called PLEX. You need to download the application from Plex and install it on your computer. Then you need to add files from your computer to the Plex media manager. All of this is pretty easy. Then add the private PLEX channel to your Roku account from your computer. Now you can stream both avi and mkv files directly from your computer which acts as a server and the Roku acts as a client. (Note: Roku allows users to install what are called private channels which aren't supported by Roku but are usually perfectly functional.)

***To playback music files (which isn't currently possible with the PLEX server) you need to add the app called MainSqueeze. Again like the PLEX server, you need to download and install server software. MainSqueeze uses the Logitech Media Server. Then add the private channel MAINSQUEEZE to your Roku account.

This may seem like a lot of effort but it can be set up fairly easily if you have some computer knowledge; no more knowledge is required than any other media streamer. The benefits of using the Roku as a content streamer make it worth the effort to add local streaming if that is important to you. I've recently tried both the WDTV live and the Sony SMP-N200 and both had many issues that will probably never be solved. Roku's open SDK (software development kit) means many developers are working on the player. Some who developed great apps were eventually hired by Roku. That's how a forward thinking company should work.

Barb Gonzalez's picture
It's great that you've been able to play mkv files and that you like using Plex. It's getting better, but it's not 100% for me and I find other solutions better for streaming. I had great luck with the Sony. I'd love to hear other solutions you find...