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Roku 2 XD
Roku 2 XS

The Roku 2 Media Streamer has just launched in Canada with 2 products.. The Roku 2 XD and the Roku 2 XS.

The Roku 2 XD is selling for $89.99, and is available at Amazon.ca, as well as walmart and London Drugs.

The Roku 2 XS is selling for $109.99, and is available at Amazon.ca, as well as walmart and London Drugs.

I’ve been a long time user of both the Apple TV and the Boxee, so I was hesitant when my review units showed up last week.

One nice thing about Roku, is you don’t need HDMI to run them, you can plug the units into any TV. So with that in mind, I spent half the test time playing with them on my 52 sony bravia, and then the other half, plugged into the 27 inch CRT that is in my office which obviously doesn’t get much use anymore aside from playing some old game systems like my atari.. (yes, I know I should get rid of that TV and replace it with a nicer LED or something, but Atari just looks better on the CRT)

I previously tried the WDTV Live on this same TV which had the same premise, but the WDTV Live is plaqued with being too slow and also having really unreadable text on the screen.

Roku has none of that. While the composite was obviously not as sharp as the HDMI TV I had it plugged into for the first few days, it was really clear. It’s apparent they’ve done some work handling their graphics.

In terms of apps, or as Roku calls them Channels. Canada has a nice selection which will be growing as they add more providers. Currently, they had netflix, crackle TV, ADC, Vimeo, Fox News, Rdio, MLS, NHL, MLB, CNBC, WSJ, UFC, flckr, a few others and a Plex client.

They also have a mixture of free and paid channels, as well as private channels, which I haven’t played around with yet.

The Plex client was the feature I found really handy, as it could connect to my Plex account and stream videos from my Plex server elsewhere, and it did so pretty fast.

The biggest difference between XD and XS is the XS is also equipped for gaming, it has a remote that they call their gaming remote and also has a USB port to use for more space. Whereas the XD is purely for watching video. I actually like the XD, and didn’t see much need for playing Angry Birds on my TV, but that was just me.

One feature I would like to see with Roku, which Apple TV and Boxee both have is airplay, so I can stream a video playing on my iPad or iPhone straight to the Roku, and people have said in the forums that this feature will be coming, just no date as for when yet.

Feature wise, added with Plex, you can do more than you can with the Apple TV, but not quite as much as you can do with the Boxee Box.. Overall, this is an 89.00 unit, and the features that it comes with do make for a nice experience.