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Roku 2 XS
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CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)
The good: The Roku 2 XS is an ultrasmall Wi-Fi streaming-media box that offers dozens of Internet video and audio services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Pandora, NHL, NBA, and MLB, among many others. It works with HD and standard TVs, and it includes a Wii-like motion controller for casual gaming (Angry Birds is included).
The bad: The best streaming channels require paid subscriptions or pay-per-view fees. The Roku 2 XS doesn't currently support DLNA access (streaming media from networked PCs), and USB file support is very limited. Don't expect a full-blown Wii-like gaming experience; Angry Birds is currently the only game available.
The cost: $89.99 to $99.99
The bottom line: Thanks to a varied range of content offerings--including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Pandora--that beats the Apple TV, the Roku 2 XS is the best all-around streaming-media box you can get for less than $100.
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