Roku XR

Aron Schatz
February 4, 2010
Roku XR
The Roku XR may not be a worthy upgrade if you already have a Roku streaming box, but new customers should enjoy the features it provides.

Page 1: Intro, Box, Packaging and Parts, Roku XR


When Netflix unveiled its new streaming service a couple of years ago, Roku was the first standalone box that supported the feature. It was dubbed the "Netflix Player" by multiple sources and was sold as the easy way to enjoy Netflix on your TV without using DVDs. Since Netflix streaming only supported Windows at the time (it still doesn't support Linux), this was the only way to enjoy the streaming service without being tied down to a computer. Fast forward to today's market and there are a multitude of products that support the streaming service from Netflix. Roku is hoping to stay ahead of the curve with the release of the Roku XR.



Roku sent the unit in the retail box with a label over it. As you can see, we have trouble removing part of the label for taking a picture of the box. We apologize for this inconvenience, as we know how important it is to see the box.

Packaging and Parts


Opening the box yields the getting started guide which is always helpful since it might not be you that is setting up the device. What if this product is a gift, can your grandma set it up?


The next layer of items are the Roku XR itself and the IR remote for the unit.


Finally, the AC adapter along with the remote batteries and a standard yellow-red-white RCA cable for composite connections. Even though the box supports component and HDMI, none of those cables are included, nor was an ethernet cable included.

Roku XR


The XR itself is stylish and subtle. It is a small box that is as big as a CD case (with more depth) which should fit inside most people's entertainment area. The XR is passively cooled so make sure you don't place it in a non-ventilated area. The front of the unit has no buttons. There is a reset button on the bottom of the unit (in case the unit crashes), but we never used it. Simplicity is one of the benefits of this product.


There is a wide range of connections that the Roku XR supports. It has A/V connections for composite, component, HDMI, S-Video, and optical audio. For data services, it supports ethernet and 802.11n (2.4GHz and 5GHz). If you don't have an ethernet connection near the unit, the wireless will work fine. There is a USB port that is unused for now but possibly could be used for some type of mass storage or other support in the future (speculation).


The remote that goes with the XR is shockingly simple as well. There are four buttons and the navigation controls. ASE Labs appreciates when a product is designed to be used by everyone and giving this remote to someone not technically oriented yielded positive results.


The one gripe we have about the remote is the way you change the batteries. You basically slide the entire remote from its lower housing, and sometimes it doesn't want to budge. Regardless, the batteries won't need to be changed that often for this to be an issue.


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