Roku 2 XS

A dinky little high-definition streaming-content player

Image: Hugh Threlfall

This simple and admirable little high-definition streaming-content player, recently arrived from the US, will give you all the TV you need with the minimum of fuss.

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Like many of you, I suspect, I don’t bother much with broadcast television any more. Almost everything I watch is carried on catch-up and streaming services delivered on the internet. So TV no longer needs to be something that requires either an aerial or a big, fat cable stapled clumsily to the skirting boards by an unduly hurried young man, supplying hundreds of very expensive channels you don’t want via a complicated box. All you really need to feed it now is a Roku and the internet.

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The company’s 2 XS model costs about the same as a cheap night out and gives you plenty of reasons to stay in. Setting it up took just five minutes, and there’s free content such as BBC iPlayer and Angry Birds, plus paid-for options including NetFlix, Sky Sports and Now TV. It can also access digital services like Spotify, Flickr and Facebook, although some of these seem more at home on your phone or iPad than the TV. The dinky remote is a highlight because it uses Bluetooth, so your Roku doesn’t even need to be visible.

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