AVS Addicted Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
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The Roku 2 XS is a full-featured Netflix player: it has the currently rare ability to play the 1080p encodings, 5.1 DD+ sound and captions/subtitles for titles which have them. I have, however, become a bit disenchanted with it due to a few annoying bugs I feel as though they should have fixed by the this time and an annoying limitation. The primary annoying bug is that it cannot see that some titles have HD encodings and/or available 5.1 sound. The HD thing isn't that bad since if the encodings are there you'll get them whether the description mentions them or not, but since you have to turn 5.1 sound on, if the player doesn't know about it it won't give you a menu from which to turn it on. The annoying limitation is that they do not process Dolby sound (no doubt to save the cost of licensing it) and merely pass it through. In the case of Netflix's DD+ sound they can't be confident that the connected AVR or other device can handle the format, so they can't make it the default. The other devices I have which can play Netflix's DD+ sound (the PS3 and a Panasonic BD player) can process it if necessary and make 5.1 sound the default. Having to turn it on for every title on the Roku is annoying, particularly when I'm watching episodes of a TV series and have to remember to turn it on with each new episode.
It'll be interesting to see the specs of the next Apple TV. I have yet to find the perfect streamer which can play VUDU, Netflix with 1080p/5.1/CC and Amazon with 5.1 sound. The Roku 2 has Netflix and Amazon, my BD player has Netflix and VUDU (its Amazon player does not feature 5.1 sound). The current Apple TV doesn't have any of them--no VUDU or Amazon, and its Netflix player, although it has probably the best user interface available, does not play the 1080p encodings.
Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)
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