updated 08:55 am EDT, Tue October 27, 2009
Roku HD-XR adds 802.11n
Roku this morning swelled its media hub ranks with two models aimed at the high and low ends. The previously leaked Roku HD-XR adds to the original network video streamer with 802.11n Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, giving it much more bandwidth for streaming HD sources as well as a frequency pick less prone to interference from cordless home phones. It continues to also support Ethernet for wired networks and uses HDMI and component for HD video playback from Amazon VOD or Netflix; RCA and S-Video output provide analog video, and a USB port allows room for unnamed future expansion.
At the opposite end, the Roku SD is designed for those watching only standard-definition video and limits video output to RCA for analog sets. It also omits the as-yet untouched USB port but still has Ethernet alongside 802.11g wireless.
Both players are shipping today with prices of $129 for the HD-XR and $79 for the SD.