My review of the Roku / Netgear NTV250 (Roku XD)

Posted on January 15, 2011
Filed Under Reviews | 2 Comments

I am a BIG BIG fan of instant streaming from Netflix.
We have been using our XBOX 360 and WII to play netflix movies on our TV. We used to use a dedicated PC to play Netflix movies but I spied this item in Radio Shack. I have been looking at the Roku netplayer devices for awhile and when I saw this in Radio Shack, I being the impulsive buyer (sellers love me) purchased it.

The Netgear box didnt fool me. It obviously is the Roku XD repackaged…sweet.

Netgear packaging of the Roku Player

Can’t fool me..thats a ROKU…in Radio Shack…

The Roku supports connection to your network using either a wired ethernet cable OR  a wifi connection.

Netgear / Roku XD Front view

And from the back…

Roku / Netgear Back view, note the HDMI and ethernet ports.

Initial power up of the Roku

After you plug it in….

After initialization the screen…starts the home screen.

The Home screen below, has icons for  configuration (settings) and others such as Amazon and Netflix. Items here can be controlled by the Channel Store. where you can add free and non-free services such as Hulu Plus, and free weather.

There is no keyboard. You navigate the various functions using the provided remote control.

Roku / Netgear infrared remote

Just press “Ok” to select.

The Roku Home screen, left side

Before we can “use” the Roku it must be configured for access to your network. I have a wpa2 network, and have already configured it. Very easy to do, most difficult and tedious task is using the “virtual” on screen keyboard to select and “type” the wpa key. Select the “Settings Icon then the Network Icon submenu.

Roku settings network icon

Showing our Network settings.

Once that is done return back to the Settings and select the Display icon to configure the Roku for standard TV or 16:9 aspect ratio or 720 dpi or 1080dpi  (Note that you should be using the hdmi for those options).

Roku Display settings options

Probably not needed but if you want you can change the audio settings from “Stereo” to Surround sound…(HDMI again for surround)

Roku Audio settings menu.

As I said the Roku was purchased to use with Netflix….. you have to do some minor configuration. First you have to create or associate the device with a free Roku.com account. Easy to do.

Before using it with netflix account it must be activated (using a PC) just as you would do with a Xbox or WII . The Roku will expect you to enter a code provided by the PC. Difficult to explain but very easy to follow the on screen instructions…not rocket science. From the Main menu (Home Screen, just select Netflix and go….

Using Netflix….

Items in your Instant queue are available along with recently viewed. Also other standard Netflix categories are shown and you can SEARCH for a movie…(Using an on screen keyboard to type the movie name).

Here I will go thru selecting a Doctor Who episode and play it..

Details on the Episode of Doctor Who using the Roku/Netflix

Once you select play the ..very routine loading page displays..

Netflix movie loading.

Note that if you have HD capability and the movie is available in HD it will

Show “HD” next to the stars on the quality line.

Roku / Neflix movie playing…

Looks great!  .. as seen below you can also pause or rewind / fastforward the show.

Pausing or controlling the movie.

While I havent used (other than to test) Amazon and Huluplus are available …

Amazon video on demand service (Non-Free)

Perhaps at some point I will use those, but Netflix works well for me.

One item that is free is the weather application, which can (once you tell it your location) can display weather information and radar for your locale.

Roku weather application.

There are other free and non free items you can use by going to the channel store and selecting them. After that they will show up on your Home screen for easy selection.  Pandora internet radio and others… very nice..

So to summarize:

I have found the Netgear NTV250  purchased from Radio Shack to be dependable. It simply works as advertised. Have had no problems as yet.  I wish it had  an interface to Youtube.

I havent covered the remote control..

The provided remote has very few buttons, a home button, a back button, pause button, ok button and 4 directional buttons..to move the cursor up,down,left and right.  Once you use it a few minutes the navigation is simple and intuitive.

I had a bad hdmi cable initially, that when inserted the Roku would turn off… Once I solved that problem by replacing the cable it worked very well with a nice picture. For that matter even with the A/V composite cables it works well.

The only “annoyance” is I have yet to find a universal remote control that works with the Roku. It would be nice not to have yet another remote control to lose. Lose the remote and you are dead in the water…

For specifications and details on Roku devices visit roku.com.

A good deal for the price…..

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Comments

2 Responses to “My review of the Roku / Netgear NTV250 (Roku XD)”

  1. J Ward on January 19th, 2012 3:36 pm

    harmony works well, just set up as cable / stb under a netgear ntv250 and it works just fine.

  2. Muriel on May 27th, 2017 10:07 pm

    I coulԀn’t resist сommenting. Peгfectly ѡritten!

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