Why I Chose Against the Roku Digital Video Player and Picked Insignia Blu-Ray – A Limited Review

April 16, 2010DavidGeneral, Reviews

I started up with Netflix again, I was thrilled to discover the possibility of watching streaming movies on my tv.  I have no problem watching on my widescreen lcd monitor, but it is much more comfortable to watch on a big tv from the comfort of the couch.  I came within an inch of purchasing a Roku Digital Video Player but eventually I did not make the purchase.  Instead I purchased the Insignia Blu-Ray Player (the wireless one — NS-WBRDVD).  Here’s why:

1. First you should know that the $79.99 Roku Player (the Roku SD) does not allow you to take advantage of Netflix’s HD content.  I was ready to roll at this low price of $80 until I realized that I wouldn’t be able to watch HD Netflix content unless I purchased the $100 Roku HD.  Fine. $20 isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things and since HD make a world of difference, I plannned to go for the Roku HD.   Note that the only difference I can see between the Roku HD and the Roku HD XR is the fact that the XR model has wireless-N.  I do not believe that $30 is worth it to add wireless-N (and as it turns out with my Insignia NS-WBRDVD which currently runs on my wireless G network does a superb job for Netflix — so no need to go with wireless-N for this purpose).  So at this point I was ready to purchase the $100 Roku HD player.

2. Until I read the reviews…..Looking on the Roku site, the reviews for all three Roku products were overwhelmingly positive.  AMAZINGLY, the average review for ALL THREE products was 4.4.  And taking a look at the reviews, all of the responses are very similar and I didn’t see negative comments.  That was a red light for me — any company that has a product with what are basically 100% positive reviews causes me to raise an eyebrow.  Take a look for yourself — scroll down and look at the product titles — under them you will see the rankings and you can click to read the reviews.

To get what I believed to be a more accurate review and headed to  I was very disappointed to see what I found.  The basic gist of the matter was that if you received the product and it worked right out of the box, then you would be in good shape with a great product.  The problem was that if you had a problem with the device, wanted to return the product under the money-back guarantee, or just had a technical problem, that the company’s support was non-existent.  Thus, there were a bulk of reviews in the 4-5 star range, but also a bulge of reviews in the 1 star range, too.

At this point I had a choice to make:  should I spend $100 and roll the dice  that it may cost me a few hours of my life straightening things out if there were a problem with the Roku, or should I spend $180 on the Insignia Blu-Ray Netflix enabled player.    No question — Insignia hands down. So while I never actually owned a Roku player, their customer service reputation preceded them.  I elected to go with the Best Buy Insignia product instead, where if I had a problem, getting a new unit would be as simple as driving down the road to the store…

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