John Small wrote:
Thanks for all the info!
Everyone's telling me not to get a Roku 2, but unfortunately I do not want wireless in my home, and the Roku 2 4210 is the only non-wireless box. (All other models either have no ethernet, or have Wi-Fi Direct remotes, which I'm told still transmit Wi-Fi even if you turn Wi-Fi off.)
Then again, I'm not even sure if Roku is right for me - it sounds to me like all the free apps have commercials, which I don't want. I had been quite optimistic when Mike said that Amazon and Netflix don't have commercials, but now I see that these are premium services, which I don't want. Here in the UK, the TV license alone is more than enough to spend on TV, and there are plenty of excellent terrestrial channels, so I would never need to buy more.
From what I can work out from Google, Roku only has a handful of channels that are both free and commercial-free (namely PBS, Timeless Television, and Pub-D-Hub). I'm not sure if these channels alone are worth the cost of a Roku box. I'll think about it.
The 4210 does not support analog video. For both Ethernet and analog video, you are correct that the 2 XS (3100) is the only option. Trust me, I have an old 2 XS and you would absolutely hate using it because of the slow performance. You are correct that there are few no cost channels with no commercials. Even YouTube has commercials, although you can skip almost all of them after 5 seconds. Also, since you are in the UK there's no guaranty that you can access any of the free, non-commercial channels. Each region has different permissions, and the channel owner can designate in which regions their channels are permitted to work. If you are an Amazon Prime member already, then you can stream much of their catalog for free. So before you decide to buy a Roku you are sure your desired channels will actually work in the UK.
As far as no-commercial channels, someone has to pay for the content they provide and the bandwidth necessary to stream the content. In my experience the ad-supported channels usually don't have the greatest quality videos, anyway. I'd rather pay Netflix or Amazon for the quality streams they provide. And both Amazon and Netflix are a fixed cost, regardless of how many shows you watch. I realize your cost incentives are different from us here in the States, but for me it is still far cheaper to pay for Amazon (which I use for Prime shipping, so video is a no cost extra for me) and Netflix, compared to almost $200 per month for my Dish Network service.