Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: Roku 2 XS, WD TV Live Streaming Media Player, Apple TV 2, Mushkin Enchanced Chronos – RRPG012

RRPG_thumbThis week the guys help Jim buy his first SSD. They talk in depth about the characteristics and inner workings of SSDs while trying to help Jim get the best bang for the buck. Though it’s an excellent choice, you might be surprised to see what Jim finally settles on.

The guys also discuss media streaming devices in the sub-$100 range. Over the last month, Rich had been testing the Roku 2 XS, WD TV Live Plus, WD TV Live Streaming Media Player, and Apple TV 2. The following is by no means an in depth review, but rather an evaluation of points relevant to what Rich wants specifically in a media streaming device. That said, the devices are listed in order of worst to first.

Listen Mobile:


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While the UI is probably the 2nd best of this lot, the Roku 2 XS is a poor choice for streaming network shares, despite availability of a few 3rd party channels (apps?) that are supposed to provide that functionality. The channels seem to work, then they don’t. Kind of fiddly, and frankly a pain in the neck. So the Roku will be going back to Best Buy for a refund.




WD TV Live Plus is quite excellent in that it is able to see and connect to all the network shares right out of the box. And it streams a more formats than the Roku. However, its UI was the worst of these four. So back it goes, also.





WD TV Live Streaming Media Player is the successor to the Plus. It has all the flexibility and functionality of the Plus along with a nicely improved UI. Everything works right out of the box. Very easy. This is a device you could live with. However…





Of all the devices tested, the Apple TV 2 has the slickest UI. And while it’s limited out of the box to iTunes Home Sharing only, there is a workable hack that lets you install XBMC which gives you access to shares on your local network. It’s also quicker responding than

So if you’re not afraid to do a little research and jailbreaking, the Apple TV 2 combined with XBMC will give you a great overall experience. If you’re not into hacking/jailbreaking or you’re an exclusive iTunes user, then the Apple TV 2 may be your cup of tea. Most iTunes users will probably think so. But if you need a box that gives you access to network shares and a decent overall experience, you may want to consider the WD TV Live Streaming Media Player.



In the show this week: Jim Collison, Rich O’Neil, Mike Howard, John Stutsman, Tim Black, Michael Martis and Mike Faucher


Rich’s RPG is a weekly show hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering whatever’s interesting – hot or not, current or historical. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. We welcome newcomers. Got a headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or

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