I got on line with a Roku support guy via a Chat session last night. It was pretty cool. He said any Roku 2 model would work. A few questions later I pressed him to make a specific model recommendation, and he suggested the LH model, since I have a CRT TV; this Roku model provides only 720p HD. Makes sense. I also asked him if some manufacturers of wireless routers worker better with Roku than ohters, and he said Roku has not had a problem with any routers, although he suggested Lynksys routers. The router just has to be able to deliver 2.4 GHz. (I think that's what he said. I was supposed to receive a copy of the chat session in my email, but I did not receive it.... I could have easily copied & pasted it to a Word doc.
SELECTING A WIRELESS ROUTER
Now things get even more complicated, as I must also look forward to my network as it expands. I did a lot of research about this, and concluded that I should get the most advanced and capable wireless router I can, while choosing one that is relatively trouble-free. It came down to: Linksys EA-6500 vs. Asus RT-AC66U. These both provide the pending new standard of draft IEEE 802.11ac as well as the forthcoming ISP protocol IPv6. I'm leaning towards the Asus. It seems to have a better info display to see operating status and three detachable external antennae (better range and some directional capabiltiy, I think). The biggest drawback to both of these routers is that they only have an USB 2.0 port. You'd think they would have 3.0.
I may have to upgrade my TWC-provided modem router; I don't know if I'm now missing something in the way of performance and reliability. It seems to work OK, but as I searched the TWC web site for various info, I discovered that my cable modem is not even listed as an available optiion any longer! They do have integrated modem/wireless routers, but just about all of their offerings (on any device) were still at the IEEE 802.11b level, and there is no mention of IPv4 or IPv6. So, if I upgrade, I'll buy my own and try to turn in my old cable modem for a reduction on my monthly TWC bill. (I hope. These TWC reps want to choke you when you start mentioning things that reduce your monthly bill; they get almost nasty, as if it were a personal afront to them.)
THE OVERALL GOAL (PICTURE) OF MY DESIRED NETWORK CAPABILITY
With the wireless router as a hub (central point of explanation) I am trying to have these components work harmoniously:
Computer - prefer to hard-wire this via ethernet cable (more assurance of privacy?; better communication)
TV - only one for now. May provide a second Roku for a second TV if the first one works well.
NAS - to backup my computer (on the fly) as well as act as a server to store & play my library of music wirelessly. This is why I want a USB 3.0 connection of the wireless router, although I seem have read/understood that an ethernet connection is faster than USB 2.0 (?) (or even 3.0 ?) The type(s) of HDDs to install also complicate the setup.
Apple iPad - (waiting for v2 of the iPad Mini) to play music stored on the NAS through the iPad (via earbuds)
Stereo system/speakers - will have to get a very good wireless receiver for this (high end DAC); I've looked at these and have a good model tagged in my Favorites folder. Will need to see my entire iTunes library/playlist on the iPad and make selections on the iPad. This may be the trickiest feat of all, although I know that the Sonos system has proprietary software that acts like iTunes on a pad.... Later....
Satelite speakers - play these in some other room, away from the stereo system (this option would be way down the road)
Any thoughts on a wireless router? I read that user experiences are so varied that you can't use user ratings as a guide for selecting the "best" wireless router. This pretty much reflects my research of user feedback, e.g., at NewEgg. I tend to be a guy who buy products with the most features ("advanced") to stave off obsolescence as long as possible. No manufacuturer seems to have great customer support. (After I get Netflix working, then I'll select the NAS.)
PS - I occured to me that some brands of wireless routers work better with some brands of NAS units. I guess I'll have select these two items simultaneously for an expected optimal result.