I have been wanting a way to get my "watch now" content from my Netflix account onto my TV. Up until a couple weeks ago I had been playing with a PC application called "PlayOn" from MediaMall. It worked ok most of the time, but they are still having some issues with the new Silverlight Netflix player and since they are not officially involved with any of the media providers they have been forced to work around any issues that come up on their own. They usually fixed issues within a week or so, but the downtime has been quite frequent. (Note: PlayOn is still in beta)
I had heard about the Roku Netflix player before, but I really didn't want to pay $100 for the privilege of watching my Netflix movies on my TV ...especially before they got the Starz content. There just wasn't that much stuff that interested me. Now that they added Starz I decided to look back into the player because I figured it might be worth it to pay extra for a sanctioned Netflix device. Not only was I impressed with how much better the Neflix experience was on the Roku, (You are able to fast-forward, rewind, resume playback, rate movies, and remove watched movies all of which can't be done via PlayOn at the moment), but I started looking into their forums and found that they were getting ready to release an update to enable HD Netflix movies and additional content!
I bought the Roku immediately once I heard that news. I got it last Friday, and have since been able to update to the new 1.5 firmware that enables the HD Netflix and has a placeholder for the new content that is supposed to be appearing in early 2009. There is no mention what the content will be for sure, but a lot of people are expecting/wishing for Hulu (including me) ...Whatever it is I'm sure it'll be a nice addition, though.
Check out the link below ..then check out the forums. I was surprised at how open they are about the product. They have a sticky thread dedicated to those people interested in knowing what makes the box tick and all of it's technical jargon. All of that is over my head, but I found it interesting to read none-the-less. One of the more interesting things to note is that it doesn't have an on/off switch. It consumes so little power that they just decided not to include one. 4-watts while idle ...5 watts while playing movies. That's friggin amazing to me.
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