Roku Netflix Player

Posted by: zwei

Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 05:22 PM

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.


PS ...the box looks quite ugly via the pics on their site, but when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised with how it looked. It's very small and the led on the front really adds to the visual appeal.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 06:16 PM

Checking it out now. Wondering what the cost per rental is?

I found this a bit misleading:

The built in wifi part. TV has that built in and I think it came out before this. And the "simplest set up" is another one that I think the TV is probably better at. The warranty's are the same on both. Can't find the power requirements of the AppleTV or the size of this Roku.

Looks interesting, especially if all you have to do is pay the initial $99 and have free movies!

Posted by: zwei

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 06:24 PM

The Roku box stands ~1.75" tall ...and it's almost exactly the same size as a CD case.

While the movies are "free" do have to have a netflix account. That's ~$9 a month for 1 at a time w/unlimited streaming.

If they add Hulu, etc. Those would be absolutely free to use.

The setup is VERY simple ...probably simpler than the AppleTV, but only because it doesn't have to interact with your computer.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 06:28 PM

I used to have a Netflix account a long time ago.

So, if I got the cheapest account (1 at a time), it would only let me watch 1 movie at a time with this? (not that I can watch more than one at a time! heh) And when you say Unlimited streaming, do you mean that we can choose to watch say 4 different movies in one day?
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 06:34 PM

Ah, I see it now:

Can I instantly watch movies streamed from Netflix over the Internet to my TV?
Yes you can, if you are on an unlimited plan.

Unlimited Plans
$8.99 a month - 1 DVD out at-a-time
(Exchange DVDs as often as you want) plus
Instantly watch online on your PC or Mac or instantly on your TV via a Netflix ready device - all for no additional monthly fee. Instantly watch as often as you want, anytime you want.

Too bad they don't have just internet based option!

Posted by: zwei

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 06:43 PM

Actually, they do. It's a Starz only plan. It's not worth it though. It's $7.99. I can't see not spending the extra change and getting 4 or so DVD/Blu-ray discs as well!
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 07:01 PM

I still want to see a Blu-ray movie but I don't want to pay for a PS3/blu ray player just yet.
Posted by: zwei

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 07:12 PM

If you want Blu-ray as well ...there are actually other players that let you stream netflix too. Roku isn't the only one around ...although I wouldn't expect the other devices to add new content

Although the PS3 is the killer Blu-ray player at the moment. I'm really liking it. The quality is outstanding. Although I have found that some movies are overly dramatic with the lighting/saturation. Things look a bit hyper-real.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Roku Netflix Player - 12/23/08 07:14 PM

Thanks for the original info btw. I passed it along to my brother who's interested in it too.

I wish there was a place to rent a blu ray player or PS3!