Imagine a magic box that cost only $99 and gave you access to a decent library of DVD-quality movies and TV shows anywhere, anytime and without any monthly fees. You could take it on vacation, move it from room to room, or just connect it to the biggest TV in your house and enjoy. That's the Roku Netflix player in a nutshell. Of course there are some caveats - and this certainly isn't going to be a perfect fit for everyone - but we'll tear it apart and discover who may rank this with the second coming, and who may find it completely insignificant.
Discuss "Roku Netflix Player Set-top Box Review" here. Read the article.
I have had this box virtually since its inception about six weeks ago. LOVE IT! I bought it for my wife who loves to have a movie 'on' but not watch it while working in the kitchen and who has constantly complained about having to go 'select a DVD, load it, wade through the menu, and change it when it's over'.... Not a bad word out of her mouth since. Happy wife = happy life This box is everything Netflix promised and more and they have committed to being a firmware upgrade away from full HD content (hence the HDMI). Can't wait.
I will be relocating to S. Korea and would love to know if this Roku Netflix player will be able to work through a "local S. Korea" web service (ISP)? It will be Broadband. so far when over there no US based VOD service has worked. I have a qury into Netflix but so far no response.
I bought this a week ago under the assumption PS3 would not be on board with getting the streaming service.
Xbox360 announced Netflix support so those who have a 360 have no need for this now.
But on one side note did anyone from Audioholics plug this into a power meter to see what type of wattage it draws?
Because that may be a big benefit of using this box over a console.
Not only that, it is so easy to use my wife picked up the remote and just started watching something without asking any questions.
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I think you nailed the breakdown of who will like it and why. I can immediately think of several people who will love it. I think it is a great step in the right direction. But for me, the lack of 5.1 audio and percentage of 4:3 flicks kills my interest for now. I typically watch 2 or 3 movies a week and virtually no TV, and all in my theater - so I want the full monte.....
Thanks for the great review - I did not even realize this was shipping yet!
Politics? Hollywood for ugly people...
Well Netflix now has a FAQ section, link here
The Roku device will only work in the US: "A Netflix ready device can only be used within the 50 US States and the District of Columbia. Movies and TV episodes cannot be watched instantly in any other location."
Oh well, looks like I have to still bring a $hitze load of DVDs with me.
I was waiting to see how things panned out for Netflix on other players I currently have. I have the AppleTV and find it barely acceptable for SD movies while HD movies are so expensive most of the time I wait for netflix delivery of the BluRay. It is useful as a iTunes player for my wife. She loves it and was only $75 more than a base station for my Onkyo875 but way better. I also have the Xbox360 and it is quite good for SD and HD but HD movies do not always start right away and may take up to an hour on my 6mbit connection so I tend to use the AppleTV for HD on demand. I was waiting for Netflix on the 360 but now that I found out a Gold XBOXLive Membership is required for netflix streaming at $50 a year I finally ordered the $99 Roku box. What pushed me over the edge was actually your comment about being able to take it with you. I tend to travel to rental vacation homes quite often and this would be a great companion over my laptop I traditionally used for this purpose. Thanks for the review
Off topic from the Roku, but I've got a quick question for you, Autoboy. You mentioned you have the AppleTV and find it barely acceptable for SD movies, now is this for rentals from Apple or your own encoded DVDs?
If it's the latter, it could be the manner in which you're creating them. I've yet to d/l any movies from the iTunes Store as of yet, but w/about 120 DVDs I've encoded so far for use on the Apple TV and not even having put a dent in my collection, I doubt I will for a while unless I travel with it... -TD
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I'm interested in this ROKU box, but have one question: along with Netflix movies, will it also play movies I've downloaded (avi's, e.g.) onto my Mac? If not, how do I play these movies over my wireless onto my flat-screen, which is in a different part of the house?
The Roku player will only play items from netflix and amazon.
For streaming your files a media PC would work well. The x-box or PS3 might do it - I haven't tried. When I used to stream I used my hacked Directv tivo box ...