DVD renter Netflix has started selling set-top boxes that allow its subscribers to watch streamed movies. The box is made by Roku and links up to your wireless, or wired, network and TV. The $99.99 box will then stream content straight to your telly. Netflix is best known for renting DVDs but claims it has 10,000 titles …
I'm a happy Roku Soundbridge user. No, haven't hacked into them (yet), but they are reliable. And since I'm also a Netflix customer, this could be a nice win.
Now why didn't I hear about this from Netflix themselves? Hmm...
I'd still like to be able to view (easily) from Linux and not be forced to use Winblows for "Play Now" use. Perhaps that's in the pipeline; the Soundbridge product is a Linux box.
Netflix should buy LoveFilm
When are Netflix going to buy LoveFilm and bring that device over here!
You actually only need a $12 a month account for unlimited access to the streaming feature (though you only get 2 DVD rentals at a time). The video quality is decent, identical to a DVD so far as I can tell (a 90 minute movie, works out to be about 3 gigabytes) though you only get stereo sound. The performance is good as well, over my 8Mb connection there is typically only a 10sec delay before the video starts and no hitching or buffering thereafter.
To be honest though, as it stands the selection is pretty weak. There are some good films and television shows available, but most of those 10,000 titles aren't much use unless you enjoy exercise videos and TV shows like Charles in Charge. After a couple months of regular use, I have largely exhausted the possibilities. Apart from requiring Windows and the use of IE, it seems like a good platform for streaming films over the internet. Since I can connect my laptop to my television, I don't see much value in a dedicated box though, at least not until there is enough quality content for it to largely replace DVD rentals.
Buy TiVo now!
PS3 version plz
I really can't be arsed with yet another box and wires littering the area around my telly.
So will this cause Comcast (and other high-bandwidth-offering ISPs) to restrict more services and claim more users are "unfairly" transferring "exceptionally high" amounts of data using the bandwidth they were offered and are paying for?
from the Roku Site FAQ: "the Netflix Player can be used in any of the 50 United States. Some of our customers even take it with them on vacation."
I guess with the $ in the tank relative to the Euro and Pound, they must figure that no one in the US goes on vaction outside of "the 50 United States".
But for a US Expat (in Germany), who was drooling at the ability to watch something other than overdubbed A-Team episodes, it's a bit disappointing.
stereo only and 3gb is a very compressed DVD (they are usually ~7-9gig)
also i dont guess that many ISPs in the UK can stream that well :( (3gb in 1.5 hours!!)
i will stick with my tesco dvd rental i think :)
Well I guess there might be some kind of software to use with the set-top boxes, where you have to download the movie over your crappy 8ish mbps lines and THEN stream by good old wifi to the box. I downloaded 1 gig in 45 mins the other day, and thats flat out @ 600Kbps (notice the capital K)
so the only option is for them to either allow people to stream low quality standard def video (like bbci player quality) or allow the download of the entire film before playing it on your telly via the box..
Its not that bad really.
3gb can be done in under 3 hours, but for a quick fix and an unplanned friend gathering, i would still opt for blockbuster..
paris because she knows a lot about "a quick fix"
I dont have a coat, its too hot
almost dvd quality
Looks like an another nail in the coffin of vhs / 8mm rentals