January 07, 2009

Roku Netflix Player

Our Roku player for Netflix arrived yesterday. Took maybe 10 minutes to install - power cord, a couple of video cables, and wireless internet. Did not take long to get it talking to the wireless (manually inputting the security password) and then to register the deice with netflix (a code input from the computer). And we were ready to go.

The biggest issue is inputs - we presently have an ancient Magnavox television with only a CATV input, so we have DVD -> VCR (Line In) -> TV inputs. For now, I swapped the Roku in for the DVD but I suspect I am gonna go find a low cost video switcher to hook it all up permanently. At least until the TV dies on us.

I demo'd it for Zippy (who I suspect, will not be able to work it without me, but we shall see) and watched an episode of All Creatures Great & Small - the video quality was fine, as good if not better than coming off CPTV / Comcast. We're not an HDTV or flat-screen house (and it will probably be a long time until we are) so the video quality is fine.....

Pretty excited - with an $8.99 / Month Netflix account we get unlimited downloads - and they have 12,000+ titles available. Not everything, but lots of old BBC television (Dibley, Appearances, Creatures, Ballykisssangel), lots of foreign films, lots of independents, and a smattering of recent hits and television series (I'm presently plowing through 30Rock)

Pretty amazing little bit of technology - integrating streaming video and the internet with existing television. I'm sold.

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