Roku NetFlix Box Debuts, Jaws Drop
While it was only a matter of time before a Netflix set-top-box was revealed, few would have expected it today. The box from Roku is capable of pulling, from your Netflix queue, any “watch now” titles/shows and thereby streaming via the Roku unit. The box itself is HDD-less, and simply buffers the stream from Netflix. In a move that’s likely to placate just about any user of the Roku device, they’ve gone ahead and included just about every modern video ouput (including component and HDMI), along with wireless and wired internet connectivity options to boot.
Additionally, there is no service fee for using the Roku box, aside from the minimum option on Netflix that includes unlimited “watch now” capabilities, and the box itself will only set you back a measly $99 bucks, which certainly beats the pants of Apple’s set-top solution, Apple TV.
Critics will be quick to point out that Netflix doesn’t offer HD “watch now” titles/shows, but this too is rumored to change, perhaps even sooner than we think. Add to that the fact that Roku’s box includes HDMI/Component output, and is said to be upgradeable to accommodate HD streaming, consumers might just have the best/cheapest HD streaming option to date.
Roku wasn’t the first to draw digital-distribution-blood but if the reviews for the device are any indication, they’ve managed to really knock this one out of the park. With that said, we’re willing to bet Netflix users across the board will likely be adding this little guy to their birthday/holiday wishlists this year, especially once the HD Netflix support goes live.
Roku’s product page, here