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Comments

Tom

Thomas Hawk's #2 point is 100% correct, content is important.

junkfood

Got mine yesterday. Hardest part was figuring out how I was going to hook it up because I'm all out of ports on my TV. Settled for unplugging the DVD player and was up and going in 5 minutes. (This weekend I'll have to go get a switcher box.)

I tried to hook it up at the prime Net usage hours for my neighborhood so I only got 2 out of 4 on the quality scale, but it still looked as good as cable TV and the movie started playing in about 30 seconds.

urban bohemian

I watched that NYT video on my Tivo, very strange but kinda funny. The main points everyone seems to be making are quality and availability of content. Which are important since Netflix seems to be a master of "we're working on it".

At home my Mac Mini is connected to my HDTV, but it's useless for Netflix since they don't support Mac viewing (and the mini may only be slightly larger than the Roku Player) but they're "working on it". I would love to see the availability of closed captions on streamed video, they're "working on it".

Right now it sounds like an appealing idea, but until there's more content available, I still think $110-120 (after shipping) will be a hard sell even for the gadget queens.

Andy Mason

When my economic stimulus check arrives from Dubya I shall invest $100 of it in one of these nifty devices. I am British and I've noticed that there is a good portion of the Watch Instantly library that contains British TV, which is attractive to me, especially the Masterpiece Theatre productions.

My step-son has a Mac and is a Netflix subscriber. If I were to purchase one of these devices for him would he be able to create an Instant Watching queue through Netflix on his mac so that he could use the Roku player?

Nick Sayer

"My step-son has a Mac and is a Netflix subscriber. If I were to purchase one of these devices for him would he be able to create an Instant Watching queue through Netflix on his mac so that he could use the Roku player?"

Yes. You can use any browser to maintain your Netflix Queue - both the instant queue and the DVD queue. Once you have titles in the instant queue, you can use the Roku player to watch them.

You could also use either Boot Camp or VMWare Fusion / Parallels Desktop to run Windows and watch movies that way (so long as your mac is an Intel one).

kh

Thomas Hawk says: "Would I pay $100 to buy a box that streams me old episodes of Columbo or Xena Warrior Princess Season 1? No."

But I think he underestimates the number of people who would.

Snowpuff

I think most reviewers misunderstand this product completely. It's an inexpensive extension of your Netflix subscription. It's NOT a standalone product.

And contrary to the reviewers who criticize the content on instant viewing... for $99 TOTAL there is quite a bit of content to watch!! With more added all the time. How much is a month of satellite or cable TV compared to $99?

I'm in for one.

Jimmy Suggs

Does streaming video really slow down net usage that much?

Gowan

Speaking of people not wanting more boxes, Sony announced deals yesterday with most major cable companies to support cable card natively on their sets and develop two-way communication for cable card.

evie

I got mine yesterday and love it. It far exceeded my expectations in terms of quickness and QUALITY. And in terms of having another box, it's not that big a deal to me because it is so tiny. It sits next to my Slingbox on top of my Tivo. Easy. Also, I got rid of my cable box for cable cards because I never used the Video on Demand feature anyway -- the software sucked and was more painful to deal with than it was worth. The software on this unit is a dream by comparison.

I, too, am hoping for more and more content, but I like a lot of what they have now. I've been meaning to go back and watch The Office from the beginning (only started watching it recently) -- and yesterday I was easily able to start! Love it.

Ann Onymous

2. The content on the box is not very compelling. Do I want Netflix "Watch Now" in my living room? Sure. Would I pay $100 to buy a box that streams me old episodes of Columbo or Xena Warrior Princess Season 1? No.

It's not up to Netflix what choices go on Instant Watch. It has to due with the studios and content holders. They are the ones who give Netflix the OK to put the movie online (they even provide the digital version of the film to Netflix, so if you have quality complaints, thats also the studio).

Why would Netflix purposely not put good new releases online? And if you're wondering why more studios don't want to put brand new movies online... well, check around and you will quickly see that new movies on the internet hasn't gone too well in the past. Hopefully more studios will catch on with Instant Watch in the future as it grows and becomes more popular.

In the meantime, shutup and enjoy your Xena :-p

Stephen Worth

I tried to watch the David Pogue video and the first time I loaded the page, nothing showed up. The next time it sat on a screen that said "The video will start after this brief advertisement." It sat there for a full minute. Then I reloaded again and the video started playing... and stopping every 45 seconds. I wonder why more people haven't gone to streaming video over the internet?

Old Timer Too

I'm surprised the cost is as low as it is, considering this is the first box specifically for the NF watch now feature.

Will I bother with one? Nope.

I like the portability of DVDs too much and having brought in a bunch and then watched them on whatever TV/DVD was available (home theater, living room, or bedroom) is a nice feature.

eviltimes

Like biting the head off a chicken, this is another geek trick that will only lead to tears.

"So shut up and watch yer Xena."

Belgand

While I enjoy the occasional film in instant I generally prefer the actual disc in many cases. Some things, e.g. TV shows, generally work fine over instant and let me watch them more sporadically without having to devote one of my precious mailings to it.

The quality, however, is often far too low. The sound quality is equally low with no support for higher quality sound or any sort of actual choice. Are people really willing to give up their 7.1 DTS-ES Discrete (or even plain old DTS... or even moderately decent sound) just to watch something quickly?

Not to mention missing out on things like subtitles and commentaries or anything else on the disc. For anime especially the ability to watch in the original language with subtitles is pretty important to me and many others.

I view instant viewing as an occasionally convenient extra. Fit for a few things and often films that I know my girlfriend will have little to no interest in or that I'm vaguely interested in, but don't want to set aside a full disc for. If it was offered free on TiVo I'd be interested, but $100 for a box that does nothing else? I'm not even remotely interested even if I had the money.

Jeff

I just ordered one. I don't watch a lot of TV because there's never anything on that I want to see. Despite the limited catalog, I was able to quickly add 90+ titles to my watch instantly queue. With my TV habits that could take two years to watch, so now I always have something to watch when I turn on the set. That's worth $99.

I'm a sucker for documentaries and older movies, so there's plenty for me to watch. Besides, there's always another DVD in my mailbox, so I'm getting a pretty well-rounded entertainment package for a darned good price.

Becky

I love my Netflix Player!

Frank

The quality, however, is often far too low
With a braodband connection (not dsl) the quality is comparable to that of a DVD.

Chuck Harrington

I ordered my player the first morning of a week ago Tuesday. Got an email saying it would ship in a day or two. Then 3 days later got an email saying it would ship this week. 9 days and waiting, still no shipment. Called Roku (800) number, got a dating service. They had put the wrong phone number in the first email I got from them. The player will certainly fail if they can't deliver product. They appear to have gotten tens of thousands of orders, but may have shipped less than 3000.

Andy

Got mine yesterday - it's not as smart as AppleTV which you can configure to use both wired and wireless (wireless is only active when the wired link is down), but otherwise the setup was very smooth. I just upgraded to a 16M/2M Comcast IP service so I had no problems getting full quality through all 4 movies.

Corey3rd

far as "new" content goes, Netflix will never have the latest hot DVD title on Watch Now because the movie rights window isn't there. The film is still on Pay-Per-View. And no movie studio is going to screw DVD and Pay-Per-View to give it away on Watch Now without the same returns. On top of that, they still have their deals with HBO and Showtime. These windows have to be shut before Netflix can get the title on Watchnow. It's all about maximizing revenue streams and Watchnow can quickly damn up that flow.

Waiting...

David Pogue is quite possibly the most annoying man on the face of the planet.

Just making conversation as I try to pass the time while waiting on my Netflix Player to arrive.

Wow, that's some weather we're having.

ILoveRichardSimmons

Wow, that has to be the most annoying video I have ever watched. Although I see the guy's point he also had a few inaccuracies. First off, the picture on the Roku box is fine, the reference to DSL does not apply because the box requires a minimum of 1.5 mbps and you MUST have Broadband. Also, although Netflix is limited to 10,000 titles on IW currently their goal is to have the entire catalog available eventually. There are pro's and con's to each new device we see but this guy took about 30 seconds worth of information and thinly spread it over almost 4 minutes of footage.

Seems like a lot of hullabaloo for such an insignificant amount of information.

Robert

I got mine last night and am VERY impressed. I have mine hooked up via wifi using the optical audio and component video (the one with three RCA plugs) to my 50" plasma. I give it five stars. Easy set up. Beautiful picture (looks better than SD cable). Simple interface.

The only thing to complain about is the limited movie selection - but that will improve with time.

At 99 bucks, this is a no-brianer.

I thought there would be issues using it over wifi. There are none. I thought it would be the same crappy picture I get on my computer monitor when using the watch now service. It is a thousand times better.

The picture is near-HD. I am getting four dots of connection speed (on the Roku interface), so I am probably getting the best picture quality. Movies take 30 seconds to start.

Simply an amazing piece of technology.

By the way, setting it with my Harmony remote was a PITA. I had to teach it all of the commands and then fix the timing of the signals. It was sending each signal twice. I was eventually able to fix this through the troubleshooting interface.

Setting up the Roku - about 5 minutes - incluing the time it took me to fish wires to my AV receiver.

Setting up my Harmony Remote to work with the Roku - about 2 hours.

X9

I'm amazed at how short sighted some of the negative reviews can be. It's like they are bashing it just for the sake of bashing it.

No enough content yet? Do they think Netflix will never add more? Are they totally ignorant of the concepts of IP and licensing? What are they doing writing about media devices if they haven't passed Media 101.

"People" don't want more boxes? Did he take a scientific survey? Most likely he asked a few home theater friends who are out at about five sigmas on the Gaussian tail and called that a representative sample. I love folks who think they know what the whole country thinks.

X9

I'm amazed at how short sighted some of the negative reviews can be. It's like they are bashing it just for the sake of bashing it.

No enough content yet? Do they think Netflix will never add more? Are they totally ignorant of the concepts of IP and licensing? What are they doing writing about media devices if they haven't passed Media 101.

"People" don't want more boxes? Did he take a scientific survey? Most likely he asked a few home theater friends who are out at about five sigmas on the Gaussian tail and called that a representative sample. I love folks who think they know what the whole country thinks.

Grant

Sounds great to me. The only thing holding me back is waiting to see what other players will be coming out.

hrsd

I agree with Hawk's both points 1 and 2. I have too many boxes now....dvd, cable, vcr (for my old family videos), wii and now a roku. The area behind the tv looks like a bowl of spagetti. Plus, the Roku doesn't yet offer new movies. Plus, the movies are not HD. However, I guess netflix is moving towards making the newer ones available. Dunno how much royalty will they have to pay to the movie studios for doing that. I will just sit and watch. Not too crazy at this point to buy a Roku.

Nflx Newzie

A Netflix phone rep reports receiving about one call in a 10 hour shift about the 'box'
-film at 11

Nflx Newzie

A Netflix phone rep reports receiving about one call in a 10 hour shift about the 'box'
-film at 11

Nflx Newzie

A Netflix phone rep reports receiving about one call in a 10 hour shift about the 'box'
-film at 11

Nflx Newzie

A Netflix phone rep reports receiving about one call in a 10 hour shift about the 'box'
-film at 11

It's a given that the more toys connected to your entertainment system the better, so why not put the Netflix viewer in a stereo receiver? Add a TIVO or DVR and wait to see what the next innovation in home entertainment will be. It won't be long until I find myself fighting beside Sly in the latest Rambo movie with the help of my Wii. Or maybe even Driving Miss Daisy!!!

Nic

I received mine a week ago. The install was a breeze except 2 things (a) it has problems with the Belkin wireless G router's firewall, you have to disable it (b) once it goes into sleep mode for extended time, it loses wireless connectivity and fails to reconnect even if you hit try again. You have to unplug the power and replug to reboot it.

Once it a while in a middle of the streaming movie, the box will restart itself. It has happened 3 times in 1 week.

They have bugs to resolve for sure. I called Roku support and they recommended replacing the box.

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