Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Arts, GigaOM, High-definition television, Netflix, Roku, Standard-definition television, Television, Video
Roku, the company whose set-top box originally made it possible to stream Netflix content on TVs, has come out with two new video players. The Roku SD supports standard-definition content of 480i and costs about $80; the Roku HD-XR supports 702p video and retails for $130. Digital Trends(10/27)
By 2013, there could be as many as 46 million homes worldwide with 3-D-capable TV sets, according to GigaOM Pro analyst Alfred Poor, who added that the rate of uptake would be greatly affected by cost considerations. Sony and Panasonic, both of whom have said they will launch 3-D HDTVs next year, are likely to lead the way. Yahoo!/The Associated Press (10/26
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, Apple Store, AppleInsider, Microsoft, Netflix, Roku, Western Digital, XBox
Roku intends to introduce its streaming HD from Netflix before next year. Roku plans to make use of Advanced Profile encoding that will enable it to offer consumers HD content at lower bit rates, compared with the Xbox offering, according to Electronista. Electronista (11/3)
Western Digital has debuted its WD TV Media Player, a device that lets viewers save large amounts of entertainment content on an external USB storage drive. The device plays video and music, displays photos and does not require networking equipment to link a computer to a TV. InformationWeek (11/3)
Microsoft reportedly has placed a branded kiosk outside an Apple Store in Birmingham, England, to fend off recent jabs Apple has taken at the company’s products, according to an AppleInsider report. Pocket-lint.co.uk (11/3)
Filed under: Feature | Tags: Apple, Apple TV, Arts, Entertainment, Netflix, Roku, Shopping, Television
DROP IT LIKE ITS HOT: ROKU MAKES ME HAPPY
I finally got the Roku out of the box and took it for a test drive. After 1 minute connecting to my wireless network and Netflix account, I was on my way. The hardest part of the entire process was probably upgrading my Netflix package to accommodate for the device (I was one of those people on the next-to-nothing plan).
The device immediately searched through my queue of 100 titles to pull out the 10 that were available instantly to watch.
I’m assuming you’ve heard about the Roku but if not here’s the skinny. The device allows you to watch titles in your Netflix queue (available to watch instantly) on your television screen rather than just your computer screen.
The Roku is exceptionally easy to use. The interface is simple in the vein of Apple interface design. The only choice the user is allowed to make is which title to watch from those available. No searching or adding titles is allowed. I’m down with that especially being that my computer is always seconds away. Here’s my only request: Allow viewers the ability to watch trailers for those titles available.
Selection of Titles
Roku’s site boasts 10,000 titles but in searching for titles which mattered to me, I was a little disappointed. That said, I’m sure selection will improve over time.
Quality of Video
Connections exist for both HD and SD even though Netflix only currently offers titles in SD quality. That’s bound to change. I connected my HD TV to the HD component video cables in hope of a brighter tomorrow. . .
When I selected Super Size Me, the title began within seconds. Easy breezy. BTW, recommend this documentary. Thoroughly convinced me that when faced with a fast-food-only selection, kiddie size is the only way to go.
Buck Stops Here
It’s a great little device at just the right price. To get one of your own, click here.
Alternative Netflix Viewing Options: On Your XBox
Instead of buying a Roku to watch your Netflix movies, you can install a plug-in for free on your XBox and watch for no additional charge. The XBox plug-in may be a little buggy and slow but it does allow you to edit your queue and search through all titles available to watch instantly. The Roku only allows you to watch titles already in your queue. If you have an XBox, this is the way to go.
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Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, Apple TV, DVD, Netflix, Netflix Roku, Roku, Silicon Valley, Television
Netflix is partnering with Roku, a small Silicon Valley company, to sell a $99 set-top box that would allow its 8.2 million subscribers to watch a limited inventory of films on their TV sets, rather than over the Internet. Netflix, which owns a small piece of the company, has a selection of 10,000 titles available for download, compared with its total library of 100,000 DVD titles. (The New York Times 5/20)
Some thoughts on this. The Apple TV box: $229 / Roku Netflix box: $99 Freshness of titles: Apple TV wins. The titles available on iTunes to rent are available after being released on DVD for 30 days whereas Netflix offers older titles to stream. Number of titles: Netflix Roku box wins. Overall, I dig the Roku but am dying to test it.
JVC announced a handheld camcorder, the .6 lbs. GZ-MS100, that features one-button uploading to YouTube. Connect the camera to a Windows PC via USB or SD card and press the upload button and the application automatically uploads up to 10 minutes of video to YouTube.com. The JVC GZ-MS100 will be available in June for $349.99. (Cynopsis 5/20)