This is a mini review of the Roku Player a VERY cool gadget I installed last week.
If you’re armed with a Netflix account and use it to watch movies over the net on your computer, you’ll probably be interested in a Roku. The Roku connects to your TV and to the Internet via a wireless (or wired) connection. Plug it in and it’ll guide you through the network settings. Mine did a firmware upgrade after it established the network connection.
After that, you’ll get the home screen which shows off various Roku “Channels”, including Netflix and Major League Baseball. There’s also a Roku Store which you get use to get more channels, such as streams of Revision 3 and TWiT network podcasts.
If you use the Netflix channel, it’ll ask you to log into Netflix on a computer and gives you a special code to type in. Once that’s done, you’ll get a listing of all “Instant Play” movies retrieved from those you already have in your queue.
The downside is not ALL movies are have the ability to be streamed, and some movies aren’t high quality digital translations.
The upside is there are a LOT of movies to watch, and quite a few TV shows too. We’ve been re-watching all the seasons of LOST. Before the Roku arrived, we’d been watching on DVD. Since then, we’ve been using the Roku. It’s been great.
And the real kicker for LOST fans: LOST Season 5 is out today… and already available for viewing via Netflix.
There are Blu-Ray Players out there that can stream Netflix movies too, but if you’re looking for a slightly cheaper solution, the Roku is great.