Netflix allows subscribers to download videos to their computers, but Roku’s Netflix Player is a small black box that enables Netflix subscribers to instantly stream a growing library of movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to the TV.
The device allows the user to connect to the Internet via ethernet or wirelessly. Once online, a menu appears and you can download videos from a Netflix cue you create online with your computer.
Amazon has also joined the Roku family and offers a number of pay-per-view videos for download including new releases. In addition, Amazon has a few free downloads.
Strictly speaking, you don’t have to have a computer. You could cue up your viewing options at the library or other public computer to make them available via Roku, and future services may include more media browsing options.
I emailed Roku for an update on future plans. I wanted to know if they were planning to include Hulu in their offerings, for example. While they declined to answer directly, Roku did confirm they have several offerings in the works and “Hulu is among the most requested.”
I have a Roku player that connects to my home wireless network. Roku just emailed this announcement, “New channels are coming soon. More options are available in HD every day. And fantastic new, award-winning releases like Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler will all be available on your Roku player within a month.”
I can’t wait to see what new services come up!