Pros $100, user friendly, inexpensive subscription
Cons WIDESCREEN, title selection is thin, cant play dvds
Summary first off, most of my reviews are home theater biased so excuse me if i dont list everything. i appreciate netflix efforts to remain king of video. however, if you already have a pc in your home theater setup you dont need the netflix box and if you dont already have a pc, you dont want this (the hp slimline is still my pick for netflix in the living room).for those of you who have extra inputs, it cant even play dvds so is it even worth taking up space in your setup (except bragging). when i purchased this today i was expecting the online movie roster to be updated with the release of the box. it wasnt and the movies you would want to watch online arent widescreen anyway. also if you're used to being emersed in sound you'll get irritated with this box as surround sound isnt supported yet. i agree with the cnet editor this is a going in my kids room... with less disc to worry about and no moving parts to shove cookies into.
even better as my kids tv on has two hd inputs so i can use the netflix box s-video input for setup. also, apple tv, archos tv, vuduu are much more expensive its really a steal at $100 and if your like most of the country you already have a netflix account for your dvd's anyway so its an added bonus.
you can purchase the netflix box with the refunds they were offering to those of you with hd-dvd players.
Pros Really Easy
Cons Netflix selection
Summary The only con is that the pool of Netflix Instant Watch movies is heavily stocked with documentaries, foreign films, and old movies (snoooze, snore, snoooze some more). Occasionally you do find a good movie available for instant watch or that is already in your dvd mail queue. If you are on a budget like me and only pay for the one dvd at-a-time plan like me, it really helps you out between postal delays waiting for your next dvd to arrive. Netflix might have to rethink this... why would anybody want to upgrade their plan to more movies at a time when there are Free instant watch movies to tide you over until your next DVD arrives?
Pros The first thing that I do coming home after a tiring work day is spend some time watching one of my favorite TV show on my Roku. There so much great selection of TV episodes and movies to pick from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand.
Cons Nothing at all, maybe more content partners, which I?m sure is coming down the pipeline.
Summary The Roku player is one of the best devices that I have purchased this year. It is really an affordable buy at only $100. And you get so much from the little set top box. That?s amazing. Apart from Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand, with the new partner MLB.com added to Roku?s list, you get even more options. If you are a die-hard baseball fan like me, then you should not miss this.
When it comes to picture quality, Roku is great. One thing I would like to clearly emphasize is that if your broadband connection speed is faster (my is around 2.0 Mbps) then you will certainly see highest quality. Remember, the quality of streaming depends on how fast your broadband speed and you need at least 1.3 Mbps to enjoy the Roku player.
"A god-send"on by BiG-MaTT
Pros Overall easy to set-up and account linking. Now that it streams Amazon it's usefulness has doubled. I am using it on a 1.5 Mbps WiFi connection and a 60in SDTV and get an amazing picture. Your queue is updated instantaneously, no waiting or forcing.
Cons For the computer novice the set-up might be tricky as it is not 100% compatible with every router. On my cheapo Belkin router I had to turn off my firewall entirely for it to complete the connection.
Summary Other than it's quirky relationship with many routers out there, this box has been a god-send. While I have not had pay-TV for a year and a half. I got rid of it after I started playing WoW. Well I recently gave up on WoW and was looking at my entertainment alternatives. I already had Netflix and frequently streamed movies so this was a no brainer for me. I can't speak for it's HD performance, but for you SD hold-outs, its SD performance is excellent. I use it on a 60in old-school bigscreen and it looks perfect on my 1.5 Mbps WiFi connection. The only time I have seen artifacts was when watching Ratatouille when there was a very fast movement in a frame (comicly fast head turn and things of that sort), but it didn't take away from the experience. This is only due to my connection speed though. This device is easily the best investment I have ever made.
"Ditch the discs!"on by deadzoned
Pros Cheap, small footprint, easy to use, acceptable video quality
Cons Video quality could be better, current library is limited but getting better
Summary I ordered the Roku Box last weekend on Sunday night and I received it on Friday morning. Shipping is relatively quick but expensive. Honestly, 15 to 20 dollars to ship something so small is kind of a rip-off. Also, they shipped it in it's original packaging rather than packing it in another box. I thought it was weird and kind of irresponsible to ship it that way. Regardless, it shipped just fine with no issues.
The hardware itself, while definitely very basic, seems to of good quality. It's very subtle and discreet - I like that because it's something you can kind of hide and get out of the way. It only includes the composite cables so unless you have a spare HDMI or Component cable, you have to buy one. (If your TV accepts Component or HDMI don't bother with the composite at all!)
Setup was a breeze and I successfully set up the Roku Player in 5 minutes time. I have mine attached via Component input to the TV and opted to use the wired connection for the sake of stability and have it plugged into my Router. (Wireless is an option on the Roku box too!)
Registering my new Roku box and updating it took less than five minutes on my cable connection which if I am not mistaken is a 7/512 connection last I checked. I already was utilizing the Netflix streaming service with my laptop so I had some movies in my "Watch Now" queue. You need to add movies to the "Watch Now" queue before you can utilize the Roku box so keep that in mind. Anyway, I found the video quality to be surprisingly acceptable although I have been watching a lot of the newer material that is available like Pam's Labyrinth and the series Weeds. My connection was always at 4 so this was good, I attribute this in part to the wired connection although I have not yet tried the Wireless connection out.
In summary, I really like the Roku box. My experience thus far has been largely positive and I find little to complain about considering the cost of the box and the service itself. It really is a great deal - 115 bucks and 10 dollars a month for unlimited streaming content and 1 at a time unlimited DVD's is a steal. My only real complaint is that the content available is lacking. It seems to be getting better and better though so at least they appear to be making an effort to add more content. The other thing that kind of sucks is that some "Watch Now" titles are only available for a limited time before they become unavailable. I'm not sure why this is but I am almost certain it has something to do with the Movie/TV studios freaking out for various silly reasons.
My overall opinion? BUT IT! It's a great deal and it seems to be getting better. (I didn't mention the Amazon option that is available to you as well with the Roku box, but it gives you the option to buy or rent new - meaning current - TV shows or Movies!)