Anyone else out there hear about the new Netflix Player by Roku? It allows you to stream your on demand Netflix videos directly to your tv. If you have a Mac which Netflix does not support (like me) or do not like watching movies on your computer (also like me) this is definitely something for you. Other than the cost of the hardware ($99+$10 shipping) there are no extra charges. If you have an unlimited Netflix account, you can watch unlimited on demand movies.
We got ours yesterday and I love it! I am not usually one for tech gadgets (with the exception of my computer and iPod!) but this little device it great. Once you get it hooked up, it will display the movies that you have added online to your on demand queue. The movies are streamed, not downloaded, so there is a very small delay when you select the movie. Once playing, you can pause, fast forward and rewind (again, since it is streamed, it is a bit more clunky than with a regular dvd but not bad at all). When it is done, you can also delete it from the queue (or leave it there if you want). The interface was very easy to use.
The only "downside" is that they do not have all their titles available on demand yet. About 10,000 of their 100,000 movies qualify. I have found plenty that I want to watch and plenty for the boys, but the selection was a bit thinner on ones that we could watch together (meaning that all of us were interested in). There are also a good amount of PBS, Biography, Discovery and other educational shows.
We actually have both Netflix and Blockbuster accounts (5 DVDs total) mainly because I liked the option with Blockbuster to return a DVD at the store. Sometimes we just don't want to wait a day or so. As Netflix increases their on demand offerings I might re-consider having both accounts (although the free monthly video game rental is still a plus).
I really think that this player will help us get even more use out of our Netflix account. It can be easy to forget to return the DVDs. But these movies are there whenever we want them.
I am surprised that there was not more buzz about this option or that Netflix is not pushing it more (I had to go hunting for it on their website). I just happened to read about it on Salon's Machinist blog. My hope is that this is the direction that Netflix is going...making more movies available on demand.
Check it out!