Daily Archives: May 20, 2008

Netflix’s New Set-top Box

As computer savvy as some people think I am, I have not been able to hook up a computer to our flat-screen television to watch streaming Netflix movies yet. Not that I’ve really tried — we have enough to watch on our TVs as it is, and I recently bought a decent sized computer monitor and can watch Netflix movies on it while relaxing on the sofa in my attic office. This works well for me, however it would be cool to be able to watch Netflix movies instantly on a much bigger screen together with the whole family.

Netflix Instant Viewing Settop box by RokuIt was rumored that Netflix was going to provide a way to easily and instantly watch their content, and now you can — if you buy a special set-top box from a company called Roku. The catch? The box costs $100. ($109 – $120 with shipping).

That’s a little too steep for me right now, especially since I’d heard the technology costs would be more like $10 in the form of a special DVD that placed software on extant game systems. I didn’t expect to have to buy a new black box just for the Netflix content. We already have enough black boxes connected to our televisions.

So, the excitement I first felt when I saw the link at the bottom of the Netflix page stating: New – Watch Instantly on your TV was replaced with slight annoyance and disappointment because I’d been expecting something less intrusive and less expensive. Netflix does give us a glimpse into the future, however, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be cheaper:

“We are working to get TV manufacturers, Blu-ray player manufacturers, and game console manufacturers to make their devices ready for instant streaming…

The … Netflix ready device … is likely to be the lowest cost Netflix ready device for the foreseeable future.”

I’ll stick with the PC viewing for now because it works and it doesn’t cost me any more money. But I might still covet it a little. For the foreseeable future…