Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Weekend With Roku

I got my Roku Netflix Player on Friday. As promised, here's my feedback.

It was easy as heck to hook up and configure. Took me all of five minutes. It's got a wide variety of output jacks and even worked with my old school TV/VCR. As soon as it powered up it detected my wireless network and signed in without a problem. I was given a short code that I plugged in to Netflix and, voila! I was off to the races.

The interface was intuitive. Downloading movies was a breeze, and relatively quick via cable modem. My only hope is that Netflix can finagle some more titles for their Instant choices. I've been enjoying "Quincy" and "Dead Like Me" episodes though there are some weird gaps in things like "Columbo" where the first two discs of Season Three aren't available to view but the rest are.

Also a problem is that only the "primary" Netflix account holder can see the Instant Queue. Andrea can't see them at all when she logs in. That's not a good thing. She isn't even given the option of instant views at all. Very odd. I wonder if I should ask her to leave the room when I fire up the Roku...

I have yet to watch anything not voiced in English. That said, I miss the option of having English subtitles on films that offer them on the actual DVD. I tend to watch anything and everything with English subtitles on if they're available.

Is it worth $100? At first blush I might say "no" but I can hope that the service catches up with the technology, providing more of an "on demand" style service. This seems like the beginnings of the long-promised "you can watch any movie you want to see any time you want it" dream. For now, keep dreaming.

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