When Negroponte first showed off the OLPC netbook circa 2006, it was far more advanced than the laptops we had on the market at the time. It had hand-cranked power, a screen that worked in full sunlight, and it was smaller and cheaper than anything we had on the market. It was partially responsible for the explosion … Read more
Recently, Roku released a preview video of an upgrade to its Netflix channel that added a more robust interface, more instant queue options, and--in a first for embedded Netflix players--the capability to search the library directly from your TV screen. According to the company, it will begin releasing the upgrade to Roku Player boxes over the course of the seven days, starting Friday, May 27.
I received the upgrade early, and was able to give it a quick hands-on test.
InterfaceRoku's current Netflix interface is something of a yawner. It is serviceable, but it does little more than provide … Read more
To counterbalance the stories we regularly see about how the Internet makes us antisocial misanthropists, here is one that shows just the opposite: the Internet brings happiness. Well duh! CNET readers already knew that!
All joking aside, there is something to be said about information and happiness. Ignorance is hardly bliss when ignorance means not having access to research, news, entertainment, and one another. The popular belief seems to be that modern advancements do not make us happy but perhaps that is too technologically deterministic.
Ultimate Fighting Championship fans are getting another forum for watching the latest bouts. UFC has signed a multiyear agreement to stream live fights on Roku set-top boxes.
The agreement kicks off May 29 with a match between two former UFC champions. Roku owners will pay $44.99 per fight, the same as on pay-per-view, a Roku representative said.
UFC fans will still have the option of watching games on pay-per-view through their satellite or cable provider.
As part of the new deal, fight fans will also have access to UFC Vault channel on the Roku box. The channel includes pre-fight … Read more
Can two competing operating systems really make it work in the game of love? Maybe not. Maybe the world really does need Cupidtino, the Apple fans-only dating site discussed in Thursday's episode of Loaded.
My first reaction to this site was a resounding, "Oh brother!" I can't stand unabashed Apple love, even though I am exclusively a Mac user. However, being raised a Jehovah's Witness (which I am not any longer, but that is a topic outside the range of this post), I was taught not to date outside of my religion.
Later in life, … Read more
Netflix online video streaming is nearly ubiquitous on newer network-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and game consoles. But a common complaint about most iterations of the service is that it's "read only"--you're locked into whatever queue you've previously set up on your PC. That's changed in recent months on some devices, however: the Xbox 360, for instance, also includes a variety of genre-based "what's new" lists, so you can instantly access new and noteworthy titles. Now that sort of functionality is finally on its way to the original Netflix device: the … Read more
The fact that Twitter is making all tweets easily embeddable is on the surface benign, but it does give pause when you think about a tweet being used as a quote.
It gets under my skin when a news broadcast uses tweets and Facebook screenshots as an indication that the network is "interactive." That isn't real interactivity. That is anecdotal proof of what a producer has already decided is the narrative of the story. Twitter's new feature will facilitate this a bit more easily across various media platforms: broadcast news, online news, blogs, etc. I'm … Read more
When we reviewed Seagate's FreeAgent Theater+ USB media player last year, we gave it good marks but lamented the fact that it didn't offer the Netflix streaming capabilities of the Roku HD Player. Well, now Seagate's added Netflix streaming via a firmware upgrade, so we'll have to update our review and eliminate that critical sentence.
If you're new to the whole USB media player category, it goes something like this: storage brands like Western Digital, Seagate, and Iomega are looking for ways to tap into the growing number of consumers who have multimedia files stored … Read more
The Roku Player's initial claim to fame was Netflix streaming and while that's still it's main draw, it's now accompanied by a full suite of streaming media services, most notably Amazon Video On Demand and MLB.TV.
Roku has continued to add functionality to its family of streaming media players, and announced Wednesday two new services: MHz Networks on Demand and Highway Girl. Roku describes MHz Networks on Demand as a "popular international channel" and Highway Girl as a "collection of interviews and live performances with various indie musicians." We're not … Read more
The Roku SD Player is the entry-level model in Roku's line of streaming media boxes. The "SD" stands for "standard definition"--it's the only one of the three that has no HD video or digital audio outputs. The price is $80--which is 20 percent less than the otherwise identical Roku HD Player.
We haven't reviewed the Roku SD Player, but the review of the HD Player should give you a good idea of how it will perform (with the obvious caveat that video quality will be limited to standard-definition). However, we'd recommend … Read more