Roku's Netflix Player sells out

Two weeks after launch, Roku runs out of Netflix Player. Company says there is at least a two-week wait for new shipment to arrive.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

There's more proof that the Netflix Player is a hit.

Start-up Roku, the company behind the device that enables Netflix subscribers to watch movies streamed from the Internet to their TVs, has run out of inventory two weeks after launching.

"Due to the tremendous coverage and initial success of this product we're now in a two-week backorder situation," said Tim Twerdahl, Roku's vice president of consumer products. "We have boats coming in weekly from China with additional products, and we're doing everything we can to get them out."

The shortage comes after the device has received favorable reviews from The New York Times, CNET Reviews, Wired.com, and Gizmodo.

Consumer demand for movies distributed via the Web has been lukewarm up to now. Download services have been plagued by expensive set-top boxes, poor quality video or limited movie selection.

The box, which is is sold directly from Roku's site, has received accolades for being inexpensive ($99), easy to install, and for doing away with long download times.

The selection offered is mainly older titles, but it still offers more films than most competitors.

There have been some complaints from consumers of the video stalling. Twerdahl said this is often due to people watching on "marginal Internet connections." He said that Roku's customer service wants to hear about these issues.

Twerdahl would not reveal sales numbers. He said that the company was not overly conservative in its sales projections. On the contrary, he said, "We were very aggressive. Sales have outstripped our expectations."

He cautioned that customers who wait until the next shipment arrives before ordering may miss out. He said the number of orders are already gobbling up those boxes.