CNET First Look
Roku HD PlayerThe Roku HD Player is an easy and affordable way to experience a panoply of Internet video and audio on your TV, including Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, and Mediafly.
^M00:00:01 [ Background Music ] >> Hi I'm David Connelly, executive editor for cnet.com and I'm here to give a little video tour of the Netflix Player by Roku. If you're Netflix subscriber, you may have noticed that you're able to watch movies, instantly streaming video right on your computer. What this little black box allows you to do is watch those same streaming videos on your TV without your computer. You attach this box to your TV, has this video outputs for HDMI, component video, composite video and even S-video. Right now there's only stereo sound it isn't full surround sound but that's something in the future that they could technically add to this box. You can either connect the box via an ethernet or if you want, the box has built-in WiFi. Currently, Netflix has about 10,000 movies and TV shows available for you to stream. The boxes automatically populated with 10 videos from your instant cue. You can then go ahead and manually add other videos. Video quality course is dependent on your broadband connection; the higher speed you get the better picture you'll get. Right now, the picture is up to necessarily DVD quality but you can get a pretty descent picture. Overall, we really like the concept of the box and its simplicity. There are a few drawbacks right now. First off there isn't tremendous amount of content available. There isn't a lot of wide screen content available. Some of the stuff that should be in wide screen is actually 4 x 3. One of the key things about this box is that the content is free, of course you do have to pay for a Netflix subscription. The firm ware on the box can be upgraded so that can make changes to the interphase that can potentially add new services and of course, you'll start seeing a lot more content. For people looking for an inexpensive way to stream video to their TVs without connecting a PC, the Netflix player by Roku is really a pretty nice solution. I'm David Connelly and that's the Netflix Player by Roku.