I’ve been a Netflix user for several years now anyways, and I’ve come to love the service like everyone else. Now as part of my service plan I also get to use their “watch now” feature that essentially allows you to stream to your computer an ever growing number of movies and TV shows. Now don’t get me wrong this feature is wonderful, but sometimes you just want to watch it on your TV (in HD even).
Enter the Roku player. This little box, yes I do mean little, it’s only 5″ x 5″ and only 1.75″ high can be hidden most anywhere. On the back are most any audio/video connection you would need [Composite video, S-Video, Component video (Y/Pb/Pr), HDMI]. Also this little box will output in the following formats [16:9 HD (720p), 16:9 anamorphic (480p) , 4:3 standard (480i)] leaving out only the 1080i/p folks but most HD stations don’t even broadcast in them anyways.
Once you’ve figured out how your going to connect the box to your TV you have to pick how you want to connect it o your network (Internet). The Roku player comes with 2 choices, wired or wireless. The wired is pretty straight forward, and the wireless lets you use Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
Once you have it connect you just follow the on screen directions and you’ll be streaming Netflix “watch now” movies and TV on your TV in no time. As you add items to your “watch now” queue they show up in the list of available titles on the box almost immediately.
Overall I’m more then happy with it and would recommend it to anyone that likes the “watch now” feature of their Netflix subscription but has tired of watching them on the computer. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the picture quality even on my standard TV was as good if not better then the computer stream and didn’t have to stop once to buffer.