Roku Rocks!

I have to admit that I’ve loved my Roku box from the day it arrived. I placed my order through Netflix the day it came on the market over a year ago. Since then my whole family has enjoyed watching Netflix movies and TV shows instantly. The quality is very good – even on my plasma.

If you haven’t heard of the Roku box, you should check it out. For $79 you can get the Roku Standard Definition (SD) model. For another $20 you can get the Roku High Definition model ($99). When it arrives you open the box and plug it into the wall, then into your TV set. It automagically detects your wireless network (if you don’t have a wireless network you can connect it using cat5). You’ll want your laptop close, as the Roku will give you access codes (on your TV screen) for the services you want. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can get when you have a Roku box.

1. First and foremost, you can watch any on-demand selection from Netflix over the Internet at no charge (as long as you have a Netflix account).
2. You can rent movies from Amazon. These are delivered right over the Roku and can be accessed instantly.
3. Pandora! For those of you who use Pandora, you know what I’m talking about. I can access my Pandora account right through the Roku box. Awesome.
4. Various on-demand video websites. They call them Channels, and you get them through the Channel Store. Revision3, Blip.tv, twit.tv, and many others are available for free through the Roku. You just add the channel and its ready to go.
5. MLB.com – baseball on demand. This is a premium service, so you have to pay for this. I wish they would do this with the NFL!

They have also included a way to access Flickr and other services that host YOUR photos and videos. You can access these right over your TV set once you setup the proper channel in your Roku box.

Certainly things will be heating up as we see more and more devices that bridge the chasm between the Internet and TV. The Roku isn’t real fancy, but it sure does work. Highly recommended, even for the non-technical folks out there.

roku_channels

Posted by Chuck Ebbets   @   30 November 2009

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