The Roku Netflix box first arrived way back in May of 2008. While Netflix has a streaming service that you can use with a PC, it's far more aesthetically pleasing to watch a video on a TV. Although it is possible to hook your laptop video outputs to your TV, it's far easier to use the Roku Netflix box.
The Roku Netflix box runs from $79 to $129, and currently has free shipping, from Roku's own site, when ordered before Dec. 6th. There are 3 different players, the Roku SD Box, the Roku HD Box, and the Roku HD XR box.
The Roku Netflix boxes all play the same video streams, from different vendors, but the HD and HD XR boxes play high definition video (including HDMI output). The XR version also has wireless-networking capapbility (wireless-n). All the boxes need some sort of broadband connection in order to play streaming video.
While Roku became famous for its Netflix connection, it's gone far further than that as it upgraded the software on its Roku box. In fact, it has several free channels, such as blip.TV and Pandora (music). Its premium or pay channels include Major League Baseball, Amazon Video on Demand, MobileTribe and, of course, Netflix.
The Netflix service could be considered free, in a manner of speaking. After all, if you have a Netflix account, with all plans offering unlimited streaming, even the lowest cost one.
The Roku Netflix box was the first streaming video device for Netflix. As such, it has quite a following already, and quite a set of fans. At the low price, it's a great idea for a holiday gift as more people move into video-on-demand and streaming services, and as more people get broadband in their houses.
Written by Michael Santo