I love my Roku Netflix player. Having the ability to watch movies instantly has always been a plus for Netflix, but one I wasn’t able to take advantage of since my primary computers are Macs. For just over $100, the Roku player not only gave me access to that Netflix feature, but also allowed me to watch the instant offerings on my home theater setup.
Recently the Roku player downloaded an upgrade that added some nice added features to the box. The biggest of these was the ability to watch Netflix offerings in high definition - a component the player needed to compete with the X-Box 360s similar partnership with Netflix. Now whether you play your instant view movies on your 360 or your Roku player, you can see the high definition offerings in high def.
Even better, though, is today’s announcement that the Roku player will soon be able to access Amazon’s Video on Demand service, unveiling a library of over 40,000 movies and TV shows the Roku player will be able to access. Unlike Netflix, these will cost the user an additional fee to rent through Amazon, but it’s still a nice touch, since most of Netflix’s instant offerings are second tier movies or older releases. Amazon offers new releases through their Video on Demand service, suddenly making the Roku player a lot more valuable.
Additionally, the announcement from Roku says Amazon is only the start, with more announcements on the horizon. I keep hearing rumors of a partnership with Hulu.com… we’ll see, I guess.