Streaming TV: A Review of the Roku Netflix Player

Update: The main problem with Roku is that the kids always have something they want to watch, (Dr. Who, Dilbert, etc.) so I don’t get to watch my daily dose of Jeopardy and news. Ben was complementing me on my excellent decision in asking for presents and their wisdom in choosing this gadget for me.
My children all chipped in and got me the $100 Roku Netflix Player for Father’s Day. This is a gadget that allows you to watch streaming video (Netflix only for now) on your TV. It is very easy to set up. It took me less than 5 minutes to hook it up to my wireless network and my television. It allows you to stream TV shows from Netflix directly to your TV. This is particularly nice for us mainly Mac families, since you are currently unable to stream Netflix to a Mac 😦

The main issue I have right now is that I have to disconnect my TIVO from my TV to connect the Roku. I called technical support at Roku – and got a hold of a human being in less than five minutes. He told me to buy a switch at Radio Shack and keep the reciept in case it didn’t work.

The picture quality is perfect, but I do have Verizon’s FIOS, so I have a fast home connection. It takes about 20 seconds for the show to start streaming from the internet to your television (instead of the three days to get the Netflix DVD to your mailbox).

Only a percentage of what’s on Netflix is currently available for instant watching. We put the new Dr. Who season one, the first season of Heroes, and the first season of the Dick Van Dyke show (with Mary Tyler Moore) and Alfred Hitchcock Presents on our list. All of these shows have the commercials taken out. They also have other things besides old TV shows, of course!

The service is included free with Netflix. So far, I am very pleased with the Roku Netflix player. Recommended!


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