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Roku and Netflix Work Together to Bring You Movies to Your Television

Updated on June 24, 2008

I realize that most people have given up traditional video stores in favor of services like Netflix or Blockbuster online, and I can see why. If you plan it right, you can have movies waiting for you when you get home, delivered directly through the mail with a drop-off as easy as the mailbox.

Of course, why should I have a physical DVD sent to me when I can just download it as a digital file? I’m sure it is nothing more than a few copyright laws, or something. Of course, that leaves the problem of getting the movies on my television from the computer.

Fortunately, the Roku is here. The Roku is a tiny box that attaches to the television via S-Video, Composite video, or even HDMI. From there, a wired Internet connection can be attached, or the Roku can wireless sync with a PC.

You will need a Netflix account in order to access the Roku’s features, but then it is a simple matter of going online, filling the “Watch Instantly” queue with whatever movies that you want. Unfortunately, the selection is only 10,000 movies, with many of them over ten years old. You not going to find National Treasure II or some other recent movie here, but in a few years, after no one is impressed with it anymore, you might.

I found that the moment I put a movie on the queue online, it appeared on my television set not more than a few seconds later. From then on, I selected it with the included remote, and it took a few seconds to load.

The file played on my television with DVD quality, but unfortunately, I had it without sound. I disconnected it and reconnected the Roku, and the sound worked just fine. I’m not holding that minor glitch against the Roku.

Just to let you know, you do have control of the rewind and fast forward, but they were a little askew. I found that pausing and replaying caused the video to freeze, but I could still hear sound. Eventually, the sound caught up with the picture, and the video played just fine.

Personally, I think the Roku is the wave of the future when it comes to Movie Rentals, and it is just a matter of time before you can access any movie that you want. (This is assuming you are not illegally downloading them now.)

The apparatus is about $99, but a user will have to pay Netflix a $9 subscription fee that gives unlimited access to the Watch Instantly Queue.

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