Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
jlsoaz
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Netflix Player by Roku... very exciting

Tue May 20, 2008 9:15 am

While I am waiting for mine that I have ordered, a few thoughts:

As mentioned in another thread, this is really great news:

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?t=15386

Thinking out loud a bit, I guess in some ways this compares to using TIVO with Amazon or with various internet TV stations? I have merely heard about that... haven't tried it. I guess with TIVO you have recording capability, but there will be differences.

I am fine (in theory..... will test this) with the "limitation" of 10,000 streamable movies from Netflix, as long as they continue to go in the direction of lining up a decent library and maybe increasing the percentage of movies that can be streamed. I am hoping the movie studios and TV creators and others see the advantages. I like watching TV series by DVD or streaming.

This new Roku box will perhaps save me a little on my netflix subscription, as I had just bumped it to $13+ for 2 DVDs at a time. now maybe I can go back to one-at-a-time.

I sort of wish that UPS was a shipping option alongside Fedex Ground, but that hardly seems very important right now.

The biggest nit-pick I can do is that it sounds like there is no display on the box and we will have to use our computers to choose what to watch. This is a departure from my soundbridge, where my computer never has to be turned on to do anything with my Roku Internet Radio Listening (It helps to use Roku to program radio stations, but basically web access is generally not necessary for effective use of the Soundbridge). The fact that I did not have to involve my computer in listening to internet radio was the selling point for getting Roku Soundbridge, but it sounds like (will have to see) the Roku Netflix Player does not involve our computers too much. While it is perhaps understandable that there are major differences, I wonder if someday we might be able to choose what to watch without having to turn on our computers?

Anyway, this seems like good news and I hope Roku's device is not only the first for Netflix use but turns out to be competitive and well-designed and farsighted and good.
 
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RokuJamesL
Roku Engineering
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Tue May 20, 2008 4:30 pm

We hope you like the product once you receive it and give it a spin.

I think your comparison to TiVo with Amazon is valid. There are some major differences though. TiVo/Amazon is a download service where the entire movie sent to the TiVo and stored on the hard drive. Also, the Amazon Unbox service is a pay per view service, so you purchase movies on a per title basis. Since you are essentially "renting" movies, you also have a certain amount of time to watch the movie before it gets auto-deleted from the hard drive. TiVo/Amazon probably has more in common with AppleTV or Vudu.

As for your wish to eliminate the computer from the movie browsing process, it's definitely a feature we would like to see as well. There's a lot of work involved in conjunction with Netflix to make this happen, but we do know that it is something customers will want eventually.
 
jlsoaz
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Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Tue May 20, 2008 4:45 pm

RokuJamesL wrote:
We hope you like the product once you receive it and give it a spin.

I think your comparison to TiVo with Amazon is valid. There are some major differences though.

[...]

As for your wish to eliminate the computer from the movie browsing process, it's definitely a feature we would like to see as well. There's a lot of work involved in conjunction with Netflix to make this happen, but we do know that it is something customers will want eventually.


Thanks for the quick response. I bet you folks are having a pretty good day at your small company. I am really looking forward to receiving my device and, over time, seeing many of the movies I just haven't had time and resources for.
 
TaylorH
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Tue May 20, 2008 6:04 pm

I am fine (in theory..... will test this) with the "limitation" of 10,000 streamable movies from Netflix, as long as they continue to go in the direction of lining up a decent library and maybe increasing the percentage of movies that can be streamed. I am hoping the movie studios and TV creators and others see the advantages. I like watching TV series by DVD or streaming.

We hope the same thing too, we want better content. It all remains to be seen how it plays out.

I have found by far the best use of this box is to watch TV shows that are now out on DVD. I hate nothing more than to clog up one of my Netflix DVD slots with a TV show disk. Likewise, I don't want to commit one of my precious 3 slots to an old movie, just because I want to see it for nostalgia.

I watch all kinds of old movies and TV series that I would never have otherwise put in my Netflix Queue because it wasn't worth committing one of my DVD slots to it. I save those for my Friday night movie watching.

And for $99 to boot, with no additional fees, it makes for just yet one more resource in your arsenal of video content delivery.
Former Roku employee
 
midiwall
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:50 am
Location: Seattleish, WA

Tue May 20, 2008 6:31 pm

RokuTaylor wrote:
And for $99 to boot, with no additional fees, it makes for just yet one more resource in your arsenal of video content delivery.

Whoa... "QA Engineer for Roku" just hopped cube walls into marketing!

:D
:: Mark
 
TaylorH
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: Saratoga, CA

Tue May 20, 2008 6:36 pm

midiwall wrote:
RokuTaylor wrote:
And for $99 to boot, with no additional fees, it makes for just yet one more resource in your arsenal of video content delivery.

Whoa... "QA Engineer for Roku" just hopped cube walls into marketing!

:D
What can I say? I drank the Cool-Aid!
Former Roku employee
 
dgburns
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Tue May 20, 2008 8:07 pm

RokuTaylor wrote:
What can I say? I drank the Cool-Aid!

Hmmm....if you have free time, read some of the Photobridge threads.... ;)
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jlsoaz
Topic Author
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Sat May 24, 2008 11:42 am

RokuJamesL wrote:
We hope you like the product once you receive it and give it a spin.

I think your comparison to TiVo with Amazon is valid. There are some major differences though. TiVo/Amazon is a download service where the entire movie sent to the TiVo and stored on the hard drive. Also, the Amazon Unbox service is a pay per view service, so you purchase movies on a per title basis. Since you are essentially "renting" movies, you also have a certain amount of time to watch the movie before it gets auto-deleted from the hard drive. TiVo/Amazon probably has more in common with AppleTV or Vudu.

As for your wish to eliminate the computer from the movie browsing process, it's definitely a feature we would like to see as well. There's a lot of work involved in conjunction with Netflix to make this happen, but we do know that it is something customers will want eventually.


For whatever it's worth, here are my first impressions now that I have watched a couple of movies. I guess I'll keep it in the thread I started, though I guess also you'll be seeing 10 Trillion of these sorts of posts over the next few weeks and months.

1. The elimination of my computer from the process is a bit more complete than I was worrying about. I think you worked at it.
2. Sound and video are acceptable at my 3 mbps DSL connection.
3. Stopping and rewinding and restarting and such are a pain in the neck, but I suppose somewhere in the realm of acceptable.

The most hard-hitting points I could make so far, as to limitations:

1. The lack of foreign-language captions, dubbing, director commentary track and other DVD bonus-features is a problem for some of us. VHS is a thing of the past, and the features that DVDs come with are some of the features I like best. I love listening a bit to what a director has to say about the film. I like being able to watch in a foreign language with a friend. Etc. Perhaps some of the more modern ones available will have these features?

2. I would like to see a pay-per-view structure for some movies rather than watch the industry wrangle for the next 15 years over many (but not all) viewable files. This includes anything from 1 minute newsclips to full length motion pictures to student films to whatever. I am fine to pay some negotiated price here or there if I can have control over what I watch.

The "all you can eat for $8.99 per month subscription" is nice but has some drawbacks. For me, I addressed my TV and Video Gluttony tendencies by getting rid of cable and even a TV antenna years ago. I've been buying an occasional video, so I watch a tiny bit of video every month, and the NP by Roku does allow me to eliminate mail wait-time and such, and it allows me to focus on classic films, but it's still a bit of a negative in terms of returning me to a sort of gluttonous uncontrolled steadily-purchased video-intake option (with a damper on quality and selection). I know, others would strongly disagree. I *do* like having the player and will enjoy it with my subscription. I guess I am making this point in part because I don't think others will do so very often.

I realize that these are largely Netflix issues (though maybe the NP by Roku maybe can also be used with other services in the future?), as to how they structure and negotiate with content providers what to provide in streaming format and how. I see it as my job as a consumer to voice some views (even if unusual) so they can think them over. Again... I am fine to pay for the occasional video, whether purchased impetuously on Amazon.com used or new, or purchased and viewed through Roku.

3. Hopefully we can use this player in the future either to browse to other services or Netflix will continue to innovate and evolve and meet our needs. For example, they could carry "channels" of internet TV auteurs... that kind of thing.

4. On the horizon, I don't make so much distinction as to files, whether music, video, book, magazine story, whatever... so I'm just mentioning, perhaps some sort of Roku player, perhaps in conjunction with some content-provider-intermediary like Netflix or Amazon, will be my avenue for those various files.

All-in-all I find my mind ajumble with various thoughts about this thing. As I said in starting the thread, and confirm now that I have the simple seemingly well-made device, I think this development is very exciting.

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