Most people realize that Roku and NetFlix never promised captions or 5.1 audio on the existing platform and any reasonable reading of the press releases or the boards like this one would clearly show that.
Someone already posted a link to the Netflix blog from February 24, 2011, that mentions CC: 30% of Netflix Streaming Content Has Subtitles; 80% By End of 2011
. In it is this statement:
Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer for Netflix wrote:
We expect that Roku and Xbox 360 will support subtitles later this year.
At that time I was unaware that a major new model was coming out so, naturally, it sounded like "Roku" meant the existing Roku hardware, though I am aware that sometimes new features do require new hardware.
However, over the years I have learned that, when shopping for features, make decisions on features the products currently have, not on what they may have in the future. Even the wiggle word "expect" tells me that Neil Hunt isn't saying closed caption on the Roku by the end of the year is a foregone conclusion.
My reading of the messages and what announcements I have seen lead me to conclude that closed caption are available on the Roku 2 (as per http://www.roku.com/netflix-partner
) and there is no clear statement that excludes the possibility that closed caption will later be added on to the "Roku 1", though there is also no clear statement that explicitly states it will be added, either.
A bigger concern of mine, since CC is not a deal breaker for me, is whether my 3-year-old Roku Netflix Player will become obsolete in a few years by having the streams it understands be abandoned by Netflix. I have seen the box move from its original streams to "advanced" streams and only time will tell if a software upgrade in the future will allow it to use the newer streams.
However, I have gotten three years and two months of good use out of the box, money well spent, IMHO, and, if it should become obsolete for my purposes, I'd probably buy a Roku 2 (or a Roku 3 or Roku 4) to replace it.
ETA: "newer streams" instead of the "adaptive streams"--got reminded that a sticky thread states that the "Roku 1" doesn't support the newer encodings. From Roku 2 Netflix features and previous generation Roku players
Unfortunately, these new encodings will not be supported on previous generation Roku players. We try to ensure that new features in a channel are supported on all previous generations of players. However, this is not always possible.
This still doesn't exclude the possibility
of adding CC to the "advanced streams" that the "Roku 1" uses.