By now I am sure that all of you have heard the news, that Amazon is going to provide free movie streaming to members who are using their Prime membership. The price, which I pay, is $79 a year for free 2 day shipping through Amazon. Like millions of others, I believe the $79 a year fee is a bargain when you see how much UPS or the USP people charge for mailing a small package. So yesterday when Amazon announced they would also include free streaming to Prime members at no additional charge, I was pleased that they didn’t raise the price for Prime membership.
But not everyone was pleased. When I was reading an article over at InformationWeek, I noticed this comment which I will dissect:
In order for this to work, you need to buy a Roku box ($199), then pay $79 per year just to watch online content?
This statement is erroneous. Roku pricing starts at $69.99 for their least expensive model the model HD, $79.99 for their XD model for 1080p streaming and $99.99 for the XDS top of the line model.
The $79 fee includes free 2nd day shipping for a year. Streaming is a free extra.
This is too much, especially when you can get the same thing from websites like TVDevo that offer a very similar thing without requiring a Roku box. All you need is an internet connection and your computer to watch with it.
If I am going to watch a movie in HD it will be on my HDTV and not on a computer. I stream from Netflix via a Roku to my HDTV and HD is high quality. My computer provides a mediocre picture nowhere near HD quality.
Good luck Amazon, but no thanks.
I seriously doubt that Amazon will go broke without this persons support. I for one like free streaming for us Prime users. Thanks Amazon!.
Source – InformationWeek
One would have thought that when Google and Apple entered into the streaming video market place, that the little Roku would be swallowed up by the big guys. Instead the Roku has doubled in sales and are approaching 1 million units. So what makes the little box so attractive?
The units are inexpensive. I have purchased two of the Roku XD 1080p units from Amazon for $80. The little box is simple to set up using your home wireless network and a HDMI cable to your TV. Once it is set up you can start to select channels from the channel store and begin streaming.
So how are sales?
Today, as last-minute Christmas shoppers flock to Amazon, Roku is placed high on its list of the best-selling electronic devices. (Amazon represents about 25% of Roku’s sales, according to Wood.)
The $80 Roku XD streaming player is #9 on Amazon’s best-selling gadgets list, while its $100 XDS player (more features) is #11. Roku’s low-end “HD” player is #42.
Meanwhile, the $100 Apple TV, which is backordered at Amazon, is #23. Logitech’s Google TV box is #110. And the other buzzy competitor, the $200 Boxee Box by D-Link, is #171.
For die-hard Apple fans, Apple TV might be the best product, Wood concedes. But for everyone else, you can get similar features from Roku for $60, and more features than Apple TV — including 1080p output — for $99.
If you have a Netflix account you can set up streaming movies via your computer and they will appear in your Netflix queue on your Roku. I found this the easiest way to set up movies for viewing later.
Comments as always are welcome.
You can order a Roku directly from Amazon here.
Source – Business Insider
When I read that Hulu Plus was finally ready to be used on the Roku, I immediately went to see what Hulu was going to offer. Once I did a software upgrade on my Roku, I was able to preview several pieces of content to check out the quality. I chose the Smithsonian Episode to view, which was a segment on the zoo in Washington D.C. It was in HD, 720P, and streamed perfectly. The color and clarity were very good and I was impressed with overall quality.
Next I opted to try a one week free preview of Hulu Plus that is available on their website. There is one condition to the offer. You have to provide a credit card number and agree to be charged $7.99 after the one week expires. The next offer I noticed was for one month of free service for those using a Chase credit card. Lucky me. I have a Chase card, which I used.
After activating the Roku, which requires entering a code on the Hulu Plus site, I was up and running. Just as an experiment, I hopped over to view an old episode of the TV program Bones. Bones is broadcast in HD and sure enough, the quality from Hulu Plus was exceptional. I watched the entire episode without any stuttering and skips.
I am going to use Hulu Plus and Netflix streaming of movies for the next month. I will be doing a follow-up review on or about 12-15-10.
I recently received the Roku Model #2050 HD Streaming Player, 1080P, Wireless N device. My main purpose for the device was to connect the Roku to my living room HDTV and stream movies from Netflix. I have the $9 a month Netflix account in which I get one DVD delivered at a time and which also includes unlimited streaming of movies from the Netflix site.
Inside the shipping box you receive the Roku HD device itself, a remote controller with batteries, power adapter, RCA cable and instruction sheets. The instructions are very basic and I believe the assumption is that any user of a Roku will be tech. savvy. If you are technological challenged you may wish to have a friend or relative assist you with setup.
I connected the Roku to my HDTV by HDMI cable, which I had purchased separately from Amazon for a modest $6.99. I purchased Amazon’s own Basic brand[here] . After switching the HDTV to the proper HDMI channel the Roku setup screen appeared.
The first thing you must do is to connect your Roku to your network. In my case I have a wireless network and I ran into an issue right away. I had the Roku scan for available networks. My network was not listed, but surprisingly 3 of my neighbors were. I tried setting up the network manually, but no joy. I moved the Roku to a different location and Bingo! The network was found and after entering my security key a connection to the Internet was made. The first step was for the Roku to call home and update itself.
After a reboot, a security key was provided. I setup an account on the Roku site, entered in the security code and synchronize the unit to my account. Next I did the same thing for my Netflix account and set it up as well. I also configured the Roku for 720p, this is what my HDTV is and also 5.1 audio. I streamed my first video and it was flawless. No stutter and perfect audio.
I will be playing with the Roku this coming week and will do a follow-up report to provide my user experience. So far all has worked well. It took me about an hour to set up. However, most of that time was spent getting the device to recognize my wireless network. :-) I moved the unit as recommended by the Roku instructions, and once I did that it worked just fine.
Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p