By Evan Ackerman
I’ve been a Netflix member since somewhere back when living in the “2000s” was still a novelty. I was a bit skeptical when they introduced online streaming last year, but I have to say, I’m hooked now. Despite a somewhat frustrating reliance on Internet Explorer, it’s easy to use and works great, with a surprisingly competent library of about 10,000 old movies, relatively new movies, and TV shows.
If you don’t have a computer, or have no idea how to hook up your computer to your TV, you can still get your streaming fix with Roku’s set-top Netflix player. For $100 (it’s a one-time thing just for the hardware), you get a cute little box the size of a short stack of CDs. Connect one end of the box to your internet (either with an ethernet cable or wirelessly), and the other end to your TV (it’s got RCA jacks, S-video, component video, HDMI, and optical audio), and you’re good to go. You basically just browse around the Netflix website on your TV with the player’s remote to pick what you want to watch. From the sound of things, it’s so easy your parents could probably do it.
Although Netflix doesn’t currently stream in HD (and the quality depends entirely on the speed of your connection), the box is set up for HD when it becomes available. For $100, plus $9 a month for unlimited streaming, it’s not a bad combination to add to your home theatre setup.