In what would seem at first glance a surprising move, Roku have opened up their Netflix Player box to tinkerers by releasing the GPL code for the Linux-based download device. It turns out that the DRM decoding is all handled by the NXP PNX8935 chip, probably satisfying any of Netflix’s concerns that opening the box up would potentially impinge on their copyright responsibilities.
Recent news also confirms that Roku isn’t satisfied with simply Netflix. According to Tim Twerdahl, VP of consumer products at the company, Roku will be releasing a software update later in the year that will allow the Player to stream media from other “big name” providers.
It’s too early for anything to have come from the GPL source code being made available, but an obvious tweak would be to integrate the Netflix Player with a distributed home media system.