Roku have outed a pair of new Netflix media streamers that go on sale alongside their existing Roku HD. The Roku HD-XR keeps the same 720p HD playback, optical audio output and HDMI connection as the original model, but upgrades the WiFi to b/g/n. Meanwhile there's a new entry-level, standard definition model, the Roku SD, which offers basic WiFi and analog connectivity.
Roku have announced MLB.TV Premium streaming for their eponymous HDTV media player. The update - which will be pushed out to all Roku players automatically - allows MLB.TV subscribers to watch live, out-of-market baseball games in HD, together with offering on-demand access to the last week's worth of games.
Amazon have announced the arrival of HD content through their Video on Demand service. Leaked as in development last December, though denied at the time, the service goes live today with HD titles priced at between $3.99 and $4.99. Compatible devices include Series3 TiVo DVRs, Roku's Video Player, Sony's BRAVIA Internet Link and Panasonic VIERACast HDTVs.
Word from the Roku forums is that the company has begun a private beta of their new Amazon Video-on-Demand (VOD) service. The update, which is believed to be included in version 2.0, will also seemingly bring YouTube access, at least according to this screengrab, where the YouTube logo is seen to the right of the Netflix logo.
As tipped back in November, Roku have begun streaming Netflix content in high-definition. Owners of the Netflix Player by Roku will find their media players automatically updating to firmware version 1.5 over "the next few weeks", at which point the will be able to access Netflix's catalog of "hundreds" of high-definition titles.
Netflix streaming multimedia players are heating up with HD content. Folk at Roku has revealed plan, at its public discussion forum, to deliver Netflix movies in HD by the end of year. Joining the recently announced Xbox 360, the soon-to-update Roku player will be the next Netflix Networked streaming player to support HD content.
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.
Netflix are pretty much synonymous with mail-delivery films in the US, and the company is now trying to do the same for internet-streamed media. The Netflix Player by Roku is the first piece of hardware promising to bring download movies to your TV, and going by the launch-day reviews it sounds like they've got a winner on their hands. $99.99 gets you a compact set-top box that, when linked to your online Netflix account, lets you play from the company's 10,000 strong catalogue of titles, automatically selecting the highest resolution your broadband can support.
Saturday is a day for putting ones feet up on a small, raised stool, supping from a glass of slightly warmed cinnamon milk and listening to the latest in Czech talk-radio; Roku have obviously known this for years, which is why they're taking advantage of that wireless network you've set up (you have got one, haven't you?) to stream music around your house with the SoundBridge. Starting with the essentials of an alarm clock (in fact an atomic one, so you need never set the time) and remote control, Roku have added a clear display, presets to your favourite playlists and radio stations and a full stereo speaker pair with subwoofer. There's even a SD/MMC card slot for loading music direct. Hottech TV like the SoundBridge so much that they've made a video about it; check it out below.
Now that Apple is rumored to be releasing a new Apple TV box later this year, citizens of the mobile smart device universe have their respective TV-loving ears perked up once again. Do I need a new Apple TV? Maybe an Amazon Fire TV Stick instead? Perhaps I need to get something like a Roku, or maybe a Chromecast! Or - better yet - I could just use the old laptop that's sitting in, on, or under my desk. The one I replaced years ago, but still works just fine.