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.
Cable-cutting -- the act of cancelling your cable or satellite subscription to join the ranks of occasionally holier-than-thou set-top-boxers -- is a slowly growing change to how many get their daily entertainment fix. Benefits abound for cutting the cable, and you've likely heard the tropes by now: lower cost, better access to content in the moment, and the reality that cable-cutting better fits with many viewers' schedules (if you're time-shifting all your shows around your work schedule, there's little point in keeping a traditional cable subscription, after all).
Sanyo has announced that it has rolled out its new 2014 line of HDTV sets. Every set in the line this year is full HD, 1080p resolution. Sanyo isn't offering any 4K TVs at this time. Considering that Sanyo has become a low price brand, having no 4K sets in its new line is no surprise. Sanyo has offerings in the line ranging from 24-inches to 65-inches.
Koushik Dutta has added Amazon Fire TV support to his AllCast, a popular app that lets you mirror your Android screen or streams content from Android devices to your TV. Users will need to install the receiver app on their Fire TV; which is free, however AllCast for Android cost $4.99 to have all its features enabled – which I personally think worth every penny.
After the launch of the Fire TV, Amazon is ramping up on its content drive with two new pilots, including a dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans, and a drama called Hand of God. The new shows, expected to arrive later in 2014 as part of Amazon Instant Video, feature casts including Adam Brody, Chloe Sevigny, Ron Perlman, and Dana Delany.