January 05, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
Perhaps the Netflix Player by Roku will be getting a name change soon. Roku and Amazon have announced that the player will be getting the ability to stream Amazon Video on Demand movies “early in 2009” today.
In case the 12,000-plus “Watch Instantly” options to stream from Netflix aren’t enough—even those good-lookin’ HD offerings that Roku can now handle—Amazon has 40,000 movies and TV shows ready to rent or purchase.
One knock on Netflix’s streaming selection is that it’s a bit stale, with mostly catalog titles, while Amazon says you can watch new releases the day they come out on DVD.
Other Amazon functionality includes:
- Access and add to their virtual library of purchases via Amazon Video On Demand’s Your Video Library, and re-watch them anytime on the Roku Player or online with a PC, MAC or other compatible device.
- Instant playback, no downloading, no waiting and no subscription fee.
- High-quality video through the advanced h.264 codec and an automatic bandwidth detection feature that seamlessly plays back the best quality file at either 300, 600, 900 or 1200 kbps.
- Easy setup of the Roku Player using its built-in Wi-Fi connection, so you can begin watching videos within minutes.
- Connections on the Roku Player that include HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video, Stereo Audio or Optical Audio connections.
Amazon doesn’t run on subscription like Netflix, but movies and TV range from free to $3.99 for 24-hour movie rentals like “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight,” $4.99 to $14.99 movie purchases, to $20 for full seasons of “24,” for example.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.