First Netflix Streaming Box Review, $100 and Unlimited Downloads!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by guru_ck, May 20, 2008.

  1. guru_ck macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Via Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/389698/first-netflix-streaming-box-review-100-and-unlimited-downloads

    Netflix's first streaming box is finally here and it's pretty damn brilliant of a set up. First of all, the box is 99 bucks, and designed by Roku. It's fanless and quiet; has HDMI and optical outputs; and is about the size of 5 CD cases stacked together. Any Netflix disc mailing plan over $9 gets you unlimited streaming of almost 10,000 titles. Unlimited! 10K titles! Take that Apple TV and VuDu!

    It's going to be interesting to see how Apple and Vudu respond.
     
  2. bbbensen macrumors 6502

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #2
    I have Netflix. :)

    I dont think that my parents would get it. I wonder if it has HD movies? We wouldnt unless it does, cause we havent gotten a blue-ray player yet. If it does, we will get it in an instant.
     
  3. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
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    Newton, MA
    #3
    Stereo only -- no 5.1
    No HD Content at all. 0.
    No purchases at all. 0.
    No new "blockbuster" movies, except through the normal DVD rental.
    Picture quality: "not great, even at 2.2 Mbps"

    Still, it beats driving to the nearest brick & mortar store.
     
  4. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #4
    The Main thing I use my ATV for is viewing my Own DVD-rips something I don't think this will allow you to do. Downloading a viewing movies is definate secondary, I could basically do what this doesby hooking my laptop to the TV.
     
  5. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #5
    Reading over that review I don't see any reason for Gizmodo to be getting all excited about this device. In addition to the list that one poster has already pointed out you can't choose what entertainment to watch directly from the device. You have to start the stream from your computer. How lame is that?

    No, this device is just a slapped together panic response to the :apple:TV and XboX 360 rental services. It won't last very long.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #6
    Well, this seems perfect for me. I don't have HDTV and I don't care too much about the latest releases -- I can get them on pay-per-view if I really want them. The extra step of ordering from my computer is no big deal.

    Paying the $400 entry fee for apple tv, plus the relatively poor selection of rentals makes that a less appealing option than this.
     
  7. Josh396 macrumors 65816

    Josh396

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    #7
    Just curious, but where are you getting with the extra $170?
     
  8. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #8
    Oops. I mean the $229 entry fee. Still quite a bit more than $99.
     
  9. Jason Edwards macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #9
    This is just the entry level for Netflix. There are more advanced units coming. One step at a time. I would imagine eventually users will be able to view all of Netflix's library and do it from the unit without having to start the stream on the computer. The more options we have, the better things are.
     
  10. mr.666 macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    #10
    read about this in the NY Times this morn.... it's just an other example of how netflix just doesnt "get it" as a company. this things a toad, i was SOOOO excited when i heard about it i could drop my movie channels etc! yeah!!! but NO, it sux limited selection ok for now, no widescreen?, no HD maybe these are ok for some... BUT NO 5.1? what????, and Less than DVD quality?? these are deal breakers. Why even release it? it's obviously not ready and is gonna make them look silly(er).
     
  11. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

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    Feb 18, 2006
    #11
    without new releases I wouldn't get this, pointless to watch old movies for me
     
  12. Jason Edwards macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2007
    #12
    The unit itself is HD ready.

    Quote from Roku "The Netflix Player is HD-ready. It has all the connections you need to connect it to your HDTV, and it’s capable of playing back HD content. When Netflix releases HD content for Instant Watching, the Netflix Player by Roku will be ready."

    Now its up to Netflix to release some HD content for it. And Netflix is constantly adding new movies/shows to its Instant Watch program. Give it some time and it will get there.

    Jason
     
  13. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Does netflix seriously think they are going to stream 720p, Hi Def content to this box? Forget anything higher than 720p, that's never going to work except for the highest end internet connections. I doubt it will even be able to effectively stream DVD quality video (say, 2500 Kbps) without constant rebuffering. And forget it if they include DD 5.1. Does anyone remember the real media player? "Buffering..."

    I still say this box is a panic response, and is pretty much dead in the water.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  14. SamMiller0 macrumors member

    SamMiller0

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    San Jose, CA
    #14
    where did you see this described? If I interpret the gizmodo article correctly, you can still chose movies using the remote. You just have to setup your queue using a web browser as you would normally do so today without the streaming box.

     
  15. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I think you're right.

    It looks like I read it to quickly this morning.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  16. gcmexico macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

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    New York City
    #16
    yep!

    ***
    I'm with this comment...if you can't put ripped DVD's into the box what is the point? ATV, is one stop shop, limited for now but will only expand look at itunes...I have my whole movie collection 65+, all seasons of Seinfeld and all my personal videos on my ATV, and I can rent and buy movies with a touch of a button on my couch...what more does one need I ask??:rolleyes:
     
  17. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #17
    More than, say, a couple hundred rentals would be a good start. Most people over 35 don't collect TV episodes on their computers.
     
  18. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #18

    45 years old here, go very many TV Box sets from the 50-Today converted over to the ATV.
     
  19. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #19
    A good start. I will wait for HD support and 5.1, which is coming eventually.
     
  20. omni macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #20
    Aside from the limited rental selection that they have (and something AppleTV suffers from as well) this box is obviously designed so that there is no need to rip your own DVD's. Why waste the time ripping all seasons of Seinfeld when you could just browse the seasons by disc on netflix and stream which ever episode you want.

    That being said I would rather take the time to rip my own DVD's to get them near perfect with 5.1. But if this thing does become a little more fleshed out then I could see it really taking off.

    Too bad the thing really is ugly. Like Kindle ugly.

    Derek
     
  21. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #21
    This box is just the beginning. I think NEC said they are building one for Netflix as well.
     
  22. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

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    Southern California
    #22

    Maybe I missed something but this device doesn't have a hard drive and streams SD content directly. How on earth will they be able to flip the switch in the future and offer HD quality directly over the internet in real time and no buffering/hard drive storage?
     
  23. PaulMoore macrumors regular

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    Dec 3, 2007
    #23
    Well aside from the technical quality it's a subscription model for movie rentals. I love Netflix and if you watch more than four movies in a month then Netflix is cheaper than Apple TV on a month by month basis, it doesn't have the 24-hr restriction and it has a much bigger library.

    If Apple TV had a similar pricing structure then they'd be doing themselves a big favor. I'm sure Apple's technology is better but the costs are too high to make a big impact when Netflix is so much cheaper.
     
  24. patsfan83 macrumors regular

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    Apr 6, 2008
    #24
    Last time I checked, my appletv is theoretically streaming HD rentals...720p, DD audio. Granted you have to wait one minute for it to "buffer" and get a head start, but that is expected. Once I'm about 1-2% in, my download speed is faster than if I were to watch the movie in real time, so I am able to play it. I would consider that streaming since the file is continually being built on the fly.

    Not sure if this box is for me, sounds like the software is cheap if it can't animate the DVD cases like appletv, and you can't search for titles.
     
  25. peharri macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2003
    #25
    I was thinking about it today and I suspect subscription based downloads like this are the future of movie viewing (that is, the logical next step from DVD.) Who needs a library of physical discs when you can just watch what you want, when you want, from a massive library far larger than anything you'd ever own yourself. The ISPs need to get in on this too rather than treating it as a threat - imagine "HD ready DSL service".

    Subscriptions could ultimately be the "just works" thing that does it for movies. Such a system can't work with music because music is something you want to take with you, unfettered by an Internet umbilical cord. Movies - ok, it's occasionally nice to watch something on your laptop when you're traveling, but the reality is most people want to sit down in a comfortable environment when they watch something.

    Jobs has rejected subscriptions for music in the past, but it actually seems to me to be a good idea for movies. Pay $30 a month for access to a library far larger than anything you'd ever be able to build yourself. If Netflix can make the model work, and Apple/Microsoft/et al make the HD downloads work, then this could be what saves us all (industry included) from the horrors of Blu-ray, the most incompetent HD format ever devised.
     

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