Archive | January 18, 2011

Roku adds first live TV channel – a la carte TV selection to follow?

Roku made news today adding the first live channel (called linear feed) in the history of the media streamer boxes. The channel is not very well known (at least I never heard of it before) – WealthTV and it is offered for $2.99 / month. Regardless the channel though, it opens the door for a la carte content, something that definitely might ease your cable bill and putting the first nail in the coffin of more established service providers as your cable or satellite company.

That being said, this announcement made my day as a sign of things to come and re-enforce my family’s decision to cut the cable cord. Now, we only need to wait for SyFy (for me), HGTV / Food (for my wife) and some kids content and we are good to go.

The new channel will stream in HD, offer 24/7 content and work exactly as a live channel allowing you to drop in and see what’s on at that very moment.

via WealthTV

Why I returned my Boxee Box

Some time ago I reviewed the Boxee Box and the verdict was that Boxee Box was the best media player / streamer box I have ever tested and I still stand by that verdict. It is! However, I bought it to replace my beloved HTPC (see hardware here and here, software here) and unfortunately it fell short of achieving that goal. Let’s dig a little bit and find the reasons…

Let me reiterate my goal: The reason I bought Boxee Box was to replace my trusted HTPC with something smaller, easier to use and not that power hungry. I use my HTPC in order to access HULU, Netflix and, very important for me, the local content consisting in hundreds of DVD and or Blu-ray discs legally purchased and ripped to be accessible for instant view around the house. While in theory Boxee Box is capable of doing everything I want, I found myself after almost two months of usage that it cannot deliver the level of customization I want for a device in the living room. Here is why: Read More…

No more DVD queue management for Netflix boxes – Do you care?

According to a recent blog posting from Netflix, there are plans in place to remove “Add to DVD Queue” option from Netflix streaming boxes. The reasoning is Netflix wants to concentrate on offering titles that are actually available to watch. Of course, you’ll still be available to manage all your queues online on their website.

What do you think about this move? It is obviously a cut in functionality but does it really affect you? I noticed that I never used any of my many Netflix capable media streaming devices to manage my DVD queue and this change will actually impact my experience in a positive way, especially if the movies that are not available for streaming will stop appearing in the search results when searching from a streaming box, but your behavior might differ. What do you think?

As a long term strategy, Netflix is obviously planning a shift from DVD shipment to pure streaming. The infrastructure required to ship physical media amount to about 30 percent of Netflix expenses, so it makes sense all the way.

via Netflix Blog