Posts Tagged ‘hulu’

Roku and Netflix – Movies on demand

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

The Netflix PlayerPlayer Connections

My ROKU box has arrived, 3 days l

ater via fedx.  This is an amazing device.   I was up in running in about 5 minutes.  I hooked up the ROKU to my tv with my existing HDMI cable (not supplied), and the only other cable was the power cord for the ROKU box. After inserting the two AAA batteries (included) in to the remote, I was up and running. My TV showed me that I was using 480p video mode when I plugged in the ROKU.  The first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t any power on/off switch or button on the remote. It just turned on.

The hardest part was using the remote control to enter my wep key for my wireless internet connection, which was 16 digits long.  The setup screen had the keyboard and num pad setup as buttons, and you would use the arrows and the select key on the remote to enter your code.  Once connected, I was asked to log into the netflix website and enter an access code that was displayed on the ROKU screen.  As soon as I hit the enter key on the netflix site, all of my queued videos started to populate the ROKU screen.  I clicked on the first video just to see it working.  After my selection, a status bar appeared, and indicated it was testing for video quality.  It started up with 2 out of 4.  I immediatly thought I was going to be disappointed, as I have read that 2 is low quality.  About 25 seconds later, the video began to play.  The video was watchable, but the pixels were noticable.  I decided to reposition the box, and upgrade the software.  After the upgrade, it reset itself, and in less then 30 seconds, I was back at the main menu, able to choose another movie to watch.  I chose another movie, and this time I was presented with 3 out of four for the video quality.  It was a big improvement.  I watched for about 10 minutes, and decided to pause the movie.  The movie I choose was in 4:3 mode, and it had the letterbox bars on the side of the video.  I went into the setup menu and selected 4:3.  I went back to the movie, and did a resume.  About 15 seconds later, I got a 4 out of 4 for the video quality, and It resumed playback.  This was very impressive, as it filled the screen without the letterbox, and it looked like I was watching the movie from my DVD player.

The only thing holding it back is lack of content.  It would be great if it would stream music and video from either a web site or from my multimedia server, similar to there ROKU 1000 unit. To top it off, add a hard drive and include a web browser and you would have the ultimate multimedia solution. ROKU has made this an open source project, so both the hardware and software specs are available for all to see.  There is talk about adding other sources of video such as Hulu and Youtube.  For the price / performance, this is a great alternative to cable TV.  $8.99 a month for the Netflix service, and a one time $100 purchase of the ROKU box.  You just a DSL connection or better to the internet.  Dial up will not cut it.

Here is a great link for finding instant watch videos on netflix:

Video Player using Hulu Service

This is a great TV Player using adobe air and using Hulu Service. It does have limited commercials, but it also supports HD and CC

8x Blu-ray USB 2.0 burner coming from Buffalo

Buffalo has announced that it is releasing the first-ever Blu-ray burners with the ability to record at 8X speeds.

The company has an external and internal 8X drive, dubbed the BR-816U2 and BR-816FBS and each will be able to write dual-layer BD50s at the new speed meaning in theory all 50GB can be filled up in 15 minutes. Rewritable BD can be written at 2x while CDs and DVDs can write at max speeds.

The external drive has a USB 2.0 interface as well as a eSATA connector providing the same bandwidth as if the drive were attached internally.

Each of the drives comes with Cyberlink software for playback, authoring and burning of Blu-ray content.

The drives will hit Japan in August for the equivalent of $382 USD(for the internal) and $435 for the external.

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