Roku just introduced The Netflix Player, the first product that allows subscribers to have movies and TV shows from the service's Instant Viewing feature (aka "Watch Now") to be streamed directly to their TV screen.
This, my friends, changes the whole dang game….
Instant Viewing was previously only available to Windows PC users through the Internet Explorer browser, so with the release of the Netflix Player, subscribers can finally access the entire Instant Viewing catalog through their TV. They only need a wired or wireless broadband connection, baby, and -- BANG! -- you’re in the game.
The Netflix Player retails for $100, and delivers unlimited streaming to any Netflix subscriber on the $8.95 plan or above. It can access about 8,000 titles so far, with more to come. Insiders say the picture quality is solid (not HD quality though) and the streaming performance mostly lag-free.
The only real fault is that less than 10 percent of Netflix's 100,000-plus library of titles is available for streaming to the Player (i.e. only two of Netflix's top 100 DVDs are available for streaming, March of the Penguins and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
Plus, Netflix says that in addition to Roku, three other hardware partners are scheduled to release competing products by year's end (LG and two others).
Now let the interweaving of your computer, TV and movie library begin!