Netflix’s big week continues with Roku‘s announcement of the immediate availability of two new devices to stream movies, tv shows, and sports to your HDTV:
With today’s announcement, customers can now purchase a Roku player for as little as $79.99 at http://www.roku.com or http://www.amazon.com. For a limited time, customers purchasing through either Roku or Amazon will receive free shipping, making it even more affordable to get started with a Roku.
The new Roku SD and Roku HD-XR expand the product line, both at lower and higher price points from the flagship device (depicted above). All players continue to deliver instant entertainment from
As the name implies, Amazon‘s service is on demand, but Netflix and MLB require a subscription. But Roku does not! So if you are an existing subscribers of one of both of those services may now add streaming capability to your Home Theater for the one time fee $80. If you prefer to pick and choose when to watch movies or a TV show then Amazon is for you.
The new wireless Roku HD-XR, at the higher end, makes bringing streaming content to your HDTV easier if you do not have the luxury of an existing ethernet connection in your Home Theater and do no want to run cables.
On the budget end is the Roku SD. Billed as an entry-level model to the Roku family, there are only analog outputs:
- composite video
- stereo audio
- no S-Video, no HDMI, no digital audio
This could be paired very nicely with an older display, relegated to a closet once your new flat screen took center stage, to boost its self-esteem and given new life. There is still a good amount of content from both Netflix and Amazon that is available only in DVD quality (not HD) and stereo (no Dolby Digital), so the drop off won’t be as bad as you think.
And for those early adopters out there that must have the cutting edge setup in their Home Theater, there are three nifty phone applications that offer remote scheduling and remote control capabilities:
Roku must certainly be banking that dropping to well below the $100 entry point will draw customers. Perhaps you are their ideal prospect who will dust off that old CRT, plug in Roku SD, start streaming from Amazon, get hooked and upgrade to the Roku HD-XR. Where does that leave the Roku HD? Well there’s plenty of room where those old CRTs were. Happy viewing.