Flash! Roku “browse from the box” update available
I really like our Roku box.
It does a number of things, but the main thing is that it very simply streams Netflix content to your TV.
Simple is important, here, even though I like complicated. :) I’m impressed with how easy it was to set up, and how easy it is to operate.
We’ve been using it for a while now. It lets us watch TV shows and movies. We’ve been loving going through TV shows: The Dick Van Dyke Show from the beginning, Fame, Angel. We’ve (well, at least I’ve) seen lots of movies, too.
We have other ways to watch streaming Netflix: my college-age kid actually prefers watching on a laptop. We got the free Wii Neflix disc, but that was mostly to test it out. I like the Roku better than those. I often watch TV while I’m doing something on the computer, so that doesn’t work for me very well, and I like the bigger screen. The Wii thing is worth it because it’s free, but I don’t like having to put the disc in every time you want to watch something.
So, I was excited to hear we were getting a significant upgrade (for free).
Before this upgrade, you would add movies or TV shows to your Instant Queue on your computer, and then they would show up right away to watch on your TV through your Roku.
I thought that was actually a great thing for parental control. The guardians could put whatever they wanted in the Instant Queue (even a 100 or more titles), and then the kids could pick from those on the Roku.
However, if that’s not an issue for you (it isn’t in our house), that wasn’t very convenient. You couldn’t “browse from the box” and pick new titles without using the computer.
Now you can. 🙂
You can look by categories, search for specific titles, new titles, and see suggestions for shows similar to what you’ve been watching.
It’s nice…gives us a whole more options.
If you have a Roku, installing this is easy:
Settings-Player Info, check for update
It didn’t take long at for it to install the update. It then asked me if I wanted to restart, and that didn’t take much time, either. I’d guess the whole process was under five minutes.
Then, go back to Netflix. The navigation was pretty easy…up and down to select rows, left and right to select titles. After you select a title, you can go back up to get to your last decision point.
If you don’t have a Roku, Amazon carries them:
A Roku could make a great Fathers’ Day present for someone who was a fan of movies, TV…or baseball. You can get MLB, also. However, be aware that, while everything through Netflix is covered in your monthly Netflix fee (under $10), other services may charge.
Also, it’s worth noting that Google TV is coming, and that may do something similar. However, I will reiterate…I think that the Roku has good consumer design…Google may have that as well, but I know I like this one. 🙂
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.