A lot of you have asked what I thought of the Netflix Player I bought a few weeks ago… so here’s my feedback on it.
The Good: Using the Netflix player is incredibly easy. When you’re logged into your Netflix account online, you can browse to see what movies are available to watch instantly. They are marked with a navy blue icon. Just add it to your Instant Queue, and you’re ready to watch it on your TV. The only thing you need is an internet connection to the player, which can be done by wire or wirelessly through your network. The clarity and sound is wonderful. I couldn’t believe I was watching a show over online streaming on the TV. The $99 price tag is perfect.
The Bad: A lot of people have complained that the selection is limited. Unfortunately, the blame actually falls on movie studios that stubbornly refuse to allow their content to be made available for online rental. Netflix is working to negotiate with studios and I feel confident that they will have much more to choose from as the year goes on. They are already adding more content daily.
The Ugly: I had a technical question and called Roku, who makes the product. They will be your point of contact if you have a question that is hardware related. The first question they asked me was what I was using for my wireless network. When I told her it was an Apple Airport, she immediately told me to call Apple and said she wouldn’t help me.
This is inexcusable. The Apple Airport is simply a wireless router, just like any other brand. It has nothing to do with Windows or Mac, or anything like that. It’s just a box. And there’s no way Apple is going to provide support for the Roku box. Roku is the maker, and they should provide support for their product. Not Apple.
Further, the Netflix Player is intended to compete with Apple TV. They have a long way to go if they refuse to help anyone using an Apple product.
The Bottom Line: Crappy support aside, the Netflix Player is wonderful! It’s affordable, reliable, and we’ve been so impressed with it. We did have some troubles on the first day, but I suspect the box was in the middle of a service update. Just like Tivo, the player automatically downloads updates from the internet periodically. After being on for a few hours, it was fine and there have been no more problems.