It seems hard to believe, now that Netflix streaming video is available on nearly any Internet-connected home video product, but back in the spring of 2008, the only Netflix-compatible device was a tiny streaming media box called the Roku Player. In the two years since its release, a series of firmware upgrades has expanded the program offerings on the Roku, even as the company added step-down and step-up models to the lineup as well.
In its latest incarnation, the company has made its little black box even smaller, while retaining the same onscreen look and feel and "channel" … Read more
Let me say this upfront: I haven't tried them myself. But the digital media servers from San Francisco-based Olive seem aimed at a weird niche between audiophile and technophobe.
A lot of home audio devices let you stream digital music from your computer to your stereo over a home network. Olive's digital servers also connect to your stereo, but let you rip CDs to digital formats right on the device--no computer required. (Or, if you're you're lazy and rich, the company will do the dirty work for you.) Then you can play the resulting digital files … Read more
There's a new Apple TV around the corner and we're fielding rumors that a Google TV device will be launching at the end of the month. Both devices--as well as boxes by companies like Boxee and Roku--share the same goal: they want you to ditch your cable or satellite TV provider as well as DVDs and Blu-ray.
Many people actually have done so already--yours truly included. But there are others, like my parents, who find the idea too hard to wrap their head around. They want the content pushed to them by the providers and they're OK … Read more
Roku, the set-top box known for streaming Netflix movies from the Web to users' television sets, has teamed with MP3tunes.com to offer users the ability to stream their iTunes music libraries to their TVs.
"For the first time, music lovers can play their personal iTunes music collection on their TV without a home server," MP3tunes and Roku said in a statement Tuesday. "Roku has added expanded support for personal music collections with the addition of MP3tunes."
When Negroponte first showed off the OLPC netbook circa 2006, it was far more advanced than the laptops we had on the market at the time. It had hand-cranked power, a screen that worked in full sunlight, and it was smaller and cheaper than anything we had on the market. It was partially responsible for the explosion … Read more
Recently, Roku released a preview video of an upgrade to its Netflix channel that added a more robust interface, more instant queue options, and--in a first for embedded Netflix players--the capability to search the library directly from your TV screen. According to the company, it will begin releasing the upgrade to Roku Player boxes over the course of the seven days, starting Friday, May 27.
I received the upgrade early, and was able to give it a quick hands-on test.
InterfaceRoku's current Netflix interface is something of a yawner. It is serviceable, but it does little more than provide … Read more
To counterbalance the stories we regularly see about how the Internet makes us antisocial misanthropists, here is one that shows just the opposite: the Internet brings happiness. Well duh! CNET readers already knew that!
All joking aside, there is something to be said about information and happiness. Ignorance is hardly bliss when ignorance means not having access to research, news, entertainment, and one another. The popular belief seems to be that modern advancements do not make us happy but perhaps that is too technologically deterministic.
Ultimate Fighting Championship fans are getting another forum for watching the latest bouts. UFC has signed a multiyear agreement to stream live fights on Roku set-top boxes.
The agreement kicks off May 29 with a match between two former UFC champions. Roku owners will pay $44.99 per fight, the same as on pay-per-view, a Roku representative said.
UFC fans will still have the option of watching games on pay-per-view through their satellite or cable provider.
As part of the new deal, fight fans will also have access to UFC Vault channel on the Roku box. The channel includes pre-fight … Read more
Can two competing operating systems really make it work in the game of love? Maybe not. Maybe the world really does need Cupidtino, the Apple fans-only dating site discussed in Thursday's episode of Loaded.
My first reaction to this site was a resounding, "Oh brother!" I can't stand unabashed Apple love, even though I am exclusively a Mac user. However, being raised a Jehovah's Witness (which I am not any longer, but that is a topic outside the range of this post), I was taught not to date outside of my religion.
Later in life, … Read more