Our geek-owned beach house includes a Roku Digital Video Player. Formerly known as the Roku Netflix Player, this player has branched out beyond Netflix. It now has dozens of video and podcast streams that can be delivered straight to your television.
I admit I had my doubts about this modest little box, but after seeing it in action I’m convinced. We already enjoy Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” video streaming through the built-in capability of our Samsung Blu-Ray player. To my surprise, the Roku blows our Samsung away. The Roku user interface is far better than our Samsung player’s.
This is no more apparent than in the way the two units manage the Netflix queue. Like many Netflix subscribers, as we’ve become more addicted to Netflix’s streaming options our queue has grown substantially. On the Samsung, this queue is presented as a singular horizontal parade of movie images. You have to scroll seemingly forever to get to the last show added to your queue. The Roku, on the other hand, uses all of the television screen’s area to display the queue: you’re not limited to a horizontal line of shows. You can even use a search box: one that’s surprisingly easy to use with the Roku’s simple remote control.
When Roku says they have simply their best Netflix experience ever, they might just have a claim to being anyone’s best Netflix experience. While the added content of other, non-Netflix video content is appealing to me, the Roku’s superior handling of Netflix makes this box a no-brainer. I’ll be buying my own soon!