Well as most of you are probably figuring out by now. I’m a music and movie nut. I love Netflix. It’s the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel. Seriously. I can watch tons of great movies for one low price per month. I’m on the three at a time unlimited plan, and while some things about the service aren’t great, most of it is including their large amount of foreign films and hard to find films.
I love Netflix. I have been a member of Netflix since 2004 and at the time, there wasn’t even a peep about streaming. YouTube still was getting off the ground. No one was really doing a lot of video work on the web. The files where too big and the amount of server space it required was ridiculous. Jump ahead about two years and Netflix starts to offer streaming from their website that you could watch on your computer. Hum, things are getting interesting. Jump about another year forward and Netflix offers the first device to stream directly to your television, the Roku. Ladies and gentleman I present to you the future of media.
My birthday is December 5th, don’t worry you didn’t have to get me anything, but my wife got me the Roku box for my birthday. Not only did she get me just any Roku box but she got me the HD one with wireless interweb and HDMI outputs to my HD TV. Have I told you lately that my wife knows me pretty well. She does. What she got me are the keys to the kingdom. A virtual world of unlimited entertainment 24/7/365. It’s always open, it’s always on and there is always something I want to see!
So you maybe asking yourself, “I’m not techy is this thing hard to use?” Well it’s not hard to use, but it was hard to get set up for me at first. The Rokubox my wife got me can either be used directly with your modem, just pop out your ethernet cable and pop it into the Roku and your ready to go, given that your ethernet cable is close you your TV or you have a REALLY long RCA video set up like I do. It all seemed to be working but for some reason the Rokuwouldn’t connect to my local network. After a quick google search of their forums I discovered that the modem provided to us by CFU is the only modem that doesn’t work with the Roku device. Crap. Crap is right. Well I decided just then and there to make my house wireless! See new technology is forcing me to forward my progress whether I’m ready or not!
So I do some research on the interweb. Frantically email one of my tech buddies on Facebook looking for suggestions and then search the Roku site for acceptable wireless routers. It took my facebook buddy pointing me in the right direction to actually find the routers that Roku recommends but no biggie. So armed with a list of routers, the Roku manual and basic knowledge of routers and what the do I head to Best Buy. I chat with a sales guy about routers and he assures me this is the one I want. I purchase it and run home and try and set it up.
Failure. The first thing I notice is that the router is for dial up modems. DIAL UP MODEMS! Of course cause that’s so 2010 right? I put it back in the box and wait until my wife gets home from work and rush back out to Best Buy. This time they get a geek squad member to answer my questions. And presto I walk out the door with the right router and I even got money back! Nice!
I get home and in a matter of minute the router is set up, passwords in place and we are off to the races. It was seriously that easy. In 20 minutes my house was wireless. I’m kicking myself for not starting this sooner. So then I take my Roku upstairs to the good TV and type in a couple of passwords. Activate my device at the Netflix home site and PRESTO there is my entire instant queue available to watch any time I want!
And that’s what I’ve been doing folks. Watching movies and TV shows right and left in my free time. It’s unbelievable how easy it was and it’s also been very very dependable with great picture quality. There are a few drawbacks. There are little to no new releases. The studios still want you to buy DVDs so streaming them to you from Netflix isn’t at the top of their priority list right now, and the studios control the content. Secondly there isn’t a ton of HD stuff available yet either. I know that will change soon. That has a lot to do with servers and bandwith and as that stuff gets bigger and more affordable I’m sure Netflix will increase those too.
All in all Netflix and the Roku box have changed my entertainment experience. Think of the future, a world of entertainment just a click away and you’ll never have to own a physical piece of media again. That seems scary to some, but to me that sounds like a Brave New World.
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