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Old 07-31-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
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LXer: Roku's Netflix Player: a hands-on review

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It's small and silent, sports an array of ports on the back but only one tiny white LED on the front, and it can help you spend hours of time in front of your TV -- and it runs Linux. It's the Netflix Player from embedded device specialist Roku, and we got our hands on it for a review of the service and the hardware. Netflix began delivering on-demand video in January 2007, restricting viewers to watching content through Internet Explorer on Windows. The "Watch Instantly" option uses DRM-encumbered Windows Media Video to lock out all non-Windows Media Player plug-ins (including licensed media players such as Fluendo's WMV codecs). The in-browser player includes minimal playback controls, and the service is built-in to all existing Netflix accounts. Subscribers on plans that include a fixed number of discs per month are alloted a fixed number of hours through the Watch Instantly service; subscribers on unlimited disc plans can watch an unlimited number of Watch Instantly programs.



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