Netflix Roku Player–streaming movie rentals

Netflix’s Roku Player

I tried Netflix way back in its infancy but I stopped subscribing over 2 years ago.

In its infancy while the number of subscribers were low, it was great.

Then they got BIG.

As with most things the law of supply and demand meant you had to wait long periods if the movie you wanted was in high demand.

I never felt like I was in that much of a hurry to watch a movie  but the only thing that irked me was when you got a DVD disc that wasn’t playable.

You would have to return the broken DVD, lose a couple of days before they ship you a replacement.

Often times, they ship you the same exact defective DVD. It’s happened and when I got no satisfaction from customer service, I canceled my subscription.

Recently I read Netflix is now streaming movie rentals. That caught my attention because that would mean defective DVDs would be thing of the past.

Having access to a library of movies 24/7 is far more appealing than just watching whatever is on cable or dish when you turn on the tv.

If the movie quality was acceptible and their current library extensive enough, I was sold.

I have one Intel Mac and 2 PowerPC Macs.

To watch streaming movies online, you need the newer Macs.

I think it has to do with how Microsoft’s Silverlight doesn’t work with the PowerPC Macs.

So I purchased the Netflix Roku player for a one-time cost of $100.

So this is a square box without brains.

In the back of the box, you’ll find these ports:

  • RJ-45 cord or Ethernet cord
  • power cord
  • component video
  • S video
  • RCA video

If you have a wireless router and broadband, you should be all set.

Setting up

When I read in the FAQs that set up was easy, I was doubtful.

Well, true to their word, I was up and running in less than 5 minutes.

You just need to figure out which video output you want to plug the box into.

I chose S-video and Input 2.

When the setup window showed up on my tv, I entered the name of my network and entered my password.

I was given an activation code on the screen which I entered.

After I log into my netflix account, I enter that code and I’m all set.

With my 6 Mbs DSL connection, the video quality is surprisingly good with S-video connection to my CRT television.

One of these days, I’ll get around to trying the video quality with the component output.

Since I don’t own a HD tv and can’t try the HDMI option,  I can’t make a comparison between the various video options.

Streaming movies on my HP2335 LCD monitor looked very good. No, the movies stream effortless without stuttering. It’s nothing like youTube.

Currently I’m on the 2-at-a-time unlimited plan.($14 a month) That means I can have 2 physical DVDs out at a time through the mail and I can also watch 2 different streaming movies: one through the Roku Netflix player or a different streaming movie through my Intel Mac Pro.

The cheapest unlimited plan which allows me to watch instantly is $9 a month.

As a Mac user with access to the iTunes online store, I am actually pleased this service is available and is giving Apple some competition.

In the big picture, it will only force Apple to give its traditional user base more consideration instead of just their profits.

I just watched last week’s episode of NCIS. I don’t really want to “buy” the entire season, I just want to be able to “time-shift” it to when my life allows me to watch it whenever it’s convenient.

Apple’s business model forces me to buy the episode for $3 if I miss the program when it airs.

I like Netflix’s thinking better. I can access anything in their library anytime either by placing what’s available in my instant queue or just firing up my Mac and choosing “Watch Instantly.”

The Netflix Watch Instantly library is quite impressive especially in the documentary category. Furthermore, there is no limit to how many I can watch from their library.

If your subscription is for 2 DVDs out-at-a-time, then you can watch 2 different movies at the same time. In my case I can watch one movie on my Mac while someone else in the house can watch something else on the Roku box that is connected to my tv.

I was able to find 2 documentaries on photographers Joel Sartore who works for National Geographic and legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson.

4 thoughts on “Netflix Roku Player–streaming movie rentals”

  1. Jazz,
    It is as I stated, to watch streaming video from Netflix you need an Intel processor Mac. Those PowerPC G5s will not work.

    The Roku box I have is connected to my “old world CRT TV” via S-Video. If you have an external monitor with S-Video, HDMI or RCA input, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to connect that Roku box to it.

    The iMacs don’t have any video inputs so that Roku box wouldn’t work with that. I hope that answers your question. Post back if you have further questions or you need clarfication.

    Thank you for visiting my blog

  2. Hi there,

    Did you use Roku on your PowerPC Mac without any issues? I have a PPC G5 iMac ONLY and a netflix account… but I cannot watch the movies online because I do not have intel.

    If I buy Roku, can I play Netflix on my PPC G5 iMac? if I cannot watch it on PPC G5 iMac, what about PPC G5 Mac Tower?

  3. It’s been over a month since I got Netflix’s Roku Player. No complaints so far. I wish they would put more new movies for streaming. The selection for older videos are good but could be better.

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