Roku To Add Movies; Apple TV Dead?

Folks, it’s CES time. So you’re gonna see a lot of digital media stories here for the next few days.

Roku, which now lets Netflix subscribers stream movies and TV episodes to their TV sets via a $99 box, will soon bring a similar capability to

In the near future, Roku box owners like us can rent or purchase 40,000 movies and TV episodes from the Amazon Video On Demand service.

Currently, movies and TV shows from Amazon can be easily watched on the TV sets via a TiVo DVR and Sony BRAVIA Internet Video Link.

A Big Deal?
Sure, the deal with expands Roku’s capabilities beyond Netflix but is it really a big deal?

We’re not sure.

Giving the pricing of rental and purchases, we believe the Roku boxes will be primarily used to access Netflix content.

Also, the Amazon Video On Demand service does not appear to have Bollywood or Kollywood content in any significant way.

With Netflix, $8.99 per month gives you access to both a DVD rental (of 100,000 movies/TV shows including a huge collection of Bollywood, Kollywood offerings) PLUS online Instant Play through devices like Roku, Xbox 360 and LG Blu-ray disc player.

Let’s wait and see how all of this pans out. Perhaps, the model will change and they may roll out a subscription service too a la Netflix.

We’ve used Roku for nearly eight months and strongly recommend it. The installation process is smooth and the small device does the job well.

Our feeling is that eventually most TV sets will come broadband-enabled, which means a separate box like Roku will not be necessary. LG Electronics today announced plans to build in Netflix support on some of its LCD and Plasma television sets.

Impact on Apple TV
Roku’s support for the Amazon Video On Demand service is another nail in the coffin of the Apple TV device, which lets users buy or rent movies and videos from the Apple iTunes digital media store and watch them on their TV sets.

Never a big seller to begin with, we think Apple TV will have an even harder time going forward.

We’ve played with Apple TV at our friend’s place and like it.

You can also watch YouTube videos on TV via the device. We watched the Ishq Di Gali song/dance sequence from the Salman Khan-Anil Kapoor-Bipasha Basu movie No Entry on a Pioneer Plasma TV via Apple TV and YouTube and it was cool.

But like all things Apple, Apple TV is way too expensive compared to the $99 Roku box. Apple TV costs $229 for the 40GB version and $329 for the 160GB version.

No, Apple TV does not support Netflix. At least not yet.

One of these days, we’ll rent or buy a movie from via our Roku box and let you know how the process works.

Stay tuned, folks.

5 Responses to "Roku To Add Movies; Apple TV Dead?"

  1. gnair91   January 6, 2009 at 6:43 am

    what kind of tv shows do you watch? Responds:

    News, mostly CNN & sometimes MSNBC, Fox or CNBC.

    Occasionally talk shows like Bill O’Reilly (Fox), Keith Olberman & Rachel Maddow (both MSNBC).

  2. Skjoldbjærg   January 6, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Nair, Have Indian channels started broadcasting in HD?

    SI, do you use an antenna with your HDTV? All local channels carry a 24 hour news channel in our area.. if news is all one watches, combining the local channels for news and scouring can save a lot of money on cable bills 🙂 Responds:

    You write: if news is all one watches, combining the local channels for news and scouring can save a lot of money on cable bills

    True but there are other folks here who watch the English version of Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu (a.k.a. Law & Order).

    You write: SI, do you use an antenna with your HDTV?…

    No, we don’t use an external antenna with the HDTV…just the regular cable feed.

  3. Skjoldbjærg   January 6, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Not sure if I posted a reply already.. I am thinking that I accidentally closed my browser before “Submit”ing.

    I watch my programs like CSI, House, L&O through antenna.

    Each Station multicasts more than one sub-channel.
    One is reserved for the main programs like Law & Order, House, CSI, Victoria’s Secret Show etc.
    And the other sub-channels are used for 24-hour news / weather or sometime they broadcast local college games.

  4. Skjoldbjærg   January 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I am taking the liberty of assuming that using an outdoor antenna is a deterrent for you..

    This indoor antenna
    works great for me.

    If you save 50$/month on cable bills, you can use that to buy the LG/netflix TV for your kitchen, if you don’t have one there.. Responds:

    Outdoor antenna is not an issue for us.

    We’ll take a look at the Terk indoor antenna.

    There’s no end to this electronics junk…we’ve accumulated so much of it some of which we have not even opened yet (after years!).

    You write: If you save 50$/month on cable bills, you can use that to buy the LG/netflix TV for your kitchen, if you don’t have one there..

    As it is, we have too many TVs (three currently after giving away our Sansui).

  5. Skjoldbjærg   January 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    The USP of LG TV is its resistance to fumes from the Pineapple Gojju stove.

    Damn, I looked up the Pineapple Gojju recipe again.. it looks mouth watering.

    back to antennas (no, I don’t work for Terk):

    The quality of the OTA programs are remarkably better than cable programs.

    I hate money wasted on cableTV as much as SRINIVAS hates islam. Responds:

    We agree…cable here in the U.S. is a big ripoff because most places don’t have competition.

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