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    $99.00
    1. Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)
    $79.99
    2. LG BD530 1080p Network Blu-ray
    $79.99
    3. Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p
    Too low to display
    4. Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray Disc
    $99.99
    5. Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p
    Too low to display
    6. LG BD570 Network Blu-ray Disc
    Too low to display
    7. LG 42LD450 42-Inch 1080p 60 Hz
    Too low to display
    8. Sony BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc Player
    Too low to display
    9. LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc
    $31.85
    10. Sony DVP-SR200P/B DVD Player,
    Too low to display
    11. LG 32LD350 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz
    $69.99
    12. Roku HD Streaming Player
    Too low to display
    13. Panasonic DMP-BD85K WiFi Enabled
    Too low to display
    14. Sony DVP-FX950 9-Inch Portable
    $349.99
    15. TCL L32HDF11TA 32-Inch 720p 60
    $56.97
    16. Coby TFDVD7009 7-Inch Portable
    $134.00
    17. Samsung BD-C6500 1080p Blu-ray
    $299.98
    18. VIZIO E320VA 32-Inch 720p LCD
    $111.00
    19. Samsung BD-C5500 1080p Blu-ray
    Too low to display
    20. Sony DVP-SR500H 1080p Upscaling

    1. Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)
    Electronics
    list price: $99.00 -- our price: $99.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001FA1NK0
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 23
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Apple TV has been redesigned to be small in size but big on entertainment. Rent from the largest selection of HD movies - many available the same day they come out on DVD. Watch Netflix titles instantly. Rent TV shows, commercial free in HD. And stream photos and music from your computer to your widescreen TV.

    The sleek new Apple TV has been completely retuned for your entertainment. It's 80 percent smaller than the previous generation - even with a built-in power supply. Which makes it perfect for sitting neatly on a widescreen TV stand or squeezing into a crowded media cabinet. Not only does the new Apple TV have an amazingly small footprint, it's also incredibly energy efficient. It stays cool without a fan, so it's never noisy. And when it's not filling your living room with drama, romance, and comedy, it uses less power than a night-light.Processor -Apple A4 processor Ports & Interfaces -HDMI, Optical audio, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Built-in IR receiver, Micro-USB (for service) Power -Built-in 6-watt universal PS Wireless -802.11n Wi-Fi (a/b/g compatible) Video Formats -H.264 video up to 720p (.m4v,. mp4,. mov file formats), MPEG-4 video up to 640x480 9(.m4v,. mp4,. mov file formats), Motion JPEG up to 1280x720 (.avi file format) Audio Formats -HE-AAC (V1), AAC, protected AAC, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround pass-through Photo Formats -JPEG, GIF, TIFFSystem Requirements -AirPort Extreme, Wi-Fi 802.11b, g, or n wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11g or 802.11n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network iTunes Store account for renting movies and TV shows Netflix account for streaming Netflix content For streaming media from a Mac or PC -iTunes 10 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing Remote control uses CR2032 battery
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Video Review: Apple TV, so much for so little, October 10, 2010
    This is an amazing compliment to your home theater.
    So many features, yet so simple to use.
    My 7 year old son has it all figured out.

    I hope you enjoy the video.
    Let me know what you think.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Apple TV - Good Now, Potential to be Great, October 15, 2010
    I am not an Apple Afficianodo. I don't wear jeans and black turtlenecks in reverence to Steve Jobs. I don't hang out at the Apple Store and covet becoming a "genius"; however, I have to give credit where credit is due. The last few products Apple has brought out - the iPod, iPhone, iPad - have been incredible and changed the consumer electronics and media / software landscape. Apple TV is now positioned to do the same, but it will take some more time to fully realize the potential of this device.

    Apple TV effectively allows you to stream whatever is on your iTunes to your TV and home theater system. Moreover, it has built in support for Netflix, You Tube and a few other internet based media content providers. The picture quality and performance for these services are worth the price of admission. There is significant potential to advance the platform - just give it some time.

    System Overview: My Apple TV is plugged into a 60 inch Samsung 1080p LED HDTV via HDMI (video) and a Yamaha Home Theater Receiver via Toslink optical cable (audio). I have AT&T Uverse with their 802.11g Residential Gateway (combination of DSL modem and wireless router) with their Elite DSL service (6 MB per second). iTunes runs on a Dell Desktop with 4GB of memory, Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 500 GB Hard Drive operating on Windows Vista (64 bit) and secured with Norton 360 (firewall, antivirus, etc.). The network handles the Desktop, 2 iPhones, a Blackberry, an iPad, the Apple TV, 4 Laptops, a wireless Printer and a networked wired printer. The Computer / Residential Gateway are in the Den and the TV / Home Theater / Apple TV are in the family room. The two rooms are about 100 feet apart and are separated by five walls.

    Set Up: Easy as pie. It took five minutes to plug in the HDMI cable, the optical cable, the power outlet and then adding it to the wireless network. Sharing iTunes from my desktop to Apple TV took another 20 minutes, since I had to download the new version of iTunes and restart my computer and Apple TV. Apple really makes it easy - I didn't have to make any adjustments to my firewall settings to share iTunes on the desktop with Apple TV. I also downloaded the Apple Remote on my iPhone and iPad, which took another 5 minutes.

    User Interface: Apple's secret sauce is the simplicity of their products. Apple TV is no different. The menu is very simple - Movies, TV, Internet, Computer and Settings. Movies and TV are for renting content directly from iTunes within Apple TV. Internet gives you access to Netflix, You Tube, etc. Computer gives you access to iTunes on your computer. Settings allows you to change the various Apple TV options. The remote control is Apple's usual model of minimalist efficiency, with a menu button, a play / pause button and an iPod like controller. The supplied remote works well with Apple TV, but is a bit cumbersome when one has to enter data (e.g., e-mail addresses, search on YouTube or Netflix). A much better solution is downloading Apple Remote on your iPhone or iPad. It basically turns the iPhone or iPad into a big touch pad that allows you to use gestures to control the Apple TV (e.g., swipe left, swipe right, double click, etc.). Moreover, it automatically provides a keyboard when one is asked for text input (e.g., for search). Apple remote is free on the App Store.

    Netflix Streaming / Video Quality: Setting up Netflix was quick - basically just enter your e-mail address / password and you're ready to go. I watched some TV from BBC, a foreign flick and Iron Man. Each program loaded quickly - less than 30 seconds. Picture quality was good to great, depending on the source material. Picture quality was comparable to DVD for SD material(perhaps slightly better), but slightly less sharp than upconverted DVD or blue-ray. HD Programming looked like the HD on-demand programming through uVerse. There was enough of a buffer that there was no jittering, pixelation or stuttering on the streaming to the TV. Sound quality on the stream was good - I don't think they stream in 5.1, so the video stream doesn't leverage the subwoofer. Considering that I'm running a heavily taxed wireless system on 802.11g with a 100 foot distance between Apple TV and the Gateway, the picture quality and streaming performance are impressive. Having this quality of Netflix compatibility is worth the price of admission by itself.

    iTunes Streaming: I streamed some music from my Playlists from the Computer. Sound quality is good, but not great. My Yamaha CD Player sounds better, but it can only hold 5 cds. Having access to my entire library is very useful, so you lose sound quality but gain convenience. iTunes streams not only the music, but also the cover art. After a few minutes, Apple TV switches into screensaver mode and starts transmitting pictures to the TV along with the music. I also streamed some videos from my computer and the streaming was again flawless. One of the issues with Apple TV is that it only supports the Apple video standards, i.e., MP4. I had some DIVX files that I converted over to MP4 by using DVD Fab and imported them into iTunes. So if you have a library of AVI, Divx, Xvid, etc., this will require conversion of those files in order to stream from your computer.

    iTunes from within Apple TV: There is access to an iTunes store within Apple TV as well. They have a different pricing structure, in that TV shows and movies are available for rent only. They have a limited number of titles at this point - primarily BBC, ABC (since Steve Jobs sits on their Board) and Fox. CBS and NBC are not on Apple TV. Movie selection is decent - they have all the latest movies. The Apple TV selection can be easily increased by just downloading the content you want from iTunes on your desktop and then streaming it to Apple TV.

    YouTube Streaming: Surprisingly good. The HQ / HD You Tube pieces look remarkably crisp on the TV. The older content that was meant to watch on a small window on your computer looked a little pixelated, but acceptable.

    Apple has built a great platform with a lot of potential. With what is available right now - Apple TV is a pretty impressive value at $99. It is worth it just for the Netflix streaming and integration with iTunes. Since Apple TV is actually built on the same hardware (at least the processing chip) as the iPhone and iPad and has the same operating system, I wouldn't be surprised if there are "apps" that will eventually make it to Apple TV to further enhance Apple TV (e.g., ABC Streaming, Games, Amazon on Demand, etc.). There is supposed to be an upgrade to the operating system with a new version of Airplay that comes out in November, 2010. This will allow you to stream from an iPad or iPod to the Apple TV as well.

    I looked at other streaming devices (e.g., Roku, using my Panasonic Blue Ray for Netflix, etc.) and none of them had the simplicity and reliabilty that the Apple TV offers. The Wi Fi "stick" for my Blue Ray player is $80 anyway and the Netflix integration isn't anywhere nearly as robust as Apple TV. UVerse also has music and picture streaming built in using Microsoft Media Center - however, it required some network configuration and it crashes quite often. I didn't purchase a Roku, but a friend of mine has had a number of issues with streaming performance. At under $100, the Apple TV is competitively priced with other streaming options. Now just bring on the "apps".





    4-0 out of 5 stars a great box for getting media from point A, B and C to your TV, October 2, 2010
    I was looking forward to this product since it was announced early last month. I'm glad I pulled the trigger and bought it when it became available. For $99 it provides most of the functionality I was paying microsoft $50 a year for. I've become less dependent on the XBOX as a game machine, and more as a Netflix/Media Streamer since my family has grown, and not having to pay for XBOX Live was one of the driving reasons behind this purchase. The reason I say "most of the functionality" is due to it not having the codec support that the XBOX360 comes with out of the box. I've had no issues with playback of mp4 or m4v files, and I'm happy with that, but it lacks support for WMV and AVI (as far as I've experienced). This isn't exactly a deal breaker since I can re-encode any content to supported codecs with handbrake and use iTunes to take care of my video library.

    The UI is slick, the setup was somewhat easy (but would have been easier with keyboard support) and the ability to control music from my laptop and desktop is fantastic (through iTunes via the currently limited "airplay" functionality).

    I'm really happy with the YouTube, Flickr and Netflix support. They are by far the best I've seen from a media center, but I can see certain aspects being a pain if you use the included remote (there is no keyboard to speak of, and scrolling through letter to spell things out is a hassle). The remote app on iOS devices more than makes up for the lack of a keyboard since it provides added functionality (such as alpha numeric input, quick seeking and library browsing). I look forward to video support with airplay and will update this review once I get to play with that (in November?).

    One last thing - it's quiet. The thing barely makes a peep.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Unrealized Potential (so far), October 2, 2010
    PROS
    *Low Power (less than 6 watts)
    *Compact
    *Good-looking UI
    *Netflix support (unlike previous generation AppleTV)
    *Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch
    *Airplay (though basically we just have Airtunes functionality until iOS 4.2 comes out for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch).
    *Closed Captions (Content dependent)

    CONS
    *Lots of "Loading..." screens
    *No Local Storage! (must stream over Internet or via iTunes on PC/Mac using Home Sharing. I know you were trying to cut costs Apple, but why not at least allow local USB storage? I know, I know: DRM.)
    *IR Sensor inferior to previous generation AppleTV (requires more direct line of sight)
    *Lag before videos and podcasts start playing (even when located on a local computer)
    *Netflix controls are not as good as Roku. Infrequent keyframes makes it hard to rewind to an exact spot. Roku does much better (and even PS3 Netflix controls are better).
    *Podcast controls sometimes get confused (screen indicates reversing at maximum speed, but video is actually reversing at 1x)
    *Doesn't precache artwork icons (Scrolling down through a list of podcasts or Netflix movies, it loads the screen with empty icons then slowly downloads them. This happens no matter how long you wait before scrolling down. Sometimes, it never gets around to downloading certain icons. Hey Apple, how about displaying the name of the movie while you are retrieving the artwork so we can start using the interface even if all of the artwork isn't there?) [Update: there may be some precaching going on, but just not in a very intelligent manner. I have about 170 movies in my Netflix instant queue and a 1.5 Mbps DSL connection so that may contribute to the slowness displaying artwork. If you have a very fast internet connection, you will probably have minimal delay.]
    *No Pandora
    *No App support (Yet? Come on Apple, enable App support. It won't take long before we have lots of useful 3rd party apps. I'm sure Pandora would be one of the first and then NPR and local weather forecast.)
    *No 1080p - 720P only (Yes, most people don't have the bandwidth to support 1080p streaming over the internet, but someday we will. Also, it would be nice to be able to show your 1080p video you shot with your new camcorder or high-end DSLR.)
    *Rotten Tomatoes movie reviews are not available for Netflix movies.
    *Remote app could display the actual menus for faster selections.
    *Home Sharing must be activated for a specific single account. (Result: If both you and your spouse have an iTunes account you will have to choose one or the other and will only have access to media in that person's iTunes account.)

    UPDATE:
    Removed from Cons:
    "*Can't add internet radio stations to a favorites list (and there are hundreds if not thousands to scroll through)." Someone commented that you can add a radio station to your favorites by holding the center button down. I tried this and it works. Not sure how you're supposed to know this as it's not mentioned in the brief instruction book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Media Player, October 11, 2010
    I got this little box on last Friday and I could setup everything in 30 min. It's typical apple product which gives you very intuitive usage model with limitation.

    It requires only 3 connections. Power and HDMI cable. Optical cable is optional if you are fine with your TV's speakers. Since Video connection is HDMI, video quality is superb. I really like the clean and well refined UI screen. It's not fixed screen. It changes depending on your contents. Whenever I browse through menu, upper section of screen shows snapshot of what I can choose and it updates very quickly when you add new contents.

    It has built in wireless LAN so, you don't need internet cable though it has port if you want. The wireless seems better than mobile device since it could play Youtube pretty smoothly where iPad couldn't play very well. It detects available AP automatically and detects what type of security is used. Just type in password then you are good to go.

    This device comes with following features.

    1. Playing Movie and TV shows you can purchase or rent from iTune store
    2. Playing Netflix, Youtube and Flicker
    3. Playing your own contents
    4. Playing internet radio
    5. Playing photo slide shows

    #1 is very easy if your wallet is ready. Just click and browse movies then click to play.

    #2 is also very easy if you have netflix account. Just type ID and password then you have full access.

    #3 is super easy if you are familiar with iTune on desktop. Apple doesn't find all movies automatically. It doesn't make UI super complicated to support everything. Apple TV uses Home Sharing feature and grab whatever you have in your iTune library. So the only supported video format is Mpeg4/h.264. If you have videos purchased from iTune store, those are already mp4. so you don't need to do anything. If you have lots of videos in other format, you will need to convert the format. There are some tools available on the market so it won't be very difficult. Once you add your contents, it appears on apple TV instantly. Though all movies are seen on same screen in iTune SW, it's possible to define category. Then Apple TV shows category such as Comedy, Drama and so on. When you scroll through categories, left screen shows snapshot of movies you have.

    #4 it plays audio pretty well as well though there's one annoying bug. If you have songs and didn't mark in iTune, you can't play using Apple TV. You need to mark songs to play. I hope this is fixed in software update soon.

    #5 I like photo slide show very much. You can define the style of slide shows and you can decide if you want to add background music or not. If you have your friends or relatives coming, this feature is very nice to share your great moments.

    What I like about this device is typical Apple's intuitive UI. It's super easy to use. No complicated long list of hierarchy. I haven't read manual at all. And also, it supports most of the video contents you will need such as netflix and youtube. I use AT&T Uverse so I know how IPTV works but Apple TV works much better. In the first day of use, I changed my plan from U200 to U-family to save some bucks and pay for Netflix.

    Video quality is also very nice. I have lots of low quality video with lots of artifact. Those are still visible but post processing smoothes out those. For high quality video, screen is super crisp and bright.

    Also box is so small that it's hardly seen. I put close to my Harman Kardon receiver and apple TV fits very well. And it's also very easy to move around the rooms. I bought several HDMI cables so that I can move between living room, master bed rooms and others. Power consumption is so little that you don't need to bother to turn off all the time. It actually doesn't have power button.

    There's some possibility of upgrade. This device has built in strong processor, A4 to handle video decoding. Everything is implemented using software meaning, it can be easily expanded. I am not sure what's Apple's strategy but this device might have great potential. This device is too strong for the media player.

    The catch of all above feature is very good internet connection and faster desktop. If you have good internet connections, you won't notice much lags. When you play movies that are stored in your desktop, the lag depends on how fast your PC is. So, Apple TV is not standalone device. It smartly uses infra structure that are common in many of household these days. In my case, I upgraded internet speed since Netflix uses about 1.5Mbps.

    Though what Apple TV provides is nothing new and all can be done by PC or similar boxes, it just makes perfect with $99. I think it's great addition to your media system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!, October 22, 2010
    I got my Apple TV two weeks ago and I love it. It took me all of 10 minutes to set up, but I had purchased HDMI and Ethernet cables before hand. I logged onto Netflix and Youtube within minutes, and was watching streamed TV within 20 minutes.

    The design is typical Apple elegance. It's tiny and sleek. The remote is almost too small and I'm afraid of losing it. The streaming is flawless and fast.

    The only downside is the Apple content is not worth buying the device for. Pair it with Netflix and you have a large enough library to cancel your premium cable channels. The radio stations are also a nice bonus.

    Not only has it expanded my TV viewing options and allowed me to watch commercial free what I want, when I want, it has saved me a lot of money because Netflix is much cheaper than HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Cinemax, etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Try it for yourself!.... And ignore reviews from non-owners., October 5, 2010
    Got my own Apple TV (ATV) yesterday, spent a few minutes installing, then a few hours enjoying the features. Bottom line, I think that it's a GREAT device at a good price that will fully satisfy many but not ALL users.

    1) Setup - this is simple. Took less than 10 minutes.

    2) Netflix - don't know how anyone could complain. On my 50" high-end plasma, the picture quality is very good. As good or better than standard DVD. Sure, some blu-rays are better, but I can't watch those without buying, or renting and waiting. The Roku? Give me a break, mine stuttered and skipped. When it worked.

    3) iTunes library - Played songs, albums and playlists from my iTunes library of about 400 albums instantly, with no drop-outs and good sound. This alone is worth $99, since other music streaming solutions cost well over $200, and don't have nearly as usable of an interface.

    4) Photos - Streamed 12mP photos easily, and they looked great. Even in 720p. Honestly, the limit in resolution for most images is not going to be the 720p of the ATV. Think about your computer monitor - unless you've got a professional graphics monitor, photos are going to look as good or better on your home theater monitor than through your computer screen. Sure you could burn them to a disk, watch them off a thumb drive or something (which I've done). But it's not nearly as easy or convenient.

    No, it's not perfect. I would have liked to see Hulu, Picassa and maybe internet browsing just as much as the other guy. But for $99 the ATV does a GREAT job of STREAMING music, pictures and video from your iTunes library to your home theater. And the Netflix service and interface are excellent.

    I think that some of the negative reviewers really don't get that the main point of the Apple TV is to STREAM content from your iTUNES library to your TV. The fact that it lets you stream from Netlix is an excellent additional feature, one that I think will make it pretty popular.....

    BUT - it's not supposed to be a web browser, a picassa viewer, or an email portal. That's what COMPUTERS are for. If you want to use your home theater display as a computer monitor, then go ahead and connect your computer DIRECTLY to your home theater. This is not rocket science.

    On the other hand if you have a computer with a substantial iTUNES library that's NOT NEAR your main television montitor, then this is a great and reasonably priced way to easily enjoy that content in your theater. The netflix streaming is great (at least for me), in fact I'm sure that Netflix could offer some version of the ATV along with a basic streaming-only subscription nad have a lot of happy customers watching instead of renting and waiting......

    3-0 out of 5 stars Get Roku XDS at same price instead or Roku XD for $20 cheaper, November 28, 2010
    I have purchased both Apple TV as well as Roku XDS. Both are the same price and both are quite easy to use and provide access to some great content.

    However, once we purchased Roku, my girlfriend and I no longer have use for Apple TV. Why? Here are the key reasons for us:
    1. Roku provides Hulu Plus, Apple TV does not. With Hulu Plus, you get access to lots of shows that Netlflix doesn't have available for online viewing.
    2. Roku provides Pandora, Apple TV does not. Although Apple TV does provide the AirPlay (streaming your iTunes library), Pandora is a preferable alternative for us as we are not interested in maintaining an iTunes library, and don't like to have to keep a computer on to have to access to music of interest.
    3. Roku has a brighter user interface than Apple TV: This might sound like minute issue, but both my girlfriend and I found the black background and overall darker colors in use in Apple TV to place one in a less cheerful mood. The brighter colors in Roku make it a more enjoyable experience to navigate through its menus.

    The above points are specific to my girlfriend and I. However, there are other reasons for going with Roku that we don't care much for but other may. Here are a few:
    1. Roku provides 1080p resolution support whereas Apple TV maxes out at 720p
    2. Roku arguably provides access to more pay-per-view content and for a better price through Amazon Video on Demand than Apple's more limited content selection available for rental.
    3. For sports fans, Apple TV doesn't provide access to any sports games, whereas Roku gives you access to MLB.TV, UFC and soon NHL GameCenter.
    4. Roku may not support Apple TV's AirPlay but does provide you with a way to access your iTunes library through MP3Tunes app. MP3Tunes has the added advantage of letting you store your iTunes content online and so you don't need to have your computer on to play your iTunes content. However, beyond 2GB you need to pay for MP3Tunes.
    5. If you don't care much for dualband wirless technology, wider range of video/audio outputs or playing content via USB, then you could get a Roku XD for $79.99 and all of the above-mentioned Roku advantages still apply.

    Having said all of the above, some people may still prefer Apple TV because of the Apple brand, the AirPlay feature, or iPhone remote control app. However, for us, these were not features we cared for.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bought It For Netflix But After Getting It, Use It More For iTunes, November 15, 2010
    I'm a PC person but when it comes to MP3 players Apple is the standard--period. Using iTunes and iPods daily, I was curious to see how Apple TV would integrate into iTunes in addition to being able to add additional Netflix streaming capability to my house--which was my main objective in getting one.

    First off hooking into your music or video library is very seamless--once you enable Home Sharing. I use an Airport Express to stream to a 7.1 surround set up (using optical digital-out) and the Apple TV through HDMI sounds virtually the same for stereo music. But where it shines is the ability to pass through 5.1 surround (along with 720P resolution). The on-screen display is nothing short of ergonomic bliss and wonderful eye candy. While playing music you get a nice sized picture of your album art and the standard progress bar which alternates between the left and right sides of your screen (I'm assuming for people worried about image burn-in).

    The interface and ease of use with iTunes is so cool that I've done something I hadn't contemplated doing with iTunes, and that is turn it into a digital media server for video. It has been a hobby of mine to record OTA broadcasts of Late Night Musical Guests in 1080i 5.1 surround on my TiVo and burn them to DVD for repeated viewing. However, the technical specs of the Apple TV are such that with a little compression I can create very good copies of the TiVo source MPGs and organize them using iTunes. So with the Apple TV interface and iTunes you can watch ad hoc videos instantly on-demand or pre-assembled movie/video playlists. Of course your photos are at your beck and call as well if you like doing slide shows etc.

    The remote is very intuitive but if you have the Remote App for iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, it's much easier to use insofar as typing in searches. There is one other feature gained with the Remote App over the ATV remote and that is a 10-second rewind. You simply flick two fingers to the left on the iPod screen and you go back 10 seconds a pop. Very nice feature for video.

    The Netflix interface was a very pleasant surprise compared to my TiVo which is all but useless except for viewing movies that are already stacked in the Instant Queue using my PC on the Netflix website. You can search every which way you can think of, but the only bummer is you must click on a movie's thumbnail to get the synopsis. I did encounter one glitch on Netflix that didn't affect my TiVo. There was at least one Netflix title that would not stream giving me a 112 network error. For the heck of it I also tried the title on my iPod Touch and got the same error. Not sure why it only affected the Apple hardware and not the TiVo, but I'm assuming Apple and Netflix will continue to upgrade their software to make them more integrated. Otherwise the image and sound from the Apple TV have been excellent with Netflix. Very few stutters once the stream gets under way.

    [UPDATE to 112 error-12/5/10: I called Netflix support regarding the 112 error and within a few days I could stream those titles that had the error on both iPod and Apple TV. Since that time there was also an online Apple firmware upgrade to the ATV as well.]

    Since the Apple TV is so small and compact it makes it very easy to move from room to room, which is what I do now since using it to stream iTunes to my main media room.

    I'd give the Apple TV 5 stars except that it only puts out 720P and not 1080P like some of its competitors. But that notwithstanding 720P never looked or sounded so good--nor has my iTunes.



    1-0 out of 5 stars Newer is not Better, November 30, 2010
    I purchased this AppleTV to expand my home entertainment (I also have the older 40gb AppleTV Model). After receiving it and finally hooking it up, I was extremely disappointed in it compared to the older AppleTV. If you want this just for the netflix and renting movie feature this will work great. If you like to stream your movies from another computer through Itunes, this new appletv is worthless!!!!!! It takes forever to load each menu up, at one time it took over 10 min to open up a subgroup of menus (on a wired internet connection). If you have TV shows that you stream, it doesn't group them together or put them in order of seasons. (like the old version). I recently had a update that I installed and it messed up all my tv shows, prior to the update at least the shows were in order by name, after the update they are all messed up with no reason or rhyme to the ordering. So if you plan on streaming movies pay the extra money and get the older version! If you plan on using to watch your Netflix or rent movies from apple, this will work for you.
    Overall on a scale of 1-10, I give this new apple a -5
    Read more


    2. LG BD530 1080p Network Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $89.99 -- our price: $79.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00400NL02
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 18
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Experience Full HD 1080p with the BD530 Network Blu-ray Disc Player. Get superior picture quality and sound of Blu-ray technology along with direct access to internet services like YouTube, Picasa and Accuweather. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars LG BD530 Vs Sony BDP-S370
    This Black Friday, Blu-ray player was on my agenda, I have a 46" Samsung LCD HDTV with internet options. I did not want to go for internet enabled Blu-ray player to play netflix or Picasa or Youtube as I already have it in my TV. I wanted a best to the price and awesome quality Blu-ray player which has a brilliant blu-ray as well as DVD upscale conversion for HDTV resolution.

    I bought this LG BD530 and Sony BDP-530 at the same time because Sony had the highest ranking in terms on voting on many sites including bestbuy,com. After connecting both players to my TV i used Bly-ray and it played very well on both player, I tried same Bluray disc on both player couple of times alternatively and could not see the difference. Bluray played brilliantly

    When i came to DVD playing, after couple of runs with same DVD on same TV (with same settings) I found that LG has a excellent DVD upconversion as compared to Sony, Sony pics were a little more blurr as compared to LG BD530. I tested 2 different DVD movies (lord of the rings and American beauty) to check the DVD quality and I have to admit, LG was awesome. Also somehow I felt the LG remote is much user friendly than Sony remote, but that's a matter of individuals preference.

    After carefully reading Sony's review I figured out that it;s sony blu-ray players internet abilities which took it;s rating so high and not the DVD upscale conversion qualities. If you have an old TV with no internet on it and want internet connectibility to watch netflix online, then probably Sony is your candidate. But if you have a new internet enabled TV and have a huge collection of DVD which you wanna keep it for a while and wanna enjoy over and over again, then LG is your best candidate.

    I am returning back my Sony BDP-370 player tomorrow to Bestbuy. I hope this review helps to reader.

    Santosh Gaikwad

    5-0 out of 5 stars Plays DivxHD, AVI, MKV directly from Blu Ray Disc & USB
    I have used this Blu Ray player for more than a week and it plays the following without any issues directly from Blue Ray disc as well as DVD, CD and USB:
    DivxHD (Divx HD 720p and 1080p profile that create files with Divx extension) NOTE: DivxHD Plus profile creating mkv files seems not working
    AVI ( I haven't tried all codecs but whatever I tried worked without any issues)
    MKV
    AVCHD
    I was successfully able to play couple of 720p 4.35 GB mkv files with that's encoded with H264 & DTS audio with subtitle without any issues. Subtitle worked perfectly fine.
    Files with DTS audio plays flawless directly on TV speakers without requiring any additional DTS receiver.
    Very responsive remote control.
    Played lots of MKV files of size 8GB and greater with h264 and DTS audio from an external USB drive and they all played very well. Subtitles were supported and no jitter in playback.
    MKV playback is awesome and Up-conversion works great.I can clearly see the difference between regular playback and upconversion (the files I have used were IMAX HD documentaries and Disney Pixar movies i.e. quality of the original file was good to start with).

    I tried Verbatim LTH some very cheap media from Meritline and Optical Quantam BD-R burned using IMGBURN in my LG WH10LS30 Blue Ray burner and everything worked flawless.
    I tried about 20 of dirt cheap DVD media Dynex, Teon, Playo etc. which had avi files with variety of codecs recorded about 5-6 years ago and they all played without any issues.
    Blu Ray disc loads really fast the picture quality is crystal clear. Also quality of You tube and picasa is great.
    Overall, it's great inexpensive player that played many media from various sources. It played various file formats not even supported by Philips 5982 Divx player but I still can't retire my WD Live as its picky about codecs i.e. not all mkv files plays flawless and MOV doesn't work at this point.

    UPDATE: I was successfully able to play Blu-Ray video files (m2ts) directly from hard drive via. USB connection. Menu is not supported but the files played successfully.

    4-0 out of 5 stars reasonably good media/blue ray player for under $70
    I got this at sears when it was $65, it will be on sale again, try walmart if amazon doesn't lower price. It plays all my discs and most of my multimedia files. It will not play wmv files and doesn't seem to like my AAC files (plays MP3's okay), but will play H264/mov files if you rename them as .mp4, a common trick with these cheaper players. It powers my two external portable hd's and will play one of my two pen drives, but not both. Its upscaling of 420p material from the usb side not as good as my WD or my PS3, but plays native 1080i/p files with very impressive results.
    It does have the BD live function if you want to plug a pen drive into it since it needs external storage. It has limited internet options right now, who cares about accuweather? LG updates their firmware online and my other LG equipment has seen third party hacks that improve it so I look forward to when this is hacked to provide either Netflix, or better yet Playon support.

    It did freeze on me at least once as other reviews have noted, have to pull the plug to reset it.
    Only 4 stars since it did freeze for no good reason, and I too will need to keep my WD Media player for awhile, but it this had netflix would have given it 5 stars, as for the price it just can't be beat. I will update when I have played with it a bit more, only had it the week so far.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the $
    Came across this one at Walmart for $65 on Thanksgiving. Easy to set up. Just plug in what you have to and have at it. Watched Fifth Element straight away. Good quality. Played with the buttons so the 2 hour movie ended up being 2 1/2 hours. The next day I throw in Big Trouble in Little China. Tried to make adjustments during the movie, but, unfortunately the movie would not pick up where it left off. Would always go back to the beginning...showing the threatening stills from Interpol and how comments weren't the opinions of Fox, blah, blah. Kept experimenting and the same thing would happen. Didn't happen with Fifth Element. Got frustrated and gave up for the night. Next day threw in Good, Bad and Ugly. The quality of this movie is AMAZING in BRay. But, that's another story. Anyway, the same thing would happen. Can not go to SET UP without stopping the movie and starting over. Very difficult to check adjustments without waiting for the movie to start over. On regular dvd that I tried this was not a problem. My suggestion is to expect to spend a little bit of time making adjustments to get it right before you watch the whole movie.
    One other situation that I came across was a setting to audio. The 2 discs that would restart movies after adjustment would not play audio unless you fumble through the info menu and change that setting to 2 CHANNEL just to hear something. The player goes from HDMI into TV and from TV via coaxial cord out to stereo which will play dts hd. Didn't have problem with Fifth Element, but with the next 2 discs. Could be a setting I messed up but hard to tell because of the constant reset of the movies.
    Take this for what it's worth. The player still seems like a good deal for the price with a good quality picture.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best value !
    The USB port can power my Seagate USB-powered Freeagent hard drive, which is convenient. And I can confirm it can play a 15G mkv movie file. While I cannot compare the video quality with another Blu-ray or multi-media player, the quality is definity better than the video play back from a PC.

    4-0 out of 5 stars GOOD player but read my review for details.
    I bought this player (despite my future purchase of a Playstation 3) mainly because I wanted a Blu-Ray player that could play MKV files. That let's me store a ton of content on an external hard drive, high definition content, and play it "on demand" without ever having to change a disc.

    As far as MKV playback goes, it's hit and miss but for the most part MKV files work. It doesn't matter what size it is.
    For MKV files that did NOT play I (and others) pinpointed the problem: if a file is encoded with level/profile 4.2 or higher it will NOT play on this player. If you get a file that does not play, run it through MKV2VOB. It has to transcode a lot of movies which takes time but there are a few that don't need transcoding. Playback is good and depends on the speed of your external hard drive. Controlling files can be hit or miss; some let you control things such as speed/fast forward/rewind etc while others will not. I have noticed a few lockups at times.

    As far as Blu-Ray playing goes, once you get into the movie it's great. Other than that I think there are some options that were leftout of this player and its remote control that I would have liked such as title program (for discs and files).

    The main problem with this player is its frequent lockups and freezes. There is also considerable lag with the remote and sometimes it takes over a minute for the player to respond in certain menus.

    The internet connectivity is weird with this player. I have tried WB (Warner Brothers discs) and BD-Live does not work. Universal discs do work but you have to have the internet plugged in before you start the disc. If you do have it plugged in, it takes over two minutes to load up to the disc's menu.

    I will update with other things I think of but for the price I think it's a good blu-ray player. It's actually better in a few respects (MKV file playback, DVD up conversion) than its older brother the BD550. On LG's website and the manual this player is referred to as the BD551 so if that tells you something.

    UPDATE 1: As far as BD-live goes, a forum member on AVSforum found a method to get it to work. Welcome to a whole new world of commercials and unwanted trailers.

    DJPOJACK:
    "I was getting all those messages like the player needed to be hooked up to an internet connection or "coming soon"...etc..

    This is how I got BD-LIVE to work:

    -format USB thumb/drive (fat 16 or 32)
    -boot up your LG 530 (without disc and without USB inserted) so it goes to main on-screen menu..

    -go to setup
    -go to others
    -go to initialize

    NOW...insert USB drive/device

    You should notice that "BD Storage Clear" is now selectable...Select it and confirm "yes"...It will do a momentary "clear" (even though your USB drive is already empty).

    Now, you leave that USB drive in there and load any Blu-Ray movie with BD-Live, and when you run the BD-Live features, it should work....

    At least it did for me....

    If you leave the USB drive in the slot, you can eject and load different Blu-Rays and BD-Live should still work (until your USB drive is full, which then you can initialize it again!)...

    P.S. - If you format or use this USB drive on any other device, it will probably corrupt/overwrite the BD530 BD-Live data....So, it's probably best to have a dedicated drive just for the BD530 (I.E. Just leave it in the USB slot FOREVAHHHHH!)

    good luck
    -drew"

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love it.
    i bought this to view Blu Rays discs... i use my wii for netflix, so the "No Netflix" option wasnt a problem. My only complaint is that this unit does not include a HDMI cable (the box should at least mention this) .... i was lucky to have one laying around the house so it didnt bother me as much. The quality is great, the navigation is easy to follow, and the player performs flawlessly. My tv is LG as well so i get added bonuses... such as only have to use the tv remote to control the player... and if my tv is off, and i pop a disc into the player... it will automatically turn on the tv and set it to the right input for viewing a movie. I dont use it for watching computer media, or codecs... or whatever.... only blu ray movies... so im very happy with the price and the quality i have received in this player. If you want more bells and whistles then i suggest you look into a higher priced unit. =)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Player! Gotta love the USB feature!
    I am not sure what are the negative reviews on here are all about, its possible some customers may have received a defective product from LG but mine has been working great! First off let me say I am not going to complain about the player not having Netflix, Rhapsody, Facebook ect. My TV has wifi built in that allows me to access Netflix so I had no need to shell out the extra money for a fancy player that could surf the full extent of the web. Those who wanted a player like that should have looked for something else. This player clearly states that its features are limited to Youtube, Picasa, and AccuWeather. To buy it and expect otherwise is poor shopping on the consumers' part. As far as video quality, I don't own a vast collection of Blu-rays so my experience has mostly been with upconverting DVD's, which the player does an excellent job with. Unlike the Memorex I own, this player minimizes almost all of the DVD grain and blur to the point that it almost looks as good as a blu-ray. The Blu-rays I have played also have shimmered in pure 1080p HD with this player. The real attraction for me though, is the USB drive. All you have to do is pop in an external hard drive or memory stick and the player is ready to play the contents whether it be video, picture, or music. I have watched two movies this way, one MPEG4 and the other AVI, and both played without a hiccup. Some reviewers have reported freezing and locking up, but I have experienced neither with my player. I haven't updated the firmware, though, so who knows if the new updates may actually be the cause of the problems. The player does take a little time to initially boot up, but I hardly consider waiting a few seconds to be an inconvenience. Overall, the LGBD530 is a great value and a player I recommend for anyone who's looking for a solid player to watch movies on via DVD, Blu-Ray, or USB. If you want something to play your Netflix with, look elsewhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Plays Blu-ray movies. Simple to use.
    Plays Blu-ray movies. Simple to use. Period. Be careful of reading a bad review from people who want their blu-ray player to take them to the moon and back.If you want a simple cheap blu-ray player then this is it. If you want a radio, a computer, and blu-ray player and a robotic dog, then this is not for you. You get what you pay for. I wanted a blu-ray player. That is what this is.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty decent for the money
    I'm an audiophile and added this to my collection. The bootup time is fast (for a blu-ray player) but still slower than DVD players. Watching blu-ray movies is still dependent on the blu-ray disc. Avatar is obviously quick while the Disney movies take forever because of all the Java they put in them. The overall build quality is a bit on the chintzy side but not unexpected for a player in this price range. Once you set it on your cabinet, who cares how light it is anyway? It's profile is slim so good for cabinet space. The downside is that the display is also so small that you can forget trying to use it from anything further than 2 feet away. The remote is light so it's easy to carry. I like that the remote is programmable for different brands of TV's; something even some more expensive players still don't do. I wish WiFi was built-in. Picture and sound are good, per normal blu-ray standards. The updates took over an hour but that's probably attributable to the LG networks. I like that the movie continues from where you stopped from the last time. Some manufacturers need to learn that lesson too. It can stream but the manual said that it requires that you plug in a 1GB jumpdrive; a bit disappointing as they could've easily increased the built-in memory. Overall it's a decent blu-ray player for the money ($65-$70 price range). If you want to just want to watch blu-ray movies and upscale DVD's, you'll be satisfied with this one. Read more


    3. Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p
    Electronics
    list price: $79.99 -- our price: $79.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00426C56U
    Manufacturer: Roku, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 13
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Roku is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Even watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming. It's all available whenever you want it. The all-new Roku XD delivers the highest quality HD video, in the smallest box, at the lowest price. No wonder Roku is the best selling streaming player ever. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, October 6, 2010
    One can make a good case that with Roku you really don't need cable or satellite TV. With a $10 monthly subscription to Netflix you can get more movies than you have time for over the internet at the time that you want to see them. I doubt that one movie that TCM shows is not available this way.

    You can listen to almost any radio station in the country free, meeting your needs if you like any particular kind of music or listen to talk radio, sports, etc.

    You can watch Youtube clips on your big TV as well and can send the sound to your stereo system, home theater nowadays.

    There are lots of other specialized sites, both free and by subscription, that are available. I like Pub-D-Hub which has movies in the public domain for free, many are poor but others can be quite good, I had never seen a picture with legendary Lillian Gish before.

    Roku is a winner.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Apple TV vs. Roku XD. Fight!, October 29, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I recently bought the new Apple TV, but was curious how the Roku XD compared. After all, while I like the Apple TV, it's tied to the Apple ecosystem, for better or worse. Meanwhile the Roku offered a broader feature set, but not as much of an established brand as Apple.

    Luckily, I was able to satisfy my curiosity by getting a Roku XD, and I thought my experiences and opinions might be useful for those shopping for such internet-streaming set top boxes.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Quality/Content
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    My first and biggest question was, "How does the quality compare?". 1080p capability is one of Roku's biggest selling points against Apple, because the Apple TV "only" streams 720p. What I found was that it was a mixed bag. Roku has the capability to stream 1080p, but something surprising is that a huge portion of available content isn't HD to start with and doesn't take full advantage of Roku's hardware. Some content you can stream from Amazon and Netflix looks little better than VHS quality, while some looked somewhere between DVD and HD broadcast quality.

    The vast majority of Netflix, for example, is SD content including most bigger-name movies that make their way to the library. Thus, the HD capability of Roku is MOST noticeable in Amazon Video On-Demand's vast library of HD TV shows and movies.

    Amazon Video On-Demand offers everything you could find through Apple TV's store and then some, but it has a superior pricing model. You can PURCHASE TV shows for .99c vs. .99c rentals on Apple TV, and you may save a buck or two renting older movies, especially if they're SD.

    A drawback (maybe an advantage to some) to the Amazon's On-Demand store is its availability of soft-core porn, so parents be ready to tweak parental controls a little more than you'd have to with Apple TV, which limits its offerings to R-rated major studio movies.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Flexibility
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    The biggest selling point of the Roku in my opinion is the flexibility already established with its "channels" store, which is basically like an app store for your Roku. The big-three apps are "Amazon Video On-Demand", "Netflix" and "Hulu+ (coming soon)", but you can also choose channels from "Pandora" (if you like listening to music on your TV), or "UFC" (though the UFC channel is a bit of disappointment since they want to charge you $45 a pop to view past UFC events!).

    Apple TV doesn't currently have an app store, though one is probably coming, and it will soon pick up the ability to stream a variety of content from an iOS device via something called "AirPlay", but Roku is clearly a bit more flexible at this point.

    That said, a big feature I like about Apple TV that isn't available in Roku is the ability to view iTunes content. I like being able to watch movies on my TV then take them with me on my iPhone for my kids to watch on car trips or plane rides, and Apple has a better, more integrated ecosystem to support such capability.

    I also like watching YouTube, which I can do on my Apple TV, but not straightforwardly on the Roku as far as I can tell (EDIT: apparently there's a secret beta YouTube channel if you Google for it, but it's not highlighted in the channel store).

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    User Experience/Interface
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I think the biggest disadvantage of Roku vs. Apple TV is in its user experience. The Roku is slightly more complicated to set up (for instance, you need to find the TV settings menu then designate that you have a 1080p TV before you can watch HD content), and the user interfaces for many features, while good, just don't match the smooth feel and responsiveness of the Apple TV. With Roku, you tend to get longish, frequent load animations when navigating between channels. Plus Roku's content suggestion features don't work quite as well as Apple TV, and with Roku you don't have an "Apple Remote"-quality iPhone app to let you control the device.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Conclusion
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    While Roku markets its device as higher quality than devices like the Apple TV because of "1080p", limited content and bitrate minimize any noticeable advantage. The fact is that if you REALLY care about quality, you get a Blu Ray player, not a media streamer from any manufacturer. Nevertheless, the Roku is at least as good, if not better than competing streaming devices if you're viewing the right content.

    It lacks a few of the iTunes-specific features of Apple TV, and the user experience isn't quite as good, but if you don't care about those things, the Roku is more flexible, cheaper both in purchase price and content prices, and offers more content than the Apple TV.

    Overall, the Roku XD is an EXCELLENT device that's priced to move! For $80, why not try it?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loyal customer!, October 9, 2010
    I've owned my Roku for 10 months. I'm sorry that that one person had a bad experience. I, myself, have had great experience with their customer service. Wow, last month, when my wifi went out on my old player, the guy trouble shooted it (even though I had told him that I had already done every trouble shoot 19 times), and then he gave me the needed number to write down on the return label and mailed me a box to send it back to them for free. I didn't have to collect a bunch of paperwork and (receipts and stuff) like most other companies require for a full refund. Just the player and the remote! My brand new Roku arrived within the week.
    I have never regretted buying this player. Now it's even $40.00 less than I originally paid for it. It's a fricken steal if you ask me. Not only do you get your movies mailed to you from Netflix, but you get to watch, from the comfort of any room you decide to put the thing in, all the tv shows and kids shows and movies and free music and OMG the list goes on and on. Ren and Stimpy, 30 Rock, Lie to Me, Spongebob, on and on and on. The kids love it. When I'm bored at night, I get a huge list of choices to entertain me and I really couldn't live without this cute little tiny machine. I HIGHLY recommend!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Roku Rocks with NetFlix and Playon, December 4, 2010
    We were a longtime Dish Network customer paying $80 a month for video service. While we had no complaints about Dish, we decided this past summer to take the plunge into internet video to see if we could save some dollars. My family was shocked the day I unplugged all of the Dish receivers and sent them back to Dish Network. "What are we going to watch?" "What about my favorite shows?"

    As a 3 HDTV family and not knowing the best hardware option to use, we decided to try a selection of devices. For our main living room TV, we purchased a Roku device. For the den, we used our Wii and for the master bedroom a Sony Blu Ray Internet DVD player.

    For content, we have moved our NetFlix usage from DVDs in the mail to internet streaming. We also installed playon.tv on our PC for access to Hulu (primarily), CBS (Survivor and Amazing Race) and Comedy Channel. Both NetFlix and Playon streaming to all of the devices we use work fine. This includes the Roku via playon, despite reports that Roku pulled the plug on playon (continues to work fine to this day).

    We also purchased Comcast Basic (Limited) Cable ($14) for local news and sports. This is the plan that just uses the cable, no digital cable boxes required, allowing us to wire cable to all of our TV's. What Comcast will not tell you is with HDTV's we get full HD channels for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CBS, etc. without having to purchase a digital plan or rent their digital boxes.

    Comparing the Roku, Wii and Sony Internet DVD devices, we like the Roku the best of the three. In fact, we just installed a second Roku, moving the Wii back to a game system. The reason was primarily ease of use. Some of the reasons include the following:
    - Roku Remote is the simplest to use than the Wii and Sony remotes with fewer and easier to understand buttons
    - Roku provides access to NetFlix suggested titles and search. This is also available for the Wii but not the Sony Internet DVD player
    - The Roku seems to do a better job at buffering the streaming content resulting in less video interuptions

    In conclusion, we have a better video experience today than when we were paying $80 for Dish. Netflix gives us access to movies and past seasons of TV shows. Playon with Hulu gives us DVR access to all of the latest TV shows, we love the Hulu favorites Queue and the emails letting us know the latest episodes are in the queue.

    Outside of our internet connection (need 2MBPS or more) which we already had in place, our total internet video monthly fees are $12.95 for NetFlix and $14 for Basic (Limited) Comcast Cable. A great savings with a better video experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I don't want to oversell it ..., October 16, 2010
    ... but Roku is the greatest thing EVER in the history of the universe.

    Setup was ridiculously easy. Plug the box into an AC outlet, connect the AV cables to your TV, and switch your TV to the appropriate channel. If using a wireless router, enter the encryption key or passcode. (For WEP security, this will be 13 pairs of alphanumeric symbols.) Then follow the on-screen instructions to sync your Roku account to your Netflix account and/or your Amazon Video On Demand account, using a simple activation code.

    Within 15 minutes or less, I was searching Netflix on my TV screen and choosing things to watch. I settled on "Aliens." Picture quality was better than cable, comparable to DVD. There was no pixellation, buffering, signal breakup, or any other glitch. After a while I forgot I was watching a streaming video. Colors were bright, outlines were sharp. My Roku is hooked up to a non-state-of-the-art, non-widescreen, non-digital TV that only accepts 480i input. The image quality would undoubtedly be even better on a newer set with 1080i capabilities.

    Later that night I intended to watch syndicated reruns of "King of the Hill." But because of a dispute with Cablevision, Newscorp pulled the local Fox channel off the air. No KOTH! What to do? Luckily, there was no need to panic. Netflix has at least 9 seasons of KOTH available for streaming. I watched two episodes and found the picture quality significantly better than the local broadcast. Plus, no commercials! I may never watch KOTH on the Fox affiliate again. That's one less viewer for Fox. Well played, Newscorp!

    I haven't really looked into the various other channels that are available for Roku, which seem to vary widely in quality. New channels are being added all the time. I understand Hulu is coming soon.

    Truthfully, I could imagine ditching cable TV altogether once the selection of streaming videos becomes even better. This is the future of TV. And did I mention it's the greatest thing EVER?

    Technical caveat: I have a cable Internet connection that downloads at 12-13 Mbps. Connections slower than 5 Mbps may be less satisfactory.

    Bottom line: Buy this thing. It works as advertised, and it's just cool.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Was a great box before Firmware Update, November 8, 2010
    The Roku Auto-Updates, so there is no way to stop it. When loading a video, it will freeze up or load very slowly. Sometimes it will play and then kick back to the beginning of the video. Even some developers are complaining of broken channels and other issues. It was perfect before the update, and there is no way to rollback the firmware.
    Before buying, do yourself a favor and read the Roku forums, and Roku owners thread at avsforums.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the Money!, December 1, 2010
    I'm a spartan tightwad, so for me to say that something is worth the money is high praise indeed. Roku isn't perfect, but it's a great idea and well executed.

    We have been cable/satellite free for over five years (before we bought our house, our apartment included free cable). I have never paid for premium TV, I just can't imagine doing it. When our tube TV died a few years ago, we tried to get it fixed, but they no longer make the part. So we started watching shows online. After the digital conversion last year, our remaining tiny tube TV became just a DVD watching monitor.

    Well, the holiday season of 2010 offered such spectacular deals on TVs that it turned even me, and we bought a 42" plasma for $350 because it's only 720p/60hz. As I planned on hooking up a home theatre PC (much of streaming is still standard def), I'll accept the slightly out of date technology for that great of a price.

    I looked at the Boxee Box, a Dell Zino, and laughed hysterically at the price of Google TV and internet enabled televisions and Blu Ray players. But the Roku, starting at $60... that price held my attention.

    I bought the mid level Roku for the price of the low end one, $60+ shipping, on their Black Friday sale. Shipping was fast- it was here on Monday.

    Set up is pretty simple, but you do need a computer or at least a smartphone to input the codes. Choosing the channels and inputting the codes takes ten times as long as actual hardware setup, but you can do this over time, you don't have to do it right away unless you are like me and very Type A.

    The Bad: there is still lots of content out there, for free, that Roku can't access. You'll either have to pony up the dough on Amazon's video on demand, wait for the DVD from Netflix, or plug your laptop into your computer with an HDMI cable. This is true even if you have Hulu+. For example, "Medium" moved to CBS. CBS, because they are a network run by and for old people, doesn't participate in Hulu. I can't watch Medium on my TV unless I pay for it from AVOD. Bummer, when I could watch for free on CBS.com. Same thing with Disney- if you have Disney Magic Codes, you can watch movies (as much as you want, whenever you want) online. But not on a TV, at least not through the Roku. Mr. HDMI cable has to come out, or Disney is confined to the computer screen.

    I don't need or want Roku to have a full browser, but if it did this problem would be solved. The business model behind Hulu+ would also collapse, though, so I'm not sure what the solution is.

    We are not a family of sports fans, so we don't subscribe to MLB or NHL pay channels, but we do have Netflix and Hulu+ for a grand total of $16/mo. There are tons of good, free Roku channels, especially if you bother to look for the "Private" channels, which include YouTube and HGTV.

    What is very, very good about the Roku is the price and ease of use. I would have spent an absolute minimum of $250 on a little nettop to use as an HTPC, plus more for a wireless keyboard, and it would have been a PITA to use. You'd have to open a browser and search. If I lived alone, this would not be a big deal, but we have three kids, and if I lived alone, I probably would get along with just a laptop. The primary reason we got a TV was to cuddle on the couch and watch movies. My littles would make mincemeat out of a a keyboard-as-remote. On the other hand, while you can search pretty easily with Roku remote, you don't HAVE to. You can browse. The remote and interface is so dead simple my four year old learned how to use it in about 15 minutes, despite the fact that we've never used a TV remote in this house until about a week ago. My dad could use this, hell, my husband's grandma could use it. It's that straightforward.

    Also, Kidlet is AMAZING. It's a kids' TV network that contains three channels and tons of cartoons. There are no commercials whatsoever, which are my main objection to childrens' TV. (Yeah, we get PBS OTA, too.) We discovered "Redwall" through Kidlet on Roku, something that Netflix doesn't even have, and is fantastic- we have the books on hold now at the library.

    This is the way TVs and movies are meant to be watched- when you want, no discs to scratch, no mindless channel surfing, no/few commercials, no schedule to keep, with a picture that far outstrips everything but DVD. Roku is the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Less than 5 Minutes to Set up - LOVE the Simple Remote, October 6, 2010
    Picked up the Roku XD to validate its use with Netflix streaming. The box showed up and it took less than 5 minutes to get running. The unit powered up, joined wifi then upgraded code from the net within minutes. After the upgrade I registered the unit in my Netflix account and started streaming. DONE! Now I will purchase two more and turn off satellite service.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved money on Cable bill,I LOVE ROKU!, October 12, 2010
    I had a $9 a month Netflix account which my husband and I used to watch movies on our iphones and computers. Plus we would get DVD's included in the mail. Now we just added this ROKU to our large livingroom TV and get instant movies and so much more. I just cancelled Shotime,HBO,and Cinemax. Saved lots of money because of this little box. Movies are easy to find and come on screen instantly with perfect clarity.I can even shop for Amazon items on TV using this box. I highly recommend ROKU!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of choice for content, could be easier to use, nice little streaming media player!, November 18, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Roku is a brilliant little box and once it has been setup it really works well. That said, it's not fun to setup. You have to create a Roku account, which is a combination of going to their site and setting that up, getting a number from the Roku on your TV screen, entering that in to the site and then waiting for it to activate. It's faster than it sounds, perhaps several minutes of work... it's just slightly awkward.

    Once the Roku is working (it usually restarts itself a couple times, which also take a few minutes to finish), you then go to a 'Channel Store' and decide what you want your Roku to do. Each content provider is a different channel. So, Netflix is a channel. Pandora is a channel. Amazon is a channel. Each of these requires setup. It takes time to add your channels, and then some more time to configure them the way you want. Some of this requires that you go to the website and then back to the Roku, too... this part I found to be the least fun.

    Finally, once you have the channels you want... you're ready to actually use the Roku. From there it's cake and video looks and sounds great, streams quickly on my 802.11n wireless network at home. I use an Airport Extreme, and the Roku had no issue finding and using that WiFi signal

    The remote works great, and I love the little piece of fabric they have attached to it. During setup you'll be wishing you didn't have to enter all the info with the remote, but after setup and when browsing content it works just fine.

    The interface itself is a bit dated, but completely functional and gets most channel surfing done easily.

    The biggest downfall for the Roku was that I bought a new AppleTV at the same time. Reviewing them next to each other, the Apple TV was much easier to use, the HD video was clearer and began playing a bit faster than the Roku unit, the remote is made out of solid Aluminum and feels amazingly good in the hand, and the interface is easier to navigate. All that said, the Roku has more choices like Amazon and Pandora that you just can't get on the AppleTV. CHOICE IS GOOD! As a result, for me, it's not one or the other. I use them both almost daily and I highly recommend the Roku - it's a great little machine for getting movies/tv/music to your big screen. Read more

    4. Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036WS4D4
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 15
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Begin enjoying Blu-ray 3D movies in Full HD 1080p or DVDs in near HD quality faster than ever with the Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray Disc Player. Wirelessly stream photos, videos and music or instantly access a wide variety of entertainment apps including: Netflix, , Pandora, Slacker, Picasa, YouTube and more. You can also turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control by downloading a free app. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great player for the price
    The sony S570 is a great player. The fast load system is excellent and much faster than the older 300s models. The setup was easy (it walks you through each step) I use the wireless N router and the speeds are awesome. Seamless integration with our Netflix account and the ability to watch Youtube videos is a great addition to what the player can do. Great 1080p picture and good upconversion of dvds. Do not be afraid of this player. If you have a netflix account or would like to watch youtube videos on your TV- this is your player. Also on a side note- you have several other choices besides Netflix and youtube. You have Amazons video on demand service and several other free video services.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good player but no DLNA support (yet)
    OK , got my S570 and tested everything I could. This is not a professional review since I'm not a pro.

    -UNPACKING AND INSTALLING:

    The box is very small, half the size of the 460 box. The player is also much smaller than the 460. The installation was a breeze because I basically removed my 460 and replaced it with the 570. I don't need the wireless, just hooket it to my Ethernet switch and set a fixed IP address like I do on any device I have.
    The eject button on the player is almost impossible to find. Bring the remote.

    The activation of both Netflix and Amazon can be a real pain and I had to register both again.

    I changed the following settings from the default:
    .Audio Mix to OFF
    .Gracenote to AUTO
    .Network settings to manual IP address.
    .SACD to DSD
    .IP Noise Reduction to zero

    As soon as I turned the player on, a firmware update came up and its now version 315.

    -BLURAY/DVD PICTURE QUALITY

    Nothing new here. Bluray is great as it is with any other player and DVD is OK, nothing to brag about but decent. Professional reviews will give more info about cadence and other things, I spend my time watching movies not calibration disks.
    Only thing new is the Gracenote that gives some info on the title but will interrupt playback and return the movie to start position.

    -AMAZON/NETFLIX

    If you know the 460, the interface is the same (very basic) but with an interesting difference on the audio side. With the 460 I can get DD 5.1 from Amazon and only get audio from Netflix if I set HDMI AUDIO to PCM. With the 570, all the streaming comes in PCM even if HDMI AUDIO is set to AUTO. I think it's a bug with the 460 that happens only with few receivers (no audio unless PCM is set) that is now fixed with the 570. I know, a little confusing.
    There is an IP video noise reduction that defaults to 2. I set it to zero because I hate any kind of NR. Picture gets softer in most cases.
    Picture quality with Amazon is good and so-so with Netflix but nothing that can be blamed on the player. BTW, my Internet connection is good, 18 Mbps hard-wired.
    Gracenote doesn't work with Netflix or Amazon, but you don't need it.

    -OTHER WEB SERVICES

    There are 1 or 2 services not present on the 460 and few "coming soon". The most important is the Qriosity, from Sony, that promises to rival Netflix/Amazon. There is a Qriosity icon as a placeholder on the menu axis. More info here: [...].

    -DLNA

    Doesn't exist. Firmware upgrade ? Shame on you Sony.The Sony website is now updated and has a footnote about the upgrade but it wasn't there when I bought the player.

    -USB DISK AND FILES SUPPORTED.

    I used a pendrive to test quite a few file formats. Here is the result:

    .M2TS Both movies recorded from my Canon Camcorder and the Hauppauge HD-PVR played perfectly. Great !
    .MPG No problems, as expected.
    .WMV Played without a glitch.
    .MKV The video recorded with Makemkv didn't play at all (msg about corrupted file). The video recorded with Handbrake played but with a lot of pixelation.
    .M4V Same as above. Also created by Handbrake.
    .ISO Not recognized at all. Didn't show up on the playlist.
    .MOV Same as above.
    .AVI Same as above.

    I think the only good news so far is the flawless playback of the 2 M2TS files.


    -SACD

    This is the Grand Finale: Absolutely fantastic . My Pioneer 94 can take DSD direct (no PCM conversion) and the sound is great. I set the receiver to "pure direct" and the sound was warm, tube like, beautiful. Obviously the receiver plays the big role here but the 570 did everything you could expect.

    MY SETUP:

    .Panasonic P65V10
    .Pioneer 64 receiver
    .Sony BDP S570 player
    .U-Verse 18 Mbps Internet Service
    .Everything through HDMI links.

    I hope I gave you some highlights on the 570. Overall it's a great deal and a bargain considering what it can do. Let's hope the DLNA upgrade comes soon and works as expected.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fine replacement for my BDP-S300
    First, a little background. I purchased a Sony BDP-S300 (one of the early Sony BD players) three years ago to use with my home-theatre setup. It was always a great player, just a basic machine with no frills. Not a lot of advanced features, but it always had superb picture quality and it played anything you could put in it.

    Anyway, in mid-2009 I started looking for a new BD machine to replace the aging S300. The S300 had wonderful picture quality, no doubt about it, but it was becoming troublesome with long waits for load times, sometimes taking up to five minutes to start playing a Java-enabled Blu-ray disc (from cold power-on to disc main menu). In the process of "auditioning" new machines, I tried out a Samsung BD-P1600 and a Sony BDP-N460, both of which were returned to the store for one reason or another.

    Well, my good friends, it appears as though my long wait for a replacement for the S300 is over. I purchased a Sony BDP-S570 on Thursday, March 4th 2010, and I could not be happier with the results.

    Now let me say that I am looking at players for playback quality alone. I am not interested in connecting the machine to the Internet -- which may put off some of you. I am only concerned with load times, wait times, picture quality, sound quality. All else for me is a moot point because I connect my television directly to my Windows XP Media Centre PC for things such as Netflix, Youtube, Pandora, etc. So this review and comments are only in regard to video playback of various discs on this machine.

    Upon removing the BDP-S570 from its box, and connecting it to the television via HDMI, I loaded our first "test disc", the 2009 Java-heavy Paramount Blu-ray release of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek". The disc loaded faster than you can say "Klingon". I was also quite impressed when pressing the "Pop Up/Menu" button on the remote control automatically forced the disc to skip through the four trailers (that play automatically at the start most of the time). This is the first machine that could blow past the trailers like that in one fell swoop. (Formerly, you had to use the fast-forward function to forward through each trailer one at a time.)

    As many of you know, The "Star Trek" BD was one of the most well-received BDs of 2009 in terms of picture quality. Well let me say the PQ looks extraordinary on this player and my television. The only problem I noted was a brief glitch in the video outputting/processing, when a herky-jerky something happened and skipped a brief second during the climactic space battle at the end of the movie. I reversed the movie and played it again, and the second time around, no problems.

    Second test disc was the 2007 Columbia BD release of "Spider-Man 2" (from the trilogy boxed set). This disc loaded quickly and played flawlessly, again perfect PQ and video outputting. No complaints here at all.

    Final test disc was the 2006 Disney Platinum Edition DVD release of "The Little Mermaid". This disc loaded very quickly and the picture quality throughout was superb. No jaggies at all like you'd see on some other BD machines when playing standard DVDs. Superb auto upscaling to 1080P from the disc's native 480i.

    Some specific features that impressed me with this player: The remote control has an open/close button on it, which was missing on older Sony BD remote controls (particularly the N460). This player has the easiest auto set-up (by far) of any of the various new players I've connected to my TV out of the box. Finally, you can deactivate the lights and numerical (counter) display on the front of the machine, so it is completely dark when powered on. This is a handy feature if you, like me, dislike all those lights particularly when playing a movie in a darkened room.

    Also I particularly like the small size of this player. The S300 was a behemoth in comparison. This player takes no room at all in my component cabinet (in fact it is so small I can't keep my Wii on top like I did with my old player).

    All in all this is a superb A+++++ machine from Sony. Here is the player I was waiting for. Technology has caught up to the level such that these players have really come into their own. Also this player is 3D capable with the expected firmware coming this summer. So I will be ready to watch Avatar when the 3D BD is released. Celebration all around.

    4-0 out of 5 stars BDP-S570 is super fast
    A week or so ago I replaced my Sony BDP-S300 Blu Ray Disk player with a new model, the BDP-S570. The S570 is one of Sony's newest players, and in the middle of their consumer line as far as model lineup. It was amazingly low priced at $249.

    I decided to upgrade from the S300 for two main reasons. First, the load times on the S300 are excruciatingly slow, and second it cannot bitstream the newest audio codecs so I was forced to use its on-board decoder and analog output. With my new Emotiva prepro I wanted to reduce cable complexity and use HDMI only.

    I started doing some research into the newest crop of BRD players and was convinced I would probably get the Oppo 83. But a few reviews on CNET and elsewhere said the S570 had "the fastest load times ever tested" and they ranked it as faster than and 83. It also has some of the new whiz-bang stuff like wifi, SACD compatibility, Netflix and Amazon streaming, Profile 2.0, 1Gb internal memory, HDMI 1.4 and 3D capability. So I looked up the Sony and found it was half the price of the Oppo, and decided to go for it. I figured that for $250 if I hated it I could send it back or pawn it off onto someone else.

    Impressions of the Sony S570:
    If you are an equipment snob like me and want your gear to feel substantial, like a quality device, this machine is NOT for you. I thought the box was empty when it arrived. The machine feels like it weights a few ounces (actually it weighs 2Kg or about 4 1/2 pounds.) Upon opening it, I was even more disappointed. this thing is super cheap feeling - you know how some plastic feels "good" and other plastic feels "cheap" and flimsy? This feels cheap. The buttons on the front are almost repulsive little Chiclets about the size of the buttons on my cell phone and remind me of some kind of toy made by Coleco. The disc tray feels like I will break it if I push it in. At least the remote is pretty nice so I won't have to touch the cheesy buttons. If just feels cheap. The power cord is molded into the chassis. The chassis is a non-standard size, which always drives me mad. It is almost a standard rack width at 17" wide, but it is only 8" deep, meaning it is too shallow for any other piece of gear to sit on top of it. I had to rig some rear "feet" for my DVR to sit it on top the Sony. Initial impressions were not good at all and I thought I had made a mistake buying this thing. At least once it is in the rack it doesn't look cheap. The all-black front is not as nice as the blue tinted plastic on the S300, but it looks like it belongs in a good equipment rack. Just don't touch it.

    The connectors on the back feature a single HDMI jack, component and composite video, stereo analog audio (that goes with the composite video), Ethernet, digital coax and optical, and USB. There are no multichannel analog audio outputs if you need these, and I found it odd that it would offer legacy video outputs but force anyone using those to only use digital audio or HDMI for high-resolution audio. The USB connector is interesting as it allows the user to connect a memory stick (and the promise later a hard drive) for storing downloaded video. There is also a USB connector on the front and the machine can display a variety of digital image formats and play back a variety of digital audio formats directly from the USB connections, or via its networking capability. So while I probably won't use it as such, the machine has the ability to serve as a media hub. That's pretty nice.

    I plugged it in and connected via HDMI to my pre-pro. The remote codes were in the Harmony database. I fired it up and went through the very logical and intuitive setup routine on-screen without having to refer to the owner's manual. I connected it to my network wirelessly (it has 801.n wireless built in) and had it check for a firmware update. There was one, so before I could try it I let it download and update which took about 15 minutes to complete. After it rebooted, I started exploring.

    The user interface looks exactly like the PS3. This is not surprising since this box is pretty much the PS3 without the gaming capability or any on-board hard drive. It was intuitive and easy to navigate. I went to the setup screens and went through all the settings to see if I needed to adjust anything. Then I popped in a Blu Ray disc (Up.)

    Wow. I was shocked. Where the old S300 would give me several "loading" screens and I could almost walk the half mile to the nearest Starbucks, get a latte and walk back before a disc was ready to play, this thing flashed the screen a couple of times and boom, it was ready to go. It was literally the fastest load I'd ever seen, faster than the CD player in my car can load a CD. Very impressive. The picture quality was also outstanding, as I expected. The sound, however, was not right.

    "Up" has a dts-HD soundtrack, and the Emotiva processor told me the Sony was sending it multi-channel PCM. Hmm. I went back into the setup screens and it said dts was set to output as dts, but there did not seem to be any settings associated with the HD codecs. Hmm again. So I stopped the disc and thumbed through the owners manual. No mention of anything special I need to do. Time to hit up Google. Nothing obvious came up. Back to the owner's manual and I notice in the troubleshooting section a problem called "Dolby True HD and dts HD bitstream does not work." Aha. It seems one must set a user setting called "BD Audio Mix Output" to "OFF" and then the high def codecs will bitstream. Oh really? So I did this, and boom the Emotiva told me the sound track was dts-HD. There is no where other than this troubleshooting guide that mentions this, and the setup information says the "BD Audio Mix" function has something to do with the secondary audio tracks.

    So, if any of you purchase this box or it's siblings, be sure to set this function to "OFF" if you have a pre-pro that decodes the new codecs.

    After enjoying "Up" I tried the Netflix streaming function and cued up "The King of California." It came up on the screen surprisingly quickly, and the video quality was not HD but acceptable for casual viewing. It did seem to have to re-buffer too often, but perhaps adding a nice big 32G memory stick to the rear USB port will help this.

    Next I tried playing back an SACD (Madman Across The Water.) The S570 outputs SACD as either Multi-PCM or Multi-channel DSD. I had set it to DSD, but the Emotiva will not accept a DSD input. The Sony detected this via the HDMI handshake and output the music as multi-channel PCM. It sounded pretty darn good.

    Bottom line, my bias against cheap-feeling gear was wrong and I love this box. I didn't think I'd ever use the Profile 2.0 BD-Live features or something like Netflix streaming but I was wrong, I had a good time checking it out. I still think I'll never use the 3D features but who knows. I am happy I bought this and feel it is one of the best bargain buys I have ever made for my HT.

    If however it really is as cheap as it feels and it breaks down after a few months, I'll be sure to let everyone here know.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Blu-Ray Player
    I spent numerous hours reviewing Blu-ray players before deciding on the Sony BDP-S570. Some of my primary requirements were:

    - Netflix capable
    - Wi-Fi capable
    - Additional online content
    - Economical

    I know my requirements are not that stringent, but the player is just for the family. I wanted to be able to do Full HD 1080p and the family/kids wanted to be able to watch Netflix. I wanted/needed Wi-Fi because I did not want to run a network cable.

    After reading hours of reviews I decided on the Sony BDP-S570 because it met all of my requirements, as well as, is prepared to be a 3D player with a firmware upgrade. I watched Amazon for about a month and finally it went on sale for $224. I brought it immediately.

    I had my new Blu-Ray player up and running immediately. I connected the Blu-Ray to my network and immediately updated the firmware. I registered with Netflix and was watching movies instantly. I have not had any issues whatsoever with Netflix. This is a great box if this is one of your major requirements. I also registered with Pandora and Slacker and have very much enjoyed the online music. My family has also enjoyed watching YouTube as well.

    After a month I am extremely happy with my purchase and highly recommend this Blu-Ray player.

    1-0 out of 5 stars SONY should be embarassed
    I have had good luck with SONY products in the past. Not with this one though.

    It took several days to get it to work because it is designed by SONY to work in a network environment that possesses no security protection. This device needs access to any IP address and any port at any IP address. This would be acceptable if:

    1. SONY properly documented its use of ports and address space
    2. Error messages actually were meaningful when the device was incapable of reaching some obscure address/port combination, and,
    3. The device didn't act like an undocumented home for spyware.

    Basically SONY bugs a customer's entire use of this device. It reports usage back to SONY and its partners IP addresses using undocumented ports. It maintains essentially adware cookies that track a user's history with the device. None of this behavior is documented by SONY.

    However, when you install this device behind a hardware firewall that tracks such things, it is immediately evident. If you attempt to block the various reporting addresses, the device then fails telling you that the "Network is Unavailable" - the universal message SONY appears to deliver for any failed access to a remote Internet address. This makes installation very confusing: you can see the directories for services out there but cannot access anything - including firmware updates - unless the unit can report your access to a SONY, or partner, site that records your activity and interests.

    In addition to this upfront misbehavior, the device is also highly unstable. It is not at all reliable even with the latest firmware (finally) downloaded and installed.

    If there were a way to give this device a negative rating, I would do so. I played with it so long in the hopes that I could make it reliable that it went past Amazon's return window - or it would not be here any longer. As it is, it has decided to no longer recognize its remote control and thus has become my latest door stop.

    If anyone from SONY reads this: shame on you and your company. This device is so far from the excellent devices you have made in the past that it should never have been allowed to ship ...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sony BDP-S570 ...May be one of Sony's Better Offerings?
    Just opened up my Sony BDP-S570(Samsung LN46A650 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD)about an hour ago...25 May 2010. Startup was very straight-forward to the point.First thing was download a firmware update...no problems with update.Went through Ethernet rather than wi-fi because of problems taking the wireless route (with other players) firmware updates...not the place to have a problems! Will probably stay with Ethernet cable until Netflix has a fix for content download....they have been saying (since I can remember)to use ethernet-cable for best picture.Netflix has always said wi-fi was a try at your own risk deal.Back to the player.I am very pleased with the easy to fallow set-up menu. It is a little cluttered but it's no worse than my kitchen (LOL).Their is also a 1-2-3 installation guide for those who would rather not do a custom install. Either way you go, by the book or OTJT it's pretty straight forward.So just as expected...after extensive research and past HD-DVD & Blu-Ray experience. I will be adding more information too this thread as player and I get to know each other better.At this early point & time product is as advertised and would recommend...could be one of Sony's better offerings.Hope so....back to my new toy!

    28 May 2010 Just revised my previous review but in a slightly more positive way. The picture quality is excellent as is sound. More adjustments than have time to go into right now. Even after 6 plus hours of tweaking and playing favorite blu-ray discs still have plenty more to check out and relay some truthful unbiased iformation to this forum.

    "IMPORTANT UPDATE!9 June 2010: Downloaded Firmware Upgrade (version M04.R.588) "New DNLA & 3D Firmware"...no problems with download via ethernet connection.New blu-ray discs e.g. Avatar,Shutter Island loaded very fast...picture and sound above average IMO. According to "Sony eSupport" upgrading firmware to version M04.R.588 provides the following benefits: [...]

    Improvements over firmware version M04.R.491:

    *Adds support for 3D content
    *Adds support for DLNA content
    *Improves router connectivity
    Benefits provided by previous upgrades and included in version M04.R.588:

    *Improves compatibility to enhance interactivity with some BD-ROMs.
    *Resolves an issue where video streamed over the Internet may be displayed at SD (Standard Definition) instead of HD (High Definition) even when using a high speed Internet connection (10 Mbps or more) and watching video that is provided in HD.
    *Enhanced Gracenote Entertainment database browser features:
    Adds new features such Related Information Browse and Contents Search to improve your Blu-ray Disc(tm) movie database.
    *Enhanced photo slideshow:
    Adds new visual effects and music to add to your photos when they are displayed on a TV.
    *Improved Compatibility:
    Adds compatibility with DTS Neo:6 to convert the audio into 5.1 or 6.1 channel format.
    Will update review after having more time too check out new apps.So far all is good.

    "IMPORTANT UPDATE!9 July 2010: Download of New Firmware (Version MO4.R.624) is available [...] Benefits and Improvement too come...



    5-0 out of 5 stars It's my first BD-Player...
    I read many customer reviews about this BD-Player before I spent the cash to get one myself. I have a habit of taking some reviews with a grain of salt and there's always a few that will have a bad experience. So far my experience has been great with this player. I'm not a video/audio guru, but I know what I like to see and I know what I like to hear. I have not been disappointed with the Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray Disc Player. The first two Blu-Rays that went into my player were "2012" and "Avatar." They were both tremendous quality experiences.

    (As a footnote you should also know that my HDTV is also a Sony. It's a Sony Bravia KDL46EX500. Awesome features for the price I paid.)

    I had one small drawback, a nuisance, but one worth mentioning for those making this player a consideration. When I started using my new player my home was hooked up with Wireless-G (2.4-GHz). I did have a few problems with streaming my Netflix, but only far and few between. It was like watching a video catching up on the internet. A few weeks later I decided to upgrade my system to Wireless-N (5-GHz) for the internet. This is something I did for my laptop, not for my BD player. After installing my new Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router (WNDR3700), I now found out I had the option in the Blu-Ray player to use Wireless-N! I had no idea before the new system was installed that the BD player was able to use Wireless-N. What a bonus! I set the Sony BD player to use the 5GHz network and no more stalls for streaming the video. None whatsoever! It is faster in all responses to using my Netflix.

    Now please don't take this as all inclusive... that all players will have problems with Wireless-G 2.4GHz, because I'm not sure that's the case. I live in the "sticks" so to speak. I've had more than a few problems with my internet connections before (mostly squirrels) and this could have added to my experience. I just wanted to let you know that after putting in the Wireless-N 5GHz this unit works better than before. I'm definitely all Thumbs Up about my experience with this BD-player.

    The only thing I can add is to reiterate what others have said about the features and quality of this fine player. It's great and worth every penny I paid for it! Can't wait for the online 3D upgrade to see how that's going to look...

    1-0 out of 5 stars So far so good: no good anymore..
    I got this after returning the Samsung 6500 since netflix was not streaming well plus a few other hiccups. The setup for this machine was a hassle. I had to call Sony and do everything manually but it does work now..plus there are more steps that are not user friendly. But it works! So far netflix has streamed seamlessly. I dont like the look of this one as much.. the menu is okay..might take some getting used to. The remote is okay. I would prefer one with larger buttons. As long as everything keeps working well this is a keeper since it has the features i want.

    Update: still streams perfect and I have watched hours and hours.. I am happy with my purchase.

    Update 2: crapped out after 3 weeks. it plays discs..has messed up though. but refuses to stream more than 20 minutes..needs a restart, then it works for 20 more mins. I checked all my options..i talked to sony and my internet provider and troubleshooted everything. it was the player.

    This is the second one i bought, and sent back.. i have opted for a roku and regular cd player and couldnt be happier.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not for Netflix
    I bought this mostly for Netflix streaming movies and an occasional Netflix Blu-Ray DVD. I it were for Blu-ray only, I would give it a higher score. Of course, why would one spend the money for Ethernet and Wi-Fi if were just to play disks?

    As a Neflix streamer, the S570 worked fine for a few weeks. Now it will play Netflix for 5 to 20 minutes, then goes to "Loading" and never recovers until I stop and go back to the menu to select the program and start again. My wifi signal strength is in the low 90% range, occasionally hitting 100%. If I connect an LG player with a wifi adapter, there is no problem at all, never stops. Same streaming to a computer. So it isn't my Internet connection or a wifi issue.

    So far, no help from Sony. Read more


    5. Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p
    Electronics
    list price: $99.99 -- our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00426C57O
    Manufacturer: Roku, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 17
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Roku is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Even watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming. It's all available whenever you want it. The all-new, top-of-the-line Roku XDS sets a new standard with 1080p streaming video, the latest wireless technology, and Instant Replay. All for under $100. No wonder Roku is the best selling streaming player ever. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every once in a while, a truly impressive device comes along.
    Like a lot of people who use Amazon, I own all kinds of electronic gear. Every once in a while, you get your hands on a device that really stands out in terms of ease of use and performance. When I first hooked up my Slingbox, for example, I realized that it was unique and was going to add something truly useful and impressive to my audio-video set-up. When I read a description of the Roku box, I had a similar expectation. Could it be as easy to use as advertised? Would it perform on a level that would really satisfy? Would it be one of those "stand out" devices? Now I can say in all honesty that the Roku player is everything I hoped and more. When the description says you will be up and running in just a few minutes, you can believe it. I opened the box, plugged in the power cord, attached a cable to my high speed router, and ran audio to my amp. I turned everything on and immediately saw the set-up screen for the Roku player. To run a quick test, I tried streaming a video from Netflix--it worked perfectly. This initial set-up and test took no more than 10 minutes. After several days of using the Roku, I have yet to have even the slightest problem. I have added a couple dozen channels and all work as expected. My only moment of hesitation came when I saw how small the Roku player is. It is tiny sitting there with all the other components, but when I saw what it could do, the size became inconsequential. The Roku player truly is an impressive device. While not necessarily a replacement, the Roku XDS Streaming Player is another serious alternative to cable TV. By the way, for those traveling outside the USA, where Netflix does not allow the streaming of movies on your PC, there is a way to connect the Roku player to your Slingbox. You then have access to Netflix through the Roku wherever you have an internet connection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cable Killer? For my family YES!!
    I have been looking for an alternative to cable/satellite for awhile. The ROKU XDS is the closest thing to it. With the support of Netflix streaming(some episodes even in HD), and with Hulu plus coming in the fall, the ROKU XDS is all my family needs. Also, if you look at the ROKU forums, developers are creating other private and premium channels. This is something that Apple.tv cannot do. They also mention on their website that with an update in November you will be able to play video off USB. Setup took only minutes and the picture in awesome on my 1080P LCD. The only draw back would be if you watch a lot of sports, currently they only have MLB.tv. As soon as Hulu Plus is added I will be dropping my $90/month satellite bill and pay $20 a month for Hulu and Netflix.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ### COMPONENT CABLE USERS, Info ~ ROKU Rules NOW it plays your MP3 MUSIC & .MP4 VIDEOS! & .JPG
    No need to comment about the NETFLX features of this new version ROKU XDS it is SUPERB as always...
    ..................................................
    [] ### COMPONENT CABLE USERS (Red/Green/Blue RCA to 3.5mm male jack) info:

    *** F.Y.I. ## COMPONENT CABLE Users (Red/Green/Blue RCA to 3.5mm male jack): You will require a Special COMPONENT CABLE to use the Roku XDS on your TV. In case the Roku website says "OUT OF STOCK" for this cable, you CAN BUY THIS CABLE through Amazon, which WILL WORK for you to connect the Roku XDS to your TV:
    ##> Media Player Component Cable <##

    * You will need to use the 'Composite Cable' -- Red/White/Yellow RCA connector cable -- to enable AUDIO to your TV. Using the Red/White as needed ONLY for AUDIO from the Roku XDS to your TV's input RCA jacks.

    * NOTE: an HDMI cable carries Both AUDIO and VIDEO in the one single HDMI cable.
    * NOTE: Quoting From Roku's Support Site: "PLEASE NOTE: To take advantage of HD content available on Roku, you must use either HDMI or component."
    ..................................................

    *** F.Y.I. for you WIRELESS Users: I am using this TRENDnet 300 Mbps Wireless router, and it is working perfectly with my Roku XDS setup [Excellent range, NO dropped signals, GREAT!]:
    TRENDnet 300 Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router TEW-639GR (Black)

    ..................................................

    Here's what I am doing with the new ROKU XDS:

    [] I bought from Amazon, this Hard Drive enclosure:
    Eagle Tech ET-CS2PSU2-BK 2.5-Inch SATA to USB Portable HDD Enclosure w/Built-in USB cable
    ** Notes about this Hard Drive enclosure:
    # Fits 2.5-Inch SATA hard drive up to 500GB and connects to USB 2.0
    # Enclosure measures 5.4 x 3.2 x 0.44 Inches

    [] I added the following WD 250gb 7200rpm 2.5" Hard Drive:
    Western Digital 250 GB Scorpio Black SATA 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Notebook Hard Drive WD2500BEKT

    Using your computer/laptop you will want to create on the external Hard drive. three FOLDERS:

    VIDEO
    MUSIC
    PHOTOS
    Now from your computer, you add your mp3's to the Hardrive folder called "MUSIC" etc... you get the idea.
    USB Media Browser will display these FOLDERS on screen in your Roku XDS
    NOW I am converting all my videos to .MP4 format and loading them onto the WD Hard drive in the enclosure. Adding .MP3 Audio files is working great also. You can also view .JPG photo files...

    Plug the Hard drive Enclosure into the USB Jack on the side of the ROKU XDS and turn on the ROKU and your TV. [ You may need to add the "Private Channel" for the "USB MEDIA BROWSER" as a 'Private Channel' for your ROKU XDS first]

    [see below instructions to ADD PRIVATE CHANNEL to your Roku XDS]:
    Channel code: KGULU
    ................................................................

    #### HOW TO ADD ROKU PRIVATE CHANNEL - to your Roku XDS - "USB MEDIA BROWSER" ####

    Here's what you will need to do to learn MORE about the file formats that are supported using the "USB Media Browser" that you added by doing the following:
    USB Media Browser allows you to access content via the USB port on your Roku XR & Roku XDS.

    * If you haven't already, login to your online Roku Account owner(dot)roku(dot)com
    * On the "My Account" page, click the link labled "Add Private Channel"
    * You will be prompted to enter a code.
    * The code to install "USB Media Browser" is KGULU
    .......................................................................

    To learn more about what FILE FORMATS can be used by the "USB MEDIA BROWSER" do a Google search for the following (copy and paste the below line into search box):

    roku usb media browser forums file formats

    From what I am seeing on the Roku forums, I can't confirm this because I haven't tried these yet here is a list that the forums have said will work on the Roku "USB Media Browser":

    [VIDEO FILES[
    .mp4

    [AUDIO FORMATS]:
    .mp3
    .wma

    [IMAGE FORMATS]:
    .jpg
    .png
    .gif

    Read more on the Roku forums, there is more information there from users that are working with the "USB Media Browser."

    [] I am formatting my VIDEO files to .mp4 because the .MP4 video files will also work on my Ipod Classic, Sony DASH, and Sansa Fuze. ]

    To View your USB Media Browser:
    1) Turn on Roku XDS (and TV)
    2) Scroll over to the right with your remote, until you find the Yellow Icon titled "USB Media Browser" and click on it, and again... until you see the files on your external Hard Drive (or inserted USB Drive , which ever you are using for your file storage on the Roku XDS USB port.)

    Roku is always updating their menu, and features. Great way to get videos -- as well as Amazon video-on-demand, and more. Excellent Purchase!! 5 Star device.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great features but wireless needs some work...
    I brought this for my mother because it will be simple for her to use. I especially liked the simple remote control which is not overwhelming. However the wireless connectivity was a little difficult and very finicky. The wireless router is located about 20 feet away, and we've never had any problem conencting with laptops or iPhones/iPods. However, I had to fidget with the placement of the Roku and attempted 2-3x before connecting finally. It then downloaded an update and after it rebooted, it lost the wireless connection again. So I fidgeted with the placement again until it connected. Then I tried to setup NetFlix and the wireless had dropped again, so I reconnected, got the activitation code and it validated the Roku box. Thankfully, you cannot turn the Roku off so hopefully once it's connected, it stays connected or tries to reconnect. I am hoping it was just the initial setup that was slightly flakey. To be on the safe side, I made sure the wireless router and the Roku had as few electronic obstacles around it. I am very impressed with the streaming technology and how the Roku is able to buffer the streaming so the movie is shown smoothly and crisply. It does look so much better than watching NetFlix on the PC or Wii. I also have Netflix on the PS3 and Xbox360 and I find the quality comparable. Another great feature is that the audio is turned on for BOTH HDMI and left/right audio cables so you can run the sound to the receiver and TV. Unfortunately, I ran out of optical inputs on the receiver but I'm assuming that toslink connection is always on as well. I have high hopes that my mother will be able to use the Roku, and once Netflix starts providing closed-captioning on the Roku, it will be even more useful! I am just concerned about the wireless connectivity but if it does prove to be a problem, my solution would be to run ethernet straight to the Roku or wire the electrical outlets with Netgear PowerLine equipment (they seem to provide very good results).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great device. Here's some wireless setup help.
    OUT OF THE BOX;

    Comes with the basic unit, Composite cables (pretty useless), power supply, remote, a very minimal setup guide, and batteries for the remote.

    WIRELES SSETUP:

    Wired ethernet is also an option.
    1. There is some plastic film to peel off. Plug the unit in and connect your HDMI cable (or component cables) to your TV or HD AMP. Turn your TV and amp on and set the correct inputs. The unit will display the first screen on TV and immediately ask what kind of connection you would like. I used wireless, which I suspect will be most popular.

    2. Wireless networks in range with SSID broadcast on will be displayed. Choose your network and click Ok. The next screen has alphanumeric input to supply your network password if your router is set to WEP or WPA protection. If you have MAC filtering on, turn off your MAC filter or add the MAC device ID to your router. The ROKU's MAC is displayed if you seek help from a help menu button on the password screen.

    3. If the following sounds a bit complicated, it's not really. The setup proceedure will lead you through it well. The unit will connect and do a rather lengthy download of a "software" update. If this is successful, the home screen will be displayed with options of what service you want to link to the ROKU. If any step fails, back to the first setup screen. Thankfully it remembers your net password. You will also have to choose a display size configuration and resolution. The unit will then display a code to link to the ROKU site. You can ignore it or link to the ROKU site and choose your service from there. I picked 1080P HD, and chose Netflix directly from the ROKU menu. A new Netflix specific code will be displayed. Then I went to my computer to pull up the Netflix site, migrate to streaming access, pick the ROKU out of a menu of devices (it's "other") and input the Netflix code.

    4. Thats it! The ROKU will now be ready and will display a nice Netflix menu to choose what you want to stream and play. The Computer menu is a bit easier to browse when choosing a DVD or show to watch than the ROKU screen, but the latter is perfectly serviceable, especially if you know what you want to watch.

    Some caveats/suggestions/musings. When I started the setup routine, the device kept rebooting and loosing network connectivity. It was position. It is VERY sensitive to it's placement. Don't put it in between a large amp and a DVD player, or in a deep cabinet, say. Have it positioned out in the open. If you don't have a gigabit 802.11 "n" router, get one. There's lots of info downloading and streaming to this device through your router. Some reviews have criticized the ROKU's remote. I found it worked just fine. If you are wedded to the idea of streaming media, this device is great at present. But, there is an increasing selection of Blu- Ray DVD players with this capability already built in. They are much more expensive at this time, but prices will come down. If you are almost ready to upgrade to a Blu-Ray player, maybe good to wait a bit and pick one when prices fall in the near future.

    AFTER SETUP;

    Great. video quality and sound are terrific at 720p. 1080p and surround sound to probably come from Netflix next year, I hear. Wasn't disappointed at all. Terrific buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Initial Problems Overcome
    This is a great product. Not only can you get streaming Netflix - but so much more. Now that there are so many of makers of 'streaming boxes', just doing that singular act is not so miraculous anymore. Its how many other 'apps' that are available on the box that gives you that 'extra'. And ROKU is great about adding new apps all the time. And I like that there are so many options on how to connect the device to my tv. That allows me to move the ROKU box around in the house and attach it to other tvs - even my older tvs that only have red,white,yellow RCA connectors on the back of them. I can even take it on trips with me and attach it to 'whatever' tv, as long as wireless is available to me.

    When I got my new ROKU XDS I, like others that reported here, had some problems getting it to connect to my wireless network. So, I reported the problem to ROKU support and they provided me with the 'fix' (see below). Glad I waited for their response before sending it back.

    ***************THE FIX*****************************
    Kindly go through the following instructions.
    1.Turn off the Modem, Router, and the Roku player.
    2.Plug the Modem back in, give it some time to settle down.
    3.Plug the router back in and when ready, turn on the Roku player.
    If you have a cable modem, kindly unscrew the co-axial cable, wait for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great little box
    This roku player is alot smaller than I expected which is a plus. It has an attractive sleek design. Super simple to set up. Sure you have to link up netflix and amazon video but alot of the "apps" are free items. This does not take long at all and once you have it done you don't have to do it again. So far it has streamed perfectly for several hours. I got this because the blu ray players I bought wouldn't stream correctly so I'm giving this a try since my extended family loves it. Really I'll probably just use it for amazon on demand and netflix. Who has time for all the other add ins? There is also a news channel where you can watch that mornings news or the previous night. Pretty neat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Are you on the fence about what to buy?
    So picture this.... Here I am, paying over $110/month to a cable company for internet and cable. I have a thousand channels, but yet every night when I get home from work I struggle to find anything to watch..

    Then I discover Netflix streaming on my Wii. Well I was so enamoured that I decided to look into set-top boxes that could bring Netflix and more to my TV (the Wii remote is just a pain to use as a TV remote).

    I did some research, and came across the then upcoming Boxee Box. Well I just couldn't wait to try it out, but I didn't have a tv with an HDMI, so I kept looking and saw the Rokus support any tv hookup and if you have the tv its in 1080p too! (where available). So I bought the XDS. I was instantly impressed on how easy it was to set up. I had my Netflix, and all of a sudden I was choosing from a hundred different channels of content from Hulu + to live streaming 24 hour news out of Russia, France, and England. Needless to say I was impressed.

    Even though I was happy, I still really thought about getting the Boxee Box and returning the Roku because I had used the software on my PC and it was so slick, and with the addition of its browser I figured how could I go wrong? Well once that BB was released and it was lambasted in the reviews, I quickly realized the Roku was exactly the right choice!

    True there are its deficiencies, (no product is really going to be EVERYTHING) one of them being local playback. It doesn't support the breadth of codecs that others do, but pop in a thumb drive of videos in mp4 and you can watch personal files on your TV too! That's the extent of my local library so local playback isn't very important to me anyway. Other than that, all I know is for the price of Netflix and Hulu ($17 combined) I canceled BOTH my expensive cable and internet, plugged in an antenna for OTA local channels, and picked up a DSL package from my phone company for $20. So for $37/ month,down from $110, I have infinitely MORE to watch on my own schedule... Well I couldn't be happier. My only complaint is there is almost too much I want to watch!

    If you are looking to save some $$$ from those cable provider rip-off artists, actually want MORE for your money not LESS, and aren't really concerned about local playback, then my advice is to definately buy the Roku.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazed
    I ordered this from Amazon (pre-order) and received it only 2 days ago. Prior to this, I was streaming netflix via a WII disc. I got this little box, set it up (setup was a breeze on my wireless network) and started viewing netflix. Only after viewing thru Roku, I came to know how bad WII streaming is.

    Netflix quality is amazing even on my SD TV. We watched content for more than 12 hours and I haven't seen any inturruption. I have Wireless N router. I connected Roku to TV thru RED-WHITE-YELLOW cable. I'm planning for a HDTV with HDMI and looking forward to seeing 1080p netflix movies.

    Youtube rocks as well. You can search for songs, movies and start playing them instantly. If youtube clip is HD, it's beautifully rendered by Roku box.

    Overall, I'm completely satisfied with this little box. Hope it works well for next couple of years.

    -Sam.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic streaming internet device
    I bought this device for my father as he is somewhat technically challenged. He kept telling me that he wanted to watch Netflix on his 52" LCD television. He was under the impression that he had to buy a Blue Ray player to achieve a high quality streaming experience. I figured it would be nice to buy a Blue Ray player since he'd have the player for all the DVD's he owns and the Netflix streaming would be gravy. After pricing the BR players I realized that if I wanted WIFI built in, I'd have to buy an off brand unit to be at a comfortable price point. Further research revealed the Roku XDS which is a fantastic piece of tech. It is extremely easy to set up. From the time you open the package to the moment you're watching a movie streaming from Netflix is around 15 minutes. You could probably even do it faster, but I was tinkering with some of the other channels that Roku has to offer.

    Since WIFI connectivity was an extremely important feature, I quickly went to that screen in the setup sequence to make sure I had a good signal. Since my router is 10 feet from the Roku box my throughput is very high. I could have ran a cable to the ethernet connection but then we're talking more wires. I hate wires!!! I put in my WEP password and the box promptly started updating the firmware. In order to link your Netflix account the Roku will show you an alphanumeric code. You just go to [...]and input the code that appears on the screen. Within 15 seconds or so the Roku screen will advance and you are now fully integrated with Netflix. There is no need to do this again unless you reset the Roku back to factory settings. The same procedure is used for Pandora and other channels offered on the Roku.

    There are dozens of other channels that you can add to Roku. If you have an Amazon VOD account, it integrates just as easily as the Netflix account. Then you have the ability to add Hulu + as well but I don't recommend that. The cost is $7.99/month as of this writing and since you still have to watch ads, I don't see the value. Lastly, if you're on the fence about which Roku to purchase (there are three) you should consider the top of the line model or the second tiered unit. Do not consider the cheapest model because it lacks WIFI and will not transmit in HD.

    I happen to own the new generation of Apple TV (nearly same size as Roku). The reason I have the Apple unit is because of how it tightly integrates with iTunes and the iPhone 4 which I have. I can easily recommend the Roku player to anyone who wants to add a nice piece of tech to their multi-media systems. Best of luck and thanks for reading my review. Read more


    6. LG BD570 Network Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $219.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036WT1RW
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 26
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    BD-P, Netflix, YouTube, CinemaNow, BD Live, Advanced Audio, Quick Booting, 1GB Memory, Wireless 802.11n, DLNA, 7.1ch Analog Output, Instant Tray Open, 1080p up-scaling for DVD, USB Media Host ... Read more


    7. LG 42LD450 42-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV
    Electronics
    list price: $749.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0039RRC7U
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 40
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    You know it's time to start enjoying Full HD 1080p, and the LD450 is an easy way to get into it. A beautiful LCD with all of the innovations that make LG TVs something better. ... Read more


    8. Sony BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036WS4CA
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 103
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Enjoy Blu-ray Disc movies in Full HD 1080p and improve the quality of DVDs to near HD with the Sony BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc Player. Play your favorite movies faster than ever or connect to the internet and instantly access a wide variety of movies, TV shows, music and more. Plus turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control by downloading a free app. ... Read more


    9. LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $159.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036WT1WC
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 74
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    BD-P, Netflix HD, YouTube, CinemaNow Ready, BD Live, Advanced Audio, Quick Booting, Instant Tray Open, 1080p up-scaling for DVD, USB Media Host ... Read more


    10. Sony DVP-SR200P/B DVD Player, Black
    Electronics
    list price: $39.99 -- our price: $31.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001IBHUU8
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 54
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Sony's DVP-SR200P is a versatile DVD player with many features at an affordable price. It delivers excellent picture and sound quality so you get the most out of your movies. The Precision Drive 3 system allows you to playback some DVDs that may have been damaged or warped without a degradation of picture quality. It also plays music CDs or MP3s from a CD-ROM disc. For gatherings, use it to share photos with friends and families. You cannot go wrong with this stylish home-theater sized DVD player, it is a perfect complement to your TV. ... Read more


    11. LG 32LD350 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV
    Electronics
    list price: $449.00 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0039RNGNY
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 141
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    You know it's time to start enjoying high definition and the LD350 is an easy way to get into it. This is a beautiful LCD with all of the innovations that make LG TVs a better viewing experience. ... Read more


    12. Roku HD Streaming Player
    Electronics
    list price: $69.99 -- our price: $69.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00426C55G
    Manufacturer: Roku, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 42
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Roku is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Even watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming. It's all available whenever you want it. Now smaller, more powerful, and more affordable, the all-new Roku HD delivers high-definition entertainment instantly to virtually any TV in your home over your wireless network. No wonder Roku is the best selling streaming player ever. ... Read more


    13. Panasonic DMP-BD85K WiFi Enabled Blu-Ray Disc Player (Black)
    Electronics
    list price: $249.95 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0038KR8WM
    Manufacturer: Panasonic
    Sales Rank: 190
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player is perfect for watching movies via DVD or the Internet at home. The Panasonic Blu-Ray Disc Player expands your viewing experience with its Internet connectivity. Through VIERA Cast , Panasonic gives you instant content and access to YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora and other online resources. Player even has a wireless LAN so it can be online anywhere in your home if you have wireless Internet connectivity. On top of that, Blu-Ray Disc players allow for six times more storage than a standard DVD, making it possible for studios to add features and resolution to movies they burn to these discs. Included in these features are often soundtracks to movies, outtakes, directors narration and actor interviews. Further, the added resolution is ideal for the wide selection of HDTVs on the market today offering pictures up to 1080p. Included features of the Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player. This amazing DVD player features True-to-Cinema picture quality, 7.1 channel audio decoder and analog output, VIERA Cast with wireless LAN, HDMI connection, a wireless LAN adapter, and digital tube sound simulator for great audio. Save $70 off MSRP! Order the Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player now and pay our fantastic Deal of the Day price! Get the best video from your DVDs and the Internet and save on the Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player with the Brookstone Deal of the Day! ... Read more


    14. Sony DVP-FX950 9-Inch Portable DVD Player
    Electronics
    list price: $179.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003C2T1IU
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 143
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Enjoy sharp, crisp images on a high-resolution large-screen with the stylish Sony DVP-FX950 Portable DVD Player. Features include a nine-inch (diag.) screen and 7 ½ hours battery life so you can watch your favorite movies from virtually anywhere for an extended period of time. Convenient touch-screen keys and a 180-degree swivel and flip screen make it easy to operate and watch your favorite movies. ... Read more


    15. TCL L32HDF11TA 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty, Black
    Electronics
    list price: $379.99 -- our price: $349.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003LPUWV8
    Manufacturer: TCL
    Sales Rank: 533
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Experience HD picture quality, incredible contrast and a sharp, vibrant, life-like picture with the TCL F11 Series HDTV. This LCD TV offers ample HD connections. ... Read more


    16. Coby TFDVD7009 7-Inch Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Player (Black)
    Electronics
    list price: $108.30 -- our price: $56.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036R76R4
    Manufacturer: Coby
    Sales Rank: 124
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    7-Inch Widescreen TFT LCD Portable DVD//CDMP3 player; Anti-skip circuitry; DVD, DVD±R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, JPEG, and MP3 compatible; Multiple language, subtitle and amera angle support; Parental lock control; Integrated stereo speakers; Headphone jacks for private listening; Dolby digital decoding; AV outpust for use with home theater systems. Accessories Included; Full function remote control, 100-240V UL Listed AC Adapter, stereo headphones. Display Resolution: 480 x 234, Video System Standard:NTSC/PAL, Audio Output: 3.5mm Optical/Stereo; 3.5mm Headphone; Integrated Stereo Speakers, Video Output: Composite Video,Media Support DVD, DVD±R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, Audio Format Support: MP3, Video Format Support:MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (DVD), Photo Format Support JPG, Battery Type Rechargeable Li-Polymer Battery; Remote: 1 x 3V "CR2025" ... Read more


    17. Samsung BD-C6500 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $249.99 -- our price: $134.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00365EVW4
    Manufacturer: Samsung
    Sales Rank: 219
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Samsung BD-C6500 Blu-ray Player offers Internet@TV, which delivers the best of the web straight to your HDTV, with downloadable widgets and apps like BLOCKBUSTER, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Pandora and more. You can shop online, share pictures, catch up with friends and connect to a wide range of streaming digital content at the touch of a button. It also has wireless LAN built-in. Add to that AllShare, which enables content to be seamlessly streamed between DLNA devices, allowing you to play files stored on your PC or even to use your telephone through your TV. ... Read more


    18. VIZIO E320VA 32-Inch 720p LCD HDTV, Black
    Electronics
    list price: $419.99 -- our price: $299.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003NSBL9K
    Manufacturer: Vizio, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 79
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    VIZIO’s E320VA 32-Inch LCD HDTV delivers superior picture and audio quality at an amazing value. Includes SRS TruVolume and SRS TruSurround HD audio for advanced virtual surround sound and four HDMI ports to connect up to four HDMI devices to your TV. Exceeds Energy Star 4.0 guidelines to reduce energy consumption. ... Read more


    19. Samsung BD-C5500 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $179.99 -- our price: $111.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000B60H0G
    Manufacturer: Samsung
    Sales Rank: 83
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The BDC5500 can also wireless LAN ready (wireless LAN adaptor not included). Add to that AllShare™, which enables content to be seamlessly streamed between DLNA® devices, allowing you to play files stored on your PC through your Blu-ray player. ... Read more


    20. Sony DVP-SR500H 1080p Upscaling DVD Player
    Electronics
    list price: $59.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0039XRUBM
    Manufacturer: Sony
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Enjoy your DVD collection with Sony DVP-SR500H upscaling DVD player. It upgrades your DVD collection to near high definition for an improved picture quality at an incredible value. In addition, you save energy as it meets ENERGY STAR standards ... Read more


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