14 Comments

Summary:

It looks like Roku made its first move to go beyond being just “the Netflix player” this weekend. Firing up the ole Roku box this afternoon brought up the new home screen instead of immediately jumping directly into the Netflix streaming queue like it usually does. […]

It looks like Roku made its first move to go beyond being just “the Netflix player” this weekend. Firing up the ole Roku box this afternoon brought up the new home screen instead of immediately jumping directly into the Netflix streaming queue like it usually does.

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There’s a new welcome message saying:

“By now you’ve discovered our new home screen. This screen will become your launching pad for a number of great new channels that will begin to appear on your player in early 2009. In addition to the hugely popular Netflix channel, you’ll see movie channels, TV channels, web video and more!

We’ve also upgraded your player to support an advanced video format that will deliver better video quality, especially over Internet connections.

Finally, your player is now fully HD compatible. If you have an HDTV, select ‘update display type’ below to get the full HD experience. (Tip: visit http://www.netflix.com/InstantHD for HD movies from Netflix.)”

We knew these moves were coming from Roku. Now we have a better sense of when: Look for content partnership announcements after the first of the year, presumably from at least YouTube. This does make the $99 device a more enticing holiday gift, but I still think you should wait before buying one and I’m not alone; others think they may just be a temporary fix.

More screenshots below.

Here’s the welcome message.
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The screen to change your video setting.
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Ironically, the picture I took of the HD capability is out of focus. Nice to see that Netflix has a nice list of the (limited) HD movies now, though.
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You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Glenn Fleishman Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Not seeing this yet on my Roku, even after checking for updates via its menu. I’m using component for connecting to my HDTV (due to a shortage of HDMI cables).

  2. Link to the list has been compromised.
    No longer links to any list.

  3. Chris Albrecht Sunday, December 21, 2008

    @Ryan, you may need to be signed into Netflix to see it.

  4. yKvz Blog » Blog Archive » Roku Player Gets Update for Netflix HD, Future Service Expansion [Roku] Sunday, December 21, 2008

    [...] short and somewhat sweet list of HD titles for Netflix enabled devices if you’re interested. [NewTeeVee — Thanks, [...]

  5. Bummer, still no update for me. I checked last night, and I just checked now. Guess they’re doing a staggered roll out. Either their servers can’t handle it, or they want to see if any bugs bot caught in the beta spring up? (Or they want to make sure their reduced help desk staff can handle any calls.)

  6. I have yet to see this update as well. I factory reset my device hoping the update would come down, but no luck. I also try the update option and it says I am up to date. Will have to keep checking. Just got it hooked up to my HDTV about a week ago in preperation for this updated release.

  7. Roku gets upgraded to HD and non–NetFlix Contents | SolSie.com Sunday, December 21, 2008

    [...] their Xbox 360 and positions well against Netgear EVA 9000 Digital Entertainer Elite.  [Source GigaOm] Technorati Tags: [...]

  8. Christopher Gioconda Monday, December 22, 2008

    According to Netflix and Roku, the updated firmware will be rolled out according to serial number in a staggered fashion. I’m assuming this is to prevent their servers from going down as everyone updates their firmware (especially everyone who is going to receive the box for the holidays) and to prevent problems streaming HD. Oh well.

  9. Roku’s Netflix Player Gets Instant HD and a New Channel Home Screen | eHomeUpgrade Monday, December 22, 2008

    [...] Below is Roku’s “What’s New” message providing a summary of what’s to come. [via] By now you’ve discovered our new home screen. This screen will become your launching pad for a [...]

  10. Open Thread: What’s on Your Holiday Wish List? « NewTeeVee Monday, December 22, 2008

    [...] What gadgets or gear are you hoping to find wrapped up and waiting for you? Are you pining for a new laptop? Hoping for a Flip HD? Lusting after a Roku set-top box (now with HD capabilities!)? [...]

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