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[qi:032] Just when I thought Roku, a device maker started by Anthony Woods, had kicked the bucket, NewTeeVee reports that they are coming back as a set-top box supplier for Netflix and its video download service. Woods had joined Netflix after leaving Roku in April 2007. The box basically downloads movies from Netflix via a broadband connection.
At present, 10,000 movies are available for download. Despite the $100 price tag, I think Netflix clearly has its work cut out for it, much like any other Internet set-top box maker. Despite the presence of many deep-pocketed device makers, there are none who can be labeled a success.
AppleTV is still stuck in the first gear, as far as I am concerned. Call me skeptical, because I believe the average TV users are reticent to add more boxes to their entertainment consoles. Moreover, when under pressure both phone companies and cable operators will partner with web-video services and offer it to the home viewers.
Bottomline: If Netflix wants to have an impact in the market, it has beef up its library and at the same time make the box free for Netflix DVD subscribers.