Netflix Streams Movies Direct to TV

Subscribers can bypass mailbox entirely with $99 set-top box; selection limited
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2008 4:17 PM CDT
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shows off the new set-top box at Netflix headquarters in California, May 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Netflix today began marketing a $99 set-top box that lets subscribers play any of 10,000 movies and TV shows on their televisions, free. The device, made by start-up Roku, is cheaper and better than competitors like Apple TV, some analysts told the New York Times. Still, it faces obstacles including limited programming and competition from cable and satellite companies.

The offering of 10,000 films and shows is small compared to the 100,000 in Netflix’s DVD library. Still, one analyst called the box “the most impressive product we’ve seen attached to a TV this decade.” The box streams video directly from the Internet and therefore requires a high-speed connection, as it could freeze on slower connections.