We knew something was up when we saw a Netgear-branded Roku XD hit the FCC
and subsequently turn up at Fry's
, and now it's official: Netgear will be selling the Roku XD
as the -- wait for it -- Netgear Roku XD Player. Hardware and functionality-wise, it's the exact same Roku XD you've come to know and love -- 720p Netflix and Amazon streaming with support for 1080p on certain channels -- but Netgear's vast distribution network means that it'll be sold in Best Buy, Radio Shack, Fry's and anywhere else Netgear products routinely show up. It's a pretty aggressive move for Roku, which was previously online-only -- the company has been saying its goal is to put a box by every TV in your house, and the XD is certainly cheap and flexible enough to tempt quite a few big-box shoppers. Of course, you're be paying a little extra for that extra silkscreen and distro love: Netgear's MSRP is $89.99, $10 more than the straight Roku. (Fry's selling it for $79.99 after "instant savings," though.) That's not exactly impulse-buy pricing, but it's still $10 cheaper than the Apple TV, so it looks like the heat is on -- check out our Roku XDS review
and just ignore the part about USB playback to get a feel for the XD.
: Did we say "coming" to big box retail? One tipster tells us the Netgear Roku Player at the Salt Lake City Best Buy store right now. You'll find pictures of the box immediately below. [Thanks, Jeremy]
Netgear Roku Player at Best Buy