Latest in Amazon

Image credit:

Roku Amazon Video on Demand hands-on

Nilay Patel
03.03.09
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links


Roku was nice enough to upgrade our player for Amazon Video on Demand a little early, and we're basically impressed -- although we're not in love with SD video and stereo audio, it's hard to complain about a free service update. Actually, that might be the best thing about the newly-rebranded Roku Video Player: Roku's opening the platform to third-party channels, so eventually the $99 box will be able to stream from all kinds of sources. Amazon is just the first additional channel built using the new tools, and for the most part, things work just like Netflix -- the interface has been only slightly modified to enable selecting content from the box itself instead of from your online queue. We're talking really slightly: there's no search interface, so it's sort of like having lots of categorized queues. One minor complaint: the rental clock starts when you purchase content, not when you start playback, which isn't necessarily the most flexible setup, but it makes sense given the streaming-only nature of the service, we suppose. That said, purchasing is easy and fast, and we had no problems streaming in the highest-available quality on our 10Mbps cable connection -- Max Payne didn't look super-awesome in SD, but it was certainly watchable. Bottom line? It's perfect for a bedroom, but we're way more particular about the home theater -- Roku tells us the Video Player can actually do 1080i and 5.1 if the content is there, so hopefully we'll see someone leverage those capabilities and turn this thing into a $99 Apple TV / Vudu killer. Quick little demo vid after the break.

Gallery: Roku Amazon Video on Demand hands-on | 20 Photos



All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Google's new emulator makes Android Automotive development easier

Google's new emulator makes Android Automotive development easier

View
Watch the final 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' trailer

Watch the final 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' trailer

View
What's on TV this week: 'The Outer Worlds'

What's on TV this week: 'The Outer Worlds'

View
Adobe may reveal Illustrator for iPad in November

Adobe may reveal Illustrator for iPad in November

View
NVIDIA's EGX supercomputer tech can crunch 1.6 terabytes a second

NVIDIA's EGX supercomputer tech can crunch 1.6 terabytes a second

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr