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Netflix Offers Up Streaming Video Player

Los Gatos, Calif. – Netflix and Roku, a digital media streaming technology company, today unveiled the The Netflix Player by Roku, a device that enables Netflix subscribers to instantly stream a growing library of movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to the TV.

Priced at $99.99, the player is available for purchase starting today from Netflix.

The player gives Netflix members instant access to more than 10,000 movies and TV episodes.

The Netflix Player by Roku is roughly the size of a paperback book – and can integrate into home entertainment system, the company said. A consumer connects the player to a TV and to the Internet. The player is also Wi-Fi enabled, Netflix said.

From the Netflix web site, members add movies and TV episodes to their individual instant Queues, and those choices are then displayed on the TV and available to watch instantly. The viewer uses a supplied remote control to browse and make selections off the TV screen and also have the ability to read synopses and rate movies. In addition, they have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream via the remote. In all, the Queue-based user interface creates a highly personalized experience that puts members in control, Netflix said.

Additional product features include optimization of the Netflix video streaming technology, which eliminates the need for a hard disk drive associated with video downloads, and built-in connectivity for automatic software upgrades, which will keep the device current with service enhancements, Netflix said.

Anthony Wood, CEO and founder of Roku, said, “The seamless integration of the Netflix service into our player has resulted in true ease of use for the consumer. Now, streaming video isn’t limited to people sitting in front of the PC. It’s ready for the TV in the living room.”

“The key breakthroughs of The Netflix Player by Roku are simplicity and cost,” said Reed Hastings, chairman/CEO of Netflix. “First, it allows consumers to use the full power of the Netflix Web site to choose movies for their instant Queue, and then automatically displays only those choices on the TV screen. That’s a major improvement versus the clutter of trying to choose from 10,000 films on the TV. Second, there are no extra charges and no viewing restrictions. For a one-time purchase of $99, Netflix members can watch as much as they want and as often as they want without paying more or impacting the number of DVDs they receive.”

The Netflix Player is 5-inches wide by 5-inches deep by 2-inches high and comes with a remote, A/V cable and power adapter. The video and audio connections include: HDMI; component video; S-Video; composite video; digital optical audio; and analog stereo audio. Network connections are wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g).