Our inbox has been blowing up with a bunch of readers letting us know that the Netflix Instant Streaming discs for Wii have finally started shipping. Netflix has been sending emails to members who signed up to receive the disc, letting them know to expect it to arrive in the mail tomorrow. Exciting for Wii owners who don’t own any other Netflix-enabled device, since the Wii is pretty much the only modern Netflix streaming device that doesn’t support high definition playback.
We talked with Syabas Technology, makers of the Popcorn Hour line of set-top boxes, about their new Popbox at CES 2010, where they gave us a walkthrough of the 1080p streaming, Netflix-supporting, app-centric home theater device. Seriously, this thing seems to support everything under the sun, including Java, Flash, and tons of video codecs in full HD.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring our CES 2010 coverage!
Blockbuster isn’t doing so hot these days, as they are in the midst of closing up shop on another 500 retail locations. They realize that they need to figure out ways to make money with their highly outdated model (rather than quickly adopting the Internet to its fullest capacity,) so they are bringing back late fees! That’s right, the late fees that Blockbuster did away with five years ago are back, although some would argue that they never went away in the first place, they were just renamed. We digress.
From here on out, you can expect to pay $1 per day in late fees when you rent a disc from your local Blockbuster, with the cap being $10 after 10 days. We bet at that point, they just charge you for the full price of the disc and call it a day. Yeah, this is why we stick with Netflix.
Read More | Slashfilm
If you’re a gamer who doesn’t own an Xbox 360 or PS3, then you’ve been left out in the cold as it pertains to Netflix streaming. All of that changes this Spring, though, as Netflix and Nintendo have announced a partnership that will allow you to stream Netflix instant content using your Wii console. Similar to the Playstation 3 scenario, you’ll have to insert a Netflix disc in order to view content, as opposed to the Xbox 360 method, which has Netflix built right in to the dashboard. No firm date has been announced just yet, but the Netflix streaming disc will be free with the cost of your Netflix subscription.
We wanted to find a nice mid-range HDTV we could recommend this year, and we think the LG 47LH50 is it.This is LG’s 47-inch, widget-powered television, and it brings the heat with a 1080p display, and 5.1 surround sound output. Why would you want to output sound from the display? Well, thanks to the Yahoo! widget support, you get things like Netflix, YouTube, and a bunch of other embedded media playback services, including the Vudu streaming movie service. Just connect the LG 47LH50 to your home network, and the content is right at your fingertips. The part, though, is the price. These typically sell for about $1500, but Amazon is selling it for $1,139.
Read More | LG 47LH50 HDV
If you’re a Playstation 3 owner who ordered one of the Netflix Instant Streaming discs, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve started shipping to customer as of today. In fact, our disc is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, alongside copious amounts of junk mail, we’re sure. The disc is the only way you’ll be able to enjoy the Netflix Watch Instantly service on your PS3 for the time being, so if you want to get in on that action and haven’t already done so, go ahead and order your disc. You do need to have an active Netflix membership as well, of course.
We are kicking off our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide with the Roku HD-XR player. Why? Well, we think that it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the new hotness that is TV, delivered over the web, and right into the living room. Sure, Netflix has come to the Xbox 360, but if you want streaming access to the Netflix service and don’t own a game console, this is your cheapest barrier to entry. The HD-XR model also gives you access to the Amazon Unbox catalogue, as well as the entire MLB game service as well, if you are subscribed.
Definitely a great gift for movie buffs, the Roku HD-XR player is able to stream over 12,000 movies and television shows from the Netflix Watch Instantly catalogue, and over 45,000 from Amazon Video on Demand. It connects to your home network through an ethernet port, or over Wi-Fi, connecting at up to 802.11n if you have it. There’s also a USB port on back, which Roku says is for future use. Our guess is that they’ll be allowing the device to read from an external USB drive, which would be stellar.
The actual device is tiny, so it takes up barely any space, and setup takes just a couple of minutes - very simple. Of course, a Netflix subscription is required, but once you have that, everything else is a piece of cake.
Honorable Mention: If you want all the features of the Roku HD-XR, but don’t need the USB port or 802.11n wireless speeds, you can grab the Roku HD Player for $99!
Read More | Roku HD-XR
Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard rumblings that Netflix streaming would be coming to both the PS3 and Wii, but apparently, all that is now out the window, because Microsoft has been able to score an exclusive console partnership with Netflix. Read on:
This exclusive partnership offers you the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix to the television via Xbox 360. Xbox 360 will be the only game console to offer this movie-watching experience, available to Xbox LIVE Gold members who are also Netflix unlimited plan subscribers**, at no additional cost.
From the Netflix Web site, simply add movies and TV episodes to your instant Queue, which will appear automatically on the TV screen via Xbox 360. Once selected, movies will begin playing in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to instantly streaming Netflix movies to the TV, Xbox LIVE Gold members can browse and rate movies, fast-forward, pause and rewind, all using either their Xbox 360 Controller or Universal remote.
Now, of course, we assume this just means that the Xbox 360 gets an exclusive on full console integration. But hey, you can just go download PlayOn if you really want to access Netflix from your Playstation 3 or Wii. Problem solved.
Read More | Xbox
Yeah, in case you forgot, today is the day that the masses (including you) get access to all the fancy new features in the latest Xbox 360 Dashboard Update! I’m talking about things like Netflix Movie Parties, Games on Demand, the Avatar Marketplace, etc. You can get the full scoop on all the updates, both major and minor, at the link below. What we wanna know now, though, is how you are liking it. Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and remember, there is more to come in a couple of months, as we still have Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace with 1080p instant-on movie streaming to look forward to later this fall.
Read More | August 2009 Dashboard Update Details
A few days ago we did a quick post of our Xbox 360 August Dashboard Update video, promising that we’d publish the actual video podcast version later. Well, here it is. In case you missed it, we give you a 35-minute full walkthrough of the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update, giving you a look at the new Netflix features, Avatar Marketplace, Games on Demand, Indie Games, and more. Go ahead and give it a look for all the goods. Definitely a nice, solid Xbox 360 update.