When Roku first introduced the Roku Netflix Player in mid 2008, the only service it accessed was Netflix. For a Netflix subscriber, it was a relatively no-brainer addition to their homes because it was a one time $99.99 purchase for the box and it would allow them to stream Netflix’s Instant access library of movies and tv shows directly to their televisions for no additional cost to their Netflix subscriptions. The box is prepared for any kind of connection to the television with outputs including HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video, and even audio outputs in both analog and optical. And it can be connected to the Internet with either an Ethernet cable or it’s built-in wireless connection.
The first available movies and television shows on the Roku Netflix Player were all older titles. Eventually Netflix partnered with Starz to bring more recently released titles to their instant viewing offerings. Roku, the manufacturer of the box, promised the box would be able to access additional sources of content in the future. In early 2009, Roku added access to Amazon’s Video On Demand service which allows the owners of the box the ability to purchase or rent movies or television shows on a per-title basis. This allowed people with the box the opportunity to enjoy the most currently released content right on the box as soon as the day of release for most titles. And both Netflix and Amazon were offering the opportunity to watch content on the box in High Definition. The HD streaming is only available if you’re connecting the box to your television or entertainment system through an HDMI connection.