Netflix / Roku Box To Add Amazon Content, Watch Instantly Added To TVs

January 5, 2009

Netflix continues to improve its Watch Instantly service with key moves, that bring it on par with the Apple TV and in some ways beyond. The Netflix / Roku box will soon have on-demand, paid movie rentals of newer releases, courtesy of Amazon’s video download service. Gizmodo has the press release.

The availability of newer titles brings the Netflix / Roku box on par with the Apple TV, as many of the titles overlap.

Unclear is whether there will be a limited “window” for these paid rentals. The Apple TV has some limiting rules regarding their rentals, namely you have to watch a movie in 30 days and once you start watching said movie, it expires within 24 hours. If the set up is the same as the online Amazon service, the rentals will be limited to 24 hours on the Netflix / Roku box.

With this new channel (and more likely to arrive in 2009), plus the recent software update for HD support, I feel the $99 Netflix / Roku box is easily among the smartest tech-related purchases I made last year.

Netflix also announced the incorporation of Watch Instantly into LG televisions. Also a really smart move, as it overcomes the “yet another box” hurdle of increasingly crowded home entertainment systems.

The end result of both these moves: I think it’s imperative that Apple announces some improvements to the Apple TV and the iTunes Store at tomorrow’s MacWorld keynote. Conversely, the timing of these Netflix annoucements could indicate a pending annoucenment by Apple. Here’s hoping Apple has something cool to announce, otherwise, Netflix is set to leave them in the dust.


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