Why The Roku Netflix Player Could Change Internet Television

Jul 2nd, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, Streaming Video, Video

There’s been a lot of discussion today about the Roku Netflix Player, focusing on the idea that Roku could its cheap Player to establish a foothold in people’s living rooms, and then add additional services to establish itself as a major Internet television solution.

According to a Forbes report, “Later this year, a simple software update will allow the box to stream content from other “big name” providers.”

If Roku can work out deals with streaming video providers Hulu and YouTube, it could leapfrog Apple TV to become the leading Internet TV solution.

The Roku Player Is An Open Platform

Getting more content on the device is interesting, but what gets me excited is something nobody seems to be talking about yet: Roku’s open source code.

Roku has released a variety of Netflix player components as open source, GPL’d code. That means that the Roku Player could quickly become the open platform that many wanted Apple TV to be.

We’ve seen the potential of open source projects like WordPress & Firefox how minor software apps can become leaders through successful community development. We’ve also seen how developers are itching to hack on Apple TV, but are limited because of Apple’s decision to treat the box as a toaster, instead of a platform.

An open source Internet television platform could lead to an explosion of development, and could force others, like Apple, to turn their “toaster” style Internet TV appliances into platforms for development, too.

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One Response to “Why The Roku Netflix Player Could Change Internet Television”

  1. Steve Mullen says:

    THIS is what Hulu needs to become a staple — a simple way to get to the television. The average person (myself included) doesn’t want to watch TV shows on their computer.

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