When the Roku direct to TV film option came out (using the US Netflix subscriber base and some of its DVDs), I immediately got one. I’d had other options before, including Comcast’s pay per view movie service and Netflix’s mail delivery of DVDs. This was so much better! I could simply watch movies whenever I wanted, with no risk of a defective DVD in my mailbox, one with scratches on it.
You can see the original article I wrote here, spelling out the reasons we bought the Roku and what options it offers. I’ll go over some of those in a moment.
Why I love the Roku and how it compares to other systems we’ve used
We do have Tivo as well and it is great, for what it does. I need to be able to record breaking news as well as new television shows and the Tivo does that as needed…..most of the time. However, it can be hit or miss and there is a certain error rate, making me record two or three of the same movies or shows so that I can be sure to have one that is actually recorded from the right channel. That isn’t an issue with the Roku.
Pay per view is certainly supposed to be convenient but when we used the Comcast system, all too often we’d get error messages and have to call the company. Sometimes the movie would show up on our television screen and sometimes it would not. Even if it did, we might miss part of it or have the weather or something else affect coverage.
How to know if the Roku is for you or not, especially as the Xbox 360 offers similar options
You can read plenty about the movies offered on the Roku by reading guides and reviews of the movie options on the Roku. I have gotten quite a bit of help from Timothy Sexton’s guide to Roku movies, as well as his opinion of them. Here is just one example, one that lists the Robert DeNiro movies available on the
If you scroll through his articles, you’ll see many which focus on various subjects and types of movies available for the Roku. Yes, the selection of current movies may seem limited primarily to classics or even noir type movies from various genres. However, as someone who likes to watch classic and cult favorites repeatedly, this isn’t an issue. Secondly, there are some newer movies in the mix. Also, I have some relatives who haven’t seen many of the 10,000 movies available from American Netflix for viewing on the Roku. So the initial price has been well worth it.
Another reason to love the Roku? Don’t mess with what works
Yes, there is a lot of attention about the Xbox 360. Depending on your taste, you may not be impressed with the movies offered yet (again, I’d urge you to read Mr. Sexton’s diverse articles about the Roku movies before you make that decision, yay or nay, about the movie selection). However, the picture quality is excellent and I tend to stick with what works. I know how Tivo functions (erratically). I know how Comcast Pay Per View functions. I don’t know how the Xbox 360 functions. I’m sticking with the Roku as the direct to tv movie delivery system for me. Oh, yes, I’m also familiar with Netflix and hopeful about the movies that will be available as time goes on. Besides, working through those 10,000 movies, given my schedule, isn’t exactly the easiest of tasks.
The Roku continues to be user friendly
It is nearly instant delivery. Find your movie (again, I suggest using Mr. Sexton’s articles for suggestions or inspiration), pick it out, watch it by using the Roku controller. It is that simple, pretty much. Set-up isn’t hard, although you do have to consider what you already have installed along with your basic television set. Is it perfect? No. Could it be better or offer a wider range of movies? Absolutely. But for the price, $99, and the low Netflix subscription fee, I don’t see a better game in town right now when it comes to this type of service. Great picture quality. Movies pretty much whenever we want to watch them.
If you want to know more, read my article or go to the Roku website and learn more…and don’t forget to bookmark Mr. Sexton’s guides to Roku movies while you are at it. The Roku website is here: roku.com.
So is the Roku for you?
I stand by my earlier stance. It really depends on your viewing preferences and tastes. Those who love it…well, they really love it. I’m one of them. I confess that Mr. Sexton got his delivered and hooked up before I did so his enthusiasm for the product – and actual use – preceded mine. I’m still working on catching up on those guides of his, just like I”m working to catch up on all the movie selections available on the Roku. The Xbox 360? I’m not inclined to buy it just for the movie option…yet.
What is next for Roku and direct to tv movies?
Hopefully, Roku will offer more of the newest titles and do so quickly. Also, the industry seems to be changing so quickly that no one really knows what the next big thing could be. In the meantime, I’m hoping that $99 investment turns out to be one of the best moves I made recently. So far, I’m one happy customer.