ROKU, NETFLIX and International Films

Netflix is carrying thousands of international films recently and many of them are available for instant-viewing if you have a Netflix account. But if you want to watch them on a big screen tv, especially if you have a one with high-def capabilities, then you would need a device that can take the Netflix Instant-View experience to the big screen.

One way you could do that is to take a cable from the output of your computer to your television. If your computer has an HDMI output, then you’ll be fine because you can easily see the output of your computer on your television. If you don’t have HDMI, you may find yourself using an S-VHS output, which can be a bit more of a hassle. Either way, you find yourself dragging a cable from your computer to your television—an unsightly and impractical method. Recently, many wireless transmitters have hit the market. You can wirelessly send the picture from your PC to your Television screen. One problem that arises is not being able to use your computer while transmitting. Also, lower end models have poor video/audio quality.

A number of the higher-end models modify your wireless network at home in order to properly function—sometimes even changing network names. I’ve found that the easiest way to watch Netflix Instant-view movies on a big screen is an actual Netflix player or similarly designed device which enables seamless, problem-free streaming. I decided to take a look at a small box from Roku which definitely exceeded my expectations.

I connected the Roku box from its HDMI output (it also has a component and composite output) to the television. I didn’t want to run an Ethernet cable all the way to the back of the box, so I decided to test out the wireless features of the box. Many of the boxes currently on the market, like Media Center extenders, fail in most cases if your wireless connection is not extremely powerful. I had no problem using the wireless to play the Instant-view films with the Roku box. It was running very smoothly and I experienced no glitches. I would say that your download speed should be around 2Mbps to have the best experience with the Roku box.

The HD experience with Roku is outstanding. Netflix updated the Roku box automatically after I hooked it up, and the picture was clean and almost crisp, on-par with DVD and definitely acceptable. But do not expect 1080p or 1080i quality from Netflix HD instant play movies on Roku.

To take Netflix films to Roku, all you have to do is obtain a Netflix subscription online. You must add the films that you want to watch to your instant-view queue on Once you have done this, you can access the films from your Roku box. We aren’t treated to luxuries such as special features and scene selection (rewinding and fast-forwarding are also slower), but the box performs its primary functions gracefully. Roku is limited to two services: Netflix and pay-per- view movies from

The box is priced at $99 and, considering that Roku promises to add more channels and capabilities in the future, it seems to be a valuable device to purchase.

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World Cinema Reports' Editors

Cinema Without Borders' reporters from around the globe search and find international cinema content for our audience. when an outside source is used, we provide you with a link to the original source at the end of the article

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