As filmmakers, we need to stay on top of not only video production, but also video delivery, especially in this rapidly changing environment. Creating great video projects is only the first step; getting your videos to your viewers is the next.
From the 1940’s to 1970’s, delivering video content to the living room TV was controlled mainly by three companies: ABC, CBS and NBC. The 1970’s brought many more channels, with cable television, and later with satellite, but it still cost millions to have your own TV channel.
Getting free video content to viewers on DVD just doesn’t make financial sense anymore, though some companies still offer DVDs as a marketing tool.
Of course, now, in the internet age, you can create a video channel for free, on your own website or one of the plethora of video sharing sites, which are all easily viewable on any computer– but there is still the challenge of getting your content on that living room TV, which nowadays is likely to be a nice, big, LCD or plasma widescreen with a nice sound system– just the kind of screen you want your videos shown on.
Here at DVcreators.net, we dropped down to basic satellite and got an Apple TV (only for professional research, of course!). It is a great Netflix box, and your viewers who own an Apple TV can watch your free video content if you create video podcasts or publish video on YouTube.
But we just ordered the new Roku 2 XS, which delivers full 1080 HD (the Apple TV is 720) and offers more options for video publishers, like DailyMotion, or even streaming live events with LiveStream or UStream. You can even create your own channel on the Roku, which is interesting. The Roku is popular (see reviews at the bottom of this post), and will probably get more popular.
No one knows who will “win the internet TV box race”, or when there will emerge a standard, as VHS emerged from the Beta/VHS wars, or Blu Ray chalked up a Phyrrhic victory in the HD-DVD/Blu Ray battle.
But the new Roku 2, with 300+ “channels”, featuring Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Pandora could be a contender.
The Roku 2 HD ($60) is the 720p version, but we thought it’s well worth the extra $20 for the 1080p Roku 2 XD ($80):
If you’d like to order a 1080p Roku 2 like we did, click on the picture above and you’ll also be helping support DVcreators.net, we will receive $4 of each purchase.
There is a $100 model that is also 1080p, and adds a new Bluetooth motion remote and Angry Birds.
Here’s a video review:
And some more reviews:
“The current $100 Roku XDS is the CNET Editors’ Choice in the bargain streaming-video space. In our opinion, it edged out the Apple TV because it delivered far more programming choices for the same price.”
“Internet TV: Roku still trumps Apple, Google, and Boxee”
“The Rokus are absolutely phenomenal streaming video boxes. They’re affordable, take minimal setup, and pipe in Netflix (most importantly), plus myriad other movie services.”
“Richard Doherty, an analyst at the Envisioneering Group, says that 25% of U.S. homes will have Internet connectivity through TVs or set-top boxes, or both, by the end of the year, growing to 50% by the end of 2012. “Roku was the first, and still the easiest to use,” he says. James McQuivey, a Forrester Research analyst, says the expansion into gaming is a good way for Roku to compete and differentiate itself from Apple.”
“Roku just announced its fourth generation of media streamers and they’re unsurprisingly the best yet. They sport more features, an even smaller physical footprint, and the same Apple TV-killing price points as before.”