Does any external device (besides the computer via the web) support full Netflix access?
I know my Xbox has the ability to select movies beyond what is in my queue, and quite honestly, it does a pretty good job. Several times I've found movies that was picked for me that I didn't even know or even seen available for streaming. IMO, it's a toss up between watching movies via my Xbox or my HTPC. Both look great. Streaming via by Samsung BDP-3600 to my Epson 8100 PJ looked bad, so I moved the player to the living room and plugged it into my LG 42" and it looks great on the smaller screen - via an red,white and yellow cable hooked to the component jack of the TV, too! (I couldn't get the HDMI working anymore with this player, and I couldn't find my component cables).
Anyhow, Xbox 360, seems to be the only choice, besides the Windows 7 Media Center application, that has access to the Netflix database. However, both products does not have FULL access as they are still limited with the selection. I'm not sure why this is. If these devices have access beyond the regular queue, then why not show all the available streaming movies?
Yes, it's too bad that the only real way to have FULL access to Netflix's streaming database for now is via the website and through your computer. I also found it ridiculous that you have to log in to your computer to activate these external devices first (xbox, BD player, etc), but I guess that's better than having to call and talk to an operator. The Windows Media Center app is ok, but I find it funny that it's so limited and yet, I could easily switch over and access the real Netflix site via the web browser on the same computer. I think it was a cool idea and I'm glad they finally added this app to the Media Center, but after installing it and seeing how limited it was, I found it useless.
One thing I forgot to add - to have access to the Netflix option via Xbox, you must have the Gold Membership, which is another $50 or so a year. Whatever the cost, it's extra, on top of your Netflix monthly charge. The other devices (BD player, Media Center, etc), do not charge anything extra (not sure about Roku, never used it), hence, they are limited in their access to the Netflix database. Now, back to the Media Center app I was talking about. The only way I can see this app being useful is if I decided to cancel my Gold Membership from Xbox. For those that don't have an Xbox 360, the Xbox can connect to your PC through the home network via what's called an extender (just an app basically). However, you must have your PC running and I believe, the Media Center program must be running on the PC first --- then you go over to your Xbox, turn it on and tab over to the Media Center extender area and you're now able to access all the Media Center apps on your computer - including the limited Netflix app. I just checked Google and you can buy external devices that are MC extenders, too, made by company's like Linksys and Cisco. The downside to running extenders to your computer's Media Center... you need to have the computer running as well as the extender device (e.g. Xbox). That's using up twice the amount of electricity. I never use the extender because my Xbox is right next to my HTPC. The extender works great if these two devices were in separate rooms, but if they're right next to each other going to the same TV/Projector, then what's the point of using an extender?
I would suggest building a HTPC (w/BD Rom). Use the TV as a monitor. I did that for a couple years before upgrading to a PJ.