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Review: Netflix Watch Instantly on 4 CE Devices

By Stephen Hopkins
We compare Netflix streaming on TivoHD, Samsung Blu-ray, Roku Netflix Player and Windows Media Center.


It seems that every TV or settop box manufacturer is now supporting Netflix for their CE products. Enter the Netflix menu and you can review and select titles in your Watch Instantly queue - from the convenience of your couch.


But the Netflix experience is different across all of the different products. Which is the best?





I've been lucky enough to incorporate into my home theater several different devices with Netflix Watch Instantly support: TivoHD, Roku Player, Samsung BD-P2550 Blu-ray Player and Windows Vista Media Center plug-in.


How do they stack up?

TivoHD

The TivoHD has always been the most used source device in my theater.


When Netflix support originally appeared on my TivoHD, I was excited by the promise of a new content avenue. But I was instantly let down by the lack of interesting content. Luckily, over the last several months, partnerships with Stars, CBS, Disney, and other studios have expanded the available content.


The TivoHD implementation of Netflix feels very much at home on the device.


Menus retain the standard Tivo format, fonts, and overall feel, with Netflix branding only going as far as the logo and color scheme. Netflix on the Tivo feels like an extension of the Tivo service, not a separate application that happens to be added on to the Tivo hardware.

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