Roku to “Open” Netflix Player to Third Parties

In a surprise announcement at Streaming Media West, Roku CEO, Anthony Wood, told attendees: “We’re opening up the [Netflix Player] platform to anyone who wants to put their video service on this box. We’re going to release the software developer kit, so anyone can publish any channel, and users can access web content on their TVs.” [via / via / via]

Whew. I don’t how you guys feel about this, but I think this is an extremely smart move on Roku’s part. And, in addition, could offer the right vehicle for content providers to distribute their online offerings to the general consumer masses (who knows… Netflix’s competitor, Blockbuster, might even jump on board). We still have to see how third-party channels will be integrated into the interface, but I think a “bazaar” style content portal would work well — unlike the Apple TV model which has a strict format on content presentation.

What the Netflix Player has going for it:

  • $99.99 price point
  • Provides Ethernet / Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) connectivity
  • Capable of decoding MPEG-2 / MPEG-4 / DivX / H.264 / JPEG
  • Includes RCA jacks, S-video, component video, HDMI (1080i / 720p), and optical audio

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Filed in: Content Providers, Streaming Media Devices

2 Reactions to “Roku to “Open” Netflix Player to Third Parties”

  1. Scott Weaver says:

    Capable of decoding DivX and H.264? I see a lot of third party potential for this box based on that alone!

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