Roku to “Open” Netflix Player to Third Parties


netflix player by roku front

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.

netflix player by roku back

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




Tags: , ,
Filed in: Content Providers, Streaming Media Devices


  • Scott Weaver

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

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2008/12/10/question-which-netflix-streamer-solution-are-you-considering-as-a-non-xbox-360tivo-owner/ Question: Which Netflix Streamer Solution Are You Considering As a Non-Xbox 360/TiVo Owner? | eHomeUpgrade

    [...] for new features (Samsung recently added Pandora support and rumor has it that Roku is going to open up the platform to third party developers), and don’t require additional subscription fees like the TiVo [...]