Roku, an unassuming player in the increasingly crowded field of IPTV set top boxes, just keeps getting quietly better. I couldn’t get too exciting about the recent addition of the Ultimate fighting Championship channel–as far as I’m concerned, what happens in the octagon can stay in the octagon–but the new Netflix client is a big deal.
Until now, you could watch Netflix content on Roku, as on a number of other players including the Xbox 360, but all management of your Netflix Watch Instantly queue had to be done through a Web browser. But a new Netflix client, rolled out today, lets you browse, search, and order content right from the Roku. Search is a bit less convenient than from a PC, since you have to put up with a clunky on-screen keyboard, but it works well.
With Roku models starting at just $80, there isn’t a whole lot of reason not to have one. Now if Netflix could just get the studios the let it make more content available through its streaming service.