|The Netflix set-top box is a game changer
||[Jun. 18th, 2008|02:16 am]
Wired calls the Netflix/Roku set top box "just shy of totally amazing." Most of the other press is similar in tone.
I got mine a week ago. The thing that really impressed me is the absolute simplicity. I mean, look at this remote. With so few buttons it would take talent to make it hard to use! But the real genius is that there is no configuration required on the device itself, in terms of identifying/authenticating yourself. You take the unique code that comes with your device and associate it with your account on your computer through your browser. It's impossible to overstate the importance of this little design decision.
Some people complain about the lack of content, because the vast majority of movies in Netflix's collection are not available for online viewing. I don't see this as a problem anymore: it costs only $9 a month, and in spite of the thinness of the selection, there are way more good movies available than I have time to watch. (For me, "good" roughly translates to "over 7.0 on IMDb".) Besides, mass culture is dead anyway.