If we are “friends” on Facebook, then you’ll see that I consistently “Like” Roku products and announcements. I go so far as to link to them when I see them off of FB, particularly when they are on sale. I have two Roku players and love the snot* out of them. They are the best entertainment device, by a large margin, for households with children. Netflix of course is the big reason to buy one of these devices, but Amazon streaming rental movies is nothing to sneeze at either. Add in Pandora, Revision3, Facebook Photos, et al, and it’s the most compelling device to round out the home entertainment center. They recently, just today, announced Hulu Plus service for all their players. Did you catch the last sentence? ALL their players will get Hulu Plus support. Not just the high end, most recent players. ALL of them. That is exactly the right thing to do for your customers. The player is capable of doing it, so they do it. If there was some hardware limitation that stopped them from adding functionality, then so be it.
Now, Tivo also rolled out Hulu Plus support for it’s Premiere DVRs. Me, I don’t own a Premiere model. I own an HD model Tivo. This model has Netflix support (streaming video), Amazon (streaming video) and YouTube (streaming video). So, riddle me this Batman: Why, when the Tivo HD box will obviously stream video content from the Internet, does Tivo only offer the Hulu Plus content on the Premiere? That is exactly the wrong thing to do for your customers. Why is Tivo doing this? On the surface, it seems like pure greed and contempt for customers with their older hardware. Judging from the comments on their Facebook page, I’m not alone in my disgust. While Roku expands our viewing choices, Tivo will do so also, but only for new hardware buyers. Boo!
Because I have the Roku, I will have access to all the content on Hulu Plus (whether I subscribe to an additional service is another topic) so not a huge deal, but the underlying sentiment leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
I’m going to continue to have both services and boxes. The Tivo will still continue to serve just as a DVR and recordtelevision shows for the family. Meanwhile, the whole family is using the Roku more and more and it’s becoming the default way to view content in our house.
* Roku players do not contain actual snot.