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NetFlix Set-top Creator: It Can Do HDTV
But the device may need an ultra-fast Internet connection for high-def.
Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2008) -- Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, the company behind NetFlix's new 'Net TV' movie player, says the set-top could display High-Definition videos.

That's according to an article by the Associated Press.

The $99 set-top, which NetFlix began selling this week at its web site, can deliver movies streamed from the Internet directly to the TV screen. However, at launch, the Netflix 'Net TV' service will only include standard-def titles; no High-Definition movies or TV shows.

The NetFlix/Roku set-top box.

Wood tells the AP that the device is capable of delivering high-def titles. However, the wire service says that HD streaming would likely require a download speed of at least 6 mbps, which is faster than what's available in many Broadband-enabled homes.

The Roku executive said the NetFlix set-top would also deliver Surround Sound audio if the online DVD rental service decided to include it.

The 5"-by-5" set-top, which was manufactured by Roku, can connect to the TV through a variety of connections including HDMI, component video or even S-Video. The box, which has an Ethernet connection, also can be connected wirelessly to the Net using a Wi-Fi feature.

Apple TV and Vudu, two rival Net TV set-top services, now offer high-def movies and TV shows. However, their boxes include hard drives which allow for videos to be stored for later viewing if the connection is slow, AP writes.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

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