New Releases and Recommendations for July 14

When the goin’ gets tough, the tough go Roku. This weekend is all about livin’ the stream, and we’ve got the perfect lineup to help you unwind Roku style. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!


Netflix New Releases:

  • The Making of South Park: 6 Days to Air- Go behind the scenes at South Park Studios with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and see how an episode is created in just six days (2011)
  • Absentia- Seven years after her husband went missing, a grieving wife begins to suspect foul play (2011)
  • Ronin- A squad of mercenaries is assembled to recover a briefcase sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob in this full-throttle action thriller (1998)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Wipeout: Employees and Bosses 2012- Employees and their bosses team up to face obstacles (2012)
  • Teen Wolf: Wolf Moon- When Scott McCall joins a search in the woods for a missing body, he is bitten by a dark figure and strange abilities begin to take affect (2012)
  • Big- Gyung Joon and Da Ran go on a camping trip together, where he experiences more painful side effects of his soul switching bodies (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Vacancy- Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale bring star wattage to a keenly shot suspense flick (2007)
  • Wind Chill- A creepy ghost story that provides a respite from the usual slash and spray fare (2007)
  • Christine- Master horror director John Carpenter is at the peak of his powers in a film so scary good it bests Stephen King’s book (1983)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Downton Abbey Season 2- The Great War unsettles life at Downton (2012)
  • Damages Season 4- Glenn Close stars as a charismatic but cunning high-stakes lawyer in this New York-set thriller (2011)
  • Mission: Impossible- Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, a secret agent who is framed for the deaths of his espionage team (1996)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star in an extraordinary, beguiling tale of fly-fishing and political spinning, unexpected heroism and late-blooming love (2012)
  • American Reunion ’12- The whole American Pie gang returns to make their reunion into the most outrageous weekend since high school (2012)
  • White Collar Season 4- When the world’s most creative con man escapes a maximum-security prison, the FBI decides to use his criminal expertise to catch other notorious criminals (2012)
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

New software update for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD

Today, we’re rolling out a free software update—Roku software 4.8 for Roku 2, Roku LT and new Roku HD players. Like most of our software updates, this release is a combination of improvements, bug fixes, and new features for the Roku platform.

Improvements for Roku users:

  • Improved video playback for an overall better viewing experience, including significant playback improvements to the MLB.TV and GBTV channels
  • General performance optimizations to make Roku 2 and Roku LT players more responsive in certain situations
  • Expanded language support, adding Spanish and German to the user interface (To change your language, just go to Settings from the Roku home screen.)
  • Under the hood preparations for some great upcoming channels and features – stay tuned for an upgrade to the Roku iPhone and Android apps!

Improvements for Roku Developers:

  • Support for PlayReady 2.0
  • High-performance JSON parsing in BrightScript
  • Extended List screen and Roku 2D API features
  • Increased theme attribute support on many screen templates

The 4.8 software update will be pushed automatically to all Roku 2 and Roku LT players over the next 48 hours and will begin rolling out to new Roku HD players early next week. If you just can’t wait, select Settings > Software update > Check now on your Roku player to update manually.

You can read all about the previous 4.7 release here.

Sweet streams!

Posted in Product News, Roku 2, Roku LT | Tagged , , , , | 91 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for July 7

Summertime and the livin’ is easy! Kick back and relax with this weekend’s streaming picks. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!


Netflix New Releases:

  • Goon- After dispatching a rude opposing hockey player in the stands, Doug Glatt is hired by a rival team for his fighting skills (2011)
  • 12 Monkeys- In a future world devastated by disease, a convict (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to investigate the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population (1995)
  • Red Dawn- When a group of teenagers witnesses Soviet and Cuban paratroopers descending on their small town and systematically setting off World War III, they hightail it to the hills to wait things out (1984)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Love in the Wild: Week 5- The contestants are challenged to construct an outrigger that leads them into choppy waters (2012)
  • MasterChef- Graham Elliot takes on the mystery box (2012)
  • Hell’s Kitchen- The drama heats up on family night (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Ironman- Tony Stark is done proud in an action-packed anime series based on the Marvel comics (2011)
  • Pineapple Express- A pair of losers reach the top of the hit-list when one accidentally witnesses a mob murder (2008)
  • The Fifth Element- One of the smartest, sharpest sci-fi adventures of all time, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich (1997)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Bill Burr: Let it Go- This stand-up special from comic genius Bill Burr is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud (2010)
  • After the Wedding (English Subtitled)- A man is invited to a stranger’s wedding, only to find out that he is more intimate with the bride and her mother than he expected (2007)
  • To Catch a Thief- Grace Kelly romances a former thief (Cary Grant) in this classic Hitchcock crime thriller (1955)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • The Perfect Family- Kathleen Turner plays a pushy mom trying to turn her husband and two grown kids into ‘The Perfect Family’ (2012)
  • The Town- A bank robber falls in love with a former robbery hostage and is forced to choose between his friends and the woman he loves (2010)
  • Back to the Future- Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is blasted to 1955 in a time machine created by Doc Brown and finds himself in a time-shattering situation that jeopardizes his future (1985)
Posted in New to Watch, US | 8 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for June 29

Three cheers for the weekend! If you’re staying in to escape the summer heat, we’ve got you covered with everything from new blockbusters to classic comedies. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!


Netflix New Releases:

  • Louie: Season 2- Stand-up comic Louis C.K. produces, directs and stars in a brutally honest comedy based on his life as a struggling entertainer and divorced father (2011)
  • The Entitled- In an attempt to rescue his family from poverty, Paul Dynan kidnaps the children of three wealthy men for ransom – but his plan quickly turns into a nightmare (2011)
  • Hellboy- Based on Mike Mignola’s cult comic book series, this fast-paced action flick tells the dark story of a charismatic demon (2004)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • The Yard: The Catcher- Peanuts are strictly forbidden at the school, but that doesn’t stop Frankie and his crew from selling peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the black market (2012)
  • Wipeout: Hotties vs. Nerds 2.0- Twelve nerdy guys compete against beautiful women in a hilarious high stakes battle (2012)
  • Rookie Blue: Girls’ Night Out- Traci worries that she mishandled the investigation into a car accident (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • Mars- Three slacker astronauts embark on the first manned mission to the Red Planet, discovering life and love in the most improbable of places (2011)
  • One Too Many Mornings- A coming of age comedy about two guys who are way too old to be coming of age (2010)
  • Held Up- A bored bank teller’s worst day becomes his best day ever when bank robbers bust through the door (2010)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie- A crazy comedy from the twisted minds of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job”), featuring some of today’s top comedians (2012)
  • Rollerball- Chris Klein stars as the most popular player in the fastest and most extreme sport of all time: Rollerball (2008)
  • 21 Jump Street: Season 1- A classic cop show based on an actual top secret police program (1987)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • 21 Jump Street- Rookie cops Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum go undercover as students to bust a high school drug ring in this remake of the popular 80′s TV show (2012)
  • Wrath of the Titans- Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the Underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans and save mankind (2012)
  • Mirror, Mirror- One of the most beloved fairy tales of all time comes to life in this family-friendly flick starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts (2012)
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Roku Goes to Washington

This week I was honored to represent Roku and our customers in a congressional hearing on the future of video.

An elite group of industry executives was invited to present their views on the changing landscape of cable, satellite, broadcast, and internet video to the House Subcommittee on Communications and Commerce. Witnesses included Netflix General Counsel David Hyman, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, Hearst Television president David Barrett, and NCTA president Michael Powell, among others.

We’re excited to be part of the conversation in Washington, D.C., given the longstanding regulatory influence that the government has had over video delivery in the United States. A number of topics were covered during the hearing, including data caps, broadcast retransmission rights, the new Dish “Hopper” DVR, and whether online video services should be treated like cable and satellite providers from a regulatory standpoint. Here are a couple of excerpts from our statement:

“Roku’s point of view is that set-top devices represent an area of exciting innovation in entertainment and information delivery that are finding a home in the living rooms of millions of consumers. These devices are being embraced by all segments of the entertainment industry as a means to expand the business opportunities for legitimate content distribution. They are also driving the adoption of high speed broadband connections, to the benefit of ISPs.”

“Our interest here, and we believe this is also the consumer’s interest, is that there continue to be an open marketplace for competition in this space. That includes not only open competition between device manufacturers, but also open competition between video services, both traditional and new, as well as competition between Internet service providers. The widespread availability of affordable high speed Internet, open to all video sources is essential to continued growth and innovation in this market.”

As our CEO Anthony Wood has stated, Roku is betting on the Internet as the future of television.

You can watch the “Future of Video” hearing and read the testimonies here.

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Releases and Recommendations for June 22

There’s nothing like the first official weekend of summer! When you’re worn out from barbecuing, sunbathing and flip flopping, take a break from the heat and enjoy our streaming picks. As always, if you have suggestions for the perfect lazy Sunday flick, please post ‘em in the comments. Happy streaming!


Netflix New Releases:

  • Lewis Black: In God We Rust- The Grammy-winning comedian delivers a hilarious, cathartic ride through through the issues of our baffling world (2012)
  • The Experiment- Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker join a group of volunteers who adopt the roles of guards and inmates in a controversial psychological study with alarming results (2010)
  • Shakespeare in Love- Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joesph Fiennes, this bittersweet period romance won seven Oscars for good reason (1998)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Saving Hope: Blindness- Charlie helps a dead man with unfinished business, while Alex struggles over a patient with Munchausen syndrome (2012)
  • The Colbert Report- Cosmologist and author Lawrence Krauss shares highlights from his new book “A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing” (2012)
  • Love in the Wild- The adventure dating series returns with new host Jenny McCarthy and 14 new singles on their quest to find love (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • The Fifth Commandment- An elite assassin joins forces with his brother to battle his ruthless underworld employers in this stunt-filled action thriller (2009)
  • Shinjuku Incident- Jackie Chan wages a perilous war against one of the most powerful criminal organizations on the planet (2010)
  • Seinfeld- The most popular sitcom of the nineties never gets old (1990)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Hoarding: Buried Alive Season 2- Feeling guilty about the dirty dishes piled up in your sink? These folks will make you feel like a domestic superhero (2010)
  • Stardust- Escape into the enchanted world of chivalry and romance in an epic fairytale starring Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro (2007)
  • Return of the Pink Panther- The hilarious, accidentally brilliant Inspector Clouseau once again takes on his archenemy, the insane Dreyfus, as he plots to control the world (1975)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • Big Miracle- The true story of a small-town news reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who enlist the help of rival superpowers to save three majestic gray whales (2012)
  • Jeff Who Lives at Home- A 30-year-old slacker (Jason Segel) finds his true destiny as he helps his brother stalk his potentially unfaithful wife in this offbeat comedy (2012)
  • Project X- Three high school seniors document the party of a lifetime (2012)
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roku Review: The Weight of the Nation

Hi, I’m Eric Lachter, Marketing Director and guy who streams great movies on Roku. This week I watched the documentary “The Weight of the Nation” on HBO GO (authenticated via my cable service) with my Roku. Food and health are controversial and provocative issues, but I think this special is well done, informative and relevant.

The series covers what we eat, why we eat it, and some of the factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. I enjoyed the combination of insights from science experts and stories about real people fighting for healthier food in their neighborhoods.

It’s interesting to see how America’s health and eating have changed over the past 30 years – did you know that only 18% of adults get the total amount of physical activity recommended for good health? Makes me want to bike to work more often! You can learn more about the series and use some powerful tools at http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts on healthy living in the comments.

Happy streaming!

Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anthony Wood: The Future of TV will be Streamed

“There is more innovation now in the world of television than ever before in history.”
With this statement, Roku CEO Anthony Wood began his keynote speech at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco last week with a recap of the current trends that point to a future where all TV will be streamed. While TV has evolved dramatically over the past 70 years — from the introduction of over-the-air broadcast networks in the 1940s to cable TV and the DVR — the advent of consumer streaming services and platforms,
pioneered by Netflix and Roku in 2008, is driving more change in the way we watch TV than ever before.

Anthony predicts that the future of TV will be streamed. The Internet has created new
and very successful brands like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Traditional content providers are beginning to authenticate their content, sending it over the Internet to the TV as well as mobile devices — just look at HBO and EPIX. And in the not too distant future consumers will be able to subscribe to Internet-delivered TV packages featuring favorite top TV networks. Within the next four years, the majority of paid TV programming will be streamed.

A few other key points shared by Anthony in his keynote:

    • A Roku streaming player averages about 12 hours of streaming per week, compared to about 35 hours of TV viewing per person per week
    • The DVR is dying and will fade away within the next several years; why record when you can stream virtually anything?
    • Music and games have claimed a substantial place on the television
    • New brands with great content, like Revision3 and Wall Street Journal Live, can be wildly successful with Internet-only distribution

This is a very exciting time for TV and for Roku. Stay tuned!

Posted in Features | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Top Ten Manliest Man Movies

From kung fu to classic westerns, here are ten manly man movies that are sure to keep pops entertained this weekend. Have a favorite man movie of your own? Let us know in the comments. Happy Father’s Day!

  • Enter the Dragon- Bruce Lee’s final film has everything a man could want, including a secret island, masterful martial arts and international espionage (Netflix)
  • Die Hard- Bruce Willis sets the bar for mandom in the best blow ‘em up action flick of all time (Amazon Instant Video)
  • Goodfellas- Scorsese’s gritty gangster flick is brutally violent and heavy on style (Amazon Instant Video)
  • Fight Club- A brawny, bare-fisted Brad Pitt fuels this testosterone-twisted mind trip (Amazon Instant Video)
  • 13 Assassins- Ninja assassins fight to the death in arguably the best extended onscreen swordfight of all time (Netflix)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid- Paul Newman and Robert Redford break the law in perfect comedic harmony (Netflix)
  • The Godfather- Brando holds court in the manliest mob flick of all time (Amazon Instant Video)
  • Terminator 2- We’re pretty sure all men enjoy apocalyptic explosions, machine-gun fire and hulking, muscle-bound machines (Amazon Instant Video)
  • Goldfinger– “Run along now…man talk.” Connery is Mr. Bond at his most manly (Amazon Instant Video)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Clint Eastwood is better than good in the western to rule all westerns (Amazon Instant Video)
Posted in Features, New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Releases and Recommendations for June 15

The first five days after the weekend are always the hardest. Thankfully, we’ve got the perfect lineup for a Friday night streaming session… and a Saturday morning movie fest… and a lazy Sunday streamathon. Let us know what’s first on your weekend watch list in the comments. Happy streaming!


Netflix New Releases:

  • Thor- The brawny thunder god is banished from Asgar for arrogance and forced to live among humans in this action-packed Marvel remix (2011)
  • The Pianist- Adrien Brody delivers an Oscar-winning performance as a famed Polish concert pianist who finds strength in his music while struggling to survive the horrors of World War II (2002)
  • Best in Show- Christopher Guest pokes fun at dysfunctional dog owners in a brilliant canine mockumentary starring Parker Posey and Eugene Levy (2000)

Hulu Plus New Releases:

  • Saving Hope: Contact- Alex unravels a medical mystery while dealing with the arrival of Charlie’s meddlesome ex-wife (2012)
  • Hell’s Kitchen- Chef Ramsay refines his palate (2012)
  • The Daily Show with John Stewart- Maggie Gyllenhaal stops by to talk about her new movie, “Hysteria” (2012)

Crackle New Releases:

  • The Grudge 2- A terrifying supernatural curse quickly spreads from a burned-down house in Tokyo to everyone who crosses its path (2006)
  • Shottas- This rough concrete jungle drama is emboldened by a unique cast including musician Wyclef Jean (2006)
  • Kung Fu Hustle- Astonishing action and brilliant special effects make this a one-of-a-kind martial arts mashup (2004)

Amazon Prime Instant Video New Releases:

  • Playback- A group of high school students release an evil spirit in this eerie thriller featuring Christian Slater (2012)
  • Dead Like Me: Season 1- A cynical young college dropout is suddenly faced with the afterlife when a piece of the MIR space station hurtles to Earth and hits her in the head (2003)
  • The Best of I Love Lucy: Volume 1- From meddlesome match-making to murder plots, Lucy and Ricky’s hilarious antics will never go out of style (1951)

Amazon Instant Video New Releases:

  • John Carter- A former military captain is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions (2012)
  • The Artist- A beautiful, award-winning homage to classic American cinema, set in the twilight of Hollywood’s silent era (2011)
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows- Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law outsmart a criminal mastermind in this witty, fast-paced crowd-pleaser (2011)
Posted in New Releases, Recommendations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment