Roku set-top box to become an open platform

Earlier this summer, Roku, the company responsible for the hit $99 Netflix streaming set top box, said the device would soon support major content providers other than Netflix. With the release of an SDK, that finally looks viable.

Roku CEO and Founder Anthony Wood, formerly of ReplayTV, gave a keynote speech yesterday morning at the Streaming Media West conference in San Jose, entitled "The Future of Internet TV: Primetime Anytime." There, Wood proclaimed that the DVR (which his former company claims responsibility for inventing), is in its death throes, because "Streaming from the Internet to the TV is a much better solution."

He says his company will be giving consumers the choice and unlimited content that they want, while simultaneously giving the industry the standards and content protection it wants by opening the Roku platform.

"While we currently sell the box for $99 and it only works with Netflix, we're going to launch software that will allow anyone to publish a channel or choose to watch any video content on the TV," Wood remarked.

This announcement piggybacked on Netflix's own announcement that its streaming library would grow with the addition of CBS and Disney (ABC) television content. Starting in October, the Netflix streaming service, which can be viewed in PC Web Browsers, on the Xbox 360, and on LG's BD300 Blu-ray player in addition to the Roku set-top box, will add such hit shows as "CSI" and "Hannah Montana." The two networks will add a total of 850 new streamable titles to Netflix.

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