Roku players get Redbox Instant and Fox Now
If the 700-plus channels already available on Roku’s streaming media players aren’t quite enough to sate your streaming video appetite, Roku is now serving up an additional entree: Redbox Instant, the hybrid streaming/disc service from Verizon. Back in July, we reported that Redbox Instant was headed to Roku.
Those hungering for more TV shows will find that Roku has also added Fox Now, a free service that provides streaming access to recent popular shows from the Fox network.
We tested the Redbox Instant service when it started, and felt it would appeal to those (like me) who still liked the convenience of streaming plus the superior video and sound quality of Blu-ray discs, which were available at Redbox kiosks. The price—$8 per month—was also right, providing unlimited streaming and four disc (DVD) rentals each month. (Blu-ray fans have to pay $1 more per month.) But at the time of our review, the streaming content was limited compared with competitors such as Amazon and Netflix, services also available on Roku.
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Redbox Instant is available to most, but not all, Roku owners. According to a blog on its website, Redbox Instant can be accessed by those with a Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku HD (model 2500), Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450) streaming media players, and those using the Roku Streaming Stick.
Fox Now, which offers free streaming episodes of popular Fox TV shows such as “Family Guy,” “New Girl,” and “The Following,” was announced a few weeks ago.
We’ll continue to monitor new additions to the major streaming services as they’re announced, and test out the new streaming players when they hit the market.
—James K. Willcox
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