Sunday, August 23, 2009

Netflix Notes

We lost most of our videos, ans DVDs in Hurricane Ike. Before we moved back home, Michelle was  looking for bargains to replace our lost goods, She did find a $25.00 DVD player at Walgreens. The Coby DVD 224, We figured it would do the job. We figure we will be getting a blue ray and a nice TV for the living room at set some point. We moved back home in June, got basic cable and of course Hi speed internet. We are watching our money pretty close these days, rebuilding/ refitting our house and the market crashes have really cut deeply into our disposable income. So we didn't get all the extra movie channels we were used to getting.

Our niece Vanessa and her hubby tobe came to visit last month and she presented me a gift. A quart sized ziplock with cables small wall wart and an electronic box called a Roku. She told me how nice Netflix is and we really need to get it. I was apreciative of the gift, but I didn't really understand what this kewl little box was.

I have heard about Netflix, and everyone who subscribes really seems to like it. The price is reasonable enough, less than $10 a month for movie rentals. Delivery is next day and we don't even have to front a stamp. Cheaper than Showtime or HBO. I started looking at this Roku thing a little closer.

Its a rather  unimpressive looking box. it is about the size of 4 of 5 CD cases stacked on top of each other. No buttons or switches. The only indicator is a small LED that flickers when the unit seems to be doing something. The back has assorted connections 5V @ 1.5 amps very lower power. Optical audio out. Component, and Composite video. HDMI and Ethernet I began to wonder what is behind this little box. I've seen garage door openers more complicated looking than this remote.

We signed up for NetFlix it was a fairly easy process and our 1st month is free. I selected some movies to instant view and a list for them to send DVDs as we viewed them. It all went pretty smoothly.

I then went to setup and configure the Ruku. My television has a free HDMI port, so it was just a single connection real easy. Powered it up. We configured it for my wireless WEP connection.  My TV resolution and It was ready to go.  Wow I already 278 films and series already loaded into the queue.But none of my own. We had Vanessa's old list! It was pretty simple to unsubscribe and resubscribe to our Netfix account.  We now can watch watch movies.  It all works by picking out what we to watch from the Netflix site from our PC it gets queued to our Netflix box and ready to select from a list. This is supposed to be just the extra service thrown in by Netflix to supplement their DVD service. 

We got our DVD the next day, and we set up the player, the very inexpensive Coby DVD-224. By comparison the DVD player was a lot more complex looking. It had 4 buttons and a drawer in the front, but the little  remote has 40 buttons, The Roku only has 9. While the DVD doesn't have either an RF output Jack or HDMI The Progressive scan output over the componant outputs provides a beautiful image over out HD TV.   The remote is a little confusing, but once the movie is started all is good.  and for $25.00  how can we go wrong.

All in all we are thrilled with Netflix, and it is a bargain for what we get. I am enjoying old TV series like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Kolchak, The Night Stalker as well as all more movies than we will ever have time to to watch. Every couple of days we get a new new hard copy of a DVD to watch. I think this Netflix thing with Roku is a keeper.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009


There has been a lot said and lessons have been learned about the Harvard professor getting himself arrested. We have learned mostly aboput the man who is our president. He showed himself to be judgemental when he called the actions of Sgt Crowley stupid.

The photograph of him being oblivious to the handicapped man shows a lack of concideration. While Crowley helps Professor Gates, the man that he doesn't see eye to eye with, down the stairs.

A picture is worth a thousand words, I think this image says a lot about character. The American Thinker has more to say.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Megan McArdle asks, and gives some good reasons on why should we bother with this marriage thing. I agree it's all pretty worthwhile.