Roku has fixed an issue that many users complain about, with the company’s latest Netflix app update that gives users the ability to choose content to watch directly through the TV.
The older software only let users watch content that was added to their streaming movie list beforehand. You couldn’t add new content to the streaming queue from the Roku boxes themselves, forcing you to do queue updates on a computer first.
An exact release date for this new update hasn’t been released, though it’s expected sometime this month or early next month. The automatic update will give Roku owners the ability to find new material through the Netflix Watch Instant catalog using a new graphic user interface, probably similar to what you can do on the Netflix apps that run on the Xbox and PS3 game consoles.
Streaming Netflix has been a popular feature among the Roku set-top boxes, though Netflix has reached distribution agreements with many other companies. Roku also provides content through Amazon, Pandora and Major League Baseball (MLB), with new partners possible as Roku expands its streaming catalog.
The company’s set-top boxes range in price from $79.99 up to $129.99, which is cheaper than video game consoles and Blu-ray players.
It’s a bit disappointing it took Roku this long to fix its Netflix app, as the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 already include the content browsing features. Roku does include a feature, however, that has been requested but not implemented through the game consoles or the Apple iPad Netflix app: parental controls.
Roku owners worried about content children may be watching have the option to disable the browse feature, and can force the Netflix app back into a queue-only mode.
Consumers looking to watch streaming content in the living room have made out like a bandit in the past year, as the technology continues to mature at a rapid pace. Roku was slow to roll out the new queue viewing, but its parental rights give it a major advantage over other rivals.