I'm confused about the fuss over Roku, a box that allows you to watch streaming video from Netflix for only $8.95 a month.
The reason I'm confused is that Netflix members can already do this for free. You have to have Internet Explorer (it won't work with Firefox) and download the free player, but as far as I know, Netflix members have just about unlimited viewing for free.
And the TV part? You just need to hook up the laptop to your TV as if it's an external monitor using an SVGA cable [or an S-video cable] and an audio cable. If you had an HDMI cable and a port for that on your laptop, you could probably use that, not that I've ever been able to make an HDMI cable work.
Fellow tech nerd souls, what am I missing here?
[Updated to add] An anonymous commenter has kindly explained that the $8.95 is for the cheapest Netflix subscription; if you already have Netflix, you wouldn't have to pay an additional amount to use Roku, just the $99 to buy it to begin with.
Although the current system works well for now (laptop cables to TV), it sounds as though Roku might be worth a look.
[Updated 4/24/09]: If you have a newer laptop with an HDMI port, an HDMI cable works even better than an SVGA or VGA cable plus audio cable.]