If you haven’t heard of Netflix’s [NASDAQ:NFLX] Roku box, here’s the scoop: it’s a little $100-gizmo that attaches to your TV and streams movies over an Internet connection, which can be had by way of Netflix’s monthy rental plans (at least, most of them; plans under $9 a month don’t qualify.) It’s fanless, driveless, and utterly basic, with only a little bit of RAM to cache its movies. Already a nifty add-on to any home theater, but today, the package got a little better.
Netflix announced this morning that the Roku box will include more than just Netflix’s video on demand library, adding “big name” content providers in the coming months. Depending on which “big names” are in the hat, this could be the move that puts the Roku box above its direct competitors, the Apple TV and the Vudu. NFLX is staying mum for the time being, but rumors are circulating that the Roku might incorporate Hulu streamed video, which has an entire catalog of popular TV shows that it offers for free online viewing. It’s also possible that YouTube will be added, along with any number of individual network sites.