Think gadgetry can’t be “green”? My family’s favorite home-entertainment gadget turns this stereotype on its head! In my household, the hardest working gadget is our Roku Box — or as we often call it, the Netflix box. Despite our nickname for it, we love it just as much for watching new releases, listening to music and viewing photos, too. This lightweight, compact little black box is Wi-Fi ready and streams content from the Web onto our TV with ease, entertaining my kids for hours, without DVDs, Netflix mailers or any other excess clutter.
The Roku box offers a long list of channels, but our favorite is the popular Netflix channel. For our less-than-$10 monthly Netflix membership, fee we can watch movies from our “Instant Queue” or search a library of more than 40,000 “Watch Instantly” movies, which includes thousands of children’s and family flicks. And, surprisingly this wonderful little box of entertainment is eco-friendly, too! Thanks to the Roku Box I purchase fewer DVDs, I don’t have to worry about the carbon costs of packaging and shipping traditional Netflix movies to my mailbox, and the box reduces waste and clutter in my house.
When my family wants to watch a new DVD movie release that hasn’t made it to Netflix’s Watch Instantly list yet, we tune the Roku Box to Amazon on Demand. Depending on quality – HD or standard – and the movie’s release date, I can rent a movie for $2.99 to $5.99. I can also buy movies that will stay in my Amazon.com library to watch over and over again. And a password lock protects against those sneaky little ones who may try to “accidentally” buy Alvin and the Chipmunks.
For music, we love Roku’s Pandora Radio channel. Because the company has an agreement with Pandora, the station plays ad free from the Roku box — a feature usually only offered with a Pandora subscription. Since Pandora has such a wide variety of music available, there’s something suited to everyone in the family. We all have our favorite stations and the remote is so easy to use, even my 4 year old daughter can control it. When it’s music time, she can find her favorite song Ants Wear Underpants, or when its movie time, she can start Scooby Doo.
MediaFly, Flickr and Facebook also have channels and Roku’s list keeps on growing. Now at family gatherings, we share our photos by streaming online albums to the TV. The Roku is an amazing little box and green moms and dads will especially appreciate that with the Roku, they can stop spending so much money on little plastic cases that hold rarely-watched movies that do little more than fill up our cabinets.
What is your family’s favorite gadget?
Let us know in the comments below!
This series has been presented by Best Buy Movie Mode. The mobile app that translates the Minions during the 3-D theatrical end credits of Despicable Me. It’s a must have for Despicable Me movie goers, check it out here!