Roku—Breaking the Linux Not Invited Rule

Many of you probably are familiar with the Roku media streaming device. In a partnership with Netflix, the Roku is one of several officially supported devices for streaming the large collection of Netflix's available movies and television shows. What makes the Roku interesting is that although Netflix doesn't support streaming its DRM-protected movies to Linux users, the Roku itself runs Linux.

The technology to stream Netflix titles to Linux is obviously available. Hopefully, as Linux users, we'll soon be able to join the Internet streaming club and watch movies on our desktops. Even more exciting will be media players like Boxee and XBMC (both of which run under Linux) being able to stream Netflix titles.

It is still frustrating that the streaming titles offered by Netflix are DRM-protected. The unmetered, on-demand streaming is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, in time, companies will realize that DRM only annoys those of us willing to spend money. It encourages pirating, rather than discouraging it.

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