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Redbox Instant streaming media and disc service coming to Roku this summer

Consumer Reports News

Redbox Instant, the fledgling streaming-media service from Redbox (Coinstar) and Verizon, will get a boost this summer when it becomes available on several of Roku's streaming set-top boxes.

Redbox Instant is a hybrid service that combines unlimited streaming with one-day disc rentals via kiosks—sort of like the old Netflix plan, though that service offered discs by mail. Subscribers get four disc rentals each month as part of the $8 monthly fee. You can also purchase and rent new releases on-demand through the Redbox Instant store, much like you can do with Amazon Instant or Vudu.

We gave Redbox Instant a quick look when it first launched, and found there was a lot to like about it—especially the price—though we weren't wowed by the breadth or depth of the content available via streaming. Since our test, Redbox Instant has added a ticket-purchasing capability for live events in select cities, a program that still appears to be in beta.

For more information and tips, check out our free streaming media players and services buying guide.

The deal with Roku greatly expands the reach of Redbox Instant to more devices. The service is currently supported on some LG TVs, some TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung, several Google TV set-top boxes, plus computers and the Microsoft Xbox 360 game console. This summer Redbox Instant will be available on the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450), and Roku HD (model 2500) streaming-media players, plus the MHL-enabled Roku Streaming Stick.

If you're looking for a new streaming service, let us know if you decide to give Redbox Instant a try. We'd like to know what you think of it, and whether the ability to get Blu-ray discs factored into your decision.

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