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Roku HDMI Stick Turns Regular TVs into Smart TVs

By - Source: Roku | B 9 comments

The upcoming CES is likely to provide some juicy TVs that may entice you to go shopping for a new TV later this year.

Naked Eye 3D may be the cutting edge this year, but smart TVs may finally see their breakthrough. And if you don't want to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a new TV, there will be cheaper ways to get apps on your existing or future TV: For example, you could consider Roku's Streaming Stick.

The USB flash drive-sized device plugs in MHL-enabled HDMI ports and promises to deliver a smart TV experience.

“Roku was the first to stream Netflix to the TV and since then has been applauded for delivering a first rate Netflix experience,” said Greg Peters, vice president at Netflix. “Now Roku is taking streaming innovation to the next level and giving consumers a seamless Smart TV experience. The Roku Streaming Stick is a great solution for Netflix because it allows us to deliver the Netflix experience found on the Roku platform to potentially any TV.”

There were no details besides the note that the Streaming Stick "will deliver the more than 400 channels found on the Roku platform today and will benefit from regular, free software updates and channel enhancements." The device will be offered as a standalone product or in bundles with TVs in the second half of 2012. The company did not release pricing, but we can anticipate that Roku will position the device within or near the price range of its existing players, which retail from $49 to $99.

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  • 6 Hide
    drwho1 , January 6, 2012 2:37 AM
    I really do not want a "smart TV" that might "think" that I should be watching something else...
    I rather control my TV with my good friend.... the remote control.
  • 0 Hide
    alyoshka , January 6, 2012 4:06 AM
    This is nearly a month old news..... :( 
  • 9 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 6, 2012 5:10 AM
    Does Smart TV mean it'll automatically block dumb shows like the Kardashians? I could only wish.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    g00fysmiley , January 6, 2012 11:44 AM
    not bad for the pricepoint... but I think I'd rather use a micro itx platform with a low power cheap chip and a passivly cooled sinlge slot graphics chip (or sandybrigge processor to not need one) with wifi that way you can not only stream netflix and videos from online, but you can hook up a HDD and have a DVR to boot ... heck you chould fraps programs while you watch for later use without having to chew up your bandwidth later
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , January 6, 2012 12:30 PM
    not a bad idea...hope the implementation is good
  • 0 Hide
    DaddyW123 , January 6, 2012 12:35 PM
    drwho1I really do not want a "smart TV" that might "think" that I should be watching something else...I rather control my TV with my good friend.... the remote control.

    I don't think you understand the idea of a smart TV. the Roku is not like the Tivo's of old. Yes, Netflix itself does suggest movies to you based on other movies and shows you've previously watched... but its much more.

    For a few years now, I've been running a HTPC with Windows 7 Media Center. I love it, because I was able to get rid of cable and I'm close enough to Washington DC that I get all of my major channels for free in HD over the air. 3 HD tuners, and I can record 3 HD shows at once. Plus the integration with Netflix built into Media Center is pretty good.

    However, my father-in-law currently has an SD roku box (he just got a new TV so he's upgrading soon), and it actually is pretty sweet. Not only does it have Netflix built in, but it also has Hulu, Pandora, Slacker Radio, that other movie website that starts with a "V" but I can't remember what it is right now - and a bunch of other custom "channels" you can watch, like a video channel for the allrecipes.com website. The only thing it DOESN'T do is record live TV for a DVR.

    Now here is why it's potentially better than a HTPC - on a HTPC, you can't get away from needing a keyboard and mouse. Yes there is a hulu desktop software, but it's not integrated into Media Center. So it's difficult to use the remote for it. Same with Pandora radio - not built into Media Center like netflix is.
    If there was a way to easily integrate these, almost like "apps", then Windows would be king of home entertainment.

    Maybe that is something windows 8 will bring to us? But somehow I doubt it.

    Anyway, I'm debating about getting a roku box in complement of my HTPC. Not being able to use my remote (and yes it's a Harmony remote) for everything on the computer is really the only reason I don't use Hulu and those other services more.

    Oh and one more thing - anyone using the Windows Media Center version of Netflix - the Roku interface is MUCH better.
  • 0 Hide
    cybneo , January 6, 2012 1:01 PM
    I have the Roku 2 XS, and its great! True it doesnt have a built in DVR "yet". I read that there might be a future update to allow recordings. The version i have has a USB port, so its possible to connect to other sources to stream media. It does have access to over 300 channels, but most are unknown to me... It also has games like Angry Birds...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 6, 2012 4:43 PM

    I have had 2 Roku boxes for almost 2 years- who needs a dvr when most of the stuff I watch is static on nwtk servers and there is massive number of channels. I watch Netflix most nights- seeing a lot of foreign films and TV shows, all with no commercials. I have 1 for my SD TV on 1st floor and 1 for my HD TV on 2nd floor, we watch both at same time via wireless "N"- love it!
  • 0 Hide
    xx_pemdas_xx , January 6, 2012 5:43 PM
    g00fysmileynot bad for the pricepoint... but I think I'd rather use a micro itx platform with a low power cheap chip and a passivly cooled sinlge slot graphics chip (or sandybrigge processor to not need one) with wifi that way you can not only stream netflix and videos from online, but you can hook up a HDD and have a DVR to boot ... heck you chould fraps programs while you watch for later use without having to chew up your bandwidth later


    You mean an AMD APU, last i checked sandy bridge GPU can't watch youtube at 1080..
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