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Roku HDMI Stick Turns Regular TVs into Smart TVs

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.