Roku’s new Streaming Stick is now shipping from Amazon, Best Buy, Roku, and other online stores. It’ll be available from bricks and mortar retail stores starting in April.

The Roku Streaming Stick costs $50, plugs right into the HDMI port on your TV, and lets you access content from more than 1200 internet channels using a wireless remote.

Roku Streaming StickThis is actually Roku’s second streaming stick. The first launched in 2012, but it sold for $100 and featured MHL, which allowed it to draw power from the HDMI/MHL port on some TV models.

Roku’s new Streaming Stick lacks MHL and instead has a microUSB port for power. Plug the stick into your TV’s HDMI port, plug in the power cable, and connect to the internet and the little device can make your dumb TV smart.

It supports 720p and 1080p display resolutions, 7.1 and 5.1 channel audio, and 802.11n WiFi. The Streaming Stick measures about 3.1″ x 1.1″ x 0.5″ and weighs just over 6 ounces.

While it’s about $15 more expensive than a Google Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick comes with a remote control and doesn’t require you to use your phone, tablet, or PC as a remote (unless you want to). It also supports most major online video services including some that aren’t yet available for Chromecast (I’m looking at you, Amazon Instant Video).

On the other hand, the Chromecast is proving to be a versatile device and there are a growing number of app developers who are coming up with new ways to use it. So the choice between a Roku and a Chromecast at this point might be six of one, half dozen of the other.

Still, if you’d prefer a tiny dongle that you can plug into your TV to Roku’s more traditional set-top-box style devices, now there’s a… stick for that.

via Zatz Not Funny

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7 replies on “$50 Roku Streaming Stick now shipping”

    1. This probably won’t answer your question, but there is a Plex App for Roku. I’ve never come across an XBMC app, and I doubt it would take a reflash/hack very easily. Although I hope I’m wrong.

  1. I remain completely impressed with what Roku has accomplished and prefer a non-stick form factor as far more practical in real use. Local streaming is trivial either from Android devices via Twonky Beam, etc. or local media servers on my home network. Are there areas for improvement? Of course.
    But it isn’t a “toy” like the ChromeCast, which is to a Roku like a Raspberry Pi is to a useful computer (even an Android stick). Stick a fork in the ChromeCast. it’s done.

  2. Is there any difference between this (besides the size) and the Roku LT, which I just got last week fromDealfisher? And, does anyone have any thoughts about the expected price/features of the new amazon set top box? How wil that differ form Roku, as Roku has amazon Instant video. Thanks

    1. The LT is discontinued isn’t it? Doesn’t show on Roku’s Product Comparison page.

      1. I see that the LT is 720, and the stick is 1080:

        Built-in wireless networking (802.11b/g/n)

        Streams movies, TV shows, music and more from popular sources.

        Access to a wide variety of media

        Including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Disney, Crackle, NHL, NBA and MLB, plus more than 700 other choices (some services may require subscription, not included).

        Supports video up to 720p

        For high-definition viewing.

        Support for Dolby Digital Plus surround sound

        To deliver immersive audio.

        Compact design

        Fits easily into a home theater setup.

        Compatible with most HDTVs, digital TVs and standard-definition TVs

        For versatile use.

        Outputs

        Include HDMI and composite A/V (RCA).

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