Roku is known for making affordable streaming players. For anyone without a smart TV or a gaming console, a small Roku box can provide access to services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and even HBO Go. In January, Roku unveiled the Streaming Stick. It is essentially a miniature version of the streaming box which is the size of a typical USB flash drive. Just like the boxes, it contains a processor, memory, and software, and it is Wi-Fi enabled.
Capable of streaming video, music, and offering casual games like Angry Birds, the Roku Streaming Stick can be plugged into any MHL-enabled device. Element Electronics, Haier, Hitachi, Insignia (Best Buy’s brand), Mitsubishi, Onkyo/Integra, Oppo, and TMAX Digital (better known as Apex TV) will all offer devices that support MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link). All compatible devices will bear a “Roku Ready” logo on the box.
The Roku Streaming Stick is due to be released in the next few weeks. No exact date has been set yet. It will be offered as a standalone product from Roku and various retailers and you’ll also find it bundled with selected consumer electronics devices. Unfortunately Roku still hasn’t revealed pricing, but we imagine it will be competitively priced.
You can see the attraction of a device like the Roku Streaming Stick but the fact it only works with MHL-enabled TVs is disappointing. The MHL connection looks like an HDMI port but it is not as widely supported. If you could use this device with older TVs it would be hugely popular.
We’ll keep you posted on pricing and release dates as they are announced.