Set-top box maker Roku was the first out the gate with streaming Netflix movies and television shows to living room TVs via their original set-top box. Roku has since added Amazon Video-on-Demand and MLB.tv, and today Roku expanded its product line with two new set-top boxes—the Roku SD and Roku HD-XR, each with Wi-Fi capability and the HD-XR offering high-definition output. Roku now offers three set-top boxes with Internet streaming capability—the original Roku is the Roku HD—and they’re all available at consumer-friendly prices.
The Roku SD features standard definition (480i) output over composite video connectors; the unit can connect to home networks using either 802.11b/g Wi-Fi or 100Base-T Ethernet; the system also features RCA stereo output and a remote control. While the Roku SD might not appeal to home theater mavens, its $79.99 price tag might be perfect for the end-of-year holiday gift season.
Meanwhile, the new Roku HD-XR features 802.11N Wi-Fi, but also offers HDMI and component outputs that support 702p content; S-Video and composite outs are available as well. The HD-XR also features digital optical audio output or can push audio over HDMI, and includes a basic remote. If folks want to connect it to a wired network, it also packs 100Base-T Ethernet. The Roku HD-XR is available now for $129.99.
Both new devices can tap into content from Netflix, MLB.tv, and Amazon Video-on-Demand—customers do need to have accounts set up with those services to access content, however.
Roku also sales it plans to launch the Roku Channel Store later this year, which will enable Roku owners to add new channels to their device; the company hasn’t said what channels might be available, but the update will be free to all Roku players.
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