Streaming hardware company Roku is looking to beat Chromecast at its own game this Black Friday, introducing the Roku SE set-top box for the holiday, which it will sell for just $25 — $10 cheaper than Google’s near-ubiquitous streaming device.
The new model will sell through Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Kohls, as well as through Roku’s own website. The company also says it will have special deals on the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick for Black Friday, which currently sell for about $100 and $50 respectively.
“The popularity of streaming to the TV continues to grow, and streaming players are sure to be at the top of many holiday wish lists,” said Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson in a press release about the new product, “The Roku SE player sets a new precedent in streaming player value this Black Friday.”
The Roku SE — for all we can tell, is essentially a repackaged version of the Roku 1 as far as specs. Still, while it may not pack the punch of its siblings when it comes to processing power, Tthe device features all the same apps as the other streaming players from the company, and (of course) displays video in 1080p via HDMI — all most people need in a streamer at present. Like other Roku devices, it also features both a traditional streaming interface, and cast-like streaming from your smartphone, leading a direct assault on the pricier Chromecast.
The Roku 1 typically retails for $50, and the company has said that the special $25 price for the new SE device is simply a promotion, with the price set to raise to the Roku 1 and Roku Streaming Stick’s $50 pricing after Black Friday is over, according to Variety.
No word on whether the SE will join the full-time lineup of products from the streaming company, or if it’s simply a promotional device that will help Roku’s brand during the holiday. Given the fact that the Roku 1 and Streaming Stick already occupy the $50 slot in the lineup, it appears the Roku SE could go one of two ways: The company could replace the Roku 1 with the SE, or the SE could be a limited edition flash in the pan that sees no commercial sales after Black Friday.
Either way, any streaming device that comes in $10 less than the uber-cheap Chromecast is worth considering — especially from a well-established brand that offers the most popular set-top boxes on the block.