Roku is taking on Google with its new Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version). Much like Google’s Chromecast, the tiny player plugs into an HDMI port to allow users to access Roku platform. Priced at $49.99, the device is slightly more expensive than Chromecast but unlike Google’s dongle, the Roku offering comes with a remote control which can be used to access Roku’s user interface.
Specifically, the Roku stick allows access to more than 1,200 channels in the US and more than 750 channels in other markets, “all in up to 1080 HD video.” “Roku is all about the easiest way to enjoy the best selection of streaming entertainment on TV. That’s why in addition to the included WiFi remote control for the entire household’s use, there are the free Roku apps for Androird and iOS devices for those who desire a mobile experience to browse and select content to stream,” the company said in a blog post. Users can also cast Netflix, YouTube and personal media from their devices to their TVs and additional mobile features such as the ability to cast content from a computer to the TV are on the way.
The dongle is available for pre-order now from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and Roku.com. It will ship to consumers and arrive in retail stores in April. For international streamers, the stick is $59.99 in Canada and £49.99 in the U.K. and in the Republic of Ireland.