Roku has announced that it will be releasing a new streaming stick this coming April which is half the price of the previous version, has access to more than 1200 channels, and will work with any TV with an HDMI port. The new Roku streaming stick will be sold at $50 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and Roku.com.
The first streaming stick that Roku released was way back in 2012. This device cost $99 and had limited features. A lot of people didn’t like the idea that it only worked on TV sets that were certified “Roku Ready”. It also did not come with its own remote control. These factors made it hard to sell to consumers.
The company has redesigned its latest streaming stick by retaining the features of the previous version while offering it at a lower price point. It also does not need a Roku Ready TV to work. The previous version needed an MHL-enhanced HDMI port while the new version works on any HDMI port. This means that the new version needs its own separate power supply which can be drawn from a vacant USB port on the TV or through a power outlet.
At a $50 price point it is still higher than the Chromecast however it does come with more content. The company blog announced that the device has “access to 1,200+ channels of movies, TV episodes, music, news, sports, kids’ shows and free programming streamed in up to 1080p HD video, plus a TV user interface featuring the beloved Roku Search.” There’s also the added feature of streaming content from a smartphone or tablet to a TV using Roku.
The release of this latest device will also be joined by the release of a new mobile app available for the Android and iOS platform. The most obvious changes of the app is in its user interface which places purple line drawings on a black background.
Those who wish to pre-order the latest Roku streaming stick living outside the U.S. may do so. It is priced $59.99 in Canada and $49.99 in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Pre-orders can be made at Amazon.ca, BestBuy.ca, FutureShop.ca, Currys.co.uk, LondonDrug.ca, Staples.ca, Walmart.ca, Roku.com/ca and Roku.com/uk.