Yesterday Roku unveiled a new weapon in the cord-cutter’s arsenal: the Roku Streaming Stick.
The Streaming Stick is a wireless device about the size of a standard USB flash drive that will plug into a TV to instantly transform it into a Smart TV. It feature built-in WiFi, processor, memory and software to deliver Roku’s growing collection of streaming entertainment.
With the Roku Streaming Stick, these new Smart TVs allow consumers to enjoy a fully integrated high-definition streaming experience.
Netflix loves the new device. “Roku was the first to deliver movies and TV shows streaming over the Internet from Netflix to TVs and since then has been delivering a great experience to Netflix members,” said Greg Peters, Vice President of Product Development at Netflix. “The Roku Streaming Stick offers another innovative option for our members to enjoy the Netflix experience.” Roku created the first Netflix internet video streaming receiver box back in 2008.
“The Roku platform has been extremely successful as a stand-alone streaming device,” said Roku Founder and CEO Anthony Wood. “Extending the Roku streaming experience through the Roku Streaming Stick to Smart TVs is a natural next step for the market.”
The Roku Streaming Stick plugs into MHL-enabled HDMI ports on TVs. MHL is a new standard that uses the HDMI connector on TVs to deliver power and other critical elements for the streaming experience. TV manufacturers with MHL technology include Nokia, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.
Of course, TVs with MHL tech would also likely support smart TV features offered by the Streaming Stick like WiFi and Netflix. Nevertheless, Roku makes a valid point:
Today’s Smart TVs become outdated in just a couple of years because as software evolves the hardware needs to be upgraded to keep pace. While short hardware product cycles are expected with mobile devices such as smart phones, consumers generally keep their TVs for six to eight years. By moving the streaming platform to a stick that’s easily replaceable, consumers no longer have to worry about their large-screen Smart TVs becoming obsolete before their time.