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Roku 2 Hits Shelves

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Those little boxes that you hook up to your TV are a great way to bring the latest media into your living room, and they’re reasonably cheap too. Apple TV is the most obvious example but despite their domination of the tablet computer market and smartphone market, Apple’s TV box just isn’t capturing the imagination of consumers in the same way as other hardware by Steve Jobs and co.

The reason is, competition is high. Roku are one of the big players in media streaming and their dominance is set to multiply from today as the Roku 2 has been released into the wild. The new Roku device allows users to stream movies and programs on their TV courtesy of services such as Netflix. Not just that but Roku the second brings the latest games too, like the ubiquitous Angry Birds (which comes pre-installed.)

The company CEO is excited about the future of Roku. In a blog post he said: “Between now and Christmas you’ll see the games selection on Roku grow dramatically. My goal is to grow Roku into a major low cost family oriented gaming platform, with games in the $5 range rather than $30 range. Just like Netflix is shaking up the video world, and Pandora is shaking up radio, Angry Birds and their friends are shaking up the gaming establishment. We’re trying to help as best we can.”

The new Roku comes with a higher resolution than the first one and a USB slot for playing back locally stored music, video and image files; giving two good reasons for owners of the original to upgrade. Prices range from $60 to $100  depending on the type of internet connection required which is a fair price range.

The problem is though, the device is only available in the U.S at the moment which is a damn shame. Import is an option but a lot of the services which Roku streams are currently U.S. exclusive.  So what does this mean for us? It means the market is wide open. We do have Boxee for around £180 and without the exciting new features that Roku 2 brings to the table. If you ask me it won’t be long until we see a Roku UK, or something very similar.

‘Let us know your thoughts on this announcement by sending us your comments below, or if you prefer you can tweet us @Gadget_Helpline.’