Roku has announced that it will be launching a HDMI stick called the Streaming Stick that will turn your TV into a Smart TV. This will remove the need for you to go out and buy a cumbersome box that clutters-up your arrangement or an expensive TV to access smart features such as Netflix and social networking apps.
The Roku Streaming Stick does not draw power from the HDMI port so it will need to be connected to a USB port on your TV or into the mains as well, so although your TV cabinet will not be too cluttered, the back of your TV will look more and more like a spaghetti junction which is a bit of a pain. This is however becoming common for HDMI smart dongles, including Google’s Chromecast which it aims to rival.
Jim Funk from Roku has voiced his opinion that the stick will offer consumers “more choice for streaming entertainment to the TV than any other device”, and he’s not mistaken as the stick is said to be able to stream from more than 750 TV channels! The stick, as it operates through the HDMI port, can run up to Full HD 1080p, depending on what is being streamed.
Unlike its competitors, Roku has focused on providing a vast amount of streaming channels rather than additional features or games, and as such the device offers support for Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, 4OD and the usual crowd but more excitingly the stick can take content from your phone using an app and there will also be an app so that you can control the stick using your phone, even though it comes with a remote which kind of suggests the remote does not do it’s job very well.
The best news about this little stick is it’s price: £49.99 and available from April. That’s like a tenth of the price of a Smart TV. They should call it the recession stick.