Roku unveiled its miniaturized Streaming Stick at CES, and while we still don't have an exact release date or price tag, the company has produced a list of manufacturers that will deliver "Roku Ready" hardware. That list is comprised of Element Electronics; GlobalVue International, LLC; Haier; Hitachi America, Ltd.; Insignia / Best Buy (which already tried out this strategy once with the whatever-happened-to-the TiVo-powered cTV); Mitsubishi Electric (TVs); Onkyo and Integra; OPPO and TMAX Digital, Inc.(Apex Digital® TVs). In case you've forgotten, the Roku Streaming Stick plugs into MHL-compatible HDMI ports to not only feed video to the HDTV, receiver or other device, but also accept remote control inputs and power, and brings its own WiFi hookup for internet access. That way, users can add this single accessory to make a "dumb" flat panel into a connected TV all without any extra cords or switching remotes, and, if necessary, easily upgrade in the future.
As CEO Anthony Wood mentioned just days ago Roku's current focus is finding companies willing to work together to provide a well integrated experience for the add-on. To make that clear for potential buyers, Roku Ready devices like HDTVs, receivers and Blu-ray players will not only be stamped with a logo to show they're compatible, some will arrive with the dongle packed in. Its due date is set for "the coming weeks" so it shouldn't be long until we nail down the other details about the Roku Streaming Stick -- all currently available information can be found in the press release after the break.
Roku Streaming Stick hands-on
Roku Unveils New Roku Streaming Stick Partners
Hitachi, Mitsubishi and Others Developing New CE Devices for Roku Streaming Stick
Saratoga, Calif. – Aug. 1, 2012 – Roku® today unveiled that Element Electronics; GlobalVue International, LLC; Haier; Hitachi America, Ltd.; Insignia, a Best Buy brand; Mitsubishi Electric (TVs); Onkyo and Integra; OPPO and TMAX Digital, Inc.(Apex Digital® TVs) are among the first companies working closely with Roku to develop new consumer electronics devices for the Roku Streaming Stick™. Launching in the coming weeks, the Roku Streaming Stick is an easy and cost-effective way for consumer electronics manufacturers to add the proven Roku streaming platform to a device that features Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). These new 'Roku Ready®' devices will display a distinctive Roku logo on their packaging, indicating they will work seamlessly out of the box with the Roku Streaming Stick. In addition, select devices will be bundled with the Roku Streaming Stick so consumers can immediately receive the full benefits of the Roku streaming platform
Announced in January, the Roku Streaming Stick is a tiny, wireless streaming player that is the size of a USB flash drive. It features built-in WiFi, a processor, memory as well as software, updated on a regular basis, free of charge. Once plugged into a MHL-enabled device, the Roku Streaming Stick will stream video and music as well as enable casual game play from the more than 500 entertainment channels available on the Roku platform. When paired with a TV, the Roku Streaming Stick integrates the Roku streaming experience seamlessly into the TV user interface, giving the customer the ability to use the TV remote for all streaming activities.
"The response to the Roku Streaming Stick is tremendous. Consumer electronics manufacturers recognize the value in making products that stream entertainment, yet it is very difficult for them to deliver and sustain a vibrant, robust streaming platform on their own," said Chas Smith, vice president of business development at Roku. "The Roku Streaming Stick adds instant access to the leading streaming platform with virtually no overhead from manufacturers, while giving consumers the best streaming experience available."
"By partnering with Roku, and developing a line of new Mitsubishi TVs that will support their new Roku Streaming Stick, we will be able to offer the best big screen TVs and the most powerful internet streaming device together, bringing web-based entertainment to a whole new level for our customers," said James Chan, vice president of marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America (MEVSA), Inc.
MHL is a new standard that is seeing wide adoption by consumer electronics manufacturers. MHL resembles HDMI in appearance but unlike other connectors, it delivers power and other critical elements for the Roku Streaming Stick.
The Roku Streaming Stick will be available in the coming weeks from Roku and retailers. It will be sold separately as well as bundled with select consumer electronics devices. Pricing will be announced at a later date. For more information about the Roku Streaming Stick visit www.roku.com/streamingstick.
About Roku Inc.
Roku is the leading streaming platform for delivering video, music and casual games to the TV. Roku launched the first player to stream Netflix to the TV in 2008, and today streams more than 500 entertainment channels to millions of customers. Roku streaming players can be purchased from Roku and major retailers in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. Founded by Anthony Wood, Roku is headquartered in Saratoga, Calif. For more information, visit www.roku.com.
Roku and Roku Ready are registered trademarks and the Roku Streaming Stick is a trademark of Roku, Inc.