Roku lowers prices across the board: HD box now $69, $99 HD-XR to get 1080p support

Looks like Roku's going aggressive on price with its lineup of streamers in response to Sony's new $130 Netbox streamer, the upcoming Google TV launch, and rumors that we'll see that rumored $99 iOS-based Apple TV arrive on Wednesday. The SD box is down to $59 from $79, the standard HD is now $69 from $99, and the HD-XR with dual-band 802.11n and soon-to-be-enabled USB playback support is now $99 from $129. The HD-XR is also due to get 1080p streaming support later this year; it'll be focused on USB playback at first since most of the streaming channels are 720p right now.

Those prices are definitely getting close to impulse-buy territory, especially since a Roku is now one of the cheapest ways to get Netflix and Amazon VOD on a TV, along with other channels like MLB and UFC. In fact, Roku says its goal is to put three streamers in every house -- one next to every TV in the average American home. We applaud the ambition, but we've got a feeling this entire market is about get turned upside down once Apple and Google launch their initiatives.