We've been wondering what Roku had up its sleeve after the FCC leaked the Roku XD and XDS following Apple's $99 Apple TV announcement, and it looks like those earlier price cuts were just the beginning: the new Roku lineup starts at just $59 for the basic WiFi HD streamer with HDMI and composite outputs. That's basically impulse-purchase territory if you're looking for a quick way to get Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand or one of Roku's 75 other channels on your TV. The $79 Roku XD adds in 1080p streaming support for channels with 1080p content, and the top-of-the-line $99 XDS adds in a USB port for future local playback support, component video and optical audio out, and dual-band 802.11n WiFi. All three boxes share the same new slimmer case, while the XD and XDS get a new sleeker remote with new instant-replay and info buttons. Definitely an intriguing set of upgrades -- we've been playing with the XDS for a few days, so go check out our full review!
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Roku Introduces New Line of HD Streaming Players Starting at $59.99
New XD and XDS models feature 1080p HD, Wireless-N, and Instant Replay
Saratoga, Calif. – September 23, 2010 – Roku, Inc., maker of the best-selling and award-winning Roku streaming player, introduced today its new product lineup, featuring improved performance and the lowest prices in the industry. With up to 1080p HD streaming support and Instant Replay, the new players are shipping immediately at prices starting from just $59.99. All models feature high-definition playback as well as support for older, standard definition TVs.
There are three new Roku models: the entry-level Roku HD at $59.99; the Roku XD with Wireless-N and 1080p, and the top-of-the-line Roku XDS, which adds dual-band wireless technology and extensive connectivity options for home entertainment systems.
All Roku players will continue to deliver the largest collection of streaming entertainment available for the TV, including over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Video On Demand; live and on-demand sports from MLB.TV; music from Pandora, MP3tunes, MOG, and RadioTime; photo and video sharing from Flickr and Facebook; plus news and entertainment from thousands of sources around the world.
"We're committed to delivering the best entertainment experience at the lowest price in the industry," said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku, Inc. "Customers can now buy an HD-capable Roku player with wireless for 40% less than the price of our original $100 Roku HD player. Or, think of it this way: for around the price of two Blu-ray Discs, a Roku player brings you access to limitless instant streaming entertainment choices available today and in the future. It's perfect for anyone who wants the most choice and control over their entertainment."
The new $59.99 Roku HD streams video in high-definition at up to 720p, and features built-in wireless and Ethernet for easy broadband connectivity anywhere in the home. The smaller, sleeker Roku HD is only 1 inch tall and less than 5 inches wide, so it fits anywhere and is tiny enough to take on a trip. Composite A/V cables are included so that it can connect to virtually any TV, including standard definition models. An HDMI port enables HD playback on HDTVs.
The new Roku XD ($79.99) and XDS ($99.99) models deliver the next level of streaming performance, with 1080p HD support (delivered over HDMI) and extended-range Wireless-N. In addition, the XDS model features dual-band Wireless-N technology, component video output, optical audio output, and a USB port. Over USB, customers will be able to play stored music, photos, and up to 1080p video using a USB player channel, available as a free upgrade to XDS owners (expected to be available in November 2010).
Both XD and XDS models also feature an industry first in streaming devices for the TV: an innovative Instant Replay button on the remote, enabling the viewer to instantly skip back in 10 second increments without having to wait for a rebuffering delay. It's a convenience that until now has been limited to DVRs and other hard-drive based devices.
First introduced in May 2008, the Roku player provides an easy, affordable, and reliable way for hundreds of thousands of Netflix customers to watch movies and TV shows instantly on their TV. Since the launch of the Roku Channel Store last fall, all Roku customers now have access to over 85 channels from 50 unique content services, with more added all the time.
Pricing and availability
The new Roku HD is available for $59.99, while the XD and XDS models are available for $79.99 and $99.99 respectively. All three Roku players are available immediately at www.roku.com, and available for preorders at www.amazon.com.