• Sunil Singh

    Sunil Singh

    MemberMar 5, 2014

    Roku's Streaming Stick To Take On Google's Chromecast

    Roku, the maker of popular set-top boxes, has officially launched an updated version of its Streaming Stick clearly aiming to take on its potential rival Google's Chromecast. It is a 3-inch long USB flash drive-sized device and features a HDMI connector, a Micro-USB port, an indicator light and a tiny button to reset the stick. It is small enough to plug into the back of your TV and stay completely out of sight. Streaming Stick offers a major advantage over Chromecast by offering full access to 1200 Roku apps aka channels in Roku's context. These include all major services such as Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Amazon, MLB.TV, PBS and Instant along with a huge number of niche content sources. This comes out as a new version of Roku's old MHL-based Streaming Stick and is priced at just 50 USD.

    Roku differentiates this device from Chromecast by offering a traditional RF remote control along with a massive library of apps. Both Streaming Stick and remote control output video in 1080p and comes with dual-band Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. Roku claims that this device will not be as fast as Roku 3 as it packs an internal chip which is similar to Roku 1. The Micro-USB port allows you to power the device by connecting it to a USB port on TV or making use of included power adapter. It has the same streaming software features unlike rest of the current Roku line. Streaming Stick comes with multiple apps arranged in a grid fashion offering persistent search channels like Amazon, Instant Video and Hulu Plus as depicted in image below.​


    Roku offers a pretty traditional and standard remote which works via Wi-Fi Direct so that it can easily control the streaming Stick which hides behind your TV. One major disadvantage of this remote is that it doesn't have a neat headphone jack for private listening. The Stick will offer a "push" feature which also comes with Cromecast. This feature allows you to cast on YouTube and Netflix using your mobile device.

    This device is priced at 50 USD, which is just 15 USD more than the Chromecast. This extra 15 USD is probably well spent, if you have ever dreamed of sitting on the couch and enjoying your streaming content without having being tied to your smartphone. Lloyd Clarke, Director of project management at Roku claims that Roku had witnessed over 1.7 billion hours of entertainment streaming last year. This can be viewed as a perfect example of its presence in the market and brand loyalty shown by its users. Roku Streaming Stick is available for pre-order at 50 USD from Roku's official website and will be available in April. Till then, we would love to read your opinions in comment section below.

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