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Would You Buy A New Roku Smart Stick?

Submitted by on March 5, 2014 – 10:23 amOne Comment

Streaming technology company Roku has introduced a smaller, cheaper device to compete with new competitors like the Google Chromecast. The redesign shows how much the field has changed since Apple TV and Roku first introduced the consumer products in 2007 and 2008.

The Roku Streaming Stick is a small dongle that plugs directly into a USB port on a HDMI television, and will retail for $49.99. Roku has also announced that it is working with manufacturers to embed the technology directly into television sets.

The Streaming Stick has several advantages over Roku’s older devices. It is much smaller than the company’s popular set-top boxes. Roku actually introduced a dongle in 2012, but it cost twice as much, and only worked with “Roku-enabled” televisions.

In performance and even appearance, the Streaming Stick is very similar to the Chromecast. Google’s bargain-priced streaming device ($35) became a massive seller upon its release last year, though Google has not released exact sales figures, and Chromecast’s share of the streaming device market is unclear. But while Roku and Apple TV had previously jockeyed for dominance, it is now obvious a new major player is in the race, with more to come.

Along with its unbeaten price, Chromecast offers the ability to cast content from a web browser, unlike Roku. It also offers compatibility with Google Play content.

But with 12,000 channels for Roku, users might not feel the need to cast a web browser. Favorite apps include Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Amazon Instant, Youtube, Spoitfy, Pandora, and many others. And while it can’t cast web browser content, Roku (like Chromecast) can play media stored on your computer or mobile device.

Roku also comes with a separate remote, which some might find more convenient than using a mobile device.

What do you think- would you buy the Roku Streaming Stick? Let us know in the Comments.

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