In the battle for the living room, the launch of Google's Chromecast further fragmented the market with another new means of content delivery. A variety of alternatives have since been launched, including a new offering from Roku. The company says the HDMI Streaming Stick will provide more TV streaming options than any other device.
Like the Chromecast, the Streaming Stick is a small dongle that slots into a TV's HDMI port. Once up and running, Roku says the device will give users a choice of more than 1,200 channels in the US or more than 750 channels for users in Canada, the UK and the Republic of Ireland at up to 1080p HD video resolution.
The Streaming Stick can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet app for iOS or Android, but Roku is also offering a remote control for those who prefer a more orthodox means of channel-hopping. Media that can be streamed to a TV includes Netflix, YouTube and any personal files stored on the user's smart device. Roku is also planning to add the functionality for wirelessly sending media from a home computer.
The Streaming Stick is available for pre-order and will be available in April for a suggested retail price of US$49.99.