updated 11:00 am EST, Wed January 4, 2012
Roku Streaming Stick offers alternate to full hubs
Roku preceded CES by creating a unique alternative to its usual Internet Player hubs. The Streaming Stick plugs into any TV whose HDMI ports support MHL, a normally mobile-oriented technology that supplies power as well as audio and video. While it needs a newer TV, it gives buyers full access to Roku's Internet channels in 1080p, such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, with Wi-Fi built-in.
Viewers can even use their existing TV remote, Roku said. It does support the Gaming Remote for those who want the motion controls of Roku 2 boxes.
The adapter is pitched as a way to give a TV either Internet features if it has none or, more likely, to give a much wider selection of content than the few that TV makers usually supply themselves. It has the side benefit of consuming no space on the TV stand and being virtually invisible on most TVs.
Roku doesn't ship the Streaming Stick until the second half of 2012 and won't have a price until closer to that point.