updated 07:50 am EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
Roku media hub arrives with slight premium
Roku on Monday kicked off its Canadian launch. The country will get two higher-end models in the lineup, the Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS, both of which can handle 1080p video; the XS bundles in the Wii-like motion remote and includes both Ethernet and USB for wired access and local content. Canadians get much of the same content, including Netflix, Rdio music, and major sports like the MLB and NHL, although US-specific services like Hulu Plus are out of contention.
Free content includes movies on Crackle, social media from Facebook and Flickr, news from CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, and TuneIn Radio for Internet streaming, among others. Roku is promising that the channel range will grow roughly as fast as it has in the US.
Pre-orders start now at slightly elevated prices of $90 Canadian for a Roku 2 XD and $110 for an XS. Shipments should be available by the end of the month both at Roku as well as Amazon, London Drugs, and Walmart.