Archives For Roku

hdmi-roku-stick

As we revealed about a week ago, Roku will shortly release an updated Streaming Stick. And, by way of TechHive, the $50 price point, retirement of MHL, and power via microUSB details have all been confirmed.

Sadly, there’s no mention of Miracast screen mirroring functionality… but Roku’s mobile apps will soon inherit the streamer’s universal search capabilities. The “New” Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) is now available for pre-order with shipping and store availability expected in early April. While the new HDMI Roku Streaming Stick will replace the Roku 1 on Best Buy’s shelves, as indicated by BBY Insider, that $50 model will remain in Roku’s lineup (for those without HDMI).

You know Mohu, the Leaf antenna guys. Well, like Channel Master, they’re looking beyond the aerial and have cooked up an Android streamer paired with an OTA tuner. “Mohu Channels” may have launched as a Kickstarter campaign, but we suspect this is more marketing than fundraising. So those of us awaiting a Roku-esque device with over-the-air capabilities will have something to evaluate come summer.

The small, oblong device, with both Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g/n, runs Android with a custom guide skin, unifying television listings with our preferred web shortcuts and apps from the Goole Play store – similar to what Channel Master has done with DVR+ in listing Vudu as “channel” 200. There’s no mention of an EPG subscription fee and early bird pricing runs a modest $79 — pretty good when you consider that included universal RF/IR QWERTY remote with “air mouse” functionality. Unfortunately, we’re only talking a single tuner here and there’s no mention of potential DVR capabilities… although there is an unaccounted for USB port.

roku-stick-chromecast

Via BBY Insider, we’ve learned that Best Buy intends to replace the Roku 1 on store shelves with a revised Roku Streaming Stick come April. Unlike the poorly received first gen Streaming Stick that ran $100, may or may not have been MHL-compatible, and relied on a partner television’s (or projector’s) remote for control, the new agnostic version will be hitting the streets at $50… including remote. Further, the 2014 HDMI Stick sports USB connectivity – which we suspect will be utilized for power as seen with Google’s Chromecast. And, speaking of Chromecast, we wonder if Roku will finally pull the trigger on Miracast screen mirroring. It should go without saying that Roku’s existing 1200+ “channels” (of varying quality and interest) are confirmed for the ride.

Roku Misses Exit, Plots IPO?

Dave Zatz —  February 22, 2014 — 4 Comments

rokutv

According to Bloomberg, Roku is contemplating a 2014 IPO but… “a decision to move ahead hasn’t been made, and the company hasn’t selected a lead banker.” Personally, I still believe their best exit strategy remains an acquisition and that they passed on the most prominent of suitors in Amazon – to both companies detriment. Roku’s largest challenge on the business side is that they pimp low cost, low margin hardware with insignificant recurring fees (on video/channel affiliate earnings). But licensing their appilicious platform itself may provide a way out. And, while the Streaming Stick is a failure, Roku TV looks to have legs and, pre-release, is already more noteworthy than Vudu’s similarly attempted pivot. As to others that might benefit, well LG is out having landed webOS. And Samsung’s already solid smart TV platform will be bolstered by Boxee skunkworks. Not to mention their best bet isn’t a sole television manufacturer but, rather, a company like Echostar/DISH (a Roku partner) or Rakuten (think Kobo) looking to expand into new markets.

The CES 2014 Posts

Dave Zatz —  January 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Now that the Vegas dust has settled, we’re finally caught up on the bloggable topics and have collated the bulk of our CES coverage in this handy bulleted list. Until next year!

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Smart TV & Streaming

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