Roku has released a nifty little device that streams from your HDMI port via a sleek, little unit otherwise known as a streaming stick. This is a dongle-version of the Roku box and comes equipped with an RF remote. It will work with any TV that has an HDMI port and will be available in April for a mere $50. Also, don’t be fooled by its small stature, it will still hold 1,200 Roku channels or apps. Besides having the control through your remote, it can also be connected wirelessly through a smartphone app. This impressive app includes a search feature to access all of the Roku channels and can be directly downloaded to the stick device. The app also lets you stream photos, video and other media that are stored through your Roku stick.
If this device isn’t sounding familiar, it’s because it isn’t the first of it’s kind. The former Roku streaming stick connected to an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) enabled HMDI port. This version of the stick will work with any HML powered port, but it has added benefits when using Roku-ready sets. One being that you can use your regular TV remote to control it. Another advantage is it can be used on a non Roku-ready TV set to use as a quick controller for apps like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and other TV apps. Another reason to buy the MHL stick? The price was recently reduced from $100 to $70, but it is currently out of stock on Roku.com.
One thing that seperates the MHL model from the new HDMI Roku stick is that it requires a USB mini cable to power the device. So what’s the difference between new media streaming decives such as the cheaper Google Chromcast (priced at $35). The Google Chromecast has to be controlled via smartphone, tablet or computer web browser. It also lacks a menu system which can be confusing for those used to an app menu. The Roku Stick offers a more user-friendly experience which has made it a few steps ahead of other streaming devices. The $15 difference between the two makes up for itself with the bonus of its added remote.
If you’re looking into getting Roku software for your smart TV but don’t know where to start, contact Houston Installation and we’ll do all the work for you!