Roku has announced that its Streaming Stick, the company's Chromecast and Fire TV competitor, has received a significant hardware and software upgrade.
Now available for pre-order for $49.99 USD ($59.99 CAD), the Roku Streaming Stick boasts a quad-core processor that the company claims is eight times faster than its predecessor, along with dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi for connecting more quickly, or more further away, to home wireless networks.
The Streaming Stick, like the Chromecast, plugs into the HDMI port of any HD television, offering many of the Roku 4's best features, such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and Hulu streaming, along with casting from your phone to the television.
The updated Stick is also the first Roku product to boast Roku OS 7.1, which adds additional categories in the Feed. But perhaps the best addition is the ability to stream the Roku's sound output to the company's Android or iOS app. More expensive Roku boxes boast a headphone port in the included remote, but to cut costs the Streaming Stick's remote lacks that option. So here Roku decided to route the Stick's audio to a connected smartphone app. The company says that other devices will receive the same Roku OS 7.1 update later in April.
Pre-orders begin April 5, and the Roku Streaming Stick will be available later this month for $49.99 USD at Roku.com, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other retailers.
In Canada, the Roku Stream will run $59.99 CAD from Best Buy, London Drugs, Staples, Walmart, Amazon.ca and others.
See Streaming Stick at Roku
New Roku Streaming Stick Combines More Power and Portability in Sleek New Form Factor
Only Pocket-Sized Streamer to Feature Quad-Core Processor and Private Listening with Headphones via Mobile Device
LOS GATOS, Calif. – Apr. 5, 2016 – Roku Inc. today announced the new Roku® Streaming Stick® designed for streamers who are looking for the ultimate in power and convenience in a sleek, pocket-sized form. Priced at just $49.99, the latest model of the popular device has been developed with a focus on performance and features a quad-core processor giving it more processing power than any other pocket-sized stick in the industry. The new Roku Streaming Stick has 8X more processing power than its predecessor to get consumers to their favorite entertainment fast with smooth and responsive navigation. It's also the first Roku device to offer private listening through the Roku Mobile App.
"The Roku Streaming Stick is one of our most popular models. Consumers appreciate having access to the complete Roku streaming experience in a portable, low-cost device," said Sharad Sundaresan, SVP product management for Roku. "The new Roku Streaming Stick takes our popular experience to the next level with a significant upgrade in power and performance, as well as features that are specifically designed to get people to the entertainment they want to watch quickly and easily whether they're at home or on the go."
The New Roku Streaming Stick: Powerful and Portable
• Only pocket-sized streamer with a quad-core processor; more processing power than Amazon Fire TV stick and Google Chromecast™
• Private listening via a mobile phone or tablet using the Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android™ devices
• Dual-band MIMO wireless for great connectivity
• Included remote for easy navigation and control
• Small, sleek design makes it simple to move between TVs in the home or use while traveling
• Cast video from Netflix and YouTube mobile apps directly to the TV
• Control with Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android - play personal video, photos and music on TV using the Play On Roku feature
• Hotel and Dorm Connect for easy connection to wireless networks away from home
The new Roku Streaming Stick runs Roku OS 7.1, the latest version of the company's operating system, also announced today. Roku OS 7.1 enhances the search and discovery experience by adding new categories within Roku Feed that enable customers to view popular TV Shows and Movies in one place. Similar to the existing Movies Coming Soon feature, consumers can now easily view these new categories to discover popular movies and TV shows across a variety of streaming channels on the Roku platform. They can then choose to watch a popular movie or TV show immediately, or Follow it in the Roku Feed to receive automatic updates when the availability or price changes, or the movie or TV show becomes available to watch for free.
Additionally, a feature available exclusively for the new Roku Streaming Stick enables consumers to use the Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android on their phone or tablet to listen through wired or wireless headphones. The Roku Mobile App offers a companion experience and can act as a remote control, enable voice search or provide an on-screen keyboard. Consumers can use the Play On Roku feature within the app to stream their personal videos, music and photos to the TV using the Roku Streaming Stick.
A Complete Streaming Entertainment Experience
The new Roku Streaming Stick provides consumers with the complete experience of the Roku streaming platform in a small device. Consumers in the US have access to more than 3,000 streaming channels, including 300,000 available movies and TV episodes. Unlike its competitors, Roku offers a comprehensive and unbiased universal search feature that looks across 30 top streaming channels to return search results. In addition, the Roku Feed is a first-of-its-kind discovery feature that lets consumers know when favorite entertainment, such as movies and TV shows, becomes available for streaming – and at what price.
The new Roku Streaming Stick is smaller than the previous version and has a compact, sleek design that makes it the ideal streamer for virtually any HDMI® enabled TV including wall-mounted flat screen TVs. Whether they want to move it between multiple TVs in the home, take it with them to a friend's house, or pack big entertainment into their vacation; the Roku Streaming Stick makes it easy for consumers to stream wherever they go.
The new Roku Streaming Stick also includes the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature to make it easy for consumers to connect to wireless networks that require sign-in through a web browser like those commonly found in hotel rooms, college dorms and other public locations. Consumers simply connect their Roku device to the password-protected network, sign-in with their login credentials using the browser on their mobile phone, tablet or laptop, and they're ready to start streaming.
The new Roku Streaming Stick is available for pre-order today from www.roku.com for an MSRP of $49.99. It will be available later this month in national retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart and others.
Roku OS 7.1 is available on the new Roku Streaming Stick. It will be rolled out to all other current-generation Roku players through a software update that is expected to be completed this month. The update is expected to be rolled out to Roku TV models shortly after. The latest version of the Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android is available for download today.
In addition to introducing new features for consumers, Roku OS 7.1 includes a number of platform updates and new software development kit (SDK) tools for Roku developers. Information for developers can be found on the Roku Developer Blog.
About Roku OS
At the heart of the Roku streaming platform is the Roku OS, a powerful operating system purpose-built for the TV screen rather than being adapted from an existing mobile OS. Designed to run on affordable streaming players and smart TVs, the Roku OS gives consumers a superior entertainment experience while enabling channel developers to effectively grow and monetize their audiences through advanced development, billing, and advertising tools. Using the Roku SDK, content providers can quickly develop custom streaming channels and deliver content to millions of devices worldwide. Roku Billing offers seamless, one-click subscription to certain Roku channels, streamlining users' access to content, while accelerating developers' user acquisition efforts. Roku's Ad Framework enables advertisers to reach Roku's large audience of TV streamers with sophisticated advertising tools, while helping developers bring more, free, ad-supported content to Roku users.
About Roku, Inc.
Roku is the creator of a popular streaming platform for delivering entertainment to the TV. Roku streaming players and the Roku Streaming Stick are made by Roku and sold through major retailers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Republic of Ireland, France and Mexico. Roku licenses a reference design and operating system to TV manufacturers to create co-branded Roku TV models. Under the Roku Powered™ program, Roku licenses its streaming platform to Pay TV providers around the world who want to use the Internet to deliver entertainment services through streaming players. Roku was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR. Roku is privately held and headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., U.S.
Roku and Streaming Stick are registered trademarks and Roku TV and Roku Powered are trademarks of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners in the United States and/or other countries.