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Roku Adds HBO Go; Bows $49 Player

11 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Streaming pioneer adds HBO Go to channel line-up, allowing authenticated viewers to stream 1,400 titles to the TV on demand

Roku Oct. 11 introduced a new streaming media player for $49 — half the price of its premiere player. It is also adding HBO Go to its portfolio for authenticated viewers of the pay-TV channel.

Available in November from Amazon and Roku.com, the Roku LT streams in 720p resolution and includes 300 entertainment content channels — the majority of which require third-party subscriptions such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Epix and Pandora.

Separately, Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku said it is adding HBO Go to its channel portfolio. Available at the end of the month, HBO Go allows authenticated viewers of the pay-TV channel to stream 1,400 titles and every episode of every season from popular serials such as “Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood” to the TV on demand.

HBO Go, Comcast's Xfinity TV, Cablevision's Optimum app and Turner Broadcasting's Turner TV Everywhere platform represent efforts by cable operators and media companies to retain monthly subscribers in an increasingly fragmented home entertainment landscape underscored by third parties offering repurposed TV programs over the Internet.

Roku cut its teeth in streaming in 2008 with the launch of a Netflix-branded streaming player, which helped the by-mail rental pioneer transform the subscription video-on-demand business.

Other Roku players include the Roku 2 HD for $59.99, Roku 2 XD for $79.99 and Roku 2 XS for $99.99.

“Our goal is a Roku in every home,” founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in a statement. “The Roku LT opens up streaming to more people by lowering the cost of entry in these difficult economic times. With a selection of more than 300 channels, we expect the Roku LT will be everyone’s favorite holiday device.”

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