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Roku Enters Walmart

13 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

It’s a good sign a product has reached critical mass if the world’s largest retailer is making shelf space for it.

Roku June 13 said select Walmart stores have begun selling the Roku HD media player for $78 — with the device available in all stores by Father’s Day (June 19).

Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku spearheaded the streaming video market media in 2008 with the launch of a Netflix-branded media player. The company now has sold more than 1 million devices that allow users to stream entertainment via myriad sources over the Internet onto the television.

In addition to Netflix, Roku users can choose from Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Revision3; live and on-demand sports from NBA Game Time, NHL GameCenter Live and Ultimate Fighting Championship; music from Pandora, MOG, Rdio, and TuneIn Radio; photo and video sharing from Flickr and Facebook; and, soon, popular video games like Angry Birds.

Walmart was instrumental to explosive growth of DVD after it bowed a $39 DVD player on Black Friday in 2003. It also was the first national retailer to sell a Blu-ray Disc player for less than $80.

“With the Roku XD player now available at Walmart, customers can get dad the perfect gift just in time for Father’s Day,” said Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood. “Whether it’s dad-centric flicks, sports or tips for grilling the perfect steak, Roku offers something for dad every time he sits down to enjoy TV.”

Roku players, which start at $59.99 for non-HD, also are available at Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, Amazon and Roku.com.

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