Roku Bows $79 Streaming Media Player27 Oct, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Roku Inc. Oct. 27 bowed two new streaming media players, including a high-definition model, priced from $79.
Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku, which cut its teeth in 2008 with the launch of a $99 player that could stream Netflix movies from the Internet to the television, said the Roku SD ($79.99) and Roku HD-XR ($129.99) devices have built-in Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity.
“The Roku HD-XR is the first Netflix-streaming device to embed next-generation 802.11n dual-band wireless connectivity, making it easier and more reliable to start enjoying movies, TV shows, sports and the best online content available, all on the living room TV,” said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku.
The company soon will launch a Roku Channel Store to feature content separate from current offerings of 17,000 Netflix titles, 45,000 titles from Amazon video-on-demand, and live and on-demand baseball games via MLB.TV.
Netflix and MLB.TV require separate monthly subscriptions.
The Roku HD and HD-XR players feature HD streaming capability, connecting directly to any TV using HDMI or component video. Both products also include S-video or composite video outputs as well.
The Roku HD-XR also works with legacy routers and can often boost Wi-Fi range inside the house. Finally, the Roku HD-XR includes a USB port for future use.
Richard Doherty, director of The Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y., has characterized the Roku player as one of the top CE innovations in recent years, lauding the device’s consumer-friendly applications, ease of use and ability to import digital movies from the Internet to the TV.