Roku Takes Aim at Chromecast and Apple TV With $49 Streaming Stick

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    Roku today introduced a new $50 HDMI streaming-stick to compete directly with Google's Chromecast and give consumers a significantly cheaper alternative to the Apple TV.

    The new streaming stick is a sequel of sorts to a stick that Roku introduced last year that only worked with select Roku-ready TV's. The new stick comes with a full-fledged remote control and largely replicates the functionality of the full-sized Roku 3 set-top box, though it lacks an Ethernet jack and support for gaming. Users get access to more than 1,000 Roku channels, including Plex, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Spotify, Major League Baseball, Showtime, WatchESPN and many more.

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    The Roku Streaming Stick connects to the Internet via 802.11n Wi-Fi and plugs into the USB port present on most modern flat-screen TVs for power. It is available for pre-order for $50 from Roku's website or on Amazon.com. It will begin shipping in April.

    Article Link: Roku Takes Aim at Chromecast and Apple TV With $49 Streaming Stick
     
  2. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    #2
    I'm still waiting for Roku support of multiple netflix profiles. Come on guys, is it really that hard?
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    starbird

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #3
    Interesting. The price is right for what Roku offers. I still think that Apple can get away with a bit higher because, well, iTunes, but can see the next Apple TV dropping the current version to $75/$80 with reduced functionality
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    k1121j

    Joined:
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    New Hampshire
    #4
    love my Apple TV however excited another device to stick it to the cable companies and networks who refuse to get with the times
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
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    Tempe, AZ
    #5
    ive stopped using my Roku except for Plex for exactly this reason. unacceptable. its been months upon months at this point.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    larrylaffer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Do we know for certain that it's entirely up to Roku to support that? Maybe it's Netflix stalling them.

    IIRC Android only got profiles a couple of weeks ago.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    dannyyankou

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    #7
    Do I see a Blockbuster button on that remote? LOL
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #8
    Awesome device, but hate using Plex on my Roku. UI is bleh.

    Edit: Unless it's changed in the 2-3 months I've touched my Roku.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #9
    Yeah, I thought they were long gone. All those buttons and no dedicated Hulu button.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    JoEw

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #10
    To bad roku is awful. The lag and faulty ethernet made me loose support for Roku, I will stick with ATV and airplay.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #11
    So you gets defective product and you bail? I bet if you got a defective apple product, you'd commend them for how awesome they were for giving you a replacement or fixing it. Lol.
     
  12. Mad Mac Maniac, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    macrumors 68040

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #12
    The fact that I can already buy a roku HD for $39 really doesn't inspire me to want this product. Sure it's hidden away, but its still $10 more with no added functionality (ok, it adds 1080p from 720p)

    Edit: wait... from the Roku site, it appears that you can actually send video to the tv directly from your smartphone netflix/youtube app (a la airplay/chromecast). This would actually make this a pretty killer device IMO, especially if this casting function works more similar to chrome cast.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

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    Ohio, USA
    #13
    I thought Roku had this form factor already. If I remember, it takes a special connector on the back of the TV. I don't remember what made it so special though.

    Maybe I'm thinking of something else, but I'm pretty sure Roku had something like chrome cast a while ago.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Tempe, AZ
    #14
    they did, it required an MHL-compatible television. cant find any reference if the new version has the same requirement.

    http://www.amazon.com/Roku-3400M-Streaming-Stick-Purple/dp/B00BF4P0ZA
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    #15
    Multiple profiles

    I have Netflix on a ROKU3 and it seems to support profiles. When I start the app is asks "Who's watching?" and I can select Myself, Wife or Kid each of which is setup as a user via the Netflix webpage
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #16
    They originally said that it would be around March of this year so I think it's probably coming soon.

    Maybe you are a beta tester :D.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
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    Tempe, AZ
    #17
    roku 3 had channel support from the get-go, with support for other players "coming soon". me thinks their stalling has more to do with trying to drive sales of the 3 model than anything else.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    iBlazed

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    #18
    And how in the hell am I supposed to stick that in my TV that's hanging on the wall with no space behind it?
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    #19
    It took me a long time to decide between the Roku and the ATV. I finally went with the ATV because of the integration with all my other Apple products. But Roku is definitely a great product and I hope they continue to do well. I am still skeptical about chromecast and basically stay away from all things google.

    Rock on Roku. Do well and maybe even push Apple to release their update sooner including the fabled TV.
     
  20. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #20
    Now that it's so easy to plug in a little device for access to web content, there is less and less need for TVs to have these features built-in. I'd rather have a separate device that I can replace or upgrade.
     
  21. Contributing Editor

    jlgolson

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    Durango, CO
    #21
    As it says in the article... "The new streaming stick is a sequel of sorts to a stick that Roku introduced last year that only worked with select Roku-ready TV's."

    This one works with any TV that has HDMI.
    The same way you plug in any other HDMI cord.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    #22
    I've already used this device in the prototype form (the remote does not have those app specific buttons and the device is semi transparent plastic). My only complaint about the prototype is it's a bit slow at starting up but is usable when it's running.

    We had the prototype as we develop TV apps for the UK market and this was for testing. Fortunately our existing Roku apps worked fine on the new device without modification.

    In general it's a very good device. For those in the UK it has much more relevant content than the AppleTV.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #23
    Doesn't seem like the Apple way though. Google took Apple's idea and found a way to make it cheaper cos that's their thing. Apple's thing is to innovate and maintain their price point.

    I expect the next Apple TV to offer features no one else does and/or do it much better and maintain the same price point or maybe even sell at a higher price point.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    #24
    Hdmi extender cable?
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    starbird

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #25

    I am taking the iPad approach. Release a new product, doing things that no one/not many are doing. Then, bump the previous model, which can do a lot of what the new model can do, but not everything, and bump the price down $100. Now, obviously they can't do $100 on an Apple TV, but they could bump $25 off, or, to really take a slice, $50 and sell the current version for $49.

    Choices are Chromestick for $35, or an Apple TV 3 for $14 more? Becomes a no brainer.

    (Even though I think it is a no brainer now. You go with your ecosystem)

    I have an Apple TV 2 (first black one-launch day purchase) now. Been meaning to pick up a second, but holding off. If what I describe above happens, the. I won't be getting just a new version, I will replace the 2 with a $49 3 for the kids/playroom.
     

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