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 macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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 It will begin shipping in April.

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

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


    Mar 2, 2010
    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. k1121j macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    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. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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


    Aug 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    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. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
    Do I see a Blockbuster button on that remote? LOL
  8. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    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. jkeekij macrumors regular

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


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


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    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

    Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    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. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    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. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    they did, it required an MHL-compatible television. cant find any reference if the new version has the same requirement.
  15. helix142 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    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. Plutonius macrumors 603


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    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. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    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. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    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. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    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. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    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. jlgolson Contributing Editor


    Jun 2, 2011
    Durango, CO
    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. Dave532 macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2014
    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. Karma*Police macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2012
    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. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Hdmi extender cable?
  25. iSRS macrumors 6502


    Mar 2, 2010

    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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