Roku: Some people like to live in Apple land - if you don't, pick us

Clive Hudson, the European head of Roku, has told Pocket-lint that his new streaming box, the Roku 2 XS which launched in the UK last month, is great for people who don't want to go down the Apple path.

"You would buy our box over the Apple TV because it is not an Apple," he explained.

"Some people like to live in Apple land and some people don’t. We cater for that second category of people. We have a more open platform that people can develop for. We have a lot more local content. We aren’t quite as prescriptive in what you can and can’t watch."

In our exclusive chat, Hudson also had harsh words for the company's perceived third competitor, Google TV. He and Anthony Wood, Roku's founder and CEO, aren't really that concerned about their other rival, it seems.

"The suspicion about Google TV is that it is always going to be clunky and technical. And not quiet as easy or intuitive as Roku or Apple TV," Hudson told us.

"Our product is about what you leave out of it, rather than what you put in it. We make it very easy to use. It doesn’t have a web browser for example, because we want to provide people with a safe experience."

It's an experience so enjoyed, says Roku, that alongside Apple it commands around 95 per cent of the market.

"In the US, we outsell Apple," said Wood. And the company hopes to mirror that success elsewhere around the globe.

That's going to be achievable by a new gadget the company is launching in the autumn. First debuted at CES, the Roku Streaming Stick is a USB-sized dongle that brings the power of the Roku box to your TV in a smaller, easier to hide form factor.

"We will be offering a bundle deal with Best Buy’s house brand Insignia, and we have other OEMs on board, but we haven’t announced that yet."

So keen are people to get the Roku experience that many ask for a dedicated Roku app for their iPad or phone - not to be able to control their Roku box, but to access the same interface and channel selection.

"We get asked for a Roku app all the time," Wood explained. "People just like the interface, I guess."

Sadly, both men rule out an app version of the Roku box anytime soon.

Do you live in Apple land? Or are you a Roku fan? Let us know in the comments below...

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