Roku has announced that it is to launch a HDMI stick that will turn any television into a smart TV without the need to worry about where you put the box.
Called the Roku Streaming Stick the device will plug into a spare HDMI port on your TV and be powered either by a plug into a regular wall socket, or via a spare USB port on the TV.
In a move to completely remove the worry of "where to put the box", the new stick will work in the same way as the company's Roku 1 box allowing viewers to access services like Netflix, Now TV, and the BBC iPlayer.
"The new Roku Streaming Stick gives consumers more choice for streaming entertainment to the TV than any other device," said Jim Funk, senior vice president of product management at Roku in a statement.
The initial comparison is to the Google Chromecast, Google's $35 smart stick that allows you to send content from your phone to your TV, however Matthew Anderson the Chief Marketing Office of Roku thinks differently, telling Pocket-lint:
"Roku delivers the constant growing channel experience. Chromecast is about throwing content from your phone to your TV."
Once plugged in, the Roku Streaming Stick lets consumers start streaming from more than 750 channels of movies, TV episodes, music, news, sports, kids' shows and free programming, all in up to 1080p HD video.
Recently launched channels include 4OD, Netflix, and YouTube.
The Netflix and YouTube support is important, because like the company's Roku 3, the new HDMI streaming stick will be able to cast YouTube and Netflix content from your phone with a new update to the Roku mobile app, something the Roku 1 and Roku 2 aren't currently able to do. Control will either be via the remote app, or a bundled remote control.
Sadly unlike the Roku 3, the remote control doesn't feature the rather cool ability to plug in a set of headphones.
The new Roku stick will be in stores in the UK from early April and cost £49.99.
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