roku stick 2014

Roku’s new and improved streaming stick hit the market today ahead of its planned U.S. launch early next month. The HDMI dongle is available for online purchase through Roku’s own website as well as from Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. The company says it should be available in brick and mortar stores in April as planned.

Roku’s streaming stick offers the same user experience as its set-top boxes in a much smaller package for just $49.99. You’ll get the same access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Aereo and more than a thousand other channels covering music, movies, sports and more. It also ships with a remote, though you can control it using the Roku app for Android and iOS if you prefer.

Roku’s HDMI dongle improves on a $99 streaming stick the company developed in 2012 to ship with special “Roku Ready” TVs. The new model should give the company a boost against growing competition in the media streaming market. With a new Amazon set-top box expected to launch next week and an updated Apple TV rumored for later this year Roku will need all the help it can get.

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