For a while now, the Roku box has been an excellent option for those looking to set up a cost-effective home media system with access to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. However, unlike other more popular products such as the Apple TV, the Roku has – until now – been marketed to what one could easily consider to be a “niche” market consisting primarily of the “geeky” types. There was no wide-spread advertising for the device, and an individual looking to purchase one was only able to do so online. Yesterday, however, the Roku made its official retail unveiling and is now available for purchase at more “traditional” retail outlets such as BestBuy and RadioShack.
In all honesty, I am a bit taken back by this somewhat sudden development. You see, even with the new $99 price-point, the Apple TV (which offers a very similar overall functionality) hasn’t been flying off of store shelves despite being one of Apple’s lowest-priced products. The Logitech Revue – a device that sports Google TV – seems to have done even worse after Google ran into a number of issues with their software backend, only to disappoint what seems to be a very small market of potential customers. So, knowing this, why is the Roku going mainstream?