Roku adds three new players, simplifies lineup
Only a company like Roku could trot out three new streaming media players and actually simplify its roster, and that’s exactly what’s happened. Roku today announced newer, sleeker Roku LT, Roku 1 and Roku 2 devices that will sell along with the Roku 3 the company launched earlier this year, totaling four boxes in all.
Four is one less than the previous number of boxes the company had on sale, whose product names — Roku 2 XD, HD and XS, for example — didn’t really give consumers a clear idea about which box was better than the other.
Another product, the Streaming Stick, was not mentioned today and is not available for sale on the company’s website. If that product was axed, that trims the Roku lineup even more. We’ve contacted the company about the fate of the Streaming Stick and will update as soon as we hear back.
Now, on to the new players.
The Roku LT is the entry-level box in the lineup, just as it was previously. It sells for $49.99 and provides consumers with a cheap way to jump into the streaming video world. What do you sacrifice for this price? Resolution. The Roku LT tops out at 720p HD video.
The Roku 1 is the next step up, coming in at $59.99. For only $10 more than the LT, you can bump yourself up to full 1080p HD video. Other than that, there isn’t a big difference between the LT and 1 models.
The Roku 2 no longer has three different variants, which likely confused a lot of consumers. Instead, there is a single model priced at $79.99. This box adopts a couple of features from the higher-tier Roku 3, including a remote with a built-in headphone jack and dual-band wireless technology, which is all the rage these days.
These three players join the Roku 3 that’s been available since March. If you aren’t a fan of wireless streaming, that model packs an Ethernet port and also USB ports for playing local media. There’s support for motion gaming, as well, thanks to the box’s smarter remote control.
Roku has primarily been known as a box for subscription services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, but the company hasn’t ignored Apple’s success in selling content like movies and TV shows through its Apple TV box. To compete, Roku has partnered with M-GO to sell movies and TV shows to users that can be billed through already-established Roku accounts. M-GO integration could help users find content they’re interested in that hasn’t quite made it to a subscription service yet. It could also help Roku generate some additional revenue.
The three new players are currently available for pre-order on the company’s website with an expected ship date of Oct. 8. The Roku 3 is still available today.
Sign in or become a BestTechie member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.