There’s a new buzzword out there that you may have heard about: Smart TV. That’s right, Smart TV. If you’re thinking “this sounds like smartphone,” you aren’t mistaken. You see, manufacturers (and consumers) want televisions to be smarter. While a TV can’t actually think, televisions can connect to the Internet and stream all kinds of stuff, and this makes the average television smarter.
Only, you have to purchase a somewhat bulky device in order to give your TV streaming abilities. But, Roku is set to put a change to the ugly streaming device boxes that are currently on the market. Instead of inventing, yet another, streaming box, Roku has come up with the Streaming Stick – an intelligent streaming device designed to take up less space. Roku’s new Streaming Stick can make any television smarter (well, almost any TV).
How the Streaming Stick Works
The concept behind the Roku Streaming Stick couldn’t be simpler. To use the stick, all you have to do is plug it into your TV’s MHL-ready HDMI port. What’s that? Your TV doesn’t come with a MHL HDMI port? Well, you won’t be able to use the Streaming Stick without one. If this sounds like a drawback, you aren’t mistaken. However, most new Internet-ready televisions come with a MHL HDMI port, so you have nothing to worry about if you have a newer TV. If you aren’t sure, you can always check with the company that makes your TV.
Once plugged into a TV, the Streaming Stick can do everything that a Roku set-top streaming box can do. This means that you can stream from Pandora, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and other streaming services. Why would you want a Streaming Stick instead of a set-top box? The reasoning here is simple: don’t you already have enough boxes sitting on your console shelf? If you opt for the Streaming Stick over a box, your shelf space will become less cluttered (or, at least, it won’t become any more cluttered than it already is).
Pricing and Details
If the Roku Streaming Stick sounds like a very cool idea to you, you’ll have to wait just a bit longer to obtain your own Stick. Roku hasn’t yet announced when the company plans on sending these sticks to store shelves. There’s also no word yet on how much Roku will be asking for one Streaming Stick, but the company has told press that it plans on pricing the Stick in the same ballpark as current Roku set-top boxes.
Aside from the one drawback mentioned above, it’s hard to see anything majorly wrong with the Roku Streaming Stick. Of course, those who reside in countries where Hulu Plus and Rhapsody aren’t available won’t have any luck using the Streaming Stick any more than they would using a regular streaming box, but that’s not Roku’s fault. If you are in the market for a streaming device, this reviewer recommends waiting for Roku to send Streaming Sticks to stores everywhere – this is one device worth waiting for, it seems.