Roku Challenges Google’s Chromecast With Tiny New TV Streamer

Roku Challenges Google’s Chromecast With Tiny New TV Streamer

Updated by Endah


Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED


The Roku set-top box is one of our favorite streamers. Now it’s shrinking down and moving to the back of your TV.

The new Roku Streaming Stick, like Google’s Chromecast, is a 1080p streaming stick that plugs directly into an HDMI port. The stick has the same streaming media software features as the rest of the current Roku line, with multiple apps arranged as a grid and persistent search available across channels like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus. Like Roku’s previous boxes, it also comes with an RF remote. This, along with the massive library of apps, is really what sets Roku’s new streamer apart from Google’s offering.

While Google has released an open SDK for the Chromecast, the pickings are still pretty slim. Roku meanwhile has over 1,200 content-streaming apps. The latter’s physical remote also reduces the steps needed to watch TV. Just point and click. If you’re still a fan of flinging content from your phone to your TV, Roku does this with the Netflix and YouTube apps. Like the Chromecast, it’s powered by a mini USB port. If your TV doesn’t have one, a power supply is included.

At $50, the Roku Streaming Stick is $15 more than the Chromecast. But if you’re a fan of just sitting on the couch and enjoying your streaming content without having to be tied to your smartphone, the Streaming Stick is probably $15 well spent.

It’s worth nothing that Roku does have another streaming stick. The Roku Ready uses an proprietary MHL port that resembles HDMI and only works on certified TVs. This new Streaming Stick works on anything with an HDMI port. So yeah, it’s much better.

The Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI) is available for pre-order order today and will ship in April.

Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

Roberto Baldwin

Roberto is a Wired Staff Writer for Gadget Lab covering cord-cutting, e-readers, home technology, and all the gadgets that fit in your backpack. Got a tip? Send him an email at: roberto_baldwin [at]

Read more by Roberto Baldwin

Follow @strngwys on Twitter.



I am a Project Manager (PMP) a Technology and Business Architect providing Data Security, Power, Infrastructure, Software and Hardware E-Commerce and Electronic payments. I live in Jakarta with my wife and children

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