Roku has announced the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick which is their response I’m sure to the vast majority of consumers buying Chromecast instead of Roku devices. Before you discount the Roku Streaming Stick as I did at first glance, please consider it offers the ability to cast and more. Just like Chromecast you can cast Netflix, Youtube, and content stored on your smartphone such as video, photos and music (via Roku app). Even if you disregard the limited ability to cast, you’ll also get the same features you would on a regular Roku box like access to 1,000+ channels including VUDU, Amazon Instant Video(Not available on Chromecast), Netflix and more.
Still not sold on a Roku Streaming Stick? I can understand as it does cost $15 US more than a Chromecast coming in at $49.99 US. Before you write off the Roku Streaming Stick I think you need to consider two things, it can be used in that rare situation where a device to cast from isn’t available and also it comes with a physical RF remote that can be used without having to point it directly at the device. Say what you want about the Roku Streaming Stick, but I’ll be picking one up to add to my upstairs bedroom to stream Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Plex which will replace my Xbox 360. You can pre-order a Roku Streaming Stick from Amazon or directly from Roku’s website. Roku says the Streaming Stick will be available in April and will also be available in Canada for $59.99 and £49.99 in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Be sure to check back for a full review once I get my hands on mine.