By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 05, 2014 07:32 AM EST
Roku is expanding its offerings with a new dongle called the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick, which will go head to head with Google's popular Chromecast.
The new Roku HDMI Streaming Stick has just made its debut, providing consumers with a new means of streaming both 720p and 1080p high-definition content. The gadget costs just $49.99 and is shaping up to be a real challenger to Google's Chromecast streaming dongle, which works in a similar way by connecting to a user's wireless network.
"HDTVs rejoice! With the new Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version) announced today, consumers with an HDMI port can now choose the compact stick design pioneered by Roku to stream their favorite entertainment," the company touted in an announcement on Tuesday, March. 4.
"This new tiny player plugs discreetly into an HDMI port - perfect for those beautiful wall-mounted TVs - and packs the complete Roku streaming experience. This means access to 1,200+ channels of movies, TV episodes, music, news, sports, kids' shows and free programming streamed in up to 1080p HD video, plus a TV user interface featuring the beloved Roku Search."
In addition to featuring Roku's intuitive interface and providing access to the system's 1,200+ channels, the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick also comes with a remote that supports Wi-Fi Direct, which means that it doesn't require any line of sight for operation.
In terms of design, the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick is small and sleek, measuring just 78.6 x 26.8 x 11.33 mm and connects directly your TV's HDMI port for extra convenience.
The company has yet to mention an exact date for when its new gadget will hit commercial availability, but the Roku HDMI Streaming Stick is already up for pre-order directly from the company's website and several retailers. As previously mentioned, the streaming dongle comes with a $49.99 price tag and is designed to support HDTVs only. While no exact launch date is available, Roku said that it will start shipping its new gadget in April 2014.
In the U.S., the Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version) is available for pre-order directly from Roku at this link, from Amazon here, Best Buy here, and Target at this link. For international streamers, the dongle costs $59.99 in Canada and £49.99 in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Interested buyers in those regions can place their pre-orders at Amazon.ca, BestBuy.ca, FutureShop.ca, Currys.co.uk, LondonDrug.ca, Staples.ca, Walmart.ca,Roku.com/ca and Roku.com/uk.