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Roku Creates Streaming Stick Version for Any HDMI Port

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Roku announced the first version of its Streaming Stick in September, 2012, a compact streaming device that plugged into an MHL HDMI port and offered a cord-free experience. Today, Roku is adding a new member to the Streaming Stick lineup, the Streaming Stick HDMI Version. This model works with any HDMI port, offering the standard Roku on-screen user interface without a set-top box.

The HDMI Stick comes with a standard Roku remote (not a motion-enabled gaming remote) and lists for $49.99. It's available now for pre-order from several online retailers and will both ship and arrive in stores in April.

The Streaming Stick is powered through a USB connection, which could plug into the TV or an included wall adapter.

"What we're trying to do is offer choice," says Lloyd Klarke, director of product management at Roku, noting that he thinks the HDMI Stick will attract younger customers. The Roku 3 set-top box, he says, is for buyers who want a "fully loaded" experience, while the lower priced boxes are for people who need composite connections to their TVs.

With the release of the original Streaming Stick, Roku partnered with TV manufacturers to create "Roku Ready" sets, so that consumers wouldn't have to worry about whether or not they had an MHL HDMI port. That device listed for $99, then later for $69. The original is now rebranded as the Roku Streaming Stick Roku Ready Version, and will only sell bundled with a Roku Ready connected television. It won't come with a remote, but will work with the TV's existing remote.

Roku is also updating its mobile apps, which can be used to control its connected devices, adding search functionality. Updated iOS and Android apps should be available in early April.

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