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Roku Streaming Stick shrinks the set top box experience

Roku has announced a new HDMI stick device called the Roku Streaming Stick, which promises to turn virtually every television set into a smart TV.

Looking every inch like a plug-in internet dongle or a USB memory stick, the Roku Streaming Stick slots into a spare HDMI slot on your TV and grants it all the abilities of your average smart TV.

You can then use the bundled remote control or your smartphone or tablet (with the updated Roku app) to browse TV channels, apps, and other Roku content.

It’s not quite as elegant as that – you’ll also need to then plug the device into a spare USB port or wall socket in order to draw power – but the Streaming Stick promises to be a lot less cumbersome than a dedicated set top box.

The Roku Streaming Stick then works like other Roku devices, offering access to more than 750 channels – some of which are available in 1080p HD – as well as popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and BBC iPlayer. Roku claims that it provides “more channels and genres than any other TV streaming device.”

You can also cast your personal media from your smart devices to your TV using the Roku Streaming Stick, rather like the Google Chromecast.

You can pre-order the Roku Streaming Stick now. It should be available in the UK, US, and Canada in April for a recommended retail price of £49.99.

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