Forget about making room on your entertainment center for yet another set-top box, Roku's Streaming Stick packs the same functionality into a package that's no bigger than a typical USB flash drive. Roku first unveiled the device at the beginning of the year with a promise to ship it in the second half of 2012 for anywhere from $50 to $100. Making good on that promise, Roku today said its Streaming Stick will be available to purchase in October for $99.99.
Use of the Streaming Stick requires a Roku-ready device with an MHL port, the first of which will land on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. They include televisions from Apex Digital (LE3243R, LE3943R, LE4243R, LE4643R), Insignia (NS-46E480A13A, NS-55E480A13A), and Hitachi (LE42S606, LE42T506, LE46S606, LE46T506, LE55S606, LE55T506, LE55US16). Other makers have said they will support the device, including Element Electronics, GlobalView International, Haier, Mitsubishi, Onkyo, and more.
"The Roku Streaming Stick extends our platform beyond the set-top box and into a range of consumer electronics devices. Manufacturers can now deliver a complete streaming experience without painstakingly building it themselves," said Chas Smith (PDF), senior vice president and general manager, Roku platform OEM business at Roku. "And because the Roku Streaming Stick will only get better over time -- with more channels, new features, and frequent software updates -- customers can be confident that they will always enjoy the best possible streaming experience."
Roku said when purchased separately and not bundled with a device the Streaming Stick comes with a Roku enhanced remote that can be used for motion controlled games. As for the Streaming Stick itself, it has built-in Wi-Fi, a processor, memory, and software so that you can hook it up to your home network and control it with your TV remote. It gives full access to the Roku Channel Store with over 500 channels, Roku says.