The Roku Streaming Stick is Roku's attempt at making your Smart TV smarter, without the added box. It connects to your TV through an MHL-enhanced HDMI port. MHL-enhanced HDMI ports are the newly proposed standard for all new TVs. The ports will power any device that's plugged in. This is an interesting choice for Roku as you'll essentially need a new TV to use the streaming stick, so it's hard to see where the advantage comes in. This will appeal to people who want to keep their home theater setups clean, without a lot of extra "boxes", while allowing them to keep up to date on new streaming software that comes out.
Roku's real advantage with the Streaming Stick will come with travelers who want to keep their Hulu and Netflix streams readily available while on the road. The caveat, of course, that hotel TVs will be upgraded to include the MHL-enhanced port. It would be nice to carry around a small USB-thumbdrive-sized device around rather than a set-top box or watching on your laptop.
The Roku Streaming Stick won't be available until the second half of 2012 and should cost between $50 and $100.
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