Plug and Play Internet on your TV: Roku launches two new set-top boxes

DIGITAL: New components to retail for $79.99, $129.99

By Danny King — Video Business, 10/27/2009

Roku HD-XR picture
Roku’s HD-XR online-video set-top player is priced at $129.99.

OCT. 27 | DIGITAL: Roku has launched two new online-video set-top players and will launch a Roku Channel Store on its Web site offering content from new partners to be announced soon, the company said in a statement today.


The closely held company, whose set-top boxes let Amazon Video On Demand and Netflix customers play digitally delivered movie and TV titles on their TV sets, has introduced a standard-definition set-top box for $79.99 and a $129.99 high-definition box with an 802.11n connectivity protocol that’s considered better for video-streaming HD content than the $99.99 box Roku released last year. The high-def HD-XR also includes wi-fi and a USB port for future use.

Last year, Roku’s set-top boxes were the first components Netflix used to make its video-streaming titles playable directly on TVs. Amazon began streaming its digital movie and TV titles through Roku set-top boxes in March. Between those two services, Roku users have access to about 60,000 titles.

Roku, which was spun off from Netflix by founder and CEO Anthony Wood, is looking to boost sales with a wider range of both hardware products and content that they can play on TV sets.

The Roku Channel will be launched within the next few weeks, the company said. In the past few months, Roku has started channels for such content providers as Major League Baseball and podcast provider Mediafly. The company also improved the design of its interface for Netflix customers.

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