The Roku Streaming Stick is slated for release in the second half of 2012, and will be packaged with Best Buy’s Insignia TVs at the retailer’s brick-and-mortar stores. No word on pricing yet, but since the other Roku models are between $49 and $99, it’s safe to assume the Roku Streaming Stick will land somewhere in between, if not at an even lower price.
Roku has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a cheap little box for streaming Netflix. The Streaming Stick is basically the classic Roku box, shrunk down to the size of a USB dongle. Unfortunately for those who own older HDTVs, the device requires a Mobile High-Definition Link-enhanced HDMI port, which is currently only on a small handful of ultra high-end Toshiba and Samsung HDTVs.
So while avoiding the expense of a new Wi-Fi enabled Smart TV with a bite-sized Roku stick is a great idea, in reality — at least for now — the Roku Streaming Stick is limited to a select audience of videophiles who probably already have Smart TVs.