Roku gets into streaming-stick fight with Google

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Roku is getting into an Internet video-streaming stick fight with Google's Chromecast.

Like the similarly shaped Chromecast, Roku's thumb-sized device plugs into a TV's HDMI port and feeds Internet video through a Wi-Fi connection.

The Roku device, announced Tuesday, sells for $50 compared with $35 for the Chromecast. The low price and Google brand cachet have made Chromecast popular since its release last summer.

Google hasn't divulged Chromecast sales, but the stick ranks as the second-most popular electronics item on Amazon.com. Only Amazon.com Inc.'s own Kindle Paperwhite e-reader outsells the Chromecast in the website's electronic section.

Some of the Chromecast's sales may have come at the expense of Roku's line-up of set-top boxes for showing Internet video. The latest box, the Roku 3, sells for $99 and ranks fifth in Amazon.com's electronics sales.

Overall, Roku Inc., which is based in Saratoga, Calif., says it has sold more than 8 million video-streaming devices since its first box hit the market nearly six years ago.

Apple TV is Roku's biggest rival in Internet streaming boxes. Apple Inc. says it has sold more than 13 million of those boxes so far.

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