ROKU is an American, privately held, consumer electronics company that sells home digital media products. The company is based in Saratoga, California. Roku manufactures a variety of digital media receivers that allow customers to access internet streamed video or audio services through televisions. This includes subscription-based services as well as services that are available through the receiver free of charge.
Roku is a tiny little box that streams movies and channels to your TV set. Is the box that tiny? Yes, the ROKU LT weighs 0.3 ounces and 3.9 x 3.9 x 1 inches. The box will connect to your TV through an AV cable or HDMI cable and requires an internet connection. The older models require you to connect using an Ethernet cable to the modem but the newer models have inbuilt Wi-Fi. The most amazing feature on the box is the Plex media server which boasts a smooth interface that lets you watch any movie you own or have rented on any device including your tablet and Smartphone.
Roku comes preloaded with various channels like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU and HBO GO – The list is endless. After setting up – This little box will allow you to stream films, TV programs, music, photos, video sharing and games. To top it off, you can also browse international news, sports, clips and more
On May 20, 2008 was the first Roku Netflix Internet video streaming receiver box, the Roku DVP. The NXP-powered device runs Linux. The XD / S have HDMI and component output for high-definition video in new and older TVs.
Prior to fall 2010, three versions of the Roku DVP were available: Roku SD, HD and HD-XR. The Roku SD streams only standard-definition (SD) content .The Roku HD streams both SD and HD content.
On July 20, 2011 Roku updated its product range with three new boxes. Also introduced was the Roku Remote, which uses Hillcrest Labs' Freespace motion control technology, so users can control games with natural gestures. The Netflix application was for the Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS revised. On October 29, 2012 the feature "Roku Search" has been added. This feature allows users to film and TV show titles, actors and directors for multiple services such as Netflix on Roku Search, Go Amazon Instant Video and HBO.
On March 5, 2013 Roku announced the release of their updated media player, Roku 3, with a CPU that is five times faster than the Roku 2 XS, and a Wi-Fi Direct remote instead of Bluetooth. The Roku remote control 3 contains a headphone jack (headphones included with the delivery) for a private playback mode.
Should Comcast, Time Warner, Dish and other providers worry?
To answer the question posed by the title of this article, Roku — by itself – definitely won’t kill cable and satellite. But, along with other streaming options, it will further put a dent in the oligopoly of home video providers that has been continually raising its prices over the years. Roku gives users a choice. You can subscribe to just the channels you want or just pay for just the shows you want to watch. And, because almost all of these channels are also available to watch on the web and/or on mobile devices, you also get a choice as to where to watch your shows.