The makers of the Roku digital video player announced the release of two models, the Roku SD player, retailing for $79.99, and the Roku HD-XR, listing for $129.99. The addition of these two models expands the family of players to three; the original $99.99 Roku HD player debuted in 2008. All players stream video from Netflix, Amazon's Video On Demand service and MLB.TV. Roku is also offering free shipping on all Roku devices if purchased through Amazon.com or the company's Website.
The Roku players also detect Internet bandwidth and can make on-the-fly adjustments, as well as Wi-Fi capability. It comes with its own remote control and includes all the cables required to connect to a standard television. The Roku players feature composite, S-video, and component video outputs, stereo and optical audio outputs and HDMI integrated audio and video connections. Roku claims the devices, which are about the size of a jewelry box, take only five minutes to set up.
The Roku SD player connects to the TV using the included yellow-red-white video/audio cable and incorporates the aforementioned Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) technology and an Ethernet port for broadband connectivity. The Roku HD and HD-XR players feature high definition (HD) streaming capability, connecting to any TV using HDMI or component video (both products also include S-video or Composite video outputs as well). The Roku HD-XR adds the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11n dual-band and works with legacy routers. Roku notes the HD-XR player also includes a USB port for future use.
"We're introducing a breakthrough price point with the launch of our Roku SD player," Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in a prepared statement. "Additionally the Roku HD-XR is the first Netflix-streaming device to embed next generation 802.11n dual-band wireless connectivity, making it easier and more reliable than ever to start enjoying movies, TV shows, sports and the best online content available, all on the living room TV."
Roku also announced plans to launch the Roku Channel Store later this fall, enabling customers to add new content channels to their Roku experience. Earlier this year, Roku added Amazon Video On Demand, adding 45,000 titles to the Roku platform, including a thousand in HD. The company also offers a line of products aimed at Internet radio users, such as the Roku SoundBridge, which has built-in support for Roku's free tuning service.