Today Westinghouse announced a line of TVs designed to work with the, a USB-key-size dongle that provides the functionality of a full-fledged Roku box -- -- without having to connect additional wires.
The TVs have MHL (Mobile High Definition Link)-enabled HDMI inputs, into which the stick can be plugged. Numerous other MHL-equipped TVs will also be announced at CES next week, theoretically allowing them to also work with the Stick, but many will likely have their own smart TV suites built in, and few will be guaranteed such functionality by offering Roku Ready certification.
CNET spoke to Westinghouse VP of Marketing Rey Roque, who said the company will show a 60-inch, edge-lit LED TV at CES that's bundled with the Stick. The TV's remote will control both the set and the full Roku experience. Westinghouse will also sell smaller sizes (46, 50, and 55 inches) that might also be bundled, as well as Roku Ready TVs that don't include the $99 Stick.
Currently we know about a couple of other Streaming Stick Ready TVs, from Hitachi and. In our review of the latter the Stick worked well, replicating the full Roku experience, so we expect the same from these Westinghouse models.
The Stick is currently a niche product and most buyers would be better served with a standard Roku box, especially when paired with a good universal remote. But if more TVs like the Westinghouse come out, and especially if that $99 price drops, the future of streaming video could be on a stick.