Hands-on with the Roku Streaming StickAt CES 2012, Brian Cooley gets hands-on look at Roku's new power and control integrated portable streaming stick.
Let's run down my favorite games, Pinochle, Tiddlywinks, High stakes baccarat and my favorite, Hide The Roku Box. Somewhere on me, there is one. It's actually not a box, it's the new Roku Streaming Stick. This is a Roku box and what is basically a slightly oversized thumb drive form factor, however that's not a USB connector, that is a new form of an HDMI connector, new to most of us, anyway. MHL Mobile High Definition Link is what that means. It is an HDMI shape plug, but it has additional connections and to be able to power the device, in this case a Roku box on a stick as well allow remote control pass through between this and the TV, for example it's plugged into. Inside this guy is basically all the guts of a Roku Box. You've got all the technology for the video streaming, you got the Wi-Fi built in and of course the high definition audio video passing through the HDMI part of the MHL connector. Now, this is being supported by several TV makers. These ports are not on every television you're seeing right now, but going forward. You can expect to see it rather commonly. This will be coming out second half of the year from Roku. Pricing is not set yet, but you know it's gonna map roughly to the boxes they have on the market right now. The idea here is when you use this, you don't have to plug in on wall (wort?) somewhere to power the thing. You're not running cables back and forth. We're at the point now, we're the cables are actually bulkier than the Roku box, so this kind takes us toward direction of elegance that make sense for the simpler, cleaner living room that a lot of folks are interested right now. And again, power and remote control all integrated, so second half. We're seeing it here for the first time at CES 2012. I'm Brian Cooley with the Roku Streaming Stick.