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Roku SE: A $25 video streamer for Black Friday

Roku's latest video streamer is basically just the Roku 1 with a different name, but you can buy it for less than the Chromecast.

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Screenshot by Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Video streamers are already some of the most affordable gadgets you can buy, with most of them priced from $35 (the new Chromecast ) to about $150 (the new Apple TV ). But now Roku is going even cheaper with the debut of the Roku SE. The SE has a retail price of $50, but will be available for $25 for a limited time -- the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend.

If the SE gives you more than a little deja vu, that's because it's the spitting image of the Roku 1 . A Roku spokesperson told CNET that the SE is "similar to the Roku 1 streaming player," and a perusal of the SE's page on Roku's website confirms that the specs are effectively identical: single-band 802.11n wireless, HDMI and analog AV outputs, and an IR remote control.

Like all Roku boxes produced since 2011, the Roku SE will get the latest Roku OS 7 which highlights recommendation features and a better search function. It also has access to over 2,500 channels including the "big" ones: Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO Now, Pandora and Spotify.

And while $25 sound unbeatable, be aware that trading up to the Streaming Stick or Roku 2 will get you a faster experience as well as the updated Netflix app. On the other hand, if you're trying to add streaming video to an old TV (without an HDMI jack), the Roku SE is one of the few streamers (along with the Roku 1) that offers the analog video support needed to get Netflix and its streaming cousins on your old tube.

The order page for the SE says it will be available from November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) in "limited supply." Meanwhile, Walmart's Black Friday ad confirms that the SE will be available at the megaretailer, too.

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