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The $50 Roku LT doesn't disappoint

CNET's quick hands-on with the $50 Roku LT confirms that it will be the best streaming-video-box value this holiday season.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The $50 Roku LT showed up in the CNET office today, and it lives up to the hype.

We were worried that Roku would have to cut some serious corners to hit the $50 price point, but after some quality hands-on time with Roku's new budget streaming-video box, it looks like a winner. It delivers everything that's great about the Roku experience (Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and now HBO Go) and it's just as responsive as the more expensive models. There are hardware limitations (no Ethernet, USB port or microSD card slot), but we think those are acceptable omissions if you're buying the Roku strictly to stream content off the Web.

The Roku LT also doesn't support 1080p video like the step-up Roku 2 XD, but HD streams from both Netflix and Amazon looked awfully good on our 58-inch plasma. Unless you're really picky about image quality, you won't notice the difference.

We'll be posting a full review soon, but so far we haven't found any reason why this wouldn't be the best streaming-video box value out there.