Roku unveils new Streaming Stick to compete with Google's Chromecast

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Roku on Tuesday announced a new streaming device that’ll compete directly with Google’s Chromecast. As the name implies, the Roku Streaming Stick is a small dongle that connects via HDMI and packs the same media software found on other Roku set-top boxes – a fact that may give it a leg-up on Google’s offering despite a higher price point.

The dongle measures just over three inches in length and sports Roku’s signature purple color scheme. In addition to the HDMI connector, there’s also a micro USB port used to supply power, an LED indicator and a small reset button.

Roku’s product page boasts access to more than 1,000 entertainment channels with movies, TV episodes, sports, news, music and kids’ programming.

Included with the dongle is a media remote that works via Wi-Fi Direct should you not wish to use your Android or iOS device to control the action. This connectivity method means you don’t need to point the remote directly at your television or even have the dongle in a visible location. Unfortunately, the remote doesn’t include the lauded headphone jack for private listening.

The Roku Streaming Stick will be available next month priced at $49 and is available for pre-order today. That’s a full $15 more than Google’s Chromecast but the company is likely hoping the included media remote and access to a wealth of apps will convince consumers to spend the extra money.

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