Apple TV competitor Roku has announced a refresh of its line of set-top entertainment boxes, with the new Roku LT, Roku 1, and Roku 2 models joining the flagship Roku 3 that was announced in March, along with a new service allowing for the purchase and rental of movies and TV shows.

Specifically, the entry-level Roku LT retails at $49.99 and allows streaming to virtually any TV with support for 720p HD video quality, with the higher-end Roku 1 offering support for up to 1080p video quality and retailing at $59.99. Additionally, the Roku 2 offers the same 1080p video streaming as the Roku 1, but also borrows the Roku 3’s premium remote with built-in headphone jack and dual-band wireless capabilities and now retails for $79.99. The Roku 3 remains the same at $99.99, and features various channels for streaming content and motion gestures with its remote.

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We’re excited to announce that streaming is about to get even better with our all-new family of Roku players. First, like all things Roku, we try to simplify everything about streaming, right down to our product names. The new family features the new Roku 1 and Roku 2 to go alongside the Roku 3 that we launched earlier this year. We have also updated our entry level product, the Roku LT, giving all current Roku players a fun, friendly design.

Second, just in time for fall TV viewing, we’ve added some great new features to give customers more enjoyment and value. For example, we’ve added a headphone jack for private listening and dual-band wireless to the Roku 2, and support for 1080p HD video to the Roku 1.

Roku is also introducing the M-GO movie and TV store, integrated directly on the device’s home screen menu in the U.S. for easy and instant access to a wide variety of movies and TV shows including The Hangover 3 and Breaking Bad. The service also allows for direct billing with a Roku account for buying and renting content.

The move by Roku comes as Apple may be planning to release an updated Apple TV box next month, and comes after the Apple TV 6.0 Software Update last week that featured iTunes Radio and AirPlay from iCloud functionality.

Top Rated Comments

invalidname Avatar
140 months ago
I like my Rokus a lot more than my Apple TV, but I do not get why the company feels the need to put out 4 models with a range of just $50 between the high and low end.

The $10 difference between these models is immaterial, especially when most people buying these things are probably going to be spending $7/month on each of several brand-name services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), with possible exceptions lik the Amazon Prime customer who's buying it strictly as a way of watching his/her Amazon Instant Video library. Who's going to get miserly with the $20 difference between the Rokus 1 and 2, when it's less than 3 months of Netflix?

Still, Apple's got a clear vision, offering just one product in this class. I can see Roku maybe doing the $50 bare-bones and the $100 Roku 3. But four models seems nuts.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenomorph Avatar
140 months ago
I'm a fan of Roku. I have one and I got one for my mom.

I'm not a fan of all of these models.

The low-end one (Roku LT) works with composite (great for older TVs). It can't do the stuff the higher-end ones can do.

The mid-range ones (Roku 1 and 2?), they have some stuff the top-range (Roku 3) has, but lack its speed. One is just limited (artificially?) by its bundled remote, or something.

Then you have the Roku 3. It doesn't have all the features, either, as it lacks support for old TVs.

It's like Android devices. There are too many, and none do it all.

They should have two models. High-end 3, then low-end 2. Why have 4 models?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gotluck Avatar
140 months ago
Rokus are very good but I feel the sentiment of 'too many models'
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
140 months ago
I never come across those anymore anyway — but if I did, I'd just transcode them. I'm quite fond of iVI by the way, which will convert, tag, and export your file right to iTunes.

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You mean search within the library of stuff you're streaming from iTunes. Yeah, it's a silly oversight, but I guess I don't have enough video to make it a problem for me. 90% of the time, I'm in Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, etc, which all have their own search functions.

What I've really always wanted is a "meta queue" — a single place in the interface where you could search for and queue up content regardless of which of those channels it's on. I'd like to be able to go to ONE place in the ATV interface (or Roku's for that matter) and type "Daily Show" or "Big Lebowski" and have my viewing options come up without having to rummage through all those separate channels.

This is something that seems more likely for Roku than AppleTV. Only because AppleTV isn't going to "encourage" people to option for something other than iTunes. (My opinion). Whereas Roku is all about providing the user with whatever content they want.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lactoes Avatar
140 months ago
I like my Rokus a lot more than my Apple TV, but I do not get why the company feels the need to put out 4 models with a range of just $50 between the high and low end.
Exactly. No one doubts that Roku is putting out a great product, but they are grossly missing the KISS principle here. Having to compare too many variations on the same product is confusing and tiring for consumers, especially the wave of non-techies that should be the company's next target audience.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
140 months ago
I have a Roku--a couple of years old now. Bought it mostly for Amazon VOD but I really like the Apple TV a lot better. I have a first gen ATV and it still works great and more importantly, I am able to update it with the latest software unlike my outdated Roku--that is important to me so I will continue to use my ATV as my primary streaming device.

Erm, wrong, the first gen Apple TV was the one with a hard disk and it has been years since the last software update!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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