What’s a Roku? It’s a media player that you connect to your home network, through which it accesses the Internet to get streaming content for your television. It’s a whole lot easier than setting up a full-blown computer, and at about 5 by 5 by 2 inches, it’s a lot smaller too.
The box lets you access content from a wide range of services. Netflix is the one that the most people may want, but it also connects to Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, Major Leage Baseball, and many others. You’ll find news, sports, movies, music, photos, and social media sites. Some require subscriptions or pay-as-you-go fees, but many of them are available for free.
And now Roku has lowered its prices. The Standard Definition (SD) model has gone from $79.99 tp $59.99 (though the Web site shows this model as out of stock). The HD model dropped from $99.99 to $69.99, and the HD-XR model which includes 802.11n WiFi support has fallen from $129.99 to $99.99. If you’ve got a wired network connection near your HDTV, then the HD model can do the job and the $70 price tag brings it down close to impulse-buy range.
Expect to see competition in this media player market to heat up as consumers start to understand what these little boxes can do for them. And prices will probably keep falling.