Roku CEO Anthony Wood recently revealed that Roku was getting another hardware update. This time they've squeezed all of the functionality of the streaming set-top box down to the size of your typical USB flash drive and removed the need for wires of any kind.
The new Roku Streaming Stick will plug directly into an HDMI port on your TV. This eliminates the need for a power cable while keeping all the functionality of current Roku boxes (Wi-Fi, processor, memory and software). The one problem is that it will require an MHL-enabled HDMI port on your TV. The MHL standard allows HDMI ports to deliver power to a device and there are currently only a few of these available from Toshiba and Samsung though more will most likely be revealed next week at CES.
Just like Roku's current set-top boxes the Streaming stick will be available through retail as a standalone product. However, Roku is also partnering with manufacturers to bundle the Roku stick with new MHL-enabled TVs. The first Roku Streaming Stick bundle will be with one of Best Buy's Insignia TVs.
Pricing for the Streaming Stick hasn't been set in stone quite yet, but Roku says the prices will be comparable with their current set-top boxes coming in between $50 and $100. It will hit stores later this year and you can head over to the Roku blog for the full announcement.