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Roku Streaming Stick adds streaming software to TVs, no box required

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Roku announced the Streaming Stick this morning, a flash drive-sized dongle that plugs directly into your TV and adds Roku's streaming services via the HDMI port.

Roku Streaming Stick
Roku Streaming Stick

Roku announced the Streaming Stick this morning, a new dongle that will add Roku's services to your TV without need for a separate box, cable, or remote. The Streaming Stick is about the size of a flash drive, and includes Wi-Fi connectivity, plus all of Roku's software and streaming apps. It plugs directly into your TV's HDMI port, though only MHL-enabled TVs are supported — MHL is the protocol that allows the TV and remote to talk to an attached device, and it's not exactly universal yet. The Streaming Stick is something of a stopgap solution, making your TV look like it has apps built in until you buy one that actually does. It does have some advantages, though: it should be easier to update than a TV, and Roku's content offerings are pretty much unparalleled. The Streaming Stick will be available in the second half of 2012, and should cost between $50 and $100 — it will be sold bundled with supported TVs, and individually as well.