We were intrigued by Roku's Streaming Stick dongle when we saw it back at CES, and today the company has announced that the device will be shipping this October for $99.99. The Streaming Stick is essentially a Roku box that fits in the palm of your hand: it connects to the HDMI port of an MHL-compliant television and provides all of Roku's services without the need for an external box or remote. (MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link, a proposed industry standard that allows devices to connect to and be powered by high-definition televisions.)
To make things easier on consumers, Roku has partnered with several television brands — including Hitachi and Insignia — that will be specifying certain models as "Roku Ready" to ensure compatibility with the Streaming Stick. As previously reported, some of the televisions with even be bundled with the Stick for the full Roku experience right out of the box. Those that purchase the device separately, however, will receive a special remote with motion sensitivity for use with games on Roku's platform.
In conjunction with the announcement, Roku is also adding Vudu to its line-up of channels as well as updating both its Android and iOS apps. The updated apps are now able to stream photos and music to compatible Roku devices, expanding upon the remote control functionality they currently provide. If you're a Roku owner and would like to try the new capabilities for yourself, the updated apps are available now.