Roku's new Streaming Stick gives Chromecast a run for its money

Roku Streaming Stick
Small but perfectly formed?

Roku's Streaming Stick will hit the US in April and brings Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus to televisions without needing a set-top box to house it.

The Streaming Stick plugs directly into the HDMI port of an HDTV and is teeny, tiny enough to be used on wall-mounted TVs as well.

It means you can watch on-demand films, TV shows and music videos on your television using a wi-fi connection, as well as being able to play videos and music from a smartphone or tablet.

Smart TV

You'll be able to use your phone or slate to control the stick as well, thanks to the Roku Android and iOS app - but it does come with a remote control too so you can use that if you prefer.

As well as Netflix, YouTube, Vevo, Spotify and HBO Go, Roku offers over 1,2000 channels including movies, TV, music, news, sports and free programming. It's all delivered to your screen at 1080p HD.

There's also social network connectivity through Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and more.

If you're thinking this all sounds very similar to the Chromecast, then you'd be right. It seems the TV dongle stick wars are only getting thicker.

While US customers can pre-order the Roku Streaming Stick for US$49.99 (which is about AU$55) ahead of its arrival in April Stateside, there's been no word yet on an Australian release. And we probably shouldn't hold our breath, either.

  • Want something more fully-featured? The Roku 3 could be right up your street.
News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.