Starting later this year, the tiny-as-you-can-get Roku box that sat next top or under your television will no longer be a box. Soon, the next revisions of the online content streaming devices will be behind your televisions; plugged into your HMDI port, and will be shaped like a USB drive.
The new Roku Streaming stick, actually holds and does just about everything the current Roku box does—despite its size. However, you will be sacrificing extra storage, USB jacks, and the device is missing any and pretty much all input ports. However, after you plug-in the Streaming Stick to your TV’s HDMI port, you’ll see the recognizable Roku menu and all the streaming selections you’re used to from the old, tiny black box, which you can control with your standard TV remote. It’s now unknown whether the new (or “updated”) device will offer 720p or 1080p resolution, nor how much it’ll cost, but like the current set of boxes, there will be multiple models eventually, meaning that at least one might support full HD.
However, the Roku Streaming Stick has one major catch: the device requires a special type of HDMI port called “MHL,” which only a few current TVs support at the moment. While it’s true that the standard could be picked up in the future, it’s likely true that you will not be able to use the new Roku Streaming Stick with your current HDTV (and since I own a 2008 Vizio 1080p HDTV, I won’t be able to use this device). But for anyone who’s in the market for a new HDTV, you’ll have no problem being able to use this new online streaming accessory.