’s family of streaming media boxes have proven as popular as anything in that market, and the company is rolling out a refreshed lineup with new names: the Roku 1 and Roku 2 (which are more in line moniker-wise with the Roku 3, launched earlier this year
), as well as an entry-level offering called the Roku LT.
The Roku LT will run you just $49.99 and offers up to 720p HD quality. The Roku 1 is a step up and offers 1080p HD for $59.99, and the Roku 2 ($79.99) adds a headphone jack and dual-band wireless capabilities. The flagship Roku 3 ($99.99) has the same features as the Roku 2 but with Ethernet and USB ports, a remote control, and motion control support.
And of course, the devices all feature the array of streaming media options as before, including Netflix
, Hulu, HBO GO
, Redbox Instant Streaming, and more. However, one curious new feature is M-GO, a TV and movie rent/buy service that’s front and center on Roku’s user interface.
M-GO is a relatively new service, and it offers users the ability to rent or buy TV and movies from its store, which is integrated onto the Roku boxes and will actually be an automatic software upgrade for the whole Roku line this October--including the older Roku HD, Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and more.
M-GO’s M.O. is to offer an incredibly simple interface that gives users access to the largest catalog possible; and if it doesn’t have something, M-GO is designed to locate it for you from elsewhere, be it Amazon, or iTunes, or Netflix, or some other service.
That, of course, makes it ideal for a product like Roku, but M-GO also makes a bold statement: Thanks to its deals with Hollywood studios, the service claims to offer new releases “weeks, if not months” before Netflix. If that’s true, and with everything else the service offers as well as its prominent placement on Roku devices, M-GO might be ready to make some noise in the streaming entertainment market.