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Roku announces $49.99 Streaming Stick, a Chromecast, Apple TV rival

Roku has announced a new device for its lineup: the $49.99 Streaming Stick.

The device is a small stick that users can plug into the back of their HD TVs through the HDMI port to stream video content from the Internet. The Streaming Stick must also connect to an electrical outlet or the USB port of a TV for power.

"This new tiny player plugs discreetly into an HDMI port -- perfect for those beautiful wall-mounted TVs -- and packs the complete Roku streaming experience," Roku said in a blog Tuesday

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The Streaming Stick comes with the same features as the $49.99 Roku 1 but is faster than that device and is also a lot smaller. The Streaming Stick can stream 1080p HD video, has access to all of Roku's more than 1,200 channels and comes with a Wi-Fi remote control. The Streaming Stick can also be controlled using the iOS and Android Roku apps.

The device is available for pre-order online from its website and will ship to users in April.

The Streaming Stick is a direct competitor to Google's $35 Chromecast and the $99 Apple TV. Recent reports have said Amazon plans to enter the Internet set-top box market, and that Apple plans on launching a new version of its device as early as April.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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