Roku one ups Apple with Roku 2

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Roku has unveiled the Roku 2, which comes in 3 different models.

  • The entry level HD will retail for $59 and support 720p HD video.
  • The XD at $79 will gain 1080p video, and enhanced 1080p playback support and Dolby 5.1 surround sound for Netflix videos.
  • The XS will cost $99, and includes all features as the XD, but also includes a USB port, wired Ethernet capability, bluetooth motion remote and a copy of Angry Birds at no additional cost.

The set-top manufacture is aiming to stay a step ahead of their competitors, particularly Apple.

The Roku 2 XS comes with a wireless bluetooth remote, similar to the Wii remote and the ability to play games on the device.

The first title for the new device will be the extremely popular Angry Birds. Other titles are expected in the coming weeks and months.


Apple TV 3


Apple released the second generation apple TV last September and they typical refresh most of their products annually. It’s highly probable we will see a third generation Apple TV that will include many of the new features of the Roku 2. In fact, there is some evidence that indicates just that. Shortly after iOS 5 beta 4 was released it was discovered that bluetooth support is being added to the device. It’s possible bluetooth is being added with a keyboard in mind but I think it’s much more likely that this functionality is being added for a gaming controller.

For the Apple TV to succeed, full 1080p and iOS apps are almost a must. A redesigned remote will also be necessary in order to play games on the device. Requiring everyone to have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to control the device would not be an ideal solution nor would they be an ideal controller for most games. The existing Apple TV remote has very limited functionality and is barley adequate for the current model. A new remote is a necessity when iOS apps are added.

I would not be surprised to see Apple change the Front Row interface on the next Apple TV. They recently ditched Front Row on OS X Lion and it would make sense to see more of a iOS type interface when apps are added to the device.

All of this is speculation but we should know within a few months what Apple has planned for the next Apple TV.

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