The Roku Stick's Got a Motley Group of TV PartnersS

Roku is launching a streaming stick later this year, and now it's announced some hardware partners for the upcoming device. Problem is, they're like that weird friend you always call when you don't have any plans and all your more interesting and exciting friends are busy.

They're all pretty second-tier, which is a little disappointing because this unobtrusive gadget has worlds of potential. Problem is, all the top manufacturers—Samsung, Sharp, Vizio, Sony—are all busy peddling their own app platforms, or have committed to Google's. Here are the JV companies Roku's bringing on:

Element Electronics
Global Vue International
Haier
Hitachi
Insignia (Best Buy's brand)
Mitsubishi
Onkyo and Integra
OPPO and TMAX Digital

For a refresher, the thumb drive-sized stick holds the same stuff a regular old box does, without all the extras like USB, additional storage. You just plug it into your TV's MHL-compatible HDMI port to get the Roku menu you're already familiar with. It's a great idea, and one that deserves better dancing partners. We'll see how it pans out this fall.