The New Roku LT Only Costs $50 (!!!) and Has HBO Go (!!) (Updated)

Illustration for article titled The New Roku LT Only Costs $50 (!!!) and Has HBO Go (!!) (Updated)

The Roku's a hell of a great video streamer—really the only mainstream contender against the Apple TV. The latter's interface is slicker, but as of today, it costs twice as much. Yep—Roku's newest box is only 50 bucks.

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The LT, now $10 less than the previous entry model, has almost everything its more expensive siblings have, sans things you'd probably never use anyway, like Bluetooth or a MicroSD port. It also tops out at 720p—but hey, so does Apple. Other than that, it's the same old Roku—same cornucopia of channels, same tiny puck size. And now it's purple! Which I actually don't mind. Then again, I loved the purple GameCube. Overall, a crazy-great price on a video box. Unless you're really nuts about 1080p, AirPlay, or iTunes, the Roku LT should be an easy decision.

Another semi-big piece of Roku news is the arrival of HBO Go. The same subscriber-only content you've been able to stream on your phone or tablet is now on your Roku too, across all models.

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Both the LT and HBO Go channel should hit within the next month. [Roku]

Update: Dave Zats says HBO's told him Go will run mostly at 720p, but "the plan is to bring 1080p, 5.1 surround to the living room in the near future."

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DISCUSSION

WestwoodDenizen
WestwoodDenizen

For $200, the WD TV Live Hub still seems like a better deal to me. This and the Apple TV both top out at 720p and offer no support for MKV's.

Meanwhile, the WD plays MKV's natively, and will stream MKV's at 1080p over a decent wireless network without a hitch. Not only that, it has a terabyte of internal storage that you can stream from to any other device in the network that can handle standard Windows Media sharing. It also has support for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, and any of 20 other popular streaming sites.

Most people don't seem to realize how rare native MKV support is in a streaming box, but it's the standard for uploaded HD content these days.

Of course, not everyone is going to want to burn $200 on a streaming box so I can understand the need for a variety of price points.