Roku-ready HDTVs arrive at Walmart; and other Roku news from around the web

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Roku-ready TV sets are now available at Walmart. The 40-inch and 46-inch K360M, as well as the 50-inch and 55-inch K610 models, by Hisense USA boast the Roku Ready certification. [UberGizmo]

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"Roku Ready" simply means that the device (the TV, Blu-ray player, projector, etc.) has an MHL port that the Roku Streaming Stick fits into. It has Wi-Fi built in to pull in its stream from the local network. The MHL port is powered, like a USB port, so there is nothing else to plug in. It also can be controlled by the TV's remote. In other words, "Roku Ready," is synonymous with "MHL-ready." [Consumer Reports]


The Roku is way more than just the "Netflix streamer" from the days of old. More than channels for streaming movies and TV shows, which it now has 94 of (Netflix being considered a "channel"), it also has music and video game channels, totalling upwards towards 750 altogether.


Some of the top channels on the Roku include: Amazon Instant video, Hulu Plus, Vudu, HBO Go, Fox News, and more. Some sports, like MLB TV, are also in the lineup, so the idea of watching major sporting events like the SuperBowl via a future channel on the Roku box isn't really that far fetched.


Many channels are comepletely free and require no payment beyond the initial purchase payment of the Roku device itself, which ranges anywhere from $50 to $100. Some consider the possibility of the Roku, coupled with various streaming services killing cable and satellite TV sooner rather than later. Sounds reasonable. "Sports" is often the major sticky point, and we see where that is going. [Forbes]


The most popular devices to make the TV smarter are the Roku and Apple TV, even more so than computers attached to TVs. This is because of the lower cost, the ease of connect and the smaller footprint of the devices.
Which of the two, Apple TV or the Roku, is better than the other is really a matter of user requirements and preferences, like anything right?
There are some audio format differences. Plus Apple uses non-standard sized batteries for its remote unsurprisingly. And why does the Roku not support YouTube? [Tech Hunter UK]


The Wheel of Fortune bug is fixed. The latest update, version 5, build 7070, for the Roku 3 was released a few days back. Overall platform stability has improved, some remote control issues have been fixed, and as mentioned, the bug that prevented Wheel of Fortune from being streamed has now been rectified :) [Roku Blog]


Recently launched are some media players by Panasonic, which some suggest can pose a little competition towards Roku and Boxee. There have been two devices launched, available now: DMP-MST60 model with VIERA Connect, priced at $99.99, and the DMP-MS10 model with IP VOD which is priced at $79.99. [TechnologyGuide]
 

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