Roku’s new $50 streaming stick tries to take on Chromecast

Gigaom

Roku has been downplaying the effect of Google’s (S GOOG) $35 Chromecast stick, but the company clearly knows when it should take some cues from the competition. Case in point: Roku is launching a $50 streaming stick that looks a lot like Chromecast, but is still a Roku product at heart.

Roku’s new streaming stick is being made available for preorder now, but will ship to customers and come to store shelves in April.

Roku Streaming Stick HDMI Version_Plugin

The new stick comes with a dedicated remote that uses Wi-Fi Direct, much like the Roku 3, but it doesn’t feature the same headphone jack available on the Roku 2 and 3 streaming players. It also features the same UI and access to the same 1,200 channels as existing Roku products, including the recently-launched YouTube (S GOOG) channel.

The device will plug straight into a TV’s HDMI port, and use an external USB adapter for power…

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