How low will the cost of streaming video hardware go? For Black Friday, Roku, the company that makes set-top boxes allowing users to stream video from Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus and other services, said it will roll out a limited-edition product, the Roku SE, and sell it for $25 starting on Thanksgiving.
Most Roku products sell for $50-$100. The SE lacks some of the advanced features of some Roku boxes such as the ability to stream 4K video or to search for programs via voice. But it seems perfectly capable of 1080p video, includes a remote control, and works with iOS and Android apps that provide search features. It will sell at Roku.com and at some retailers in what the company calls a “Limited supply.” The move seems like a shot at other inexpensive streaming products such as Google’s Chromecast ($35) and Amazon’s Fire Stick ($40). Will those products end up dropping to $20 this holiday season to undercut Roku? Stay tuned.
In this space every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.