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3M, Roku Team On Streaming Projector

New York – 3M and Roku formally launched at a press event here Friday a family-targeted DLP Pico-class projector that will come bundled with a Roku streaming stick to access a range of online entertainment services.

Called the 3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku, the tiny projector, which will carry a $299 selling price when it goes on sale exclusively through Amazon on Oct. 22, is being directed at home use, primarily for big-screen family movie nights and similar applications. Dormitories are also seen as a good location for the product.

The target segment has been successfully exploited in the past in larger projector models, like Epson’s MovieMate series that featured a 3LCD projector with integrated DVD player and Optoma’s Neo-i projector that integrated an iPod dock. General Imaging also recently unveiled its iPico projector with iPod/iPhone connectivity.

Using the Roku streaming stick with integrated dual-band Wi-Fi reception, the projector will connect to a Wi-Fi network in the home to access a ready supply of thousands of streaming videos from such services as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video and many others.

The projector is based on a Texas Instruments’ Pico-class Micro Mirror Device display chip with WXGA (1,280 by 768 pixels) resolution and the potential to project a screen size of up to 120 inches and see a watchable image.

The unit’s LED light source is said to produce a brightness output of 65 lumens at the highest setting or 50 lumens at in an energy saving setting.

The projector runs off of an internal lithium-ion battery with two hours and 45 minutes of average life per charge, or from an AC outlet using the power adapter.

  Executives with 3M said the projector is available for pre-orders on Amazon now. Amazon will have exclusive retail distribution rights on the product through the holiday selling season, 3M said.

The projector measures 7.8 by 7 by 4.5 inches and weighs 1.3 pounds.

The unit’s I/O ports include an MHL-complaint HDMI port that is used to connect the Roku stick, and a headphone jack that can be used for powered external speakers (the projectors includes one smaller internal speaker as well).

The Streaming Projector ships with a standard remote and will be compatible with Roku’s optional Game Remote ($20), which adds motion-control and dedicated gaming buttons.

Amazon will also offer customers making preorders a $20 Amazon Instant Video credit.