Roku was among the first manufacturers to offer a set-top box that brought widgets, and later apps, to TV sets, so it wasn’t surprising that it would also deliver one of the most innovative and elegant solutions the category has yet seen in the 3400R Streaming Stick.
Simply put, TWICE readers voted Roku’s 3400R Streaming Stick the first VIP Award in the set-top streaming device category because it packed all the power and functionality of a full-sized Roku 2 set-top into a thumb-drive-sized media player. But instead of using a USB port, the streaming stick plugs into an MHL-complaint HDMI input on a TV, A/V receiver or similar device.
Roku stopped short of saying the Streaming Stick will work on all televisions with MHL-compliant HDMI inputs because there remain issues with conformity between some of the early-generation MHL TVs and the device, but those issues seem to be getting fewer and fewer as newer-generation products arrive.
Among some of the first sets that were certified to work with the Streaming Stick are Insignia and Hitachi LCD TVs, select 3M projectors and a number of other TV makes and models.
The elegance of the product is the need to simply plug the Streaming Stick into the MHL port of a Roku Ready TV to get started. Designated TV models will have remotes with the correct button layouts to easily operate all the features and functions of the Roku device.
Further, users have a degree of built-in obsolescence protection because if standards change, all one needs to do is to replace the tiny streaming stick with a new model. No fuss, no muss and little extra expense – the 3400R Streaming Stick has a suggested retail of just $90.