Roku Moves From Black Box to Platform With New Channel Store

Roku's little boxes have been the hardware staple for those looking for a specific device to stream movies and TV from Netflix, Amazon, and and display it on a TV. With so many other devices integrating the real draw functionality (Netflix) these days winding up in homes everywhere, it looks like Roku is finally opening up their little box to content providers with their new "Roku Channel Store." 

New channels now available for customers to add today to their Roku experience via the Roku Channel Store include: Pandora, Facebook Photos, Revision3, Mediafly, TWiT,, Flickr, FrameChannel, Motionbox and MobileTribe. A complete list of free and premium channels can be found here.

The new free channels already are a good addition, but how much more attractive this makes the Roku boxes over a variety of other web to TV streamers really depends on how many content partners they are able to attract and the quality of that content they offer. That said, since all exisiting Roku players are being updated to use the Channel Store (and there's more than a few of them out there), odds are attracting some quality providers shouldn't be all that difficult.

If it really takes off, Roku's affordable boxes could be one heck of a value prop for both consumers and content providers. 

Check out Roku's products at their website:

Full Press Relese Below

Silicon Valley, Calif. – November 23, 2009 – Roku, Inc., maker of the popular and award-winning family of Roku players, announced today the Roku Channel Store and the first 10 free channels for Roku customers to enjoy on their TVs. From internet radio to video podcasts, professional web content to photo sharing and personal videos, the Roku Channel Store provides an open platform for delivering quality content to the TV. New channels now available for customers to add today to their Roku experience via the Roku Channel Store include: Pandora, Facebook Photos, Revision3, Mediafly, TWiT,, Flickr, FrameChannel, Motionbox and MobileTribe. For the complete list of channels, specific channel descriptions and features please go to

These first 10 channels are just the beginning for Roku. Many other developers are working on Roku Channels now, and Roku expects additional developers to adopt the Roku platform over time. New channels will appear in the Roku Channel Store automatically as they become available.
The Roku Channel Store represents an opportunity for content owners and publishers to reach an already large and growing audience of Roku customers. By creating an open platform for delivery to the television over the Internet, Roku has leveled the playing field for content owners.
“The Roku Channel Store turns the Roku player into the world’s first open platform designed specifically for the TV,” Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku, Inc said. “Now content producers and distributors – from single person shops to billion dollar corporations – can deliver their content directly to consumers without having to go exclusively through cable operators, satellite networks or TV affiliates.”
To create a channel for the Roku Channel Store, a developer creates an application using Roku’s free software developer kit. This SDK is available free upon request by [email protected].
All Roku players, including the Roku SD, Roku HD and Roku HD-XR models, are compatible with the Roku Channel Store. The new channels are in addition to the existing Roku channels already available: Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Video On Demand and MLB.TV.
Pricing and availability
The Roku Channel Store will be delivered as an automatic and free upgrade to all existing Roku customers over the course of the next two weeks. New customers will automatically be upgraded when they first install their Roku player. To browse and use the Roku Channel Store, customers will be prompted to create a Roku account. Existing customers who do not want to wait for their Roku player to update automatically can manually update their Roku player immediately. Detailed instructions can be found under the Roku Channel Store tab at
First introduced in May 2008, and updated regularly with free software updates, the Roku player family provides the easiest, most affordable and reliable way for hundreds of thousands of Roku customers to watch their favorite movies, TV shows and sporting events instantly on their TV. All three Roku players are available immediately at starting at $79.99 and include free shipping for a limited time.
About Roku, Inc.
Roku is a market leader in innovative applications for digital media, opening up a new world of entertainment to the TV. Through its work in both software and hardware, the company develops and sells consumer products that give customers the ability to take charge over their entertainment choices, combining high-value content and immediate access to that content at a low price. Its products include: The family of Roku players and the SoundBridge Internet radio line. Roku is privately held and based in Saratoga, Calif. For more information on the company and its products, visit:


I'm thinking that it's getting high time for me to buy one of these. I'm addicted to Netflix Instant Watch as well as Pandora, and the prospect of additional channels in the channel store is pretty promising.


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