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Apple TV? What’s that? We’re all about Roku and its amazing, cheap array of streaming set top boxes, and today we’ve got some good news from the company: its Roku media streamers are headed to the UK.

The company has announced that it will launch Roku boxes in the UK and Canada in early 2012. Roku boxes are small, cheap (Starting at $59.99 or £37), and offer more than 350 channels to stream, including American giants like Hulu, Netflix and HBO. Some of the latest Roku 2 models also allow media playback from local storage too, and even play games such as Angry Birds.

Roku 2: Five ways it beats Apple TV

By comparison, the £99 Apple TV is a rather less appealing device in the UK than it is in the US, thanks to its lack of British streaming services, and it’s here that Roku could shine. It says its platform will allow for region specific channels, so you’d have to fancy the likes of BBC and Lovefilm will want to get in there with their own apps.

It’s possible to buy Roku 2 boxes on Amazon right now, but be warned: you won’t be able to watch much of the premium content locked to the US on them for now. We contacted Roku for details on UK channels and pricing, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

(Pictures: The Roku 2 line of devices)

Further reading:

  • Musn’t grumble

    I’m really keen to see what content is provided on this box, if only in comparison to an apple tv (which I own) Apple tv is a great idea, but has not really been developed by apple to it’s potential. Tv programme rentals for example are still missing in comparison to the US, and it has a very stateside flavour. If Roku have managed to come to some content agreements, then I will want to know why Apple has been so slack, and no mistake. Also interesting to compare rental pricing.
    (Frankly, a bit of serious competition with Apple’s products is long overdue and is healthier for the marketplace anyhow)

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree more. Roku could easily outclass Apple TV in the UK. BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Lovefilm, Netflix, Blinkbox – job’s a good’un.

  • Anonymous

    Roku does NOT support AirPlay (streaming.) So for iTunes, iPhone, iPod, Macbook, iPhoto etc stick with the Apple TV2.

    • Mooty

      Wrong, Ive streamed my whole video/iTunes library to this badboy and it worked flawlessly through the Plex app. I can stream any video file type from my iMac to the Roku even in HD. Plex was the reason I went for the Roku. Ive never owned Apple TV so can’t comment on it but I can honestly say the Roku is the Dogs Danglies. Netflix worked great too!

  • MZ

    Given the roku is more expensive than the apple TV (roku aren’t releasing the cheaper model in the UK, although you can ebay them from the US, if you’re prepared to risk it), and there’s almost no content.  An Apple TV jailbroken with plex is a far better option.

    It’s the same hardware as the raspberry Pi (£20) selling for £100, so it’s not that impressive.. that’s a shedload for a case and a remote.

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