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Roku raises $60 million for set-top business (1 Viewer)

Kevin Collins

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Fidelity and Hearst Corp. as new investors.
Numerous previous investors, including News Corp., BSkyB and Dish invested again, as well. The total the company has now raised is $130 million, says CEO Anthony Wood.

Wood says the company will use the money to make Roku the standard for smart TV operating systems. Wood (rightly) believes that most companies, with the exception of Samsung, will not want to invest in new software for smart TVs, and he wants Roku to ease into that role.

The company has sold over 5 million set-tops to date, but Wood says sales are "strongly accelerating."

Following Microsoft's unveiling of the Xbox One, it appears Roku will have even more big name competition besides Apple and their Apple TV.

roku-3-official-afterdawn.jpg
 

Steve Tannehill

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I have a Roku 2 XS and two Apple TV's. I see no need to upgrade to the Roku 3 (pictured above) because the only thing it adds is headphones and dual band wifi. The software it runs under is supposed to be a free update to the Roku 2 series, and was supposed to be available this month (although I have not used it in a while to verify).

If Apple TV ever picks up HBO Go and Amazon Streaming (unlikely) there will be no need for a Roku in my equipment stack.
 

Chris Gerhard

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My Roku 2 XS and Roku LT were both updated to the new menu system recently. The Roku 3 uses a much better processor in addition to the dual band Wi-Fi and headphone jack which gives it greater potential for more significant upgrades. I use Google TV for must internet TV access, it does so much more but Roku does a few things better or easier and adds a couple of things I can't do with Google TV.

I think Roku is going to do well with their very simple, very limited approach to internet streaming, it is just so easy to set up and use and works really well.
 

Michael Elliott

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I think that free upgrade involves a whole new format and a great search option. I have the previous version of Roku (before R3) and a week or so ago it updated this search field that allows you to look up actors or directors and it will pull all of their films and tell you which station they can be viewed on.
 

Chris Gerhard

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I can't find much in the way of useful searches with Roku, new version or old, but I don't use the mainstream services like Netflix and Amazon Prime now. Google TV has far better search functions, encompassing OTA and various streaming services but I don't even bother with those much and let the YouTube app find what I might want to watch on YouTube through recommendations and new from subscriptions and use TiVo to find OTA programs to watch.

I think Roku is raising money for developing and pushing their service to be built in to displays and further development of their inexpensive set top boxes will be limited to trying to add content.
 

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