Roku is playing in the big leagues with todays announcement from major panel manufactures stating they will comply with MHL implementation standards and provide support for the forthcoming Roku Streaming Stick. Due to be released later this year, the Streaming Stick takes advantage of the MHL port, not the HDMI port, on newish TV’s. Check out the MHL Compatibility Site for a full listing of compatible televisions. This list is updated regularly, so check back if you don’t see the set your looking for at the time. Expect several more “B” and “C” panel dealers to show up on the list soon.
This new device, first debuted at the CES, will allow your MHL equipped television to play with services like Hulu Plus, HBO and the like without relying on the internals of the TV to keep up with streaming set top box technology. Chas Smith of Roku, said “The Roku Streaming Stick adds instant access to the leading streaming platform with virtually no overhead from manufacturers, while giving consumers the best streaming experience available” This is a big plus with the rate of change we are seeing in televisions and set top boxes.
For the techno hungry folks, here’s a few tidbits from wiki on the MHL specifications as they relate to HDMI.
-Power is transmitted thru the cable, unlike HDMI. Typically used for charging a mobile device or powering a MHL to HDMI dongle
- Resolution limited to 1080P
-Typical MHL connector is a micro USB, same as found on many mobile devices (hurry up Apple I now you’re working on it)
-Interoperability of devices guaranteed thru use of the HDTV remote control thru the CEC feature
So what does all of this mean to you? Basically, if you are in the market for a TV, make sure it’s on the list of compatible devices. This ensures you will be able to partake of the MHL/Roku goodness that’s to come with the Roku Streaming Stick release later this year and stream your favorite premium content shows to your new TV.