Roku slashes prices on streaming video set-top boxes in preparation for Google TV

Roku slashes prices on streaming video set-top boxes in preparation for Google TVRoku aggressively lowered the prices of all of its internet video streaming set-top boxes yesterday, in an attempt to remain competitive with upcoming web video-to-TV offerings like Google TV, Apple’s revamped Apple TV (which may be called iTV), and Boxee’s set-top box.  Roku’s SD (standard definition) box is now available for $59.99, its HD box for $69.99, and the top-end HD-XR has now squeaked below $100 to $99.99. The SD box was reduced by $20, and both HD boxes saw $30 price drops.  The company mentioned in its email announcement that “competitive products (both current and yet to be announced)” will be available for more than $99, clearly a jab at Google, Apple,  Boxee, and others. Roku has the  early-bird advantage, a healthy variety of content channels from Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora, as well as sports partnerships with the NBA, MLB, and UFC. But with Google TV’s ambitious plans to completely redefine the way we watch television, Roku will certainly have to innovate if it wants to remain relevant.

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