CES 2012: Roku launches in the UK

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

Roku made its European debut today, launching in the UK. “Consumers living in those two countries can choose from two of Roku’s best-selling models in the U.S. – the Roku LT and the Roku 2 XS – with both now available for pre-order at Amazon.co.uk,” according to their release.

As the internet-connected, non-MSO set-top box industry matures, it’s great to see the international growth. Roku recently launched a stick that can turn any TV into a smart one and are now bringing a few of their devices to TV viewers across the pond.

Here are details of what content will be available followed by an interview with Ha Thai, Director of Corporate Communications for Roku.

Roku currently features more than 40 channels of content in the U.K. and Ireland including on-demand films and programmes from Netflix and Crackle (Crackle is currently not available in Ireland); live and on-demand sports from MLB.TV and Ultimate Fighting Championship organisation; music from Classical TV and TuneIn; photos and videos from Facebook and Flickr; news and entertainment from WSJ Live from the Wall Street Journal, FoxNews.com and others from around the world – plus casual games like Angry Birds. Roku expects to announce additional major content channels by the time its players ship to customers in the U.K and Ireland.

Lost Remote: Why launch in the UK now?

Ha Thai: Netflix launched their service in the UK yesterday. We believe we can have the same success with Netflix in the UK as we’ve had in the U.S. In addition the availability and quality of streaming content is growing in the UK – we are launching with more than 40 channels to start.

LR: How will Roku make TV more social in the UK?

HT: UK residents will have access to social video and photo sharing sites (on their TV through Roku) including Facebook and Vimeo. Main takeaway however, is Roku is bringing a high quality and low cost TV streaming experience, without the need for a PC. The TV in general is the most social screen in the home.

LR: When will the new stick be available in the UK?

HT: We have not announced timing for UK yet.

LR: How does the UK market differ than US? What region is next?

HT: There are obviously differences in awareness, adoption and availability of content in the two countries and we will have to communicate our products accordingly. We have announced that a Canada launch is also happening in 2012.