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Can Roku Stream Video Like Google's Chromecast?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (September 13, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I've been thinking of buying a Roku Net TV streamer box, but I am also intrigued by the Google Chromecast, which is cheaper and can stream video from my smart phone to the TV. Is there any chance that Roku will offer streaming the way Google's Chromecast does? -- Yardley, Baltimore, Maryland.

Yardley, as you know, the Roku Internet TV set-top, which now starts at $40 at, offers hundreds of free and subscription or PPV-only channels via streaming, including
Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass and Hulu Plus. (For more information, click: Roku.)

The Google Chromecast, which costs $35, now offers just two channels via streaming -- Netflix and YouTube, although more are coming (and you can transfer video from your Chrome browser to the TV as well.)

Framed like that, it looks like Roku is the obvious buy. But there is one big difference between the two. As just noted, the Chromecast does allow you to stream video from your smart phone, computer or tablet to the television. This can be convenient because it takes the set-top out of the equation; all you have to do is connect the small Chromecast dongle to the back of the set, download some software and connect the dongle to your wireless network. (For more information on how to install a Chromecast, click: Chromecast.)

Roku, which has emerged as a leader in the Net TV set-top category, obviously realizes that the simplicity of the Chromecast might appeal to consumers looking to reduce some CE clutter in their living rooms.

So, Anthony Wood, Roku's CEO, told an industry conference this week that his company will soon add a feature that will allow you to stream content from a third-party app to your television, just like the Chromecast. writes that Wood did not reveal a launch date for the new feature, but if Google Chromecast sales continue to do well, you can bet that it will be sooner than later.

The tech web site adds that the Roku Chromecast-like feature will essentially turn your smart phone into a remote control, permitting streaming and control of such actions as Fast-Forward, Pause and Rewind.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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