Roku drops price on STB as it readies for release of Apple TV and Google TV

With Apple likely to announce a new Apple TV box tomorrow carrying a $99 price tag, and Google planning to roll out its pricier Google TV platform before the end of the year, over-the-top set-top-box maker Roku is going on the offensive on the pricing front, hoping, no doubt, to position itself as the best value.

An email from the company announced plans to lower the cost of the line of boxes substantially. The entry level Roku SD drops to $60, and the top of the line Roku HD-XR falls to $100. All have integrated WiFi, with the primary difference between the three models is that the SD is SD streaming-only while the HD supports HD streaming via HDMI and component and the HD-XR has everything the HD model has plus dual-band WiFi N and a USB port.

"We feel like Roku is still a huge value leader in this space and will continue to be well-positioned as competitive offerings are introduced this Fall," wrote Roku spokesman Brian Jaquet.

He also said the Roku HD-XR would get 1080p streaming support later this year via a free software upgrade. Most of Roku's content partners stream 720p currently, so 1080p is primarily focused on personal content streaming from a USB drive.

Roku streams Netflix, Major League Baseball, Amazon VOD, Flickr, Pandora and content from an increasing array of providers.

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