Roku, Inc.

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Roku, Inc.
Industry Consumer electronics
Broadcast media
Founded October 2002; 14 years ago (2002-10)
Headquarters Los Gatos, California, United States
Key people
Anthony Wood (CEO)
Products Roku: Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku TV
Number of employees

Roku, Inc. (/ˈrk/ ROH-koo)[2] is an American private company that manufactures home digital media products. The company is based in Los Gatos, California.[3] Roku manufactures a variety of digital media players that allow customers to access Internet streamed video or audio services through televisions, including subscription-based services as well as services that are available through the receiver free of charge. Roku licenses its hardware and software to other companies.[4][5][6]

Company profile[edit]

The company was founded in October 2002 as a limited liability company (LLC),[7] by ReplayTV founder Anthony Wood. Roku (六) means "six" in Japanese, a reference to the six companies Wood has launched.[8]

Legacy products[edit]

Roku's consumer products line-up included:

  • PhotoBridge HD1000, a system for displaying images on a high-definition television, as well as streaming MPEG video. The unit has four card readers on the front and can read from a CompactFlash Card type II, Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, or SmartMedia Card[9]
  • Roku SoundBridge, a network music player[10]
  • SoundBridge Radio, a network music player with built-in speakers and subwoofer, AM‑FM receiver, volume-ramping alarm clock, preset buttons, SD slot, and headphone jack[11]

For retailers, Roku also produced:

  • BrightSign solid-state media player, designed to drive HD displays in a retail environment.[12]

Roku's audio products did not use internal storage but relied on Wi-Fi or Ethernet to stream digital audio over a network, either from Internet radio or a computer attached to the same network.[13][14] Roku introduced the Radio Roku Internet radio directory in August 2007; Radio Roku provides a directory of Internet stations, accessible from a web browser or from SoundBridge players.

Roku Streaming Player[edit]

The XD/S has HDMI and component output for high-definition video on new and older televisions.
Main article: Roku

Roku Streaming Players are set-top boxes for the delivery of over-the-top content. Content is provided by Roku partners, identified using the "channel" vernacular. Each separate channel supports content from one partner though some content partners have more than one channel. In May 2011, Roku stated the Streaming Players had over one million viewers and had delivered 15 million channel downloads.

Both on-demand content and live streaming are supported by the devices. For live TV streams, Roku supports Apple HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) adaptive streaming technology. Both free and paid "channels" such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and others are available, as well as some games.

Roku Streaming Players are an open-platform device with a freely available SDK that enables anyone to create new channels.[15] The channels are written in a Roku-specific language called BrightScript, a scripting language the company calls "similar to Visual Basic".[16]


  1. ^ Evangelista, Benny (April 16, 2012). "Roku pins TV's future on Internet streaming". SFGate. Hearst Corporation. p. 2. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ogden, Jon (April 26, 2007). "Re: 'Rock You' or 'Row Coo'". Roku Forums. Roku, Inc. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Company". Roku, Inc. September 14, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ Brustein, Joshua (October 3, 2013). "Roku's Survival Will Take More Than Beating Apple TV". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ Hachman, Mark (October 27, 2010). "Roku Says It Will License Platform". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ Gibbs, Sam (August 1, 2013). "Now TV Box Review: This £10 Box Is Miles Better Than It Should Be". Gizmodo (UK ed.). Future Publishing. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Form D: Notice of Sale of Securities" (PDF). US Securities and Exchange Commission. January 18, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  8. ^ Stevens, Cindy Loffler (December 5, 2012). "Roku's Anthony Wood". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ Howard, Bill (January 11, 2005). "Roku PhotoBridge HD1000". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Roku SoundBridge review". CNET. CBS Interactive. March 27, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Roku SoundBridge Radio review". CNET. CBS Interactive. March 22, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Roku Announces BrightSign High-Definition Solid State Media Player" (PDF) (Press release). Anaheim, California: BrightSign. June 19, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ Greenhill, Larry (May 13, 2007). "Roku SoundBridge M1001 network music player". Stereophile. Source Interlink Media. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  14. ^ Frakes, Dan (April 28, 2006). "Review: Roku SoundBridge Radio". Macworld. IDG Consumer & SMB. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (November 23, 2009). "Roku Bows Online Store". Home Media Magazine. Questex Media. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Developers". Roku, Inc. March 29, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]