Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roku signs Best Buy to sell its video players

Engadget is reporting that Roku has signed Best Buy to carry the Roku XD, its mid-priced model ($79.99 U.S.), in its stores. RadioShack will also carry the same model. Frys Electronics will carry the XD and more expensive XD|S model, and BJ's Wholesale Club will carry the XD|S. At the same time, Netgear has announced that it's discontinuing its rebranded version of Roku's player.

Roku's expansion into brick & mortar retail channels will place the brand on stronger competitive footing vs. Apple TV and Google TV, although getting its product into retail is only the first step in building consumer demand for the Roku brand. Apple TV holds a big branding advantage over Roku, and Google TV is considerably more functional. However, the XD is $20 less than Apple TV and around $200 cheaper than Logitech's Revue Google TV set-top box, so price-sensitive customers may go for the Roku, especially if store salespeople can demonstrate it effectively.
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