roku streaming stickWhy, asked a reader, do we have Google TV when we could have Roku to bring in channels like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon?

We used to have a Roku player when they first came out, but switched to Google TV later because … experimenting is what we do. But if we were buying now we’d probably go with the new Roku “Streaming Stick.” That’s when it’s available: it’s due to start shipping in mid-April.

The Streaming Stick will be $50 and will bring in Netflix, Hulu and more than a thousand channels. It comes with a remote control, or you can use your smart phone to change channels. It will also let you send photos, music and videos from your phone to your TV.

The chief rival to Roku is Google’s $35 Chromecast. It doesn’t come with a remote, so you have to use a smart phone or tablet to change channels. That won’t bother most smart phone owners, but Roku has more content, including over 31,000 movies.

If you hate tiny keyboards (and Bob does), another way to control the Roku stick is with Logitech’s new “Harmony Smart Keyboard.” It works as a universal remote control with the Roku, Apple TV, and Xbox One. It’s $150 from Best Buy. (What the heck, it’s only money.)

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