The Roku Streaming Player, or simply Roku is a series of digital media player set-top boxes manufactured by Roku, Inc. Roku partners provide over-the-top content in the form of channels. The name comes from the Japanese word roku meaning "six" and was named so because it was the sixth company that Anthony Wood (CEO 2002-) started. A Roku streaming device gets data (the video stream) via a wired or Wi-Fi connection to an Internet router. The data is output via an audio cable, video cable, or HDMI cable. The device can be connected to any television set (or other video display device) with appropriate input connections.
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Developers who wish to test their channels before a general release, or who wish to limit viewership, can create "private" channels that require a code be entered by the user in the account page of the Roku website. These private channels, which are not part of the official Roku Channel Store, are neither reviewed nor approved by Roku.
There is an NDK (Native Developer Kit) available, though it has added restrictions.
Roku shares have absolutely exploded in the last week, rising from $18.84 to $45.30 in the past five days alone, after having remained relatively calm since the IPO in late September. We have two ROKU boxes in our home, and a new television we bought a year ago even has the Roku service built in as an integral part of the tuner.