Polaroid Plugs Roku Into The Picture

Polaroid, the company known for its instant film cameras, is now looking to add instant streaming to the picture in the form of a new  50-inch HD set equipped to support the Roku Streaming Stick, an HDMI-connected streaming adapter that currently sells for $69.99.

Polaroid is introducing the “Roku Ready” model (50GSR7100), which will carry a suggested retail price of $599.99, at next week’s International CES confab in Las Vegas. The Roku Streaming Stick is compatible with specialized HDMI ports outfitted with the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) spec. Polaroid also this week announced a 50-inch 4K Ultra HD set that will sell for $999.99.

Polaroid is one of a growing number of TV makers and other CE manufactures that have developed products that are certified (opens in new tab) to support the Roku Streaming Stick. Others include Insignia (Best Buy’s CE brand), Hitachi, Element, Hisense, RCA, Proscan, and Haier, among others. 

Direct integration and product tie-ins with those manufactures will be key to Roku’s future, which will face stiff competition in an the HDMI streaming stick market that also includes the Google Chromecast and the Sony Bravia Smart Stick. When it announced a new round of funding in May, Roku said it was working with CE partners that were expected to make more than 3.5 million Roku-ready devices, “predominately TVs,” that would be on retail shelves by the end of 2013. 

Roku announced last April that it had sold more than 5 million streaming video players in the U.S., but has yet to release a more recent shipment figure.