Roku is following Boxee in trying to go global, as internet TV operators of varying stripes compete for place in the living room.
Roku says it will start retailing the UK and Canada from early 2012.
That will go alongside what will have to be Roku’s effort to find local content channel partners for the new markets. Candidates are likely to include Spotify, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), BBC iPlayer, ITV (LSE: ITV) Player, 4oD, Channel Five, Blinkbox and PlayJam. “Content can be free, ad supported or paid,” Roky says.
Roku’s boxes now range from a $49.99 SD device to its $99.99 model.
Boxee took its box and channel-building aspirations in to Europe this year. But YouView, the UK IPTV VOD joint venture run by broadcasters and ISPs with considerable backing, is also due to launch early in 2012, due to include its own host of apps and similar services.
And all of these are up against internet TV suites from TV makers themselves, who can integrate the services on screens without need for separate set top boxes.