Roku LE, or is it SE? | Image: Roku
Ever since it appeared as the original Netflix streaming box, Roku has delivered internet video via box, stick, or embedded TV software. However, for Black Friday this year, Roku is releasing its cheapest device that I can remember seeing, the $15 Roku LE Streaming Player.
It’s a 1080p-only box that does exactly what you’d expect from a Roku player, but it will only be available from Walmart.com today and in Walmart stores on the 26th. We don’t have detailed specs, but it’s the same box Roku offered last year on Black Friday for $17, which has been selling at Walmart for $30 or so ever since as the Roku SE.
For Roku and Walmart, it doesn’t really matter where this box came from. Walmart gets a cheap box to promote its Black Friday sales online and in stores. Roku, meanwhile, double dips by using the attention to highlight holiday discounts on more expensive and more capable hardware in its lineup, and it inducts a few more of the users that provide, on average, $40 per month in revenue from advertising, commissions, and data.
Speaking of those discounts, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is available for $29.99 (Amazon, Best Buy, Target) instead of the usual $49.99. The Roku Streambar is available for $79.99 (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart), a $50 discount from its usual $129.99 price, and the same goes for a $15 Streaming Stick+ discount that brings its price to $29.99 (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart). All of these prices are in place until December 4th.
So is there any reason for you to keep an eye out for the $15 box if you’re doing some shopping on Friday? Not really. The Roku Premiere that can handle Apple AirPlay, 4K, and HDR is available for $19.99 through Saturday (Target, Best Buy), or you could even get a Roku Express for $10 more without any hassle.
But if you also need a replacement IR remote, this Roku LE comes with the company’s latest model in the box (it doesn’t have voice control, but it swaps out the Vudu shortcut button for Apple TV Plus), and an individual remote costs $15 by itself anyway, plus you get another HDMI cable.