Roku is joining the Netflix march to high definition, saying it is rolling out a software upgrade to its $100 box. That's catch-up to others. More intriguingly, Roku says it also will move beyond Netflix early next year with HD stream from other providers.
It looked for a while as if Roku was falling behind with its device, which was a pioneer last spring in delivering Netflix streaming to TVs. A number of companies had beaten Roku to Netflix HD. They include TiVo, Samsung and LG Blu-ray players, and Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Roku can't afford to just play catch up. It needs to quickly partner with other video streamers to stay ahead, or at least keep pace with devices like TiVo. The digital recorder seemingly adds a new Web source every month or two.