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Roku is one of the network media players that lets you turn your HDTV into a “Smart TV” by adding an Internet connection. In general, this means that you can access streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The company has announced that it will start carrying its first “linear” channel of programming: WealthTV. Instead of on-demand programming of existing episodes and movies, the WealthTV channel will stream its regularly scheduled content, just as you would receive it on a cable or satellite subscription system.

And this deal adds impetus to the move for a la carte pricing (where you only pay for the channels you want). WealthTV on Roku will require a $2.99 a month subscription fee. The programming will be available in high definition (provided that you have a sufficiently-fast broadband connection), so you’ll be able to watch shows about luxury cars and world travel in drool-inducing detail.

The success of Roku and other devices that bring Internet content into your living room shows that the American consumer is catching on to the advantages. As the installed base grows, these outlets will become more appealing to content producers, especially the niche channels that may be lost in the noise of the average cable system.

Posted by Alfred Poor, January 24, 2011 5:00 AM

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About Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is a well-known display industry expert, who writes the daily HDTV Almanac. He wrote for PC Magazine for more than 20 years, and now is focusing on the home entertainment and home networking markets.