Roku is certainly generating a lot of buzz with its upcoming Streaming Stick. That's probably because when the pint-sized product lands this month, it will come packing over 600 channels of entertainment options into a gadget that looks a lot like a USB thumb drive.
All of that entertainment on the fly is awesome, but does anyone really enjoy watching content on a pocket-sized screen? Not when 3M can blow that stuff up.
The manufacturer just announced the 3M Streaming Projector, an equally compact option that's designed to work with the Streaming Stick. At 4.3-by-4.2-by-2 inches, the 3M Streaming Projector probably won't fit into your pocket, but it certainly makes it worth carrying a backpack or a purse.
For $299.99, the projector package includes one Streaming Stick (MSRP: $99), as well as a remote and a power adapter. When the Stick and the projector are hooked to a WiFi network, you can have instant access to all of those Roku channels, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Pandora, Angry Birds, and much more, with eye-popping images up to 120 inches. (Just remember that some fees and/or subscriptions may be required for some of those Roku services.)
Boasting some of the same technology found in movie theater projectors, the 3M Streaming Projector lists a brightness of up to 60 lumens and a WVGA resolution. The company doesn't get too specific on other specs. However, this thing is built to travel, with a built-in speaker and audio out for external speakers or headphones.
According to 3M, the projector also has a rechargeable battery. That means that if you can't be tethered, you'll get about 2.75 hours of entertainment on the fly. That translates into approximately one movie, a couple of episodes of Mad Men or maybe even a pretty evil grudge match of You Don't Know Jack. The 3M Streaming Projector should be able to project all of that content on any wall, a ceiling, or even an actual screen, if you have one handy.
Roku has started taking orders for the $99 Streaming Stick, with plans to ship it this month. Pre-orders are also being taken for the 3M Streaming Projector on Amazon. If you buy one through the online retailer before October 31, 2012, Amazon will also throw in $20 of free Amazon.com credit. That means that you should be able to test out some of that streaming action for free when the Streaming Projector ships on October 22, 2012.