Lexington is top Roku-streaming city in U.S.

ctruman@herald-leader.comApril 11, 2013 

Roku has sold 5 million players since 2008.

Roku, a content-streaming firm, said this week that Lexington is the top city in the United States for using its online streaming receiver.

That puts Lexington ahead of such tech capitals as Seattle (No. 3), Atlanta (No. 4) and the San Francisco Bay area (No. 5). Salt Lake City was second on the list.

The Saratoga, Calif.-based company used customer data from around the United States to determine which areas have the most Roku players per capita.

Some of you might ask: What is a Roku? The device is a plug-in digital media receiver that's connected to a user's television to allow them to stream content from online entertainment providers. Roku streams programming from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu among others; it also allows streaming of games such as Angry Birds and music videos on Vevo.

A variety of special-interest channels also are available through Roku's Channel Store, including the Mormon Channel and RT, a Russian-based channel that portrays life in the United States through a unique lens.

Similar devices include Apple TV and the Boxee Box.

The company said it has sold 5 million Roku players since 2008.

Roku statistics indicate that on average, Roku players stream an average of 13 hours a week to a TV, but 25 percent stream more than 35 hours a week.

In January, Roku and Time Warner Cable announced a deal under which cable subscribers could log in using their cable credentials to stream live TV in their homes. Time Warner had made apps like this available on the iPad, iPhones and through web browsers, but its "TWC TV" is the first time that a connected TV device has the cable company's programming.

Roku spokesman Kelly Hickman said Roku views itself as complementary to cable and satellite TV and not as a "cable cutter;" 70 percent of Roku users have a cable or satellite subscription.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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