This Christmas, my mother received a Roku as a Christmas gift. This was the second year that I’ve seen someone near me receive one and it is always a lesson in technology adoption and behavioral changes when someone is learning their way around that device. Just the idea of a generation of people who grew up on few channels and scheduled programming moving to watching free and paid programming, all on demand. Its a dream (even amongst the frustrating moments) for her – and made me wonder a lot – why isn’t Roku downloadable on my mobile as a certificate, authenticating my device to their servers, allowing me to use the same Wi-Fi home connectivity and HDMI capabilities of my Nokia N8 to do the same?

Roku-as-a-Service? Running from my mobile? Yup.

And I know that they have thought about it at various points in their existence. Heck, even seeing their new Streaming Sticks product, that’s obviously geared to those folks who are probably using their HDMI-equipped laptops as TVs, that has to be in there somewhere.

And I am looking at my mobile device, which has as much capacity and ability as their current set-top-boxes, and wondering why its not even been done. It is simple:

  • You don’t need a custom app, though you could argue that modifying the app stores on each platform to have a Roku channel store section would make sense
  • Devices that have composite and HDMI output capacity wouldn’t diminish the quality of their approach
  • There’d need to be some constraints: use of Wi-Fi only, can only be utilized when the output cable is connected, and maybe integrated with a TV/media-specific UI like Nokia Big Screen so that UI and remotes could be best utilized

It makes too much sense. Heck, here’s the challenge to whatever’s left of Nokia’s Symbian-working teams (probably doing stuff that would remain in BetaLabs):

Why wouldn’t you do a content agreement with Amazon, Netflix, Roku, and possibly companies like Disney, PBS Kids, and professional sports leagues turing the Big Screen app into a literal mobile-powered theatre?

Media is a service. Transcoding devices are already owned with our mobiles. Why not?

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