Roku announced the launch of a new product line of so-called Streaming Sticks on Wednesday that will enable consumers as well as TV manufacturers to add Roku’s platform to TVs simply by plugging a USB-stick-like device into a special HDMI port. Roku is partnering with Best Buy to sell the stick together with the retailer’s Insignia TVs, but it will also make it available separately to consumers by this fall. Roku’s Streaming Stick will essentially offer the same capabilities as its current lineup of set-top boxes but with a much smaller form factor. The stick will be about as big as a USB flash drive, Roku CEO Anthony Wood told me during a phone conversation on Tuesday. Roku’s stick makes use of Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), a new display-port technology that was originally invented to connect cell phones to HD TV sets. MHL is self-powered, so Roku doesn’t need to ship the device with any power adapter. The technology also allows users to control their Roku stick with their existing remote control. The downside of MHL is that it is still really new. Currently only a few TV sets are supporting the standard. Wood told me that he expects many more manufacturers to jump on board this year. Of course, many of these new TV sets will also come with built-in app platforms. So why would consumers spend an additional $50 to $100 for a smart-TV dongle? Wood told me that he sees a lot of potential in lower-priced TV sets like the ones from Insignia that don’t bother with adding Google TV or Yahoo Widgets, and he added that a separate stick is easier to update than a solution embedded in a TV.