HDMI would be so much more convenient, but with more TVs packing MHL links in 2012, this is certainly a welcome addition to the lineup.
The thing that really bothers some folks about streaming boxes like the Roku player is with the concept of adding yet another box to their home theater setup. There's only so much room and, let's face it, there's something to be said for a good looking living room.
Roku's new streaming player does away with the box completely. The Roku Streaming Stick is a nice, tiny dongle that hooks right into an MHL port on your TV. Though it's much smaller it doesn't seem to lack for features. You'll still get built-in Wi-Fi and a processor capable of running the Roku user interface. Whether the interface or any other features had to be simplified for the Stick is an unknown at the moment.
The folks at Roku aren't just selling the Streaming Stick as a standalone product - TV manufacturers are going to pack it in with their sets as a way for customers to enjoy Smart TV features on a TV that would normally lack them. The only brand doing so in the near future though is Insignia. We've already seen TVs and receivers announced with MHL support, so the Streaming Stick may find a happy home.