To take on the 4K Apple TV and the new 4K Fire TV from Amazon, Roku has completely overhauled its lineup of media streaming boxes. The new media streaming boxes from Roku consists of five different players to cater to a wide range of audience.
Out of the five players announced today, the Roku Express is the cheapest with a price tag of $29.99. There is also the Roku Express+ which is meant for older TVs as it offers an HDMI port as well as composite A/V ports for connectivity. It will be available exclusively through Walmart for $39.99. Roku says both these players are up to five times faster than their predecessor.
“Our new streaming player line up provides performance, price and features to meet our users needs so they can sit back, relax and enjoy their TV viewing experience even more,” said Chas Smith, general manager of Roku TVs and players. “Consumers will love our new sleek Roku Streaming Stick+ with an innovative advanced wireless receiver that gives up to four times the wireless range and a remote that controls TV volume and power. It makes 4K and HDR streaming simple.”
Next in line are the Roku Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+. These portable media streaming sticks feature a quad-core processor, dual-band AC MIMO, and a remote with voice control. The Streaming Stick is priced at $49.99 and is capable of only streaming Full HD videos. The $69.99 Streaming Stick+ features up to 4x times better wireless performance than its predecessor and is capable of streaming videos in 4K and 4K HDR at up to 60fps.
Finally, there’s the Roku Ultra, the company’s most powerful and feature-rich media streaming box. The Ultra features an Ethernet port, microSD card slot, fast Wi-Fi ac, and provides one with access to over 500,000 movies and TV shows along with 5,000+ channels. It is also capable of streaming 4K HDR videos at 60fps. It also comes with a voice remote, a remote finder button, and a headphone jack. Despite these improvements, Roku has managed to reduce the price of the Roku Ultra to $99.99. This makes the Roku Ultra substantially cheaper than the $179 4K Apple TV.
All new Roku media streaming devices are available for pre-order. They will hit retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and others from October 8. Customers who buy a Roku in October will also receive a $10 Vudu credit.
Alongside its new media players, Roku also unveiled Roku OS 8 with improvements aimed at Roku TV users. The new OS will allow users to switch on their TV and tune into their favorite channel or program using the voice remote even when their TV is off. Similar to tvOS, the new OS also comes with single sign-on, private listening mode, Smart Guide, and more. The new OS will roll out to all Roku streaming boxes in October and TVs in November.[Via Roku]