Roku announces its 2017 range of streaming players

02 October, 2017, 22:01 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Newly public Roku announces latest lineup of streaming devices

Roku OS 8 will start rolling out later this month and throughout November to older Roku hardware (including boxes, sticks, and televisions), but the company did say that not all devices will receive the new software.

"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. Both are now five times more powerful than the original models. The Roku Ultra costs $80 less than the Apple TV 4K, which would make anyone wonder why they'd buy the Apple TV 4K over the Ultra or Streaming Stick+. Notably, Roku OS 8 adds support for browsing through free over-the-air (OTA) channels when someone plugs an antenna into their TVs.

Next is the $39.99 Roku Express+, which received the same spec upgrade. It brings voice control to Roku TVs. It's meant for classic TV owners, however, as it has options to connect composite A/V ports. There's also a small non-4K Streaming Stick which packs a quad-core processor and an 802.11 AC dual-band Wi-Fi antenna.

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One note on HDR: The Roku Streaming Stick+ only supports HDR10, not Dolby Vision, so if you have a 4K TV with HDR, make sure it supports that format. The wireless receiver has been moved from within the stick itself to the power cord, in order to improve its performance and range. It boasts 4K and HDR compatibility, and up to four times the wireless range of its predecessor.

Additionally, a 4K spotlight serves up 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision content. Realizing this, Roku has just chose to drop the price on the Ultra, bringing it to $99.99 and pricing it to be more competitive with Amazon's new Fire TV. There's an Ethernet port, a remote with a headphone jack, and the device is expandable through the use of microSD or USB storage.

It comes with Roku's new voice remote, too. Next, it's interesting to note that the pictures released for the new models all show "one-touch" access to Netflix, Sling and Hulu, but the lower right-hand button shows a different service for each model.

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With a new feature on Roku TVs, you can. The Roku Channel, which launched just weeks ago, features hundreds of Hollywood hits and more with no fees, subscriptions or logins required. Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) pioneered streaming for the TV and aspires to power every TV in the world.

It's unlikely that the company will leave those territories alone in the furure - especially considering that Apple and Amazon will both release their new streaming devices in those countries - but there's always a possibility that Roku decides to stay Stateside while Amazon and Apple battle it out elsewhere. The company was founded by Anthony Wood, inventor of the DVR.

The Los Gatos, California company is riding a wave of consumers abandoning cable TV and switching to online content, but it faces competition from larger rivals.

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