(Pocket-lint) - Roku has overhauled its small streaming stick in the US as the company looks to deliver more power to users keen to make their TVs smart.

The new stick will get a whopping eight-fold processing power boost, private listening through the Roku mobile app, and dual MIMO wireless for greater connectivity to your home wireless network.

Costing $49.99, the updated stick will sport more processing power than Amazon Fire TV stick and Google Chromecast claims Roku.

The new performance boosts, something that will be welcomed by current Roku stick users have been made possible partly thanks to a operating system update: Roku OS 7.1, also announced today.

Roku OS 7.1 adds a number of new features including enhancements to the search and discovery experience by adding new categories within Roku Feed that enable customers to view popular TV Shows and Movies in one place.

Similar to the existing Movies Coming Soon feature, consumers can now easily view these new categories to discover popular movies and TV shows across a variety of streaming channels on the Roku platform. They can then choose to watch a popular movie or TV show immediately, or Follow it in the Roku Feed to receive automatic updates when the availability or price changes, or the movie or TV show becomes available to watch for free.

A new feature, likely to be the envy of other Roku users, will allow users of the new Roku Streaming Stick to connect the stick to an app on their iPhone or Android smartphone and listen through headphones.

Roku has confirmed that the Roku OS 7.1 will be rolled out to all other current generation Roku players through a software update that is expected to be completed this month. The update is expected to be rolled out to Roku TV models shortly after. However the private listening via headphones feature will not be supported on other devices.

The new Roku Streaming Stick is available for pre-order today from www.roku.com. As is usually the case with Roku, it will be available later this month in Best Buy, Walmart and others in the US.

There is no news as to when it will be released in the UK.

Writing by Stuart Miles.