Roku is a public company now, so that means it needs to keep shareholders happy.
It can do so with new products and updates. But the company also tends to refresh things every autumn. So that means we're due for some news from the company. And like clockwork, it has announced a lineup that consists of five new-ish players. First up is the $29.99 Roku Express, which is now five times more powerful than its predecessor.
Next is the $39.99 Roku Express+, which received the same spec upgrade. It's meant for classic TV owners, however, as it has options to connect composite A/V ports. Then, we have the $49.99 Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+. The first offers HD video, a quad-core processor, and 802.11 AC dual-band MIMO wireless.
It also comes with a new voice remote that includes buttons for TV power and volume to control compatible TVs. Out of all these updates so far, the $69.99 Roku Streaming Stick+ is the most exciting. It boasts 4K and HDR compatibility, and up to four times the wireless range of its predecessor. It's meant to rival Amazon's new Fire TV dongle.
It comes with Roku's new voice remote, too. Roku isn't done there, though. It also lowered the price of its most powerful, feature-packed streaming media player, the Roku Ultra, which can stream HD, 4K, and 4K HDR at up to 60 fps. It costs $99.99, works with the new remote, and includes a headphone jack and a remote finder button.
To compliment these hardware updates, Roku announced its new Roku OS 8 software. It brings voice control to Roku TVs. Voice control and search have also been updated with enhanced natural language understanding. Other features include a Smart Guide and a search feature with information about local broadcast TV programming.
Additionally, a 4K spotlight serves up 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision content. If any of this interests you, Roku's new lineup is now available for pre-order at Roku.com, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and other retailers. They will be available to buy from 8 October. Roku OS 8 should begin rolling out from early October, as well.