Roku is one of the biggest names in the set-top box market, and today the company announced two new devices for that market plus a new software update for existing users.
The Roku Ultra is a new box that offers improved Wi-Fi performance, boasting up to 50 percent better wireless range. There’s an ethernet port on the back of the device if you’d prefer a hardwired connection.
Roku’s new box supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for sound and picture, respectively, as well as HDR10 and HLG. Support for up to 4K video is included, too. Roku touts that the Ultra also includes a “new and improved quad-core processor” that makes this box its “fastest and most powerful player ever”.
The remote included with the Roku Ultra features voice support, personal shortcuts, a headphone jack for private listening, and a lost remote finder feature.
You can pre-order the Roku Ultra now for $99.99 and it’ll ship on October 15.
Also announced today is the new Roku Streambar. This is a combo soundbar and streaming box, offering four internal speakers with Dolby Audio support plus 4K video, HDR10, and HLG. There are HDMI 2.0a (ARC), optical, and USB 2.0 ports on the back of the device, and Bluetooth is included as well if you’d like to beam some music to the Streambar from your phone.
This isn’t Roku’s first soundbar, but the Streambar is less than half the size of the company’s Smart Soundbar (14 inches vs 32.2 inches). It’s also cheaper, with the Roku Streambar coming in at $129.99 versus the Smart Soundbar’s $179.99 price tag.
The Roku Streambar is now available for pre-order and will begin shipping on October 15.
Lastly, the Roku OS 9.4 update was announced today. It’ll begin rolling out to Roku devices this month and will bring support for Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit on “select 4K Roku devices”. Airplay 2 will allow iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to easily beam content to their Roku, while HomeKit will enable iOS users to control their Roku using Apple’s Home app and Siri.
The new update also enables users to access The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide directly from their home screen. Surround level control for multi-channel audio is in there, too, as well as more free channels for users like Bloody Disgusting TV, The LEGO Channel, MOVIESPHERE, HappyKids.TV, and iFood.tv.
Roku says that owners can also expect performance improvements like faster initial setup, improvements in launch times for top channels, and faster video start times, plus updated Theme Packs to customize the Roku home screen.
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