Roku is preparing for that impending 4K sea change, and the company has plenty of experience anticipating these kinds of things. Like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or any other streaming console you can think of: Roku is here to help you stream via a device that plugs directly into your television set either through HDMI or, for you box-TV dinosaurs, auxiliary input. Will I need a new TV?
While the Roku 4 showcases the company’s best hardware yet, it by no means outshines the fierce competition.
Roku insists the new streaming player is useful even for folks who haven’t bought a 4K TV yet.
Specific to the Roku 4, is a “4K Spotlight Channel”, which shows curated 4K content from a number content partners as well as from the web like YouTube.
Connectivity options on the box are also prepped for 4K ubiquity.
More on the Roku 4 4K UHD player after the jump. You’ll be able to enjoy the 4K compatible Roku 4 to its fullest potential.
On the remote-control side of the equation, the Roku 4 has a similar remote to the Roku 3. The shortcut buttons from the Roku 2 are at the bottom of the remote, providing quick access to services such as Rdio and Netflix and the private listening headphone jack from the Roku 3 remote is included.
Still, Roku has faced down existential threats before, and the strategy is usually just to keep offering a more practical product. Roku says it now offers 3000 different channels through its streaming boxes and sticks, and that Roku users streamed more than 2.5 billion hours of video and music content in the first half of 2015 alone, compared with three billion hours total past year.
Roku’s newest device also has an upgraded processor for faster speeds, improved Wi-Fi performance, more memory, and a remote locator feature.
The Roku 4 is available for pre-order today from roku.com and major retailers for a MSRP of $129.99. The device will run on Roku OS 7, a new version of the company’s software that will also be available for other recent Roku devices. More importantly, for folks that travel with a Roku, the app and new OS now work with WiFi networks that require a browser-based login like hotel rooms. Roku’s already strong content search tools are getting stronger.
Roku has updated its free mobile app to give Android and iOS phones and tablets better control of the player, while also making it easier to access key features such as voice search and Roku Feed. Now, with just the tap of the screen, consumers can instantly access Search, view and add to Roku Feed, launch Play on Roku to display their photos and videos on the big screen and much more. The new Feed also pushes new notifications on your Roku home screen so you don’t have to wonder when you should check for updates. With Roku OS 7, consumers can now follow movies, TV shows, actors and directors to receive automatic updates in their Roku Feed.