The new Roku streaming player range includes the Roku Express and Roku Express+, these devices are apparently five times more powerful than the previous models. That performance upgrade should make for a faster and smoother experience while browsing for content and loading apps.
A new Smart Guide connects to your antenna to display info for local channels with ties to your other streaming apps, Roku's universal search now pulls results from local channels as well, the private listening mode for the Roku Ultra will extend to over-the-air channels, and users will also have access to a single-sign-on system for customers that pay for other TV services.
Next is the Roku Streaming Stick and the Streaming Stick+, which cost $49.99 and $69.99, respectively. It will basically be a 4K Roku TV box lite in stick form.
The Streaming Stick lineup also got an overall speed performance boost. As before, the Ultra includes an Ethernet port and can stream 4K, HDR, and 60fps content.
Roku boxes will add live TV to the search menu
Beyond better voice recognition and command cognition, Roku OS will offer the same spectacular universal search function we've come to expect. The company is also rolling out Roku OS 8 to all of the new devices and many older ones. Assuming you have a supported set, you'll be able to use the remote - which comes outfitted with power and volume buttons - to control both your TV and your Roku stick at the same time. Multiple new Roku media players were announced today, along with an all new universal remote and a new OS. The former is still the same old device, but with a chipset that Roku says is five times faster than what we saw in 2016's model.
The boxes also offer a cable-service style listing of live TV, making it even easier to ditch that cable box and cut the cord - so long as you install a broadcast TV antenna. While Microsoft's Xbox One S is a great alternative to the $199 Apple TV - if you are looking for something cheaper, Roku has some new hardware shipping next week.
Viewers without 4K TVs can spend just $30 for the new Roku Express basic-HD box. The Roku Express comes out at $29.99 and the Roku Express Plus comes out at $39.99.
For all its intricacies and little quirks, the Roku Streaming Stick has always been a deceptively simple machine. 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 are expected to be in stores as of October 8 and, up until October 31, will include a $10 Vudu credit. The two devices represent the budget end of the buyer spectrum.