Roku launches 4K player
James R | On 07, Oct 2015
Roku has launched its new streaming player, with an emphasis on the number “4”.
The fourth iteration of the streaming media device arrives hot on the heels of new models from Apple TV, NOW, Chromecast and Fire TV, but Roku has a secret weapon up its sleeve: Ultra HD. The box supports both UHD and regular HD televisions, with the ability to pump out 4K pictures when required, something that places its visual quality above the competition.
The company, which has already established itself as one of the leading figures in the connected TV markets, positioned itself ahead of the pack earlier this year when it released a voice search that could find titles across a range of platforms – unlike Amazon’s voice search, which is limited to Amazon services. Since then, Apple TV and Chromecast have both introduced the feature in their new boxes. Now, Roku is continuing to set the agenda by introducing 4K support.
The box, which is powered by a Quad-Core processor, supports 4K for Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, ToonGoogles, Vudu and YouTube, with up to 60fps streaming. The interface also highlights available UHD titles with a “4K Spotlight” channel offering quick access to higher quality visuals and a 4K Ultra HD menu category to highlight compatible apps.
Other developments are more idiosyncratic. Alongside its remote control with voice search, Roku 4 also includes new Remote Finder feature, which allows users to locate their lost remote control, although it also does away with the remote altogether by launching an updated mobile app for Android and iOS devices, which allows for full control of the shiny black box. Another curious addition is the ability to connect your Roku player, TV or Streaming Stick to Wi-Fi networks that require a sign-in through web browsers, such as those found in hotels and other public locations – presumably for those who go on holiday but still watch Netflix or those who simply get bored in the library.
That feature is part of the new Roku OS 7, which is rolling out to current-generation players in the UK, US and Canada, with software updates expected to be completed by the end of November.
While the features top others on the market, though, the price for the new box does the same: the current expected price tag is $129.99 in the US. There is no word on a UK release date or price yet.