(NASDAQ: ROKU) Roku is revamping their lineup of streaming TV set-top boxes rolling out updates to the Roku Ultra, The Roku Streaming Stick, the Roku Express and the Roku Express+. Roku will not be updating the Premier and premier+. On the heels of a very successful IPO the company will give investors more to be excited about.
The new line will range from the budget-friendly Roku Express at $29.99 MSRP to the Roku Ultra at $99.99 MSRP . The good news for streaming fans is that price drop on the Roku Ultra comes with an increase in its capabilities.
All of the models support HD streaming as a starting point while the higher end devices will support 4k HDR.
“Our new streaming player lineup provides performance, price and features to meet our users needs so they can sit back, relax and enjoy their TV viewing experience even more,” said Chas Smith, general manager of Roku TVs and players. “Consumers will love our new sleek Roku Streaming Stick+ with an innovative advanced wireless receiver that gives up to four times the wireless range and a remote that controls TV volume and power. It makes 4K and HDR streaming simple.”
One of the biggest upgrades coming with the new models including the Roku Streaming Stick and the Roku Ultra will be the ability to control the volume on a number of TVs as well as a power button that will be able to turn the TV off all from the actual Roku remote, negating the need to keep two controllers handy when streaming. This makes for a more all in one experience almost making a regular TV more like one of the Roku Powered TV the company has been marketing with a number of partners.
Roku OS update for the Roku powered TVs includes the ability to change live channels with the voice remote. This will include local channels. That should be a major innovation for customers who will no longer have to navigate a TV lineup without a number pad on the remote.
More details on the new models:
Roku Express and Roku Express+:
Great for those who are looking to stream to the TV for the first time or extend their Roku OS experience to other TVs in the home. The second-generation Roku Express and Roku Express+ are five times more powerful than their predecessors and start at only $29.99 MSRP.
The Roku Express+, which will sell exclusively at Walmart, offers the same streaming experience, with options to connect via HDMI® or composite A/V ports (red/yellow/white jacks). $39.99 MSRP. This means it will connect with older TVs for those who have not upgraded to HD TV, though keep in mind you will not get HD picture unless you have an HD TV.
Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+:
Small, powerful and portable for those who are on the move or want their streaming player hidden behind their TV. Features quad-core processor and 802.11 AC dual-band MIMO wireless. Now comes with a voice remote that includes TV power and volume buttons that can control compatible TV models and the Roku Streaming Stick together. $49.99 MSRP.
Roku Streaming Stick+ boasts exceptional wireless performance with its advanced wireless receiver that is innovatively built into the power cord. This new model offers up to four times the wireless range than the 2016 Roku Streaming Stick to minimize buffering. This solves a problem that a number of families have dealt with by considering the placement of their router. The device provides 4K and 4K HDR up to 60 frames per second (fps) streaming. $69.99 MSRP
The most powerful and feature-packed player offers the best wireless performance and can stream HD, 4K and 4K HDR with up to 60 fps. The Roku Ultra features an ethernet port for wired connectivity and a micro SD slot to help speed up streaming channel load times as well as the new programmable remote that allows consumers to power up and change the volume on the TV, plus use voice to find favorite shows. The Ultra also sports the popular headphone jack for private listening and a remote finder button that helps locate lost remotes. The remote finder is one of my favorite features. It fixes a lot of frustration. $99.99 MSRP.
The new line of streaming players will be available for pre-order beginning today from Roku, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers; and is expected to be in stores around Oct. 8. Roku Express+ is available exclusively at Walmart beginning Oct. 8.