On Monday, Roku announced the introduction of Roku OS 8 along with five refreshed devices that will support coveted features like 4K resolutions and HDR in streaming content. All of these new sticks and boxes are already available for pre-order and will launch next week.
The new lineup of Roku devices is coming right in between the Apple TV announcement, the new Amazon Fire TV introduction, and the upcoming reveal of the new Chromecast Ultra this Wednesday. Google will reportedly present its new streaming box (or disc?) two days from now along with the new Pixel phones.
As is expected from Roku, its competitive prices and rich features make it one of the most attractive options in the market. Roku OS 8 adds several enhancements to voice controls, user experience, and broadcasting options to its new product catalog, so let’s dig right in.
Roku Express and Roku Express+ – Price: $29.99 and $39.99
The Roku Express and Express+ are the company’s entry-level devices. As they themselves put it, these are great for older or secondary TVs, as well as first-time streamers who are finally making the jump and cutting the cord.
For $29.99 you can get the Express with a simple remote, 1080p HD streaming, wireless connections, and all the features of the mobile app. The Roku Express+, available exclusively at Walmart, costs $39.99 and brings a composite A/V connector on top of the HDMI so it can work on older sets.
Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+ – Price: $49.99 and $69.99
The Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+ are your to-go options if you are looking for portable streaming. Just like a flash drive, they stick to the side of your TV and deliver your content wherever you are, and now you can browse with the included voice remote too.
A $20 price gap separates the two, and with good reason. Only the Roku Streaming Stick+ supports 4K, HDR, and advanced wireless reception while the standard Stick is more of a readymade solution for viewers who care more about easy-to-set up experiences.
Roku Ultra – Price: $99.99
Finally, the crown jewel is back with all the features that made it a worthy rival in the first place. Designed with heavy streamers watching on their primary TVs in mind, the Roku Ultra now costs $99.99 for people to get the most out of their box and content.
The Ultra is the only device in the lineup that supports storage expansion via micro SD and USB. Its voice remote comes with a headphone jack for personal listening, dedicated gaming buttons, and even a remote finder. You can also enjoy night listening mode in the late hours and connect via Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.