The last major play in the streaming box market has finally delivered the goods. Apple recently launched its 4K-less fourth generation Apple TV, Amazon upped its game with a 4K-capable and bargain-priced Fire TV and Google just last week unveiled a colorful new Chromecast. Today is Roku’s turn with the introduction of an all-new Roku 4.
Roku calls the Roku 4 “its best streaming player ever” and we can definitely see why as it brings with it supports for 4K streaming. Support for 4K TVs is made possible by a [unnamed] quad-core processor that supports 4K streaming at 60 fps. While 4K video streaming is possible, Roku says that the home screen and user interface are still rendered at 1080p. Other hardware features include optical audio out, HDCP 2.2 and 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi.
In addition, the remote still feature voice search and a headphone jack for private listening and Remote Finder feature has been added this time around. A button on the Roku 4 unit allows you to ping your “lost” Roku remote. The remote will then playback sound (which you can customize) to tip you off to its location under your couch cushions or wrapped up in your bed sheets.
Roku is also claiming superiority over its streaming rivals thanks to its “open door” policy. As a result, the Roku 4 supports 4K streaming from many popular sources including Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Netflix, Vudu, and M-Go. And to take that content edge even further, Roku even offers a curated 4K Spotlight channel that displays all 4K movies and TV shows in one place so you don’t have to go searching for content across all available sources.
On the software side, the Roku 4 ships with Roku OS 7, which allows customers to “Follow” their favorite movies, TV shows, actors and directors. Customers can also opt to receive automatic updates to their News Feed that will let them know when a movie by a particular director or their when a new episode of their favorite TV shows is being aired. Current generation Roku hardware will also be upgraded to Roku OS 7 starting this month, while upgrades for all supported hardware should be completed by December.
The Roku 4 is available for pre-order today for $129.99 and will ship later this month.