Roku Premiere Rocks 4K HDR For Just $40, Google Assistant Support Coming For All Rokus
This is a direct stab at Amazon, which is currently selling its Fire TV 4K for $39.99 (for Prime Members), but usually costs $69.99 when not on sale. At that price, you'll receive a quad-core processor, 4K HDR10 support, Roku's standard remote, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, and support for Dolby and DTS Digital Surround (via passthrough). You'll also find an HDMI cable in the box which is an added bonus for those that just want to plug in and go.
If you want Roku's more powerful Voice remote, the Premiere+ is priced at $49.99, and will be available exclusively at Walmart. Roku says that preorders for the Premiere and Premiere+ open today, while the 4K streamers will start shipping next month.
In other Roku news, the Roku Ultra is getting a slight update today while maintaining its $99.99 price point. The company is now including premium JBL headphones in the box which can be used for private listening mode. Roku says that the headphones represent a $39.99 value add-in for the Roku Ultra, which justifies its higher price point (compared to the rest of the Roku family) with a standard Voice remote, Ethernet port, USB port for local storage, and 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi.
But that's not all, Roku also today announced that its Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs will soon be updated to support the Google Assistant. That means that if you have a Google Home device or smartphone with the Google Assistant installed, you'll be able to bark voice commands to turn on/off a TV, adjust its volume, change channels, change inputs, etc. In addition, Roku OS 8.2 is being pushed out to Roku TVs. This update brings support for Roku TV Wireless Speakers, provides voice access for Pandora and iHeartRadio, adds automatic volume leveling (to cut down on annoying commercials that blast your eardrums), Speech Clarify and support for Spotify. The automatic volume leveling and Spotify support will be delivered to Roku streaming devices with the Roku OS 9 update.
Roku OS 8.2 is currently rolling in waves to Roku TVs, while Roku OS 9 will initially be available for Roku streaming players in November.