Roku's $70 Streaming Stick Plus With 4K HDR Aims To Crush Apple TV 4K And Amazon Fire TV

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There was a collective "meh" from the media streaming community when Apple launched its Apple TV 4K last month. Priced from $179, many felt that the streamer doesn't really offer much over its rivals besides the ability to tap into the Apple ecosystem. However, Roku, which is the market leader in streaming players, is fighting back with an updated family of products to fight the competition from Apple, Amazon and Google.

The most interesting member of the family is the all-new Streaming Stick+.  This powerful little device has a "dongle" form-factor, and incorporates an advanced wireless receiver that is built into the power cord. This arrangement gives the Streaming Stick+ four times the range of the outgoing Streaming Stick (2016 model).

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More importantly, the Streaming Stick+ now comes with full 4K HDR support, which can be run at a steady 60 frames per second. This is excellent news for all of you 4K Netflix and Amazon Video streaming junkies out there with 4K televisions. The Roku Streaming Stick+ is priced at $69.99.

In other Roku streaming news, the "standard" Streaming Stick has been updated to include a voice remote along with power and volume buttons to control your television (this is a big plus for those that hate swapping between remote). The updated Roku Streaming Stick is priced at $49.99.

The Roku Express and Roku Express+ have been updated with new processors that are 5 times more powerful than their predecessors. The Roku Express includes an HDMI port and is priced at $29.99. The Roku Express+ adds composite A/V ports in addition to HDMI for those that need to connect to older televisions. This streamer is priced at $39.99 as a Walmart exclusive.

Last, but not least, the flagship Roku Ultra will soldier on with its 4K/HDR/60fps capabilities, wireless and wired network support, microSD slot and voice remote with an included headphone jack. However, the price has been reduced to a more palatable $99.

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All of the new Roku devices will be available on October 8th.

“Our new streaming player line up 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.”

The $70 Roku Streaming Stick+ has potential to make the most waves in the market thanks to its lower price tag. Compared to the Apple TV 4K, it seems like an obvious no brainer. For people that simply want to watch 4K streaming content and don't care about purchasing movies through iTunes, it's hard to find fault with the Streaming Stick+.

Where Roku might find some stiffer competition, however, is with the $69.99 Amazon Fire TV. This streamer also offers 4K/HDR/60fps support and a voice remote. However, Amazon is currently offering a sweet deal where you can get the Fire TV plus an Echo Dot for just $79.99. Normally, the Echo Dot costs $50 by itself, so the combo deal gives you a $40 discount. The all-new Fire TV is currently available for preorder and will ship on October 25th.