Roku’s fall update is in full swing, first with the introduction of Roku OS 10.5, and also with a refresh to the midrange of its line of streaming media players. New to the Roku lineup are the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+.
Both are of the stick variety (as opposed to the little deck of cards shape in the Express line), and both sport 4K resolution, with support for Dolby Vision and HRD10+. Both boast a new quad-core processor that Roku says is 30% faster. More important, probably, is the revamped wireless receiver, which Roku says “offers up to 2x faster Wi-Fi speeds.” That’s not really how Wi-Fi works — and the devices leading up to this refresh already were using Wi-Fi 5 (aka 802.11ac), so we’ll just say that they’re “better” for now.
And all the other Roku bells and whistles are there, including support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple AirPlay 2.
“The Roku Streaming Stick has been a fan favorite for years, and we’ve redesigned it in the Roku Streaming Stick 4K to be faster and more powerful than ever,” Mark Ely, vice president of retail product strategy at Roku, said in a press release. “It’s supercharged so you can stream in beautiful 4K and Dolby Vision, even at a distance from your router and tucked neatly behind your TV. We’ve also added the Roku Voice Remote Pro to the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+, enabling TV lovers to find their remote just by using their voice – it’s also rechargeable and has been getting great feedback from customers. Whatever your streaming needs, we’ve got an incredible product lineup that features innovations from our singular focus on the TV streaming business.”
The only difference between the Streaming Stick — which costs $50 — and the Streaming Stick 4K+ at $70, Roku says, is the inclusion of the improved Roku Voice Remote Pro on the latter, which is rechargeable and features hands-free voice control, along with the ability to remotely find the thing should it go missing.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K will be available in stores and online in mid-October in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ will be available online only in mid-October.
Roku Ultra LT
Roku also has updated the Roku Ultra LT, its Walmart-exclusive version of the Roku Ultra. It’s got a faster processor, more storage, and up to 50% more range on the Wi-Fi radio. It also now supports Dolby Vision for HDR. It’ll be available “in the coming weeks” for $80.