Roku has unveiled five new devices, as well as a new version of its Roku OS, as the company looks to stay on top of the streaming device industry against rivals Apple and Amazon.
Roku, however, apparently has set its sights on Apple as its target, with some of its devices firing a clear shot against the Apple TV.
New Roku Devices, OS
Roughly a year since the company revealed the previous generation of Roku digital media players, it has now unveiled five new versions of its streaming players that provide users with a variety of options for their respective needs.
The first two devices are the Roku Express and the Roku Express+, and they are the second generation of the devices of the same name that were released last year. The Roku Express is sold for $29.99 while the Roku Express+ is sold for $39.99, with the extra $10 due to the option to connect through HDMI or composite A/V ports. Both devices, according to Roku, are five times more powerful compared to their predecessors.
Roku also unveiled the new Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+ devices, which come with remotes that feature built-in microphones to enable voice commands. The Roku Streaming Stick, sold for $49.99, supports up to 1080p video streaming, while the Roku Streaming Stick+, sold for $69.99, supports up to 4K HDR resolution and up to 60 frames per second.
Lastly, Roku also announced the updated Roku Ultra, which is sold for $99.99. The device can stream 4K HDR content up to 60 frames per second and comes with an ethernet port for increased reliability and a micro SD slot for faster app loading times.
The new Roku devices are now open for preorder and will be available in stores on Oct. 8.The Roku Express+, however, is exclusively available at Walmart.
Roku also unveiled the Roku OS 8, which features several new shortcuts for accessing videos and the integration of programming from over-the-air TV, among many other updates. The operating system will roll out throughout October and November across Roku devices and partner TVs.
Roku vs Apple TV
Roku unveiled two devices that can stream video in 4K HDR, namely the $69.99 Roku Streaming Stick+ and the $99.99 Roku Ultra. Both devices are much cheaper compared to the new Apple TV 4K, which has a price tag of $179.
Roku owns the biggest market share in the streaming device industry, and while Apple has added 4K capabilities to the Apple TV, it will not be enough to offset Roku's biggest advantage — the low price of its devices.