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Roku Announces Five New Streaming Players

03 October 2017

One of the biggest updates that comes with the Roku OS 8 to turn on their TV and control pretty much everything with just voice.

The new devices include the Roku Express, the Roku Express+, the Roku Streaming Stick, the Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Roku Extreme.

Also coming from Roku are updated versions of the Express and Express+, which Roku claims offers five times the better performance of last year's models. Others include some major hardware and software improvements to existing products along with some excellent price reductions for some of them. Users will be able to see local channel information for one week in the past and two weeks in the future. The content side of TV streaming has also been active.

Now, Roku has become the leader of streaming devices in the US, and the company is taking steps to cement that position. However the processor has been updated and Roku claims it is 50% faster than past year.

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However, Apple has started adding extra features to its gizmo - such as a touch panel on the remote and Siri - and, more importantly, has stopped blocking other companies from its system, so you can now watch Amazon Instant Video, for example. It brings voice control to Roku TVs. With our new remote, consumers can power up and change volume on the TV, plus use voice to find favorite shows. The Roku Streaming Stick+ is priced at $69.99. Starting with the budget-focus offering Roku Express and Express Plus, for $29.99 and $39.99 respectively.

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. Simply press the button and say Tune to ABC - and your TV will do as you say.

The new Apple TV 4K now has even more competition.

All of the new Roku devices will be available on October 8. Like Apple TV, Roku OS 8 includes a single sign-on for OTT apps from various channels that require authentication with a cable provider.

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On the downside, though, the Roku Streaming Stick+ does use a proprietary power cable now. As of the end of June 2017, Roku OS powered TV streaming for 15+ million monthly active accounts which streamed almost 7 billion hours of video and music in the first half of 2017.

But the hurdles to watching the highest quality content are still significant.

Still, for their ultra-low prices, the two have quite a few things going for them, like "five times more power than their predecessors" and, in the case of the Express+, both HDMI and composite A/V compatibility. Park Associates estimates that two-thirds of US households still don't have a video streaming player.

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Roku Announces Five New Streaming Players