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Roku Bows New Devices, Upgraded Operating System

2 Oct, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Purchases include $10 Vudu movie credits through Oct. 31

Flush with investor funding, Roku Oct. 2 unveiled five new streaming video players, in addition to upgraded operating system, Roku OS 8.

Starting at $29.99, the entry-level Roku Express is five-times faster than its predecessor, according to Roku. The $39.99 Roku Express+ enables connectivity via HDMI or composite A/V ports (red/yellow/white jacks) and is available exclusively at Walmart, beginning Oct. 8.

Indeed, all new Roku purchases include $10 credit toward movie rental/purchases at Walmart-owned Vudu.com.

The $99.99 Roku Ultra is $80 less than Apple TV 4K and can stream HDR10 content, but not Dolby Vision. Apple TV 4K accommodates both, in addition to offering exclusive access to 4K studio movies via iTunes. 

“Our new streaming player line-up provides performance, price and features to meet our users needs,” Chas Smith, GM of Roku TVs and players, said in a statement.

The Roku Streaming Stick ($49.99) features a quad-core processor and 802.11 AC dual-band MIMO wireless. It comes with voice remote that includes TV power and volume buttons that can control compatible TV models.

The enhanced Roku Streaming Stick+ ($69.99) offers up to four times the wireless range of the 2016 model to minimize buffering. It combines 4K Ultra HD and HDR picture quality with the portability of the stick form factor.

The Roku Ultra features an Ethernet port for wired connectivity and a micro SD slot to help speed up streaming channel load times. The new remote enables users to power up and change volume on the TV, plus use voice to find favorite shows. There’s also a headphone jack for private listening and a remote finder button that helps locate lost remotes.

The Roku platform provides access to 500,000 third-party movies and TV episodes plus more than 5,000 channels. The ad-supported Roku Channel, which launched a few weeks ago, features hundreds of movies with no fees, subscriptions or login required.

The new line of players are available for pre-order from Roku, Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, among other retailers; and expected to be in stores around Oct. 8.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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