Roku just announced the Roku 4, its first set-top box to support 4K streaming. The new streaming unit is available for pre-order now for $129.99 and will be available later this month.
The Roku 4, which has a larger body than any of its predecessors, offers plenty of compelling features. TechnoBuffalo sat in a meeting with Roku chief marketing officer Matthew Anderson who walked us through some of those new functions, including a demo of 4K video streaming at 60 frames per second, which seemed to work flawlessly.
In an effort to highlight early 4K content, applications such as Netflix will have special 4K tags that show customers when 4K viewing is available for specific titles. Additionally, Roku will have its own 4K Showcase, which will highlight content that’s available in ultra high definition resolution.
Roku 7, the new software that powers the Roku 4 and that will roll out to other Roku units in mid-October, now allows users to follow specific actors, directors, movies, tv shows and more, instead of just movies and TV shows. A new mobile application will allow users to manage parts of the Roku, such as My Feed, while they’re away from the TV set. The app only works on the same Wi-Fi network as the Roku for now, but will expand out of the house later.
One feature we’re really excited about is a new Hotel and Dorm Connect feature, which allows you to easily log into Wi-Fi portals that require a browser log-in using the Roku mobile application. Now you won’t have to worry about using your own hotspots or special gadgets to gain that kind of access.
We also really liked how well Universal Search works through the voice remote. It now seems to dive into most of the popular third party applications and, without delay, allowed us to search for TV shows across multiple streaming service providers. If the title is available for free, Roku will surface that at the top of the query list.
The Roku 4 can be ordered now from Roku.com.