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Roku announces 2017 lineup with 5 new players

by Sean P. Aune | October 2, 2017October 2, 2017 6:00 am PDT

The days of Roku boxes taking up space in your entertainment center appear to be numbered as the company announces its 2017 lineup.

Roku is changing things up a bit this year with its fall refresh of its product line. It follows closely with last year’s line with some new twists.

Roku Express and Roku Express+

First up, we have the introductory level devices in the form of the Roku Express and Roku Express+. These second generation devices start at $29.99 with the Express, but for those who want a bit more, the Express+ will let you turn older TVs into smart TVs thanks to the inclusion of composite A/V ports (red/yellow/white jacks). The Express + will retail for $39.99 and only be available at Walmart.

Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+

The Streaming Stick returns this year with a quad-core processor and support for 802.11AC dual-band MIMO. It also now includes a voice remote to ease searching and navigation. It will retail for $49.99.

The Roku Streaming Stick+ is new this and offers up to four times the wireless range of the 2016 version of the Streaming Stick. It also offers 4K Ultra HD and HDR support up to 60 frames per second. It will retail for $69.99.

Roku Ultra

The top-tier Ultra is back this year with HDR support up to 60fps, but also a very attractive price. Last year was the debut season for the Ultra at a price of $129.99, but this year you will be able to pick one up for just $99.99. It still includes the extras such as a remote finder, microSD support, Ethernet port and more.

Physical hardware, however, isn’t all Roku is updating.

Roku OS 8

Powering all of these devices will be Roku OS 8 which is adding a new guide which will integrate streaming with local broadcast TV you pick up over an antenna. The voice support is also getting smarter with the ability to understand natural language such as “show me movies with Tom Hanks” or “launch Hulu.” It can even understand more detailed searches such as “show me comedies with Will Ferrell.”

Voice search will also no longer be limited to remotes with the microphone button as you will be able to use the Roku app on Android and iOS devices to execute voice commands.

Possibly one of the most exciting additions for users will be the TV Everywhere Single Sign-On. You will now be able to sign into 30 TV Everywhere apps from a single location, so no more finding you’ve been logged out of three apps on the same day.

Roku Players will be hitting stores around Oct. 8, including the Express+ available exclusively at Walmart.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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