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Roku Updates its Product Line for 2018

by Sean P. Aune | September 24, 2018September 24, 2018 6:30 am PDT

Roku has announced its line updates for 2018, and there are couple new family members joining the family.

On Monday Roku announced two entirely new models are joining its line up. Welcome the Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+ to the growing family. “Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+ are the easiest and most affordable way to stream in outstanding picture quality. Tens of millions of 4K TVs will be sold this year; we’re seeing more content, even live sports, produced and streamed in 4K and HDR as each week goes by,” said Lloyd Klarke, director of product management, Roku. “At under $40, the new Roku Premiere is our lowest-priced 4K streaming player ever, and it’s going to give consumers the best picture quality their TV can handle. It is great for HDTV today and even better if they decide to get a 4K TV tomorrow.”

Roku Premiere Features:

  • Clear, immersive picture quality in HD, 4K and 4K HDR
  • Powerful quad-core processor
  • Low profile form factor
  • Includes Premium high-speed HDMI cable
  • Easy to use remote with channel shortcut buttons
  • 802.11 (b/g/n)
  • Dolby® and DTS Digital Surround™ pass through over HDMI®

Roku Premiere+ includes everything Roku Premiere offers plus:

  • Voice remote with TV power & volume buttons

The Roku Premiere will be available everywhere and will retail for $39.99. The Premiere+ will be a Walmart exclusive and retail for $49.99.

The top of the Roku line, the Roku Ultra, received a few updates this year. In place of the usual earbuds that came with the Ultra, you will now receive JBL earbuds valued at $39.95 on their own. Two new tones have been added to the lost remote finder function and you can now chose from HBO’s Game of Thrones theme or the ‘DaDaDa’ sound from ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Roku Ultra Features:

  • Premium JBL headphones for private listening ($39.95 value)
  • The ultimate in connectivity offering both Ethernet 10/100 and 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
  • Enhanced voice remote with TV power and volume buttons, headphone jack for private listening, gaming buttons
  • Lost remote finder button on the device now with SportsCenter’s DaDaDa from ESPN and HBO’s Game of Thrones theme song
  • USB port for local media playback
  • Dolby and DTS Digital Surround™ pass through over HDMI®
  • Night listening mode

The updated Roku Ultra will retail for $99.99.

In addition to new hardware, the Roku OS will be upgraded this fall. The players will be upgraded to OS 9, and the Roku TVs will be upgraded to 8.2 which will add support for the upcoming Roku Speakers.

While there will be numerous tweaks to the operating systems, but far the most interesting is the addition of Google Assistant support in OS 9. You will be able to use the Google voice commands to pause and search for content, launch channels, change volume, and even turn their TV on and off.  This will work with Google Assistant on phones as well as with devices such as Google Home.

Preorders for the Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, and Roku Ultra open immediately. OS 9 will launch later this fall.


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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