Roku has announced the fourth generation of its media player products, known as the Roku 4 – which, for the first time, can support UltraHD streaming as rumoured. (Is Roku Going to UltraHD?)
The player runs the new Roku OS 7, which is being launched at the same time. OS 7 has an updated Roku Feed, which can be used to follow films, TV shows, actors and directors – automatically updating viewers when pricing and availability are changed. In addition, the Roku mobile app has been updated; an on-the-go mode is to be launched shortly, which will make the Roku Feed accessible on the app.
For those who view away from home, the Hotel and Dorm Connect feature can be used to view content on the Roku stick. This can be used on WiFi networks that require log-in through a browser, such as hotels and dorm rooms. The player is connected to the WiFi network and log-in credentials are entered on a linked mobile phone.
Roku has ensured that UltraHD content discovery is easy. A curated ‘4k Spotlight’ channel is exclusive to the Roku 4, and there is a dedicated category for such programming in the Roku Channel Store. A quad-core processor runs the unit, which supports UltraHD streaming up to 60fps.
The Roku 4 player can be pre-ordered now for $130, and will go on sale this month. Roku OS 7 will be rolled out to existing Roku players and TVs through a software update, beginning in mid-October.
My (limited) experience with the earlier Roku system impressed me. It’s well designed and easy to use, although we haven’t seen a lot of TV design wins recently. We missed the firm at IBC, but will catch up at CES at the latest. (BR)