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Roku 4 is here with new features, more memory, and other upgrades

By Lyn Atwood / October 6, 2015 / Tags: , , , ,

Roku’s next generation media streamer, the Roku 4, has finally been revealed, and features some popular improvements and updates.

Roku 4

Roku’s poorly-kept secret surrounding its newest media player is officially out. After several recent leaks, including a photo of the Roku 4 that surfaced online, Roku has put an end to the rumors with the formal launch of the Roku 4.

Roku is accepting preorders for Roku 4, $129, starting today.

The newest version of the popular media streaming device comes with a number of new features.

Chief among them, Roku 4 supports 4K UHD (ultra-high definition) and HD TVs.

Roku’s newest device also has an upgraded processor for faster speeds, improved Wi-Fi performance, more memory, and a remote locator feature. The latter is sure to please fans prone to losing the remote in the couch cushions.

Roku 4 also makes it easier for users to find content. Roku’s channel store has over 3,000 different apps/channels, so helping viewers to better discover and follow their favorite shows is important. Roku’s new operating system, OS7, which Roku 4 runs on, is the brains behind the better search function.

Roku has also released a new version of their mobile app. The new Roku app is redesigned to be more user-friendly, allowing for remote control functionality and more right from a smartphone.

Roku 4 is faster than the older players, and also slightly larger in size, which some users won’t like. It has an incredible selection of content, with hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies, and more 4K channels than other devices (the new Amazon Fire TV also has 4K support).

However, the gaming selection has not been updated. Roku 4 has voice control for search, but doesn’t have a more advanced search system like Siri (Apple TV) or Alexa (Amazon Fire TV).

Roku 4 costs a bit more than Roku 3. At $129 for the new model, Roku 4’s price will play a big role in its popularity among consumers and would-be cord-cutters.

Competition for buyers is fiercer than ever. All of Roku’s major rivals have new streaming media devices hitting shelves.

The new Apple TV goes on sale in only a couple weeks. The new Amazon Fire TV with 4K is now available. Google’s Chromecast 2 went on sale last week.

The media streaming wars have intensified so heavily in the past few months that companies are now rolling out the heavy artillery. Just days ago, Amazon announced it will no longer sell Apple TV and Chromecast devices.

At the time, there was no mention of Roku. But Amazon may well ban Roku 4 from its marketplace as well.

Now that the Roku 4 release has arrived and the wait is finally over for eager Roku customers, it’ll be interesting to see how many actually upgrade their systems. We’ll be reporting on all the skirmishes in the media streaming wars as they emerge.

Lyn Atwood
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Lyn Atwood

Covering all things streaming, from the mainstream to the wonkish and back again.
Lyn Atwood
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