Roku Unveils Its 2017 Streaming Player Lineup

Roku today announced five new streaming media players, replacing and streamlining its entire lineup of products with versions it says offer better performance, convenience, and value.

“Our new streaming player line up provides performance, price, and features to meet our users’ needs so they can sit back, relax, and enjoy their TV viewing experience even more,” Roku general manager Chas Smith says in a canned statement.

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As you may recall, Roku similarly overhauled its entire lineup almost exactly a year ago That change was called “the biggest streaming player launch in Roku history.” But this while year’s new lineup looks is evolutionary, it looks just as impressive.

Here’s what Roku has on tap.

Roku Express. First introduced a year ago with a bargain $30 pricetag, the new Roku Express is five times faster than its predecessor but retains the same low price.

Roku Express+. Also new last year, the Roku Express+ is five times faster than its predecessor but it includes the same classic TV interfaces (composite and A/V) and low-ball $40 pricing.

Roku Streaming Stick. The new Roku Streaming Stick now features a quad-core processor, 802.11ac dual-band MIMO wireless, a voice remote, and HD streaming capabilities for just $50.

Roku Streaming Stick+. Identical to above but with 4K Ultra HD and HDR capabilities at 60 fps, the Roku Streaming Stick+ costs just $70. It also offers offers up to four times the wireless range than its predecessor to minimize buffering while streaming.

Roku Ultra. The only remaining “big” Roku player offers 4K/UHD and HDR streaming at 60 fps, an Ethernet port, a micro SD card slot, a new remote with a headphone jack, and a new low price of just $100; the previous version was $130.

The new lineup faces off against the new Apple TV 4K, which is now available, and the new Fire TV, which ships in late October. These Roku devices are available for pre-now directly from Roku, or from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and others. Availability begins next week, on October 8.


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Conversation 21 comments

  • evancox10

    02 October, 2017 - 10:16 am

    <p>IMO, for anyone not locked into iTunes store content, Roku is <em>the</em> streaming device to get.</p>

  • Finley

    Premium Member
    02 October, 2017 - 10:29 am

    <p>Will probably switch to Roku from XB1 by end of year. This would also mean I will switch from using MSFT for renting movies and purchasing TV to Google. </p><p><br></p><p>When I do switch from the XB1 I will miss the voice controls. I always love walking in to my rec room and telling the Xbox to turn on then telling it to open a specific app all before I make it across the room and sit down.</p><p><br></p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      02 October, 2017 - 10:57 am

      <blockquote><a href="#186471"><em>In reply to Finley:</em></a></blockquote><p>You could also use VUDU for purchases and rental, if you're looking for something that works cross-platform.</p>

      • Finley

        Premium Member
        02 October, 2017 - 11:36 am

        <blockquote><a href="#186486"><em>In reply to Chris_Kez:</em></a></blockquote><p>Not available in Canada.</p><p><br></p><p>If I ever start a tech blog, this is what it will be called.</p>

        • Rycott

          Premium Member
          03 October, 2017 - 3:21 am

          <blockquote><a href="#186503"><em>In reply to Finley:</em></a></blockquote><p>'Only available in the US' would also fit for a tech blog name.</p>

  • david.thunderbird

    02 October, 2017 - 10:34 am

    <p>Snot for me, I returned one a couple years ago when they wanted a CC to register it. Haven't looked back.</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      02 October, 2017 - 11:57 am

      <blockquote><a href="#186479"><em>In reply to david.thunderbird:</em></a></blockquote><p>Not all Roku apps are free. They just want to make it nice and easy for you so you don't have to enter CC details every time! 😉 One click ordering – you can even do it by accident.</p>

    • Skolvikings

      03 October, 2017 - 9:59 am

      <blockquote><a href="#186479"><em>In reply to david.thunderbird:</em></a></blockquote><p>You don't have to have a CC to sign up, but you do have to contact customer support for a special sign up link that doesn't require a CC.</p>

  • MikeGalos

    02 October, 2017 - 10:41 am

    <p>And even the $30 model's remote doesn't need to have a white circle painted on it so you can tell which way is up.</p>

    • Lauren Glenn

      04 October, 2017 - 9:28 am

      <blockquote><a href="#186481"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yeah, that Apple remote is just horrible even without that white circle. I didn't think they could ruin the old Apple TV remote more but they found a way.</p>

  • Khayman101

    02 October, 2017 - 11:00 am

    <p>I don't think even last years ones got released in the UK, so i won't hold my breath</p>

  • Tony Barrett

    02 October, 2017 - 11:56 am

    <p>Interesting to see so many 'stick' devices now. They to have limitations (ie, no ethernet port), but I guess that's the way things are going. We have a couple of Roku 2's, which were in effect the Roku 3's from a couple of years back. Still pretty quick and work well.</p>

    • Lauren Glenn

      04 October, 2017 - 9:27 am

      <blockquote><a href="#186509"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>I found out recently that Chromecast sticks have the option for ethernet with an adapter. I got one on Amazon for about $20 and it actually works well. I think it also works with Fire Stick too and probably others. Assuming that this is true for all Linux based devices, it probably works with Roku also. </p><p><br></p><p>But the only problem I see with stick devices for the TV is that one day you're going to bang into the TV and break the HDMI connector on the stick rendering it useless. Had that happen with the first generation Chromecast a couple of times even with the short HDMI extension they give you. I'd rather take an HDMI cable on a set top box, hide it under the TV stand, and then stretch that to an AV receiver.</p>

  • pwrof3

    02 October, 2017 - 12:18 pm

    <p>I was a huge Roku fan. Had the original, giant box, the gen 2 and gen 3. The gen 3 kept overheating and freezing on me, so I gave the Fire TV a try and haven't looked back. </p><p>I'd love to try one of these newer Rokus and see if the build quality and UI has improved or gotten worse over the last few years. </p><p>This lineup is highly confusing, though. I miss the days when there was one box an done stick and consumers could easily identify what each one did. </p>

  • wunderbar

    Premium Member
    02 October, 2017 - 12:29 pm

    <p>Rokus are near perfect devices, really. If you're not heavily in the apple ecosystem and want a simple streamer with a remote, these are perfect.</p>

  • mjw149

    02 October, 2017 - 2:57 pm

    <p>When did they add the power buttons? What are those for?</p>

  • Skolvikings

    03 October, 2017 - 9:58 am

    <p>And regardless of faster hardware, they still run the custom Roku operating system. Meaning apps like PS Vue and Hulu on the Roku will continue to lag behind their counterparts on other streaming devices based on Android or iOS.</p>

  • Rob.Federici

    03 October, 2017 - 3:18 pm

    <p>big omission is that the remotes on some models can now control you power tv and volume!!</p>

  • Lauren Glenn

    04 October, 2017 - 9:25 am

    <p>I had Roku and don't see what the appeal is of it. And I tried honestly. The interface runs decently but there was just too much crap apps in the store where I didn't see the point and the apps from brands I knew were often not as good as what's on Android that I can cast to my Chromecast. And with ethernet adapters they have for Chromecast in Amazon, that one advantage a set top Roku box had for me is gone now. The only advantage that could be there might be the headphone jack on the remote but I have other options for that on Android.</p><p><br></p>

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