Roku Launches New Players, New OS

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 10 Comments

Roku today announced its new 2019 lineup of streaming set-top boxes and a new version of the OS that powers its devices.

“We’re driven by the goal of delivering an exceptional streaming experience to our customers that includes endless entertainment and intuitive ways to find it,” Roku vice president Mark Ely said in a prepared statement. “Our new streaming player lineup continues to offer a device for every type of streamer. Whether you’re streaming to your TV for the first time or are a cord-cutting powerhouse who wants our ultimate streaming device, we’ve got something for everyone.”

Two of the streamers are new to 2019:

Roku Express. The new Roku Express is 10 percent smaller than its already-tiny predecessor and can be fully powered by most televisions if an outlet is not nearby. It features HD streaming, a simple remote with channel shortcut buttons, an HDMI cable, and a power adaptor, and costs $29.99. It will ship October 13.

Roku Ultra. Roku’s highest-end streamer provides 4K and HDR picture quality, an enhanced quad-core processor, and 802.11ac dual-band wireless. A fast new channel launch feature improves channel launch times for the top channels across the Roku platform, and personal shortcut buttons on the Enhanced Roku Voice Remote offer personalization and one-touch control of entertainment. It costs $99.99 and will also ship October 13.

Additionally, Roku still sells the existing the Roku Express+ ($39.99, Walmart only) with a Roku Voice Remote, Roku Premiere ($39.99) with 4K and HDR streaming and a simple remote, Roku Streaming Stick+ ($59.99) for portable HD, 4K, and HDR streaming and a Roku Voice Remote with TV controls, Roku Streaming Stick+ HE ($59.99, Best Buy only) with an Enhanced Roku Voice Remote with a headphone jack and Roku headphones for Private Listening, and Roku Ultra LT ($79.99, Walmart only) with HD, 4K, and HDR streaming, Ethernet, 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless, an Enhanced Roku Voice remote with TV controls, and Roku headphones.

Roku also announced the release of Roku OS 9.2, which will ship on the new devices and roll out to existing devices in the coming weeks. (Roku TV models are expected to receive the update in phases over the coming months.) Roku OS 9.2 features a redesigned 4K Spotlight channel, Roku Voice enhancements, Roku Zones for searching across genres and topical subjects, and a new Roku Tips & Tricks channel.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Roku Launches New Players, New OS”

  1. glenn8878

    I highly recommend the Roku Ultra. My wifi can't keep up and my Roku Express keeps losing connections. I had to route a 50 ft ethernet cable to my television to Roku Ultra and gotten rid of Roku Express. Buy Roku Ultra on Black Friday when 50% off. You can't beat $50 for Roku Ultra.

  2. sabertooth920

    Still, no Dolby Vision, I guess.

  3. bmcdonald

    Any idea if these will come to Canada? We have become a Roku wasteland in the last year or so...

    EDIT: They are! But no Ultra box. Boo.

    • sandy

      In reply to BMcDonald:

      Australia's also a Roku wasteland; they have an exclusive arrangement with Telstra, who rebadge one device as "Telstra TV" and have taken forever to authorise apps (for example Amazon Prime Video) which compete with their Foxtel cable/satellite pay-TV joint venture.

      I hope Roku direct-sell to Australia (and elsewhere) soon.

  4. Skolvikings

    I used to be a huge Roku fan. No longer. Fire TV and Apple TV have long overtaken them.

    • bsd107

      In reply to Skolvikings:

      Please give examples. (Not arguing, just want to know...)

      • paull90

        In reply to bsd107:

        Both my daughters had a Roku in their bedrooms TV's and they found them to be slow. I eventually swapped them both out with FireTV sticks and they both tell me they are a huge improvement. I know its not scientific but anything that means I get less grief is a win in my book :)

  5. charlie1220


    I have the roku 3 and it's easy to use but

    It needs bluetooth for Wireless headphones the wired headphones kills the battery really fast on the remote. So I just got Amazon fire cube it works really good with wireless headphones. I will buy the new roku when it comes out as long as it has wireless bluetooth for headphones.