Closely following Amazon’s refresh of its HD Fire TV Stick, Roku has also announced an all-new streaming device, and a 2-in-1 streaming device and soundbar named Roku Streambar.
The all-new redesigned Roku streaming device, Roku Ultra, now has up to 50% more wireless range than previous versions and Bluetooth support.
Roku Ultra can support Doby Vision HDR format, the gold standard in HDR land. It also promises better sound quality courtesy of immersive Dolby Atmos sound in conjunction with supported devices.
It can be controlled hands-free using voice commands, either with Alexa and Google Assistant devices or via the included voice remote. In addition to voice control support, the remote brings other granular controls to the table, including TV power and volume controls, and customizable shortcut buttons.
The Roku Ultra is priced at an MSRP of $99.99, or around KES 10,000.
Roku Streambar is quite pricey relative to the Roku Ultra at $129.99, or around KES 13,000. For that, you’re getting a 2-in-1 streaming device and a soundbar. It supports 4K resolution and HDR for compatible 4K HDR TVs.
You can also control the Roku Ultra via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant devices, or using the out-of-the-box voice remote. The remote is similar to the one included in the Roku Ultra. Later this year, Roku plans to add Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support on “select 4K Roku devices.”
Roku Streambar also supports Dolby Audio and Bluetooth, and there’s a handy Spotify connect capability.
Roku also announced a new iteration of Roku OS, version 9.4. It will be available on all Roku devices in the coming weeks, but TV users will wait a bit longer. Major updates include the looming support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.
Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar Availability
Both the Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar will start shipping in October starting with select countries.