Just recently, Roku brought in a new product, the affordable $50 stick, which was deemed as the lone set-top box TV lovers would want until Roku came in with even more boxes. These boxes are said to cater to those who own a tube TV (from 1995 and beyond) through to those who own a high-end UHDTV set.
New Roku: Roku Ultra
The “Roku Ultra,” set to come with a price tag of $130, is said to be the newest high-end set-top box. For a majority of TV lovers, it may be unnecessary. It’s capable of handling HDR and 4K content — a feature that’s rapidly required in some high-end TVs. The Roku Ultra contains an Optical Audio for those who have a nice sound system as well as MIMO connectivity, for added wireless connection between router and the set-top box. The remote it came with even has gaming buttons, if you playing games on Roku happens to be your thing.
The Ultra is within the same price as its Roku 4 predecessor, but with a lesser price tag than the Roku Premiere Plus, retailing at $100. It’s also 4K compatible with HDR playback. It may not have the Optical Audio or MIMO connectivity, but it’s considered to be the cheapest set-top box available with HDR playback. HDR, a feature that lets you peek into brightness and darkness details, is seen in newer shows from Amazon Prime and Netflix. Until now, you can make use of it with pre-installed TV apps or in the Xbox One S.
For those who aren’t into HDR but want to watch 4K content, the Roku Premiere 4K is an appealing option. Priced at $80, it’s a replacement box for its predecessor. This time though, Roku ditched the fan noise its predecessor faced and lowered the price further by $50.
The New Roku also ushered in a couple bare set-top boxes. Both boxes won’t have an audio out, voice search, or 4K content capability. What’s more, both boxes are only capable of reaching 1080p and has a size similar to a dozen quarters stacked on top of each other. The expensive version costs at around $40.
The Roku Express Plus, priced at $40, will only be made available in Walmart. Paired with the product is a composite cable. While it may appear a bit bizarre, there are still other TVs that lack an HDMI port and users who still rely on WiFi for streaming Netflix and other channels.
On the other hand, the Roku Express, priced at $30, is similar to the Roku Express Plus. Unlike the latter, it’ll be sold in Walmart and other stores, and will come with an HDMI cable. Intended to compete against Google Chromecast, the Roku Express is an older Roku 2 compacted in a small box. Take note, it’s not as blazing fast and lacks some features such as 4K playback and voice search.
The Roku Express is a box running on Roku software that lets you view Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other videos on 1080p.