Roku has unveiled two affordable Premiere and Premiere+ streaming players that both support 4K HDR video streaming. The company also announced a slightly updated Roku Ultra player.
Roku Premiere and Premiere+
Premiere and Premiere+ are identical in terms of video hardware, with a quad-core processor and relatively slow n-type WiFi. The difference is that the Premiere comes bundled with a standard IR remote, whereas the Premiere+ has a WiFi based remote with a built-in microphone for voice search capabilities.
The Premiere players support the HDR10 format but not Dolby Vision.
- “Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+ are the easiest and most affordable way to stream in outstanding picture quality. Tens of millions of 4K TVs will be sold this year; we’re seeing more content, even live sports, produced and streamed in 4K and HDR as each week goes by,” said Lloyd Klarke, director of product management, Roku. “At under $40, the new Roku Premiere is our lowest-priced 4K streaming player ever, and it’s going to give consumers the best picture quality their TV can handle. It is great for HDTV today and even better if they decide to get a 4K TV tomorrow.”
The majority of 4K HDR TVs already come with built-in apps for streaming but Roku has a wider selection of content. The compare’s products compete with devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV 4K, and Nvidia Shield. Apple TV 4K has the largest selection of movies in 4K HDR through iTunes but the hardware is also significantly more expensive. Roku has said that it is not making profits selling its hardware. Instead, it is focusing on turning its TV platform into a “next generation ad platform”.
Roku had a small update for its flagship Roku Ultra media player, too. The streaming hardware is identical but it will, starting next month, come bundled with JBL earphones for $100. The Ultra is Roku’s only remaining player with a traditional box form factor.
In addition, Roku said that the Roku TV Wireless Speakers, announced in July 2018, will be available starting in October. The speakers can connect wirelessly to Roku TVs – but not Roku media players.
Premiere and Premiere+ will cost $40 and $50 dollars, respectively, and will start shipping in October. The Premiere is available for pre-order now.
Roku Premiere - specifications
- Clear, immersive picture quality in HD, 4K Ultra HD and 4K HDR - Powerful quad-core processor - Low profile form factor - Includes Premium high-speed HDMI cable - Easy to use remote with channel shortcut buttons - 802.11 (b/g/n) - Dolby and DTS Digital Surround pass through over HDMI
Roku Premiere+ - specifications
Includes everything Roku Premiere offers plus: - Voice remote with TV power & volume buttons
Roku Ultra - specifications
- Premium JBL headphones for private listening ($39.95 value) - The ultimate in connectivity offering both Ethernet 10/100 and 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless - Enhanced voice remote with TV power and volume buttons, headphone jack for private listening, gaming buttons - Lost remote finder button on the device now with SportsCenter’s DaDaDa from ESPN and HBO’s Game of Thrones theme song - USB port for local media playback - Dolby and DTS Digital Surround pass through over HDMI - Night listening mode