Roku has launched an upgraded version of its Roku Ultra media player, now with support for both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. The compact Roku Streambar was also announced.
Dolby Vision + Atmos
Like other high-end streaming boxes such as Apple TV 4K and Nvidia Shield, Roku now offers one with support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. In addition, Roku Ultra now comes with an upgraded quad-core processor.
- "The new and improved Roku Ultra offers powerful, smooth streaming with channels that launch in a snap and our best wireless, now with up to 50% more range and Bluetooth support. Stream in extraordinary Dolby Vision picture quality and experience immersive Dolby Atmos sound when you pair it with compatible devices," the company said.
Another new development is that for the first time for a Roku player, the 2020 Roku Ultra supports the AV1 video codec.
It is powered by Roku OS, which will soon be updated to version 9.4 with new features including Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, surround level controls, a live TV channel guide, and more. The 2020 Roku Ultra supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Also read: Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit coming to select Roku 4K devices
Roku Ultra will be the most expensive option in Roku's current line-up that covers Roku Express, Premiere, Streaming Stick+, and Ultra LT.
The company also announced the Roku Streambar, which is a TV soundbar with the Roku platform embedded. It is a more compact version of the original Roku Smart Soundbar (14 vs. 32 inches longer).
Streaming soundbars let users gain access to streaming apps like Disney+ and Netflix as well as other Roku features by connecting it to a TV via HDMI. In the last few years, soundbars running FireTV or Android TV have also been introduced on the market.
Roku Streambar supports 4K HDR (HDR10, HLG) but not Dolby's latest video and audio formats. It will receive Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities via an update. Additional details can be found in the table below.
Roku Ultra ($100) and Roku Streambar ($130) are available for pre-order at roku.com and will start shipping in October where they will also be more widely available at major retailers.
Roku Ultra - specs
802.11ac dual-band, MIMO wireless
10/100 Base-T Ethernet
HD TVs: Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) with up-scaling from 720p
4K TVs: Up to 2160p at 60fps (3840 x 2160) with upscaling from 720p and 1080p. TV must have an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2.
4K HDR TVs
Supports Dolby Vision™, HDR10, and HLG. Requires compatible TV with an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2.
Digital stereo over HDMI
DTS Digital Surround™ pass through over HDMI
Dolby Atmos decode via HDMI. Requires Dolby Atmos compatible speakers.
Local playback via
Voice remote with personal shortcut buttons, TV power, volume, and mute buttons, and headphone jack for private listening
< 4.5W (typical) when streaming 4K video
12V – 1.5A
USB media formats
H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9.2 (.MKV); AV1 (.MP4, .MKV)
AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3 (.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV); FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV); PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV); AC3/EAC3 (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .AC3); DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A); HEAAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .AAC); AC-4 with Atmos (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .AC4 ); DD+ (EAC3) with Atmos (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV)
JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)
Height: 1.0 in (25.4 mm)
Width: 4.9 in (124.4 mm)
Depth : 5.0 in (127.0 mm)
5.9 ounces (167.2 g)
Works with Google Assistant
Works with Alexa
Works with any TV with HDMI
Roku Streambar - highlighted features
- America’s #1 TV streaming platform: Enjoy an easy to use and snappy experience with access to endless entertainment.
- Big sound: Four internal speakers fill the room with rich Dolby Audio.
- Smarter than the average soundbar: Advanced audio engineering within the Roku OS helps Roku Streambar produce sound well beyond its size while increasing speech clarity and adding intricate depth to music.
- Simple sound settings: Simple volume modes make it easy to adjust sound. Did the kids or your partner fall asleep during the movie? Automatically lower loud commercials, boost the volume of voices, and optimize the sound for night listening.
- Easily expandable: Add deep, rich bass with Roku Wireless Subwoofer and immersive surround sound with Roku Wireless Speakers.
- Spotify Connect: Easily launch your favorite playlist from a smartphone and listen through the Roku Streambar.
- Bluetooth support: Easily stream music from mobile devices.