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Roku introduces new Express 4K+ box, voice remote & Roku OS 10

15 Apr 2021 | Rasmus Larsen |

Roku has launched a new 4K-capable box, Roku Express 4K+ and a new rechargeable voice remote. Roku OS 10 with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit for HD Roku devices is also rolling out.

Roku in 2021

The new Roku Express 4K+ is a small box that connect to almost any TV via HDMI. It provides access to the Roku platform with streaming apps like HBO, Disney+, and Netflix in up to 4K HDR. For the first time for Roku, it also supports HDR10+. - "Roku Express 4K+ is the easiest way to start streaming in brilliant 4K picture and vivid HDR color. Enjoy a smooth streaming experience with a more powerful quad-core processor, dual-band wireless performance and additional storage for quicker channel start times," announced Roku. Roku Express 4K+ will be available for $40 in the US and £40 in the UK. It is also coming to other regions soon including Canada and Mexico. In addition, the company launched an upgraded soundbar called the Roku Streambar Pro as well as a new rechargeable remote control, Roku Voice Remote Pro, with hands-free voice control. It is available for $30. The new products will compete with streaming devices from the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google. Amazon's FireTV devices are neck-and-neck with Roku in the US, according to reports. Google recently launched the Chromecast with Google TV whereas Apple is rumored to be working on one or more new Apple TV devices.

Roku Express 4K+

Roku Express 4K+

Roku OS 10

The company also announced Roku OS 10, the latest version of its TV operating system. Version 10 brings Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to HD Roku boxes and TVs. - "Roku OS 10 has begun rolling out to select Roku players and is expected to roll out to all supported streaming players, including the all-new Roku Express 4K and all Roku TV models in the coming weeks," the company said. Roku OS 10 also introduces certain new features as outlined in the table below.

Roku Express 4K+ highlighted features

  • Brilliant picture quality: Optimized with stunning detail and clarity with sharp resolution and vivid color in HD, 4K, HDR, HDR10 and HDR10+.
  • Smooth streaming: Dual-Band Wi-Fi and microUSB Ethernet compatibility for wired internet connectivity.
  • Voice remote with TV controls: Use one remote to power on the TV, adjust the volume, mute and use Roku Voice to launch channels, search for content and control the streaming experience.
  • Setup is a cinch: Everything is included in the box including a Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable. Just plug it in and connect to the internet.
  • Ecosystem compatibility: Control Roku Express 4K+ by using voice with Alexa or Google Assistant enabled devices. With Apple AirPlay 2, effortlessly stream, control and share content directly from iPhone, iPad or Mac. Roku Express 4K+ also supports HomeKit, which allows users to easily and securely control Roku devices using Siri or the Home app on their Apple devices.

    Roku Express 4K+

    Roku Express 4K+

  • Roku OS 10

    Features
  • Apple AirPlay 2 & HomeKit – In addition to select 4K Roku devices, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will now also be available on HD Roku streaming devices, such as the Roku Express, and select HD Roku TV models. With AirPlay 2, Roku customers can effortlessly stream, control and share their favorite content directly from their iPhone, iPad or Mac to compatible Roku devices, bringing the experience to the big screen. Compatible Roku devices also support HomeKit, which allows users to easily and securely control Roku devices using Siri or the Home app on their Apple devices.
  • Instant Resume – This feature helps users get back to the content they were watching within supported channels faster. With Instant Resume, when users launch a channel again, reload times will be much quicker and they will be taken back to the place where they last left off for a much faster, smoother experience. Instant resume will be supported on 15+ streaming channels including AT&T TV, FilmRise, FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, Fubo Sports Network, HappyKids TV, Plex.tv, STARZ, The Roku Channel, with more to come.
  • Customizing the Live TV Channel Guide (US) – Within the Live TV Channel Guide, users now have more options to tailor their experience including the ability to hide individual channels from view and the ability to add channels to a favorites list for a custom guide view that gives them convenient, easy access to the channels they love. Users can quickly switch between guide views to see their favorites, recently visited, or all channels. SIMPLIFYING SET UP
  • Automatic Wi-Fi Network Detection – The new automatic network detection feature notifies Roku users of the optimal wireless network band to connect to in their homes so they can enjoy the best possible streaming experience. Roku devices will recommend the optimal wireless network during connection setup and when there is a better network connection available in the user's home, the Roku device will proactively display a prompt recommending that the user connect to that network for an improved experience.
  • Automatic Game Console Configuration – For gamers who are Roku TV users, this feature will automatically detect select game consoles and configure supported features to optimize the TV's performance for playing video games. When a supported game console is connected to an HDMI® port on a Roku TV, the input tile on the user's Roku home screen will automatically change to the game console icon for easy identification so users can jump right into gaming. Additionally, the Roku TV will detect the capabilities of the game console and automatically enables settings like Game Mode, which offers the lowest latency picture for a more responsive display and optimal gaming experience. It will also enable advanced features to enhance usability and picture quality for game consoles connected via HDMI. Depending on the Roku TV model being used, settings that get automatically configured may include HDR gaming, Auto Low-Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate, High Frame Rate, and THX Certified Game Mode.
  • Voice entry for select on-screen keyboards (US) – Roku Voice can now be used with a variety of on-screen keyboards, giving users more convenience and speed when entering information on their Roku device. Keyboards that support Roku Voice will display a microphone icon, so users can quickly identify if voice entry is an available option. Additional Roku OS 10 features include:
  • HDR10+ Support – HDR 10+ enables dynamic metadata that continuously enhances display settings, so users see the most vivid and brilliant colors throughout the HDR10+ content streaming experience. Roku devices will automatically detect HDR10+ TV compatibility during setup or users can configure the Display type within the Settings menu. HDR 10+ will be available on Roku Ultra (2020), Roku Express 4K, and Roku Express 4K+.
  • Virtual Surround – Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Streambar™ Pro owners will be able to enjoy a rich and immersive sound experience with the new "Virtual Surround" setting. This setting creates spacious sound that moves around the room for an enhanced audio experience. Access this new setting by pressing the "*" button on the Roku remote to access the Sound settings menu, or by accessing the Audio menu within Settings on their device.
  • Improvements to visual search results for Roku Voice – Users who initiate a voice search while within a streaming channel can now experience a more visual and convenient way to browse Roku Search results without disrupting their viewing experience. Results will be displayed in a partial overlay with content from the active channel in the first row, followed by rows of other matches from elsewhere on the platform, providing users with the full breadth of results to choose from, ordered by the best possible match.
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