Roku Media Streamers

Roku Media Streamers

Roku now has the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Stick, Roku Stick+ and Roku Ultra which are now their current models. Missing is the Roku Premiere and Premiere + which have bee dropped from their line.

Take this short quiz to find which Roku model is best for you!

Roku Express (3900)

Their lowest price Roku Express costs only $30 is now 5X faster than last year's model. It even includes a real remote control. You can bet that at this price they are hoping to steal some sales away from Google's Chromecast which does not include a remote and has nowhere near the functionality or access to over 4000+ channels available on the Roku platform.

The Express gives streamers on a tighter budget another lower-cost option to use the awesome Roku media streaming platform.

While these models do not come with Ethernet the Roku Express will most likely be a popular seller for Roku since it offers the same level of performance as their $50 Roku Streaming Stick and is perfect if you don't need 4K.

While it may be a rather unusual looking streamer you can't beat the price though for $29 you have access to all these popular Roku channels. It also includes the faster processor for a five fold increase from the prio model.

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Roku Express+ (3910)

The Roku Express+ looks identical to the Roku Express with the addition of Analog Video outputs so it will work on older TVs that don't have HD Inputs. This model costs $10 more than the Express.

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Roku Streaming Stick

The remote now gives you Voice search remote control. Although  it will not work with IR. This is now Roku's budget 1080P STICK and it costs $50. Same price as last year's 4K model. Since this Streaming Stick omits 4K you will need to step up to the Streaming Stick Plus or Roku Ultra.

This one is great should you need a Roku to take with you for travel. Since the Streaming Stick Plus now comes with better WiFi and can support 4K HDR10, spend the extra $20 and get the Stick + instead.

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Roku Streaming Stick Plus (3810)

Add $20 to the price of the Roku Stick and the Plus includes 4K HDR. This requires a specially enabled 4K TV and it gives you even a nicer 4K picture with more brightness and contrast, this also comes with 4X the wireless range. Since it does not have an Ethernet port. This is something that is highly recommended for the better streaming performance over WiFi for less buffering if you have your TV further from your wireless Router. The included remote also offers a headphone jack for private listening and is also radio controlled so you won't need to point it directly at your Roku.

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Roku Ultra (4660)

At $99 the Roku Ultra now took a nice price drop from last year and is still the Flagship of the group. It comes with all the bells and whistles. 4K HDR, Ethernet,  Radio and IR Controlled Remote, Voice Search and a Headphone Jack, Lost Remote Finder plus a USB port not found on the other models. Now for the best part, Roku eliminated the fan. All their models are now fanless. The fan caused major headaches early on when there were many complaints about excessive fan noise on their Roku 4 which they promptly fixed.

According to Roku, all their 4K models will now feature the same CPU and will be more powerful than last years Roku 4. They can do 4K/60Hz and play  for really smooth streaming.

Roku also recently released brand new updated OS. It will come with some great new features and also be rolled out as an update to older Roku models as well. You can read about the new features below.

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New Roku Software OS 8

Roku updated its software and now all new Roku models and many later models when they receive the update will have a new AI Digital Assistant (US only) – Roku OS 8 now brings us some new voice commands for Roku devices. You can now use your voice for switching inputs, tuning to free local broadcast channels and more. Just use your voice remote or the free Roku mobile app to speak commands such as “tune to CBS,” or “switch to HDMI 3” to control your Roku TV more easily.

Roku streaming players and Roku TVs now includes natural language understanding to allow you to search for movies, shows, actors or directors, and even launch streaming channels, in a more conversational tone. For example, you can say things like “show me movies with Tom Cruise,” “launch Netflix,” or even more detailed searches such as “show me comedies with Chris Rock.”

How To Tell If Your Remote Supports Voice Control

You can tell if your remote is enabled by voice control if it has a button with a microphone or magnifying glass on it.

If your current Roku media streamer model or Roku TV does not come with a voice-enabled remote control, you can still use these voice features by downloading the free Roku mobile app for iOS or Android. 

You can now use voice control for the following functions

  • Find a specific title for a show or movie
Say "Game of Thrones"
"show me episodes of Game of Thrones"
"find Wonder Woman"

  • Find a show with a specific actor or director
“find all Martin Scorsese films”
"Chris Pratt"
"search for commedies with Chevy Chase"

  • Find movies or TV shows by genre
"show me action"
"find horror movies"

As long as they are a Roku channel search partner you can

Find content in a genre on a channel
"show documentaries on Netflix" 
Launch a channel on your Roku"go to Netflix"
"launch Amazon"

TV Everywhere (TVE) single sign-on

Another new software feature customers who are pay TV subscribers will love! Roku now offers single sign-on for a large selection of TV Everywhere streaming channels to eliminate the need to log into TV Everywhere channels over and over. If you are a Dish, Cox, AT&T or one of the many hundreds of other pay TV providers, you will be able to being enjoying single sign-on when using 30 TV Everywhere channels on your Roku.

Roku Express

Affordable and Fast 1080P Streamer

Networking 802.11 (b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support.
Video Outputs 720p, 1080p
Video Up-Conversion Up-scaling 720p to 1080p on HD TVs.
Audio Dolby Audio pass through via HDMI.
Remote control Roku standard IR remote with channel shortcut buttons Streaming player includes IR receiver (compatible with various universal remotes).

Roku Streaming Stick

Powerful 1080P Media Streamer

Networking 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless.
Video Outputs Up to 1080p HD (1920 x 1080) on HD TVs
Video Up-Conversion Up-scaling 720p to 1080p on HD TVs Up-scaling 720p and 1080p 60fps 
Audio Dolby Audio pass through via HDMI Night listening mode
Remote control Roku standard WiFi remote with channel shortcut buttons. 

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Brilliant 4K HDR with Advanced Remote

Networking 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless. 
Video Outputs Up to 1080p HD (1920 x 1080) on HD TVs. Up to 4K/60 Ultra HD (3840 × 2160) on 4K UHD TVs.
Video Up-Conversion Up-scaling 720p to 1080p on HD TVs. Up-scaling 720p and 1080p to 4K 60fps Ultra HD on 4K UHD TVs.
Audio Dolby Audio pass through via HDMI. Night listening mode.
Remote control Advanced point-anywhere remote with headphone jack for private listening. 

Roku Ultra

TOP Of The Line Fully Loaded 4K HDR

Networking 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless. 10/100 Base-T Ethernet
Video Outputs Up to 1080p HD (1920 x 1080) on HD TVs. Up to 4K/60 Ultra HD (3840 × 2160) on 4K UHD TVs.
Video Up-Conversion Up-scaling 720p to 1080p on HD TVs. Up-scaling 720p and 1080p to 4K 60fps Ultra HD on 4K UHD TVs
Audio Dolby Audio over HDMI and optical. Night listening mode
Remote control Advanced point-anywhere remote with voice search, headphone jack, and gaming buttons. Speaker for lost remote finder alerts. Player includes IR receiver, compatible with various universal remotes
Storage microSD card slot for additional channel storage. USB port for local playback.
ETHERNET PORT - This is the only Roku now to include one.

RELATED: Why Your Next Media Streamer Should Have Ethernet

Best Roku Channels For Your New Roku

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